Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.

Today my youngest son leaves the house and heads for college.  He has opted not live in a dorm but has rented a small apartment and will live by himself – close to campus.  I have mixed emotions about this.  I am proud of him for taking on this responsibility but I am also a little worried about how he will manage between the classes and the necessity to work in order to pay his bills.  So I went to today’s readings hoping to find something obvious in them to help alleviate these anxieties.  I read them, thought about them and was coming up with nothing so I did what I always do when I’m not sure I’m getting the true meaning from the Gospel, I seek the wisdom of someone else and today, as in many other days, it was Bishop Barron.  Take a look at Bishop Barron’s reflection from this morning…

Friends, the Gospel for today is the account of the persistent Canaanite woman. Like all of the “hard” Gospel stories, it packs a spiritual punch.

God’s salvific purposes are for the whole world. Israel was chosen so that they would be a vehicle for the salvation of all. Therefore, Jesus’ primary mission is indeed to his fellow Jews, but throughout the Gospels, there are hints that his ministry has a wider purpose.

When Jesus entered a pagan territory, a Canaanite woman called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” She represents the longing of the world for the justice, the mercy, and the love of God. She senses correctly where this is to be found. She embodies the hunger of lost humanity.

Jesus’ responses move from silence, to an indirect rebuke, to an outright insult. And rolling with the punches, the woman responds with faith that pleases the Lord. Is Jesus testing the woman in order that she might know just how great her faith is? That was St. Augustine’s explanation for why God sometimes says no to repeated prayer. And this is why perseverance in prayer is so strongly recommended in the great tradition.

After reading this, I now know what I must do in order for my son Tony to be successful; and it’s the same thing Tony must do in order to make his mission at school a success – we must both be persistent with our prayer; we must both persevere and be diligent in asking God to provide for Tony.  Our prayers may not be answered in the time and manner with which we would like, but in staying true to the message Jesus gives us in the Gospel this morning, persistence will pay off and God will provide.

I will persevere in my prayers for Tony…but not just Tony – all of my children, my beautiful wife Sarah (who by the way leaves for LA today to be with Cecilia and Garrett as they bring their first child into this world on Sunday – say a prayer for them please), my extended family, friends and those with whom I have no allegiance with at all. Prayer is a powerful tool and I will remain true to its purpose and cause.

Do something great for our Lord today – humble yourself in prayer and be willing to eat the scraps of the Master for they provide the full nourishment you need to persevere in this life.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Two things are for sure in this world…taxes and death – I can’t avoid either one of them.  I not going to spend anytime talking about taxes here (although I do recommend you pay them), but I’m beginning to hear more and more from people that we are in the end times.  My thoughts about this is that I cannot avoid death, so I will always be in the end times.  With that in mind, it is of the utmost importance that I live my life accordingly and try to set an example of that to my family, friends and any who may know me.  This isn’t an easy task in our very casual world that we live in…Satan can be found in many venues these days and he is constantly lurking to lure me off that narrow path.  Yesterday’s readings and Today’s readings are a reminder of not only why I need to stay on that path, but how I can stay on that path.

Food nourishes and keeps us strong; spiritual food nourishes our spirit and keeps us strong in the faith.  Yesterday’s readings teach us the importance of eating that spiritual food and drinking that spiritual drink…

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.

The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

…Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full…

Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy?  Only in God will my soul be at rest; only in God will I find the bread of eternal life; only in God can I drink from the cup of eternal salvation.  I need this food, this drink, to keep me moving forward on that narrow path to salvation.  Satan lies in wait and I must keep my being well nourished to deal with that reality.  St. Paul tells us yesterday how nourishing God’s bread and drink can be…

Brothers and sisters:
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NOTHING can separate of from the love of our triune God.  NOTHING.  But in order for us to clearly understand and stay focused on that we must be well nourished in the food that God provides…Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.  So how is it that we eat well?  How do we delight in rich fare?  Take a look at the Psalm for today as it offers a great start…

 

Responsorial Psalm

R. (68b) Lord, teach me your statutes.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Take not the word of truth from my mouth,
for in your ordinances is my hope.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let those turn to me who fear you
and acknowledge your decrees.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let my heart be perfect in your statutes,
that I be not put to shame.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
Sinners wait to destroy me,
but I pay heed to your decrees.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.
From your ordinances I turn not away,
for you have instructed me.
R. Lord, teach me your statutes.

Follow the statues of our loving God.  If I’ve said this once, I’ve said this a hundred times…follow the commandments of our Lord and commit to them – make them part of your everyday life.  Once you start following these you’ll come to understand these are not restrictions on your life but they are a great guidance to how live your life in the Lord.  They will lead you to God’s table of plenty.  Dedicate your life to Christ and you too will walk on water…

Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

As long as our focus is on the Lord, we can do anything in His name.  It is only when we start to let the strong winds of life frighten us that we start to sink.  Again, fear not if you’re sinking but follow the example given by Peter and cry out “Lord, save me!”  You may be chastised…Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” but you will be saved and the winds will die down…After they got into the boat, the wind died down.

Do something great for our Lord today – go to the waters of everlasting life.  Start a strong prayer life today and commit to God’s commands.  Strengthen your faith and learn to love and trust God completely.  The path is narrow and full of distractions that leads to the Lord which is why He gives us food and drink to keep us strong and on the path to eternal life.  I know the hour of taxes (April 15th, Midnight); I do not know the hour of death but I am ready for it when it happens because I choose daily to follow God and do what He commands me to do.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

 

Praise the LORD, O my soul; I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.

Today’s thought may seem rather simple, but let it sink in and I hope you see the joy and the glory God offers us each and every day of our lives.  I was on a walk the other day during my lunch hour and passed by the soccer field – known to me in my youth as the Blazer Club – where me and my siblings spent a lot of our time growing up.  I took a picture of the field and sent it to my siblings and we spent the next few hours talking about all of the great memories we had growing up there.  As I continued walking and thinking about the memories the rest of the day, the thought occurred to me on how vast the sum of God’s love truly is.  That one little patch of ground – maybe a little over an acre – gave my siblings and I a lot of good memories to share with each other that day.  It filled my heart with joy to remember all the good times we shared with each other, our parents and our friends on that little patch of ground.  If that soccer field could make me feel that good, how vast is God’s joy and love since He is the Master of all of the acres of earth; all of the soccer fields created – the joy and love shared by all of His creation?  I thank God everyday for the memories of my youth; I thank God everyday for the memories I now share with my children and grandchildren.  I guess my point is the joy that I have – and it is great – is only a small sum of the love that God has because He shares in each and every joyful memory that is shared by all of mankind.  That’s a lot of love!

Do something great for our Lord today – share a joyful memory with someone you love and know that the feeling of joy and love you experience is also shared with God.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and extend Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

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.

If you recall a few days ago, I said that sometimes God likes to deliver the message to His people directly.  Today is another one of those days.  Consider me like Jeremiah, who “penned” our message from God in the first reading today, I’m merely the guy with the computer God is using to deliver His message.  Substitute two words – Judah and Zion –  in the first reading and replace it with just about any city in the USA and you will see the message shine thru – the Psalm will support the message and give you plenty of food for thought today.

Reading 1 JER 14:17-22

Let my eyes stream with tears
day and night, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people,
over her incurable wound.
If I walk out into the field,
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city,
look! those consumed by hunger.
Even the prophet and the priest
forage in a land they know not.

Have you cast Judah off completely?
Is Zion loathsome to you?
Why have you struck us a blow
that cannot be healed?
We wait for peace, to no avail;
for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness,
the guilt of our fathers;
that we have sinned against you.
For your name’s sake spurn us not,
disgrace not the throne of your glory;
remember your covenant with us, and break it not.
Among the nations’ idols is there any that gives rain?
Or can the mere heavens send showers?
Is it not you alone, O LORD,
our God, to whom we look?
You alone have done all these things.

Responsorial Psalm 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13

R.     (9)  For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R.     For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
R.     For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R.     For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

 

Do something great for our Lord today – understand that it is through Him and Him alone that we receive all of our blessings.  Do not put your faith in the Government to do God’s work but trust in God alone.  God is my Father, you’re Father and He and only Him alone is the source of all creation.  For your name’s sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not.  Among the nations’ idols is there any that gives rain?  Or can the mere heavens send showers?  Is it not you alone, O LORD, our God, to whom we look?  You alone have done all these things.

God’s will, not mine be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your Mercy in us so that in difficult times we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

 

Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Today’s message is quite simple.  I am not here to be served but to serve.  Look at our Gospel today and Jesus is quite clear to his Apostles – we are not here to seek honor for ourselves but to serve the Lord our God –  humbly and without fail…But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.  But it shall not be so among you…”

Earlier in the week we were taught that to those whom much is given, much is expected in return.  I know God has blessed me with much  so I must be willing to share and serve as a thanksgiving to God for His blessings.  I am here to serve one purpose and that is to do the will of God but not just me – all of us.  All of us are called.  We are here to serve our Lord in whatever capacity He calls us to do.  We pray this everyday when we repeat the greatest prayer ever given to us…God’s will not mine be done.  In our house we have a set of rules/guidelines that we are asked our kids to follow and one of them was “Don’t whine when asked to do things.”  I believe that is what Jesus is telling us today.  God needs me – God needs all of us –  to stop whining and to doing His holy will which is LOVE and MERCY.

Do something great for our Lord today – serve His people with joy and gladness.  Start with your family and friends, serve your local community, pray for peace in the world.  Be willing to drink from that same chalice that Jesus drank from.  Do it all for God and you’ll soon learn, your doing it all for you.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

 

Tell us Mary, what did you see on the way? I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.

Today is the feast day of my parish’s patron saint – St. Mary Magdalen.  St. Mary Magdalen is the closest I’ve come to seeing an actual saint.  A few years back, her relic was brought to St. Mary Magdalen and it truly was an awe inspiring experience.  To kneel in front of and contemplate on a relic of a person who was a close friend of Christ, a woman who was the first to see the risen Christ, a woman possessed by seven demons but was healed by Christ, a woman honored as the Apostle to the Apostles was worth the day off of work doing to do this.

If you weren’t able to get to Mass today to celebrate her feast, at least take the time to contemplate the readings in honor of this great woman.

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Lectionary: 603

Reading 1SGS 3:1-4B

The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves–
I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
in the streets and crossings I will seek
Him whom my heart loves.
I sought him but I did not find him.
The watchmen came upon me,
as they made their rounds of the city:
Have you seen him whom my heart loves?
I had hardly left them
when I found him whom my heart loves.

OR
2 Cor 5:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.

 

Responsorial Psalm PS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R. (2) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Tell us Mary, what did you see on the way?
I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 20:1-2, 11-18

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.

Do something great for our Lord – follow His call to sainthood.  Let Him expel your demons so you can serve Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.  Be like St. Mary Magdalen and give your life to the One who saves.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

Bah da bump bah ba…I’m loving it.

Hey, they quote isn’t from the Bible – it’s from a McDonald’s commercial.  As the work day wound down yesterday and we were watching the game show network, the discussion began as to what it was we were going to have for dinner.  My wife mentioned she would really like a fish sandwich from McDonald’s so we loaded up the truck and took off for the Golden Arches.  I was streaming Catholic Answer’s live on the way there and turning onto Clarkson from Clayton road, the guest on the program made a comment that stuck in my head and is still ringing in it right now.

The topic was the struggle for Evangelicals to convert to Catholicism.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks for them is the infallibility of the Pope.  The guest, whose name I didn’t catch (tuned in late to the program), was a former evangelical who converted.  It was this statement that he made that I thought was simple, beautiful and profound.  He said that God speaks infallibly through fallible people.  Again, God speaks infallibly through fallible people.  David – an adulterer and murderer – penned the Psalms for us that we still pray fervently to this day.  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – all fallible people who have given us the Gospels, the Good News, the Truth that is infallible.  Was there a man who hated the early church more than Saul?  Through God’s conversion of Saul’s mind and soul, are there any more beautiful words written than those of St. Paul?

And it didn’t stop through after the works of the Bible.  God is still using us to spread His word – His INFALLIBLE word – through His fallible sons and daughters.  Bishop Barren, Mother Angelica, Scott Hahn, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis.  These are all fallible men and women who have shared the infallible message of God.  You too can do the same.  We are all sinners but we can all become saints – people who trust more in the love of God than in the love of man.  Fallible people spreading the infallible Word.

Do something great for our Lord today – repent and believe in the Gospel, the Good News of God.  Repent and spread the word that God’s love is greater than anything we could ever achieve on our own.  Repent and be that fallible person who delivers that infallible message to the ones around you.

God’s will, not mine,  be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and you gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.

My stomach is growling.  I jumped ahead to get a start on the readings for tomorrow and again, my high school philosophy kicked into high gear.  I know St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade and tutored Jesus in the trade but after reading the Gospel I’m wondering if Jesus took a side job working in a Jewish deli as a teenager.  Wheat, mustard (seeds) and yeast sounds like the making of a good pastrami sandwich to me!

As I’ve stated many times in the blog, the purpose of doing this was to try and inspire the men of St. Mary Magdalen to dive deeper into their faith, to become true men of the Gospel; true followers of our Savior.  I must admit, this post has helped me do that and was so evident last week.  Last week was challenging and drove me to my knees praying fervently to God for assistance. Car accident, law suit, depression,  cancer, Covid 19, lay offs…and that is just to name a few things.  Add to that the stress of the world and the knee’s are getting callused – as they should be.  To paraphrase from Job – God gives and God takes away – BLESSED BE THE LORD.  It is not always ours to understand all that happens to us, but whether it be good now, bad now, boring now, exciting now it should all result in the same thing – thankfulness to our loving God for all that He gives us.  I remain strong in my faith and resolve because my knee’s are callused. I have learned to look to God not just for answers but for guidance when I don’t have an answer; for strength to wake up each morning and face those challenges; to thank Him at the end of the day for helping me get through them.  It has taken me years to get this stage in my life where I am confident in my trust in the Lord; in my confidence that God will guide me through all the stress and turmoil that each day so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and have the courage to walk to that light – the light of Christ Himself.

All of that to bring me to this reflection that was inspired from a message I heard on EWTN yesterday.  Fr. Larry Richard (who by the way is coming to St. Mary Magdalen this Fall for a parish renewal) talked about the need for discipline in our spiritual life.  Using men and sports as his example, he how questioned how many of us play sports, and not just play, but want to be good?  What does it take to achieve that goal?  Hard work, practice, discipline.  What if we were to take that same effort, that same discipline and apply it to our prayer life?  What if we were as dedicated to the Church and God’s mission as we were to our tee times?  In the end, what will have the greater reward…a 4 handicap or the reward of eternal life?  Prayer takes discipline; faith takes discipline and it can’t be something we do for 45 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday for Mass (whichever time best fits around our tee time).  Faith requires daily practices.  Rosaries, Chaplets of Divine Mercy, Holy Hours, Stations of the Cross, Novena’s, Daily Mass (which can be done on YouTube while sitting at your desk), Reading. Yes, this all takes time out of a busy schedule I’m sure, but I can GUARANTEE that you’ll be happy with the results.  It was that very discipline that got me through a very challenging week.  It will be that discipline that gets me to an eternal life where there will be no stress, no wailing and grinding of teeth; an eternal life where I can sing the praises of God with all the angels and saints in a never ending hymn.

Do something great for our Lord today – get down on your knees and start building those calluses.  Learn the discipline of daily prayer; be that example of a God fearing man to your family.  Prayer is a powerful thing but just like a 4 handicap, it takes time to develop that talent.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments, we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is love and mercy itself.

Those live whom the LORD protects; yours is the life of my spirit. You have given me health and life.

Responsorial Psalm ISAIAH 38:10, 11, 12ABCD, 16

R. (see 17b) You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

If I ever wrote anything in this blog that you should remember it is this…the Lord saves.  Because of that, I fear nothing that isn’t of the Lord.  I don’t fear death anymore because I live by the commands of God and He will raise me after my last day here on earth.  I don’t fear evil because evil can’t conquer me if I have the Lord living inside me.  I don’t fear illness, poverty, famine, bad weather, bad food, traffic jams or any other “fear” you can think of to add to this list.  As long as I have God as my moral compass, I believe I can overcome all of life’s setbacks and keep moving forward to attain eternal happiness in heaven.  God is the way; God is the Truth; God is the Light by which I strive to live every waking moment of my life.

I do have qualms about certain things in life.  Government overreach is one of them.  I don’t want to go on a rant about government and how they pass laws that they seem to be exempt from, but in reading today’s Gospel I was reminded of that hippocracy.  See if this shakes any leaves off your branches this morning too…

Gospel MT 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
“See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”
He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

Do something great for our Lord today – thank Him for being the Creator of Life – the Creator of all life – the Creator of YOUR life.  And don’t ever forget who is the Lord of the Sabbath…my brother and yours – Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

Those with ears ought to hear…those with eyes ought to see.

Sometimes God’s word, His message to us, just jumps from the page and needs no clarification.  God is good because I am needing to hit the road early this morning, so I hear Him telling me, I’ll take this blog today.  I say in return, thank you.

Responsorial Psalm   94:5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 14-15

R. (14a) The Lord will not abandon his people.
Your people, O LORD, they trample down,
your inheritance they afflict.
Widow and stranger they slay,
the fatherless they murder.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.
And they say, “The LORD sees not;
the God of Jacob perceives not.”
Understand, you senseless ones among the people;
and, you fools, when will you be wise?
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.
Shall he who shaped the ear not hear?
or he who formed the eye not see?
Shall he who instructs nations not chastise,
he who teaches men knowledge?
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.
For the LORD will not cast off his people,
nor abandon his inheritance;
But judgment shall again be with justice,
and all the upright of heart shall follow it.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.

Do something great for our Lord today – don’t abandon Him because He is telling you that He won’t abandon you.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.