Sunday, November 19, 2017

Homily for Today

Unto us it is given so we may blossom in Jesus! Good morning to everyone and welcome to our guests who have found their way to our humble Church so that they may share their living faith with us. It is always a joy to all of us to see new faces in our parish community.

Today's readings echo a wise message of spiritual investments. The good Lord Jesus invested in us, His chosen children. He expects to reap something in return. Anyone who is involved in business knows that money management stresses the importance of getting something in return from your original investment. If the business cannot show a profit, it is a loser. And losers are dumped in favour of better business opportunities that promise profits.

The First Reading from the Book of Proverbs [Prov. 31:10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31] spoke of a very productive wife that bears fruit in all things. She never sits idle, using every opportunity presented to her to increase the family wealth. Because of her qualities, she is far more precious than jewels.

This capable wife is trustworthy. The husband can count on her to be faithful and productive for the betterment of the home. She is not afraid to learn how to sew and make clothing for the members of the family in order to save money.

From the money that she managed to save, she invests in land. There, she plants a garden in hope of selling the fruits of the seeds that she plants. Not counting the hours that come and go, night and day, she works long hours.

While tending to the worldly needs of the family, she also tends to her spiritual needs and the needs of others. She gives generously to those in need. To those seeking comfort, she speaks gentle words, only wisdom coming from her mouth. She is never idle, having no time for foolishness and gossip.

Her children, well raised in values and the ways of the Lord, show appreciation, thanking her and praising her for being such a happy and wonderful mother. Even her husband recognizes the treasure that he has in his possession, the best of the best.

From each of the characters in this reading, there is something for us to learn. In a way, this wonderful woman is a picture of what we should be, always being fruitful in our ways. The children and the husband are also pictures to us, telling us that we should be thankful to the Lord for all that He has provided for us, praising Him in all things. As the woman is more precious than jewels in the eyes of her family, we are called to be more precious than jewels in the eyes of the Lord.

The Second Reading from the Letter to the Thessalonians [1 Thess. 5:1-6] tells us that since we are children of the light and children of the day, we should not worry about when the Lord shall return. It is sufficient for us to know that when the Lord does suddenly come as a thief in the night, either through His Second and final Coming on Judgment Day or when we are individually called to appear before Him at death, which ever comes first, we will be ready.

According to the promise that we have made when we have received the Sacrament of Baptism, we strive to walk in our living faith. We strive to be like the wife that was just described during the First Reading.

Today's Reading from the Gospel of Matthew [Mt. 24:36, 25:14-30] involved two stories. The first reminded us of the necessity to be watchful at all time. The second, the Parable of the Talents, informed us as to why we must persevere in our living faith, why we must be fruitful in all our thoughts, our words and our actions.

The man who was going on a journey and who summoned his slaves is a picture of Jesus. As the man entrusted his slaves with some talents, the Lord Jesus also entrusted us with spiritual gifts that have been bestowed upon us through the Holy Spirit. Through the Blood of Christ, we received the opportunity to become children of God. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we became new creations, having received a new heart. To protect and strengthen our new creation, we received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Catholic Church that has been entrusted with the apostolic authority, we received the Sacrament of Reconciliation to maintain our souls in an ongoing state of grace. Through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we receive the Living Bread that gives life to our souls. All of these are necessary for our salvation.

As the man expected his slaves to invest the talents that he had entrusted them with in order to be fruitful, the Lord Jesus also expects us to be fruitful. He expects us to appreciate all of the gifts that have just been aforementioned, not only appreciate them but also use them to their greatest potential.

Having received the Holy Spirit, we are expected to grow in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are expected to shine as lights in the world, to shine in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [Gal. 5:22-3] These are the fruit that the capable wife displayed in the First Reading.

> We are expected to love God first with our whole being, above everyone and everything, even above our parents, our spouse and our children. Then, we are expected to love others as we love ourselves. Through these fruit of the Spirit, we become productive, giving in return to the Lord. Our personal efforts and growth to mature spiritually in Christ are the end result that the Lord seeks from us.

To those who persevere in their living faith, when the moment comes for them to appear before the Lord, He will say, "Well done, good and trustworthy child; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master."

To those who are wicked and lazy, having neglected their salvation, the Lord will say, "Take away from them the gifts that they have received. Throw them into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

The wicked and the lazy, they will be stripped of their new creations, their new hearts that have became dull and their talents that they have not nourished in order for them to blossom. They will not be stripped of the Holy Spirit because He will have already departed from them. For the Holy Spirit does not dwell within those who live in sin.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us consider ourselves very privileged by the grace of God to be aware of the danger that befalls those who neglect their gifts. Let us always be thankful to the Lord for the gift of the Holy Scriptures that remind us from time to time of the reward that awaits those who persevere in their living faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. For it is through Christ that we have our assurance that we will not be counted among those who have failed to acknowledge the spiritual gifts that they have received through the goodness of the Almighty Lord God.

Some Prayers for Today

Lord Jesus, be the ruler of my heart and thoughts, be the king of my home and relationships, and be the master of my work and service. Help me to make good use of the gifts, talents, time, and resources you give me for your glory and your kingdom.

Lord Jesus, I know that you don’t want me to live my life in fear. Only one type of fear is legitimate: the fear of losing you. Because I know you will never leave me, I am not afraid of this either. I know that I can lose you only if leave you. Jesus, I place my hope in you and offer you all my love.

Lord Jesus, I know that you do not want me to be afraid of failure. I know that if I try my hardest for you, there will be no such thing. Please help me always to fight courageously in order to better myself for your glory.

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Book of Proverbs 31:10-13.19-20.30-31.
When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Psalms 128(127):1-2.3.4-5.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.

Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.

First Letter to the Thessalonians 5:1-6.
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,and they will not escape.
But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 25:14-30.
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately
the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money.
After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.'
(Then) the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Friday, November 17, 2017

Christ the King Novena

Here is the newest Novena it is for Christ the King and brought to you from our friends at Pray More Novenas. Please visit and join their wonderful site.

The Feast of Christ the King is a moveable feast that occurs on the last Sunday of the Liturgical year. It is an important feast for all of us! Let’s join in preparing for this feast with a Novena for Christ the King!

Background on this Feast

This feast day was instituted by Pope Pius XI on December 11th in 1925 within the encyclical letter Quas Primas. The Holy Father was responding to the fact that the world was becoming increasingly nationalistic and secular. Governments were claiming more and more allegiance from their citizens and attempting to replace God.
“While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.” – Quas Primas, 25
Pope Pius XI, therefore, created this feast to help the faithful to remember that allegiance to Christ is above any allegiance to government of a nation.
“The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.” – Quas Primas, 33
It is particularly important to recognize the words of the encyclical in today’s climate of government intrusion on the Church.
“When we pay honor to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power.” – Quas Primas, 31

Christ the King Novena Prayers

Christ, our Savior and our King, renew in me allegiance to Your Kingship.
Day 1 – I pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things.
Day 2 – I pray for the grace to obey You before any civic authority.
Day 3 – I pray for the grace to fervently bring about Your Kingdom in my family and community.
Day 4 – I pray that You will reign in my mind.
Day 5 – I pray that You will reign in my heart.
Day 6 – I pray that You will reign in my will.
Day 7 – I pray that You will reign in my body.
Day 8 – I pray that You will reign throughout all the world.
Day 9 – I pray that You will reign in every area of my life.
O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in my life and in the life of the world. Christ, my King, please answer these petitions if they be in accordance with Your Holy Will…
[Mention your intentions here]
As I reflect on Your second, glorious coming and the judgment of all mankind, I beg You to show me mercy and give me the grace to become a great saint. I pray that not only will I spend eternity with You but that You may use me – a sinner – to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.
Christ the King, Your Kingdom come!

Find the Original Here:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pope on the Mass

Saw this during the week and loved it. Certainly this should have been or could have been a homily at many churches this week. from Catholic News Agency;

Here it is,

Pope: Mass is for the Eucharist, not pictures. Put the phone away.

.- On Wednesday, a fiery Pope Francis chastised those who spend Mass talking to others, looking at their phone or even taking pictures during papal liturgies, saying these are distractions that take focus away from the “heart of the Church,” which is the Eucharist.
“The Mass is not a show: it is to go to meet the passion and resurrection of the Lord,” the Pope said Nov. 8. “The Lord is here with us, present. Many times we go there, we look at things and chat among ourselves while the priest celebrates the Eucharist... But it is the Lord!”
In particular, Francis condemned the use of cell phones to take photos at papal Masses. At one point during the Mass the priest says, “we lift up our hearts,” he said. “He does not say, ‘We lift up our phones to take photographs!’”
“It’s a bad thing! And I tell you that it gives me so much sadness when I celebrate here in the Piazza or Basilica and I see so many raised cellphones, not just of the faithful, even of some priests and even bishops.”
“But think: when you go to Mass, the Lord is there! And you're distracted. (But) it is the Lord!”
During the general audience, Pope Francis said the Eucharist would be the new focus of his weekly catechesis for the year, because “it is fundamental for us Christians to understand well the value and meaning of the Holy Mass to live more and more fully our relationship with God.”
In the Eucharist we rediscover, through our senses, what is essential, he said. Just as the Apostle Thomas asked to see and touch the wounds of Jesus after his resurrection, we need the same thing: “to see him and touch him to be able to recognize him.”
In this way, the Sacraments meet this very "human need" of ours, he said. And in the Eucharist, in particular, we find a privileged way to meet God and his love.
The Second Vatican Council was inspired by the desire to help Christians understand the beauty of the encounter in the Eucharist even better, he continued. This is why “it was necessary first to implement, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an adequate renewal of the liturgy.”
A central theme emphasized at Vatican II was the liturgical formation of the faithful, which Francis said is also the aim of the series of catechesis he began today: to help people “grow in the knowledge of this great gift God has given us in the Eucharist.”   
As a side note, Francis asked if people had noticed the chaotic way children make the sign of cross at Mass, moving their hand all over their chest, and asked people to teach children to make the sign of the cross well.
“We need to teach children to do the sign of the cross well,” he said, noting that this is how Mass begins, because just as Mass begins this way, “so life begins, so the day begins.”
Concluding his reflection on the Mass and the Eucharist, Pope Francis said that he hopes that through these brief weekly lessons, everyone will rediscover the beauty "hidden in the Eucharistic celebration, and which, when revealed, gives a full meaning to the life of everyone."

What's New?

So basically time for an update about me. Not sure if I ever covered this but I was back in April diagnosed with rectal cancer. So a bunch of MRI's and CT scans and a course of action was laid out with a delay thrown in by the Oncologist to be sure of what they were up against. Through June and into July I was subjected to 25 radiation treatments along with chemotherapy (pill form) to shrink tumour and aid in surgery. Early September surgery to remove tumour and also an illeostomy (temporary to allow for area in rectum to heal. A couple of hiccups which had me close to meeting our lord but thanks to the Paramedics and Doctor's I made it through and had a second stay in hospital. I have now been at home 6 or so weeks and recovering as basically the incision where surgeon removed tumour opened up and they had to allow it to heal naturally so no sutures as it has closed up on its own.
 Now on top of all this getting ready for chemotherapy as well. Surgery apparently went well and they got all of the tumour and the lymph nodes removed were clean indicating a good chance that the cancer had not spread. No guarantees on this but it looks positive. So have about 6 months of chemo to get through and then recovery and then illeostomy reversal surgery and then recovery with repaired plumbing (lack of a better term) and hopefully then just check ups and being cancer free for the rest of my natural life how ever long that may be.
 Certainly a large thank you to Our Lord Jesus for his help and the Holy Mother as they listened to my prayers and helped me through this so far and have been beside me every step! Hardest part is not being able to go to mass especially now. In the first round with radiation before surgery and after side effects went away or were controllable I went to mass. Right now I am hoping I can get to mass next week as the wound will have healed enough that I do not have to worry about it and also still getting used to the ostomy bag so timing problems are still rounding out.
 I pray every day and say a or parts of a rosary and will need more as chemo will be hard so I ask that those who read this also help me and pray to have the Lord look over me and help me through this ordeal and also to pray for all others who suffer with cancer and other diseases and also to pray for the health professionals who give so much of their time and work hard to help and cure everyone they deal with.
 Thank you and God Bless!

Today's Homily

Welcome to all, children of the Lord God, brothers and sisters in Christ! Today, our three Readings delivered a beautiful fatherly message to us. The Lord called us all to be wise in the management of our spiritual lives.

During the First Reading from the Book of Wisdom, [Wis. 6:12-16] we heard how it is to our benefit that we listen to wisdom. In this Reading, Wisdom was addressed as if the writer was talking of a person. Reflecting on this passage, I see a picture of the Holy Spirit. If we were to change the word 'wisdom' for 'Holy Spirit,' we would increase our spiritual insight on the meaning of the First Reading. The words would sound like this...
The Holy Spirit is radiant and unfading,
and He is easily discerned by those who love Him,
and is found by those who seek Him.
He hastens to make Himself known to those who desire Him.
One who rises early to seek Him will have no difficulty,
for He will be found sitting at the gate.

To fix one's thought on Him is perfect understanding,
and one who is vigilant on His account will soon be free from care,
because He goes about seeking those worthy of Him,
and He graciously appears to them in their paths,
and meets them in every thought.

In these Sacred Words, we perceive how the light of God shines on His children [Mt. 5:14-6; Jn. 1:9] through the Spirit of Christ who will remain with us forever. [Jn. 14:16, 24:49; Acts 1:4, 2:2-4] Through the discernment of the spirits, one knows by the fruit of the Spirit of God [Gal. 5:22-3] that it is the Holy Spirit who is present. God gives the Holy Spirit freely to those who ask for His Divine Presence. The Holy Spirit wastes no time to make Himself known to those who want to know Him, this manifestation being very obvious in some prayers groups and Charismatic Movements just to name a couple of places. 

When one keeps his eyes on the Lord and his mind on what is spiritual, he receives perfect understanding. Living according to the Spirit, he sets his mind on the Spirit. [Rom. 8:5] As the Book of Proverbs repeats over and over, knowledge and understanding are inseparable from wisdom. [Prov. 1:1-7, 2:6, 3:19-20, etc...] It is through the Holy Spirit that we are enlightened, receiving spiritual knowledge and understanding because it is the Holy Spirit who "interprets spiritual things to those who are spiritual." [1 Cor. 2:14]

The words, "one who is vigilant on His account" echoes the necessity for us to submit ourselves to the Divine Will of God, freely permitting the Holy Spirit to sanctify us in Christ. By persevering in our living faith as true children of God, soon, we will have no more worries for we will rejoice in the eternal glory in the Presence of the Lord. Wisdom tells us, the Holy Spirit seeks those who are worthy of God, those who have a sincerity of heart, those who take their spiritual lives as a serious matter, a matter of eternal life versus eternal death. 

And to the sincere, the Holy Spirit manifests Himself through worldly and spiritual signs. He answers prayers. He inspires us in our spiritual growth so that we can reach the Christian maturity that we seek in Christ by the grace of our Heavenly Father. When exhausted, He delivers inner joy and peace to us. He plants a burning desire within our hearts to know God as God knows Himself. He convicts our conscience of sins when we disobey God, gently guiding us in the Spirit of truth and righteousness. Reminding us of the words of Jesus, He tells us to stay alert. [Lk. 21:34] He, the Holy Spirit, Divine Wisdom, is the greatest of all friends that we have and know.

During today's Second Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, [1 Thess. 4:13-18] we heard what the Second Coming of Christ will be like. This passage is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted passage in the Holy Bible, having led to Church division and the separations of many from the Spirit of Truth.

In his statement, Saint Paul was addressing the issue of the resurrection of the physical bodies and the glorifying of all those who lived their faith in Christ until the end. He was telling those who were present that those who die first will not be glorified first. In fact, when the moment arrives, the physical bodies of the dead will rise from their graves to be lifted into the clouds alongside those who are presently living. The final judgment of all shall come at the same time, some going to the right and some to the left according to their rewards.

Some religions refer to this passage as the "rapture," a term that the Roman Catholic Church tends to stay away from. The reason for this is that some of our separated brothers and sisters use this term in their belief that Christ will return to raise 144,000 elected ones who will rule with Jesus for 1,000 years on the earth in a physical Kingdom of God.

Such belief opposes the sound teachings of the Holy Catholic Church because the passage in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians is clear, it is the resurrection of all the physical bodies, they being raised alongside the living.

Also, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, makes it clear that the Kingdom of God is spiritual and present here now. Any belief in a secular (worldly) messianism is the deception of the Antichrist. (C.C.C. # 676) Jesus Himself said that His Kingdom "is not of this world." [Jn. 18:36] It is not a physical Kingdom - it is a spiritual Kingdom!

Paul stressed to his brothers and sisters in Christ that he did not want them to be uninformed. Those who are alive today, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. As such, we should encourage one another with these words.

Today's Reading from the Gospel of Matthew [Mt. 25:1-13] reveals the Kingdom of Heaven to us. From the inspired words that the evangelist Saint Matthew wrote, we sense his diligence in spreading the spiritual message that is found in the Word of God. Today's words echo Matthew 7:22-3 where it says, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?" Then Jesus will declare to them, "I never knew you; go away from me, you evil-doers."

From the Gospel Reading, we perceive a number of pictures that echo spiritual meanings. Jesus is the Bridegroom. He descends out of Heaven from God to prepare His Bride, the new Jerusalem that is the invisible spiritual Kingdom of God on earth that is mirrored through the visible Holy Catholic Church. [Rev. 21:2-3] Remember that the Holy Catholic Church had its beginning in Jerusalem [Acts 1:4] on Pentecost Day when the Holy Spirit was given to the Church. 

The bridesmaids, that is us. We are God's children who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ and who have been baptised as commanded by Jesus to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit (the new heart, the new human spirit and the indwelling Holy Spirit so we will remember God's laws). We have received our righteousness at Baptism to erase all traces of the original sin and the personal sins that we have committed before our Baptism. And now we enjoy the Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church, the forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the life of Christ in us through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Bread of Life.

Each of the aforementioned are necessary steps for us children of God to remain as shining lights in the world, to have spiritual wisdom under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we neglect any of these, even just the Sacraments of Reconciliation or of the Holy Eucharist that gives us our ongoing assurance of God's righteousness that leads to eternal salvation, then, we are like the foolish bridesmaids who did not take any oil with them to ensure that their lamps would continue to shine in the darkness when the Lord Jesus comes unexpectedly at midnight.

To those who neglect their spiritual lives, even by temporarily taking a break to embrace the worldly ways of selfish fame, wealth and pleasures that destroy the soul, should the Lord Jesus call them to Heaven tonight, He will deny them the Kingdom of God because of their spiritual neglect. All are judged according to the sincerity of the heart that he has at the moment of death. 

Today's heavenly message calls each and everyone of us to be prepared, to stay awake, because we do not know the day or the hour when we will be summoned to answer before the Lord God. We hear the Lord's call to be wise.

We Catholics are thankful to God the Father for His infinite love that reminds us to be wise in the management of our spiritual lives. We are thankful for the Body of Christ, the Holy Church, where we can find spiritual support from our brothers and sisters so we may all persevere until the end in our spiritual journey as pilgrims. We are thankful for today's message that awakens our awareness to our human weaknesses so we may spiritually mature in Christ to answer our call to become as shining lights in the world. May the grace of God be with all of you this week.

Homily for Today

Unto us it is given so we may blossom in Jesus! Good morning to everyone and welcome to our guests who have found their way to our humble...