Sunday, June 25, 2017

Homily


My brothers and sisters in Christ, "Do not fear those who kill the body; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." [Mt. 10:28] This is a very powerful passage of the Holy Bible. In simple English, it means, "Bear your crosses and at the end, you shall be rewarded." Those who deny their crosses, they shall be disowned by the Lord.

Today's First Reading from the Book of Jeremiah [Jer. 20:10-3] recalls an event that took place in the days of the Old Testament. In those days, the Lord God had called the great prophet Jeremiah as His spokesman to warn the people of the coming judgment that awaited Israel because of the sins of the people. The unbelievers laughed at Jeremiah. [Jer. 20:7] They plotted against him so that they could silence him. [Jer. 20:10] Frustrated with the people who lived in sin, Jeremiah decided to keep quiet, to stop talking on behalf of the Almighty Lord God. [Jer. 20:9] Following this, the Lord implanted on the heart of Jeremiah the eternal dishonour that awaits all those who rejects the Lord. Jeremiah was burning with such an intense fire within his heart that he could no longer withhold the warnings of the Lord. [Jer. 20:9] He had to speak up on behalf of the Lord.

Gathering his strength so he would not face eternal dishonour, [Jer. 20:11] Jeremiah placed his complete trust in the Lord. [Jer. 20:13] Upset that Jeremiah was speaking up again on behalf of the Lord, the wicked people tried to trick him, hoping to get his downfall so they could get their revenge.

This example of Biblical history certainly reflects the fear that King David had when he said, "For I hear the whispering of many - terror all around! - as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life." [Ps. 31:13] He too gathered his strength when he faced the persecution of his enemies. [Ps. 31:14-6]

This is the same kind of whispering that was expressed against Jesus when He spoke up about the evil of the people. "Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and one of them,... a lawyer, asked him a question to test Him." [Mt. 22:15, 23, 35]

That evil is the same kind of evil that continues to this day against those who try to persevere in their living faith in Jesus Christ as true Christians. Many try to put out the light because it exposes corruption, dishonesty, oppression, lust and many of the evils of the world that are found in the hearts of some men.

Today's Second Reading, the Letter of Paul to the Romans, [Rom. 5:12-5] reminds us that by the grace of God the Father, we received a free gift through Jesus Christ. Through the sin of disobedience of one man, Adam, all his descendants were called to suffer eternal damnation. Man had lost his inheritance to the eternal Kingdom of God that was intended for a holy people. Since Adam no longer enjoyed the Presence of God, his descendants could not inherit this blessing. But, thanks to the righteous act of one Man, Jesus Christ, His perfect sacrifice as the Lamb of God, His suffering and death on the cross, many were made righteous before God. What we lacked then because of sin, it has now become our blessed hope of the future.

The reading from the Gospel of Matthew [Mt. 10:26-33] advises us not to fear men. Remember the words of Jeremiah, "The Lord is with you like a dread warrior. Your persecutors will stumble and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will not be forgotten." [Jer. 20:11]

We must never forget that by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we were made righteous in the eyes of God through faith and the Sacraments of Baptism. Through the Sacrament of Confession, our righteousness is maintained throughout our Christian life. When we walk our faith with Jesus, in Jesus and through Jesus, in the eyes of God, we are more valuable then two sparrows. Every hair of our heads are counted. We are able to affirm with confidence, "I will not stumble for the Lord is with me." The Lord is our strength. He knows the hearts of all, those dark secrets of those who plot against us. One day, everything will be uncovered and the truth will be known to all.

Our only fear should be the fear of the Lord and the eternal dishonour that awaits those who turn away from the Lord because of their fear of men. Fear not men; fear God!

If we acknowledge Jesus before others, He will acknowledge us before the Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ - if in fact, we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. [Rom. 8:16-7] If we deny Jesus before others, He also will deny us before the Father in Heaven. The Spirit of Christ will not testify on our behalf. We will have lost our One and only Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous, [1 Jn. 2:1] He being the only one who can defend our cause before the Heavenly Father.

My brothers and sisters, today's message is that Christ died for our righteousness so we may inherit the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Since Christ suffered because of the truth, we should not expect to be treated better than He was. With Christ, we must persevere in our living faith for the glory of the Body of Christ that embraces all the baptized who live their Christian faith.

Our true friends are Jesus and all the saints who dwell in the invisible Kingdom of God, the great prophet Jeremiah, King David and all those who humbly served in their lives for the glory of God. Today, we may be rejected by many, possibly our family, our peers or our co-workers because of our living faith. While this is so, we must remember that we will not stumble because the Lord is with us. In the end, by the grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus and the power of the Holy Sprit, we will be victorious in our race towards eternal salvation, receiving the crown of glory and honour that awaits the resurrection of the elect.

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1JER 20:10-13

Jeremiah said:
"I hear the whisperings of many:
'Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!'
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
'Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.'
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
for he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!"

Responsorial PsalmPS 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35

R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my children,
Because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness;
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
the seas and whatever moves in them!''
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Reading 2ROM 5:12-15

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the one who was to come.

But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.

AlleluiaJN 15:26B, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord;
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
"Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father."

Prayers to Start

Lord Jesus, it is my joy and privilege to your disciple. Give me strength and courage to bear any hardship and suffering which may come my way in your service. May I witness to others the joy of the Gospel.

Lord, thank you for this day in which we celebrate your resurrection. I believe that my life will one day be victoriously united to yours. I hope in your mercy and infinite kindness. Today as I receive you in the Eucharist may I be caught by the fire of your love.

Lord, I know that you have the last word. You are the Lord of life and history. Help me to not be afraid to build your kingdom around me. I realize today that my desire to tell the world about you is your grace. Help me to remember that with you I can bear fruit that will last forever.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Nice Link

Here is a link to Online Prepetaul Adoration and the Rosary for you please click on the link below;

http://forthelove.uperny.com/prayer-practices/24-hour-perpetual-adoration-24-hour-online-rosary/

Homily


My brothers and sisters, during today's readings, Jesus clearly told us that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God, we must receive the Church Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Those who reject the life giving Bread from Heaven are spiritually dead and they will lose the final eternal glory that awaits the faithful!

It is sad that so many are blind to this truth. How often do we hear someone say, "I am saved because I have faith in Jesus!" How often do we hear others say, "I am saved because I was baptized!" Such statements are based on the misunderstood words of Jesus who said, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." [Jn. 3:5] While identifying the first word "water" with the Sacrament of Baptism, these poor misguided souls have totally ignore the second word, "Spirit." While these souls have been born of water, they have not been born of the Spirit.

My brothers and sisters, when we thoroughly study the Holy Bible, we learn that the word water signifies the Sacrament of Baptism. We also learn that being born of the Spirit signifies to be sanctified in Christ. And sanctification means to persevere in the living faith.

When we were baptized with water, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we received the "righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" [Rom. 3:22] "whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by His blood, effective through faith. He did this to show His righteousness, because in His Divine forbearance He had passed over the sins (that we had) previously committed." [Rom. 3:25] I hope that all have heard the last words that were just said, "He, Jesus, passed over the sins (that we had) previously committed." Contrary to the belief of many who are being deceived, the Sacrament of Baptism alone does not save anyone. The sins that committed after the Sacrament of Baptism are not erased; they will be used against us on Judgment Day.

To maintain our righteousness in Christ after receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, we need the Church Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. To support this truth that I am telling you today, I am going to briefly review for you the history of God's Old and New Covenants of God.

When God chose Abraham as the spiritual father of mankind, He promised to bless him and that through him, all the families of the earth, including the Gentiles, shall be blessed. [Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8; Heb. 6:13-4] You all know how God then chose Moses to lead His chosen people into the desert for 40 years before they reached the promised land. Generation after generation, God was with His people.

Through Moses, God made a Covenant. If His chosen people remained faithful to Him and obeyed His commandments, He would bless them abundantly. If they disobeyed Him, they would be cursed. Over the centuries that followed, God's people turned away from Him, refusing to obey His commandments. Having broken God's Covenant by turning away from His laws, God promised to make a New Covenant with His people.

God promised that His New Covenant would generously include many free gifts for the people that He loved. Two of those gifts would include God putting a new heart and a new (human) spirit within the believers. [Ezek. 11:19-20, 36:26] God also promised to bless His spiritual children with the indwelling Holy Spirit so they would obey Him. [Ezek. 36:27, 37:14, 24]

To those who would reject God's spiritual gifts, He said, "But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God." [Eze. 11:21, 18:30] God takes no pleasure in seeing His creations die. He calls each and everyone of them to come to Him to receive a new heart and a new spirit. [Ezek. 18:31-2]

Having said this, when we received the Sacrament of Baptism, by the power of the Holy Spirit, a miracle happened. Being born of the Spirit, we received our new heart and the new (human) spirit that God had promised that He would give us. In case some do not know it, we all have a human spirit within us. A body without a spirit is dead. [Jas. 2:26] In His own Sacred Words, Jesus said, "It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless." [Jn. 6:63] What keeps our body alive is our human spirit.

The first spirit that we received at birth was stained by the original sin. It was called to experience spiritual death, eternal deprivation of the beatific vision of God. To secure our presence in the eternal Kingdom of God, the Lord gave us a new spirit at Baptism so our soul may qualify in the adoption of the children of God. Our old spirit was crucified with Jesus. [Rom. 6:6] It was buried with Jesus. [Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12] We were born again when we received our new spirit that was raised with Jesus. [Rom 6:4; Col. 2:12]

"Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God." [1 Jn. 3:9] "God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them." [1 Jn. 5:18] "You were raised again so you may walk the newness of life in Christ." [Rom. 6:4] "Your new creation is everything." [Gal. 6:15] By being baptised in the Name of Jesus, we became new creations, spiritual creations. "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" [2 Cor. 5:17]

It should be noted here that while our new spiritual form, our spirit of the seed of God cannot sin, through our free will, our consciousness can sin and certainly does sin. Such proof is evident from the inner battle that we suffer. While we are spiritually inclined to do what is good and holy, our physical nature wants to do what is worldly. That is why Saint Paul said, "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." [Rom. 7:15]

Over and above having received the new heart and the new spirit, God blessed us with the indwelling Holy Spirit to strengthen us in our Christian life. These were God's gifts to us so we may walk the Christian life as a child of God.

Now, how do we walk the Christian life? As previously said, God gave us a new spirit. This was like a second chance. When we were baptized, we received a new spirit and we were made righteous up to the moment of our Baptism. All our past sins were erased in the eyes of God. Having received a new start, as a child of God, we became obligated to walk in the likeness of Christ and to maintain our ongoing righteousness.

How do we maintain our ongoing righteousness? It is through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist! At the Last Supper, after taking the bread and breaking it, Jesus said, "Take, eat, this is My Body." [Mt. 26:26] Jesus clearly said that the consecrated Bread becomes His physical Body, therefore, He dwelling with us and within us in this world. Afterwards, Jesus said, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." [Mt. 26:27-8]

When Jesus spoke of His Blood, He was telling us that through His death, the spilling of His Sacred Blood, a New Covenant was beginning. The sins previously committed would be forgiven so we would be made righteous in the eyes of God. Through our new creation, the new spirit within us that cannot die because it is of the godly seed, we received a second chance.

In His teachings, Jesus added, "I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever..." [Jn. 6:51] Here, Jesus is telling us that to maintain the ongoing righteousness that we have received in the Sacrament of Baptism, we need to continually receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Living Bread of eternal life, the Body of Christ who is physically manifested in the Holy Eucharist.

To summarize what has already been said, to receive our salvation, we are required to:

(1) have faith in Jesus Christ;
(2) receive the Sacrament of Baptism;
(3) receive the new heart and the new spirit;
(4) receive the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us in what is holy;
(5) receive the Sacrament of Confession to reinstate the righteousness we received during the Sacrament of Baptism;
(6) receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to have the life of Christ within us.

(Notation: The writer did not intend to omit that "Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." [Mt. 4:4] Such is implied when Catholics attend the celebration of the Mass to receive the Holy Eucharist, at which time they are fed by the Word of God through the Mass readings.)

To be saved and to inherit the Kingdom of God, we need each and everyone of the aforementioned without exception. We also need to live our faith through Christian acts of love and charity in the likeness of Jesus Christ.

May I repeat so none will forget, before receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we must be in a state of grace. We have to go to Confession before receiving Jesus. Many have become indifferent to the condition of their souls. This is obvious by the fact that while the frequency of people attending to the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist has increased, the attendance to the Sacrament of Confession has drastically decreased.

When we take Jesus in our hands to eat the Bread of Life, we become one with our Creator. It is a tremendous abuse of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to attempt to receive Jesus in communion while our souls are covered with sin. This is like crucifying Jesus again. If our souls are in a state of sin, the intended union between Jesus and us will not happen. This is why many of the saints went to Confession on a weekly basis and even daily to ensure that they were in the purest state possible before receiving Jesus in their hearts.

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Reading 1DT 8:2-3, 14B-16A

Moses said to the people:
"Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
has directed all your journeying in the desert,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments. 
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.

"Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its saraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers."

Responsorial PsalmPS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. (12) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 COR 10:16-17

Brothers and sisters:
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.

Sequence — Lauda Sion

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick'ning and the living
Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law's new oblation,
By the new king's revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne'er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail'd, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow'r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:

Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe 'tis spoken,
That each sever'd outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

The shorter form of the sequence begins here.

Lo! the angel's food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children's bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav'nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you. 
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day. 
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink. 
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him. 
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me. 
This is the bread that came down from heaven. 
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

Prayer

Lord God, I come from dust and to dust I shall return. You, however, existed before all time, and every creature takes its being from you. ...