Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SPIRITUAL PROTECTION of the HOME PRAYER:

[At this time of spiritual warfare and agitation in all aspects of life -- in the family, in the Church, in media, in society -- let us stand strong, let us stand unafraid, let us take back territory from the enemy, and let us make sure the home is a fortress]
Dear Lord Jesus, please surround me (my family/friends/home) with a perimeter of Your Love and Protection throughout the day today and every day a hundred yards in all directions.
Lord Jesus, render any demons that are here, or should try to come, deaf, dumb, and blind. Strip them of all weapons, illusions, armor, power, and authority.
Image result for catholic chalice bloodDisable them from communicating or interacting in any way. Bind, sever, and separate them, sending them directly to the foot of Your Cross, without manifestation or harm, to us or to anyone, to be dealt with by you Jesus as you see fit.
May Your Precious Blood cover us, the Holy Spirit fill us, Mary's mantle of love and protection surround us, St. Joseph guide us, the Holy Angels and Saints guard and protect us from all unfortunate events.
Protect us from fire, theft, vandalism, flood, storms, ailments and accidents of every sort, distress, hardship, curse, and all untoward things.
I ask this all in your Name Jesus, through Mary's intercession, now. Amen!
St. Michael, St. Joseph, St. Padre Pio, St. John Paul II, and Mother Mary, pray for us!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Homily


My friends in Jesus, today's readings from the Holy Scripture provided us with a very powerful message. The First Reading from the Book of Wisdom spoke of God's righteousness. The Second Reading from the Letter to the Romans spoke of the intercession of the Holy Spirit on behalf of the children of God. The last Reading from Gospel of Matthew announced how, at the end of the age, the children of God will be separated from the children of the evil one.

From the First Reading, we learned about the love of God. There is no God like the true God. He cares about everyone, shining in righteousness and patience towards all. Righteousness is His strength. He will not judge anyone unjustly.

In His Divine righteousness, God provides all of us with the opportunity to be saved through Jesus Christ. When some are arrogant, doubting the power of God, He shows them His strength. Through such actions, He teaches His people that the righteous must be kind. He fills His children with good hope because He freely gives to all who repent of their sins.

In His all-knowing power through the Holy Spirit, God knows our human weaknesses. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, He blessed us with the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us overcome our human weaknesses. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray. On our behalf, He intercedes to God for all our needs, especially our spiritual needs. God sees our heart. He knows the thoughts of the Holy Spirit who pleads on our behalf in accordance with the Will of God.

Considering all what God has done for us, let us now review the Parable of the mustard seed. Through this Parable, Jesus confirms that the Kingdom of Heaven has descended on earth. The mustard seed is the Holy Catholic Church that has been instituted by Jesus while He dwelled on earth in His physical body. What had a small beginning, having just twelve Apostles, has grown to become the largest tree (Church) in the world, having branches that reach out to every nations of the world. On the branches, (the local Churches), the birds (the souls and bodies of the faithful) can find rest in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Catholic Church, the Body of Christ that has been purchased by the Blood of Christ, is the gift of God to His children. It is through which, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, that we receive the Church Sacraments that serve to sanctify us so we may become holy children in the likeness of Jesus.

While many have been blessed by the Catholic Church, the beautiful gift of God, the Pope, the Cardinals, the Bishops, the hundreds of thousands of priests, the religious brothers and sisters, over and above the endless number of faithful, still, there are some who refuse to come home to the Body of Christ. They reject the Sacraments of the Church. By doing so, they are rejecting the grace of God. They are rejecting the power of the Holy Spirit, He who has been sent to lead and teach the believers. They reject the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

During today's reading of the "Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat," Jesus told us what will happen to those who refuse to come home to the Holy Catholic Church. In the Parable, Jesus was the One who sowed the good seed in the field. His good seed, the children of the Kingdom, are found throughout the world.

In the company of the children of God, there are the children of the evil one, those that Satan has sowed to torment the children of God. These are the weeds, the ones who refuse to come home, they disturbing the children of God by their attitude of indifference to their salvation. In the end, the angels will sort out God's children from Satan's children.

As sad as it is to say, in many families, there will be division. This will be seen among parents, spouses, children, brothers and sisters, some inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven, others being thrown into the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now God could have done everyone a favour by immediately sending His servants, the angels, to remove the weeds. Why did He not do so? He did not do so because that would have uprooted His children. How would we have reacted if suddenly, our mother or our father, a brother or a sister, or even some of our children, were suddenly taken away from us because they are not living their faith in Christ as they should have been doing without excuses? 

Had God suddenly removed all those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God, Satan would have used that to turn us against God. Satan would have planted thoughts in our minds that would have resulted in our questioning the righteousness and patience of God with sinners. He would have told us that maybe, our loved ones would have changed at the last minute.

To prevent this diabolical influence from happening, in His endless patience and righteousness, God allows those who are evil to continue to live their evil ways to their last minute. That will not change anything! In the end, they will still be damned because, through their own free will, they have chosen to be damned. At least that way, in the end, we will have seen the patience and righteousness of a just God. We will come to accept as just that those who are damned have chosen to be damned.

At that time, the righteous who persevered in their living faith through Jesus Christ, will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Book of Wisdom 12:13.16-19.
There is no god besides you who have the care of all, that you need show you have not unjustly condemned;
For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.
For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved; and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity.
But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us; for power, whenever you will, attends you.
And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; And you gave your sons good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.

Psalms 86(85):5-6.9-10.15-16a.
You, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.

All the nations you have made shall come
and worship you, O Lord,
and glorify your name.
For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;
you alone are God.

But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.
Turn to me, have pity on me;
give your strength to your servant.




Letter to the Romans 8:26-27.
Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:24-43.
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?'
He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"
He proposed another parable to them. "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'"
He spoke to them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened."
All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world."
Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."

Prayers

 Lord Jesus, I come before you wanting to grow in my knowledge of you and in my love for you. I want to show my love by truly loving others as you have loved me. My falls are many; yet I trust in your grace, and I always want to get back up. I trust that your mercy will change my heart, so that over time I will stand more than fall. I stand before you, ready to listen to your words and ready to unite myself more perfectly to your most holy will.

Jesus, pluck out the weeds in my heart and plant your mission within me. Fill me with your thirst for the salvation of souls, and move me to quench your thirst with my every breath.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Homily


Brothers and sisters, after giving the Parable of the Sower to the crowd, Jesus said to His disciples, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven but to them it has not been given." [Mt. 13:10] To the disciples it was meant to know the way to the Kingdom of God because they were blessed. They had eyes that saw and ears that heard. Others, having dull hearts, listened but did not understand. They looked but they did not perceive.

When we hear the Word of God, do we really hear it in our heart? Do we see the work of God all around us or is everything coincidental to us as it is to many who are not of our fold? 

Through Isaiah, God promised that His Word, Jesus, [Jn. 1:14] would not return to Him empty handed. [Is. 55:11] Jesus would accomplish what the Heavenly Father planned, succeeding in the things for which He had been sent.

The whole creation, the physical world, the angels of God, the Heavenly saints and all those who walk in the living faith, they await the glory of God that is to come, the days when the children of God shall inherit the eternal Kingdom. Creation as we see it today, decaying in all things, comes nowhere near reflecting the future glory that God has planned for those He loves, those who have answered His call to embrace righteousness. Those who's eyes are opened and who's ears are able to hear the Word of God, they know the way, the truth and the life that leads to the Kingdom of God.

They know that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is about to be revealed. They know that God makes good things come out of everything. They know that, the present sufferings that must be endured in perseverance, serve the purpose of sanctifying the soul. In all things, they see the hand of God at work as a loving Father who disciplines His children so they may become holy children, so they may become the first fruits of the Spirit.

In faith, those who have answered God's personal call, they groan inwardly while they wait for the day of adoption when the redemption of the bodies shall take place, when at the twinkle of an eye, all shall be transformed, receiving incorruptible bodies in the glory of Christ. [1 Cor. 15:52]

Jesus said, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears for they hear." Many of the prophets and righteous people of the Old Testament longed to see what they saw, but did not see it. They longed to hear what the disciples heard but they did not hear it. [Mt. 13:16-7] We, my brothers and sisters in Christ, are privileged as the disciples of Jesus were privileged. They saw the arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth; today, we are living in the Kingdom of God, having been admitted into it through the new birth that we received during the Sacrament of Baptism. Two thousands years ago, the disciples enjoyed the physical presence of Jesus in bodily form; today, we enjoy the physical presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and in the Blessed Tabernacle. 

For three years, the disciples enjoyed the company of Jesus. Today, as Christians, we have just as great an opportunity. We can enjoy the company of Jesus throughout our lives. Jesus has made Himself available to us in the mystery of the Holy Mass. During this celebration, the Holy Mass is a physical reflection of a great spiritual Feast that is taking place where our spirits are in the Divine presence of Jesus, the blessed Virgin Mary, the heavenly saints and all the angels.

In the Old Testament, the believers had to make ongoing sacrifices of animals to maintain their righteousness in the eyes of God. Nowadays, our first righteousness is given to us as a free gift during the Sacrament of Baptism at which time God erases and forgives all traces of the original sin and personal sins that were committed prior to receiving the Sacrament. Through the Sacrament of Confession, we have been provided with the opportunity to maintain our ongoing righteousness. Through these Sacraments, we were provided with the opportunity to inherit the Kingdom of God.

These are the truths that the Holy Mother Church teaches her children. These are truths that require a spiritual heart in order to understand them. They require faith in what is unseen in the blessed hope of things to come.

There are some who hear these truths and they do not understand them because they have become worldly minded. They have set aside what is spiritual for the worldly. In such cases, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in their hearts. For them, there will be no eternal life in the Kingdom of God because they have not made the necessary sincere efforts to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God.

Then, there are those who hear the truth and who immediately receive it with joy. Not pursuing their spiritual growth, they have no root. They only endure for awhile. When trouble or persecution arises because of controversies over the Word of God, the Bible, the Church, the Pope, the priesthood, marriage and divorce or even abortion, they immediately fall away. They too are lost for eternity.

There are some who hear the truth but they prefer to choose their love of the temporary pleasures and wealth of the world. While the Spirit of God speaks to them in their hearts, reminding them that they are not living their faith in Christ, they block out the Word of God. They produce nothing. They have nothing. And they will have nothing in the eternal life to come.

There are those who have heard the truth since the days of their early childhood. They had good Christian parents who followed through on their obligation to raise them in the faith of the Holy Church. They grew in their faith until such time as they could walk alone. They longed for the Word of God. They loved the Word of God. They understood the secrets of the Kingdom of God and by the grace of the Heavenly Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, they persevered in their living faith and hope in the likeness of Jesus Christ. These Christians shined in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. They produced much charity for the glory of God. Their entire lives were lives of spiritual growth, bearing fruit after fruit. To them belongs the Kingdom of God, they being worthy of being called children of the holy priesthood because they were as living stones.

My brothers and sisters, God said through His prophet Isaiah that the Word that goes out from His mouth shall not return to Him empty. Our faith and perseverance in the Catholic Church that was instituted by Jesus Christ is living proof that the Word of God shall not return to Him empty. Our entry and ongoing participation in the Body of Christ is proof that the Kingdom of God has grown as a large tree with its branches reaching over every nations of the world. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the ongoing visible growth of the Catholic Church is a reflection of the ongoing invisible growth of the Kingdom of God.

Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we were admitted into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Now, we are called to live our faith, hope and love in the secrets of the Kingdom of God. We are called to bear much fruit as children of God so we may inherit our eternal rewards, being glorified in Jesus Christ.

My hope is that all of us shall be counted among those who will return to the Heavenly Father as the Bride of Jesus. My joy will be complete when I see this fulfillment.

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Book of Isaiah 55:10-11.
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.

Psalms 65(64):10.11.12-13.14.
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God's watercourses are filled;
You have prepared the grain.

Thus have you prepared the land:
drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods,
softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.

You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
the untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.

The pastures are clothed with flocks,
the valleys blanketed with grain;
they cheer and sing for joy.




Letter to the Romans 8:18-23.
Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope
that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:1-23.
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."
The disciples approached him and said, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.'"
Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: 'You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it".
Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."

Prayers

Lord Jesus, faith in your word is the way to wisdom, and to ponder your divine plan is to grow in the truth. Open my eyes to your deeds, and my ears to the sound of your call, that I may understand your will for my life and live according to it.

Lord, I believe in you; I know that you are always watching over me and guiding me. I trust and hope in you, because I know you will never lead me astray, if only I listen to you and obey you. I love you for being so good and patient with me, and I desire to live each day more faithful to you.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Homily


What a beautiful gathering that we have here today to enjoy the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Although this is the first Sunday of the hot Summer months, the grace of God has touched many, drawing you all to unite and receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and to hear the Sacred Word of God that strengthens the hearts of the believers.

During today's "Opening Prayer," we heard that the Heavenly Father has raised a fallen world through the obedience of Jesus. During this same prayer, we asked God to free us from sin and to bring us a joy that will last forever. In other words, the Lord Jesus is our hope of finding rest for our souls.

During the First Reading from the Book of Zechariah, we heard the Old Testament prophecy that promised the coming of our King who would arrive in Jerusalem, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. In fulfillment of what had been spoken through the prophet Zechariah, this event took place when Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion. [Mt. 21:5; Jn. 12:15] This event identified Jesus as the One who was to rule as the King of kings in the spiritual Jerusalem from above. [Gal. 4:25-6].

What is the spiritual Jerusalem? It is the city that we have all entered when we received the Sacrament of Baptism in the Holy Catholic Church. Through Baptism, we entered Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, where innumerable angels are in festal gathering and where the assembly of the firstborn are enrolled in Heaven. It is where God is the judge of all and to the spirits of the righteous are made perfect. [Heb. 12:22-3]

When did the new Jerusalem arrive on earth? This answer is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. Jesus ordered His disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. [Acts. 1:4] "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from Heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." [Acts. 2:1-4]

The Apostle John describes this event in the Book of Revelation where he says, "And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the Throne saying, 'See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them.'" [Rev. 21:2-3]

Since that day, God has been dwelling among men. While God now sits on His invisible Throne in the spiritual Jerusalem, His visible work is seen through the Vatican, the seat of the Holy Catholic Church that holds the Keys to the Kingdom of God. And, it must not be forgotten that His physical presence is physically manifested in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Having been born again through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are not in the flesh anymore. We are in the spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in us. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.

These words remind me of a passage in the First Letter of John where it states, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world - the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches - comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desires are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever." [1 Jn. 2:15-17]

The Catholic faith teaches us that, "Christ is the Mediator and the way of salvation. He is present to us in His Body which is the Church. He Himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it." [Catholic Catechism # 846]

In simple words, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church for those who have reached the age of reason and who know the teachings of Jesus and still refuse to enter and remain in the one and only Body of Christ that has been instituted on earth by Christ Himself.

Those who choose to remain outside the Church, they are denying themselves the Sacraments of righteousness and life, righteousness through the Sacrament of Confession, life through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus clearly stated that the Holy Eucharist is His Body. He also clearly stated that His Body is the Bread of life. Through the Sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist, we maintain our righteous and remain pleasing in the eyes of God. These Sacraments are our assurance that as new creations of the godly seed, we will inherit the Kingdom of God.

As Saint Paul stated, if the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us, He who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies by His indwelling in us. But to continue to dwell in us, we must welcome the Holy Spirit. We must have faith in Christ. We must have received the Sacrament of Baptism. We must enjoy a living faith by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And, on a regular basis, especially on Sundays and Holy Days, we must receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the living bread of life.

Those who never participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass or who only go to Church once a year, surely, they cannot be in a state of grace. How could they be in a state of grace when they refuse to participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass? While we are physically present here in our mortal bodies, partaking in the Holy Mass, in spirit, we are partaking in the great Feast in the spiritual city of Jerusalem in the presence of our Lord Jesus. During this great feast, we are surrounded by the Virgin Mary, the saints and the angels. Such is the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ.

When Jesus thanked the Father, the Lord of Heaven and earth, for revealing the hidden things to infants, He was referring to what I have just finished telling you. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. You will find rest for your souls."

Many try to explain this passage with a worldly approach. The Words of the Bible cannot be explained by a worldly approach. They can only be explained when one embraces a spiritual mind because the Word of God is spiritual in nature. The rest that Jesus is speaking about is the inner spiritual joy and peace that one feels when he is in the presence of Jesus. It is a rest that can only be enjoyed when one becomes attached to Christ after having been "spiritualized." It is a rest that can only be enjoyed when our spirits remain in the presence of Jesus during our enjoyment of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

During the Gospel reading today, we heard Jesus say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When we live our Christian life as a new creation, enjoying the gifts that we have received during the Sacrament of Baptism, we think spiritually. When we think spiritually, we are no longer burdened by the worldly ways because we are walking our living faith and hope with a spiritual heart.

To explain this, while those of a worldly heart seek to accumulate their treasures, those of a spiritual heart give freely what they own. While the worldly minded hold grudges, those of a spiritual mind forgive. While those of the worldly way avoid Church attendance, the spiritual minded person cherishes the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Endless such comparison can be made as we are well aware.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in all our daily thoughts, words and actions, let us remember to value our ongoing presence before the indwelling Spirit of God. Through Jesus, let us strive to worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship Him. [Jn. 4:23] May we always remember to place God first in our lives. May we always remember to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. To succeed in this goal, we must seek to walk hand-in-hand with the indwelling Holy Spirit who is our Guide in all things. By doing these things, Jesus will find rest in our hearts and our souls will find the true and perfect rest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Book of Zechariah 9:9-10. 
Thus says the LORD: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. 
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; The warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 

Psalms 145(144):1-2.8-9.10-11.13cd-14. 
I will extol you, O my God and King, 
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless you, 
and I will praise your name forever and ever.

The LORD is gracious and merciful, 
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all 
and compassionate toward all his works. 

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, 
and let your faithful ones bless you. 
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom 
and speak of your might. 

The LORD is faithful in all his words 
and holy in all his works. 
The LORD lifts up all who are falling 
and raises up all who are bowed down. 


Letter to the Romans 8:9.11-13. 
Brothers and sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. 
Consequently, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:25-30. 
At that time Jesus exclaimed, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." 

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Prayers

Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.

Thank you again, Lord, for this opportunity to spend time with you. I believe in you and your love for me, and I look forward to that day when we can embrace in heaven. Till then, I want to show my love for you in words and deeds.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Homily


My brothers and sisters in Jesus, during today's readings, we heard the Holy Spirit calling out to us to walk in the newness of life.

In the Name of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we have received the Church Sacrament of Baptism. Through faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism, we died with Jesus, we were buried with Him and we resurrected with Him. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we received a new heart and spirit.

Through Jesus, now indebted to Him for ever for the promise of the inheritance of the Kingdom of God, we are called to walk in the newness of life.

Having died with Christ, we are called to be dead to sin. Accordingly, we are not supposed to be as we were before. When we were born, we were contaminated by the original sin. Consequently, we were called to be deprived of the eternal glory of the children of God. Through Christ, in the blessed hope of eternal life in the heavenly Kingdom, we received a new heart and spirit of the "godly seed." [1 Jn. 3:9] Through our new nature, we now long for what is righteous. We seek to "worship the Father in spirit and truth." [Jn. 4:23] We seek to shine in the "fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. [Gal. 5:22-23]. We seek to humble ourselves in service to the Lord God. We seek to do all what is good and pure as a child of God.

Above this great gift of the new creation within us, we have received the indwelling Holy Spirit. Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we now have the power to renounce mortal sins. We now have the power to say, "no" to all sins. As such, let us not allow sinful passions the power to have control over our mortal bodies.

My brothers and sisters, through the gift of new life, we have found the spiritual meaning of living our faith in Christ. We have learned that we must love God first, with our whole soul, our whole heart and our whole mind, [Mt. 22:37] for He is the provider of all things. "This is the greatest and first commandment." [Mt. 22:38] We must love God more than anyone else, even more then our parents, our spouse, our children and all our wealth of this world. If we love God any less than that, we are not worthy of Him. If such love makes others jealous, then that is the cross that we must bear. It is better for us to suffer a little bit now and to lose a parent, a spouse or a child than to lose the love of God and the gift of eternal life that awaits those who persevere in their living faith. None of them, our parents, our spouse or our child has the power to secure our salvation.

The second commandment is that we must love our neighbour as we love ourselves. [Mt. 22:39] There are no greater commandments than these two.

Based on the spiritual laws, the good acts of love that we perform today towards others will be credited to our accounts in Heaven. In today's First Reading, we heard of the goodness of the wealthy lady towards Elisha. In love, she provided him with a place to stay. In return, the Lord God promised her a son through Elisha. By welcoming a prophet, she received a reward worthy of a prophet's reward. By the measure that we manifest love and kindness towards others, that same measure shall be applied towards us when we appear before the Lord Jesus on Judgment Day.

Our reward shall be according to our works. If we are persecuted because of our goodness, "Rejoice and be glad, for our reward is great in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before us." [Mt. 5:12]

Whenever we give tithe to the Church or perform charitable acts towards others, let us not sound a trumpet before us as the hypocrites do so that they may be praised by others. They have already received their reward. [Mt. 6:2] Let us give alms in secret so our Father in Heaven who sees all will reward us. [Mt. 6:4]

Always remember that "The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labour of each." [1 Cor. 3:8] Each will receive wages according to his labour because "The labourer deserves to be paid." [1 Tim. 5:18]

Most important of all, let us have faith my brothers and sisters. For "Without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." [Heb. 11:6]

The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament provides us with a glimpse of the reward that awaits the wise and those who save souls. "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." [Dan. 12:3-4] Such is the reward that awaits those who are instruments of good works of the Holy Spirit.

Allow me to tell you something that some of you may not know about the Heavenly reward that awaits you for the works that you perform while walking the newness of life in Christ. When we work for someone and they pay us, is that a gift? No, "to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due." [Rom. 4:4] When we do spiritual works, we are accumulating Heavenly treasures. On the day "when the Chief Shepherd appears, we will win the crown of glory that never fades away." [1 Pet. 5:4]

Our goal in this life my brothers and sisters should be to gather as much as we can because we do not know the day when the Lord will call us. We have to run the race in such a way that we may win it, always remembering that only one will receive the greatest crown. [1 Cor. 9:24] We must lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, so we may run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith" [Heb. 12:1-2]

As athletes exercise self-control in all things to receive a perishable wreath, we must exercise self-control in all things to receive an imperishable one. [1 Cor. 9:25]

"Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him." [Jas. 1:12] He has walked the newness of life according to his calling.

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 12 KGS 4:8-11, 14-16A

One day Elisha came to Shunem,
where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her. 
Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine.
So she said to her husband, "I know that Elisha is a holy man of God.
Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof
and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp,
so that when he comes to us he can stay there."
Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.

Later Elisha asked, "Can something be done for her?"
His servant Gehazi answered, "Yes!
She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years."
Elisha said, "Call her."
When the woman had been called and stood at the door,
Elisha promised, "This time next year
you will be fondling a baby son."

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

R. (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever,
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever;"
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
You are the splendor of their strength,
and by your favor our horn is exalted.
For to the LORD belongs our shield,
and the Holy One of Israel, our king.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2ROM 6:3-4, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia1 PT 2:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation;
announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:37-42

Jesus said to his apostles:
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet's reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is a righteous man
will receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."

Prayers for This Morning

Lord, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has conceived the things you have prepared for those who love you. Set us ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may love you in and above all things and so receive the rewards you have promised us through Christ our Lord.

Lord, I wish to put aside all distractions and to give you my total focus. I will do nothing more important today than to meditate prayerfully on your goodness and your active role in my life. Though I am unworthy to be in your presence, I trust in your mercy and love. Through this moment of prayer I want to draw closer to you and learn to live more like you.

Lord, I know that my disordered passions and weaknesses lead me away from you. Help me to re-order my life. With your Sacred Heart as my light, I know I need not fear the loss of anything on this earth as long as I have preserved you in my life and mission.

SPIRITUAL PROTECTION of the HOME PRAYER:

[At this time of spiritual warfare and agitation in all aspects of life -- in the family, in the Church, in media, in society -- let us sta...