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Teach me your paths, my God, and guide me in your truth.

I’ve said it a couple of times on this blog, we must make the 10 Commandments given to us by God our 10 commitments.  God gave them to Moses and Jesus reminds us of the importance of them again today in our Gospel…

Gospel MT 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

So, a refresher course for all of us this morning…

You are the Lord, my God.  I will love You with all of my heart, all of my strength, all of my soul and all of my mind.  I will place no false gods before You.

I will not take the name of the Lord, my God, in vain.

I will always keep holy the Sabbath.

I will honor my mother and father.

I will not steal.

I will not kill.

I will not commit adultery.

I will not bear false witness against my neighbor.

I will not covet my neighbor’s wife.

I will not covet my neighbor’s house nor any of their possessions.

Do something great for our Lord today – once again, commit to His command(ments).

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.

 

When I call, answer me, O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; Have pity on me, and hear my prayer! Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart? Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood?

The thought came to me yesterday when reading the Gospel…whom do we seek for justice hear on earth?  What law can be passed by man that will alleviate all of man’s problems?  There can be only be one answer to any of these questions and that answer is God.  I’m going to ask you to take a few minutes to read the excerpts from the Gospel we’ve had the past few days, starting with Sunday’s…

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

What was that?  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.  That the world might be SAVED THROUGH Him.

Yesterday…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Today…Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.

So again, I ask – are we seeking our justice from man or from God?  We are all children of God; we are all made in the image likeness of God; we have all been promised the kingdom of heaven if – IF – we chose to live the life God has ordained for us.  God has given us each the gift of free will, so we can freely chose His love, His life, His commands or we can freely reject them.  A life in God may not always be easy, for some it may never be easy, but we do not live for this life we have on earth, we must live our lives in the hope of that eternal reward of life in heaven, in paradise, where there is no “race” division, where there is no rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, where there are no Americans, Germans, Chinese, Russian, Korean but one BIG, HAPPY family praising God in an unending song of joy.

God is speaking to us – daily – we just need to turn down the volume on the TV and radio; turn off the Twitter and Instagram accounts and spend a few quiet minutes listening to His word.

Do something great for our Lord today – seek Him out for justice and mercy.  God knows that Black Lives Matter; more than that He knows that ALL LIFE MATTERS because we are all made in His image and likeness, no one life greater than the other.  Sing out the refrains from our Psalms from Sunday, Monday and today…

Responsorial Psalm DN 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!

Responsorial Psalm PS 121:1BC-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (see 2)  Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains;
whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer your foot to slip;
may he slumber not who guards you:
Indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps,
the guardian of Israel.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade;
he is beside you at your right hand.
The sun shall not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD will guard you from all evil;
he will guard your life.
The LORD will guard your coming and your going,
both now and forever.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Responsorial Psalm PS 4:2-3, 4-5, 7B-8

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
Have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart?
Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood?
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
Tremble, and sin not;
reflect, upon your beds, in silence.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart,
more than when grain and wine abound.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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.

But I will always hope and praise you ever more and more. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation.

During the course of being a “church musician”, I’ve played many a funeral Mass and listened to many a eulogy.  Eulogies these days seem to have gone to the way of stand up comedy and the use of inappropriate language has become the norm unfortunately.  Some of them preface their language by saying “I know this probably isn’t appropriate…BUT…” and then drop the bomb on the congregation.  Yesterday, I had the privilege of playing at the funeral for a man I did not know personally, but I do know his son Sean and his daughter-in-law Tina.  Tina has become one of my wife’s closest friends at St. Mary Magdalen and Sean played a crucial role in getting my son Jerome his first “professional” job after graduating college (to which we owe him many thanks for doing so).  Seeing that my first job is not an organist, I had to get back to my primary job so I wasn’t able to stay for eulogy that Sean did for his father.  But thanks to the wonder of social media, it was recorded on Instagram and I was able to listen to it this morning.  I am going to post it for two reasons.  First and foremost, it pays tribute to a beautiful man of faith and devotion and all who hear can this offer a prayer for his soul.  Second, it is a great, great example of how all eulogies should be given – with respect to not only the deceased, but to the people there to mourn his death and remember how graciously the  deceased lived their life.  Here is that eulogy from yesterday morning…

View this post on Instagram

Dr. Patrick Hogan

A post shared by @ stmmchurchmass on

I apologize for the Spanish translation…for some reason my computer defaults to that.  If it’s any consequence, I’m slowly learning the Spanish language.

My thoughts continue again today with the unrest we are experiencing in America.  I will continue with posting the readings listed today because I believe when time is taken to hear the message given by these readings, we can all begin to convert to the will of God and His purpose for all of us here on earth…to love all of His people without prejudice or conviction.  Please take the time to not only read, but reflect and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit this morning…

Reading 1 2 TM 4:1-8

Beloved:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine
but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,
will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth
and will be diverted to myths.
But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances;
put up with hardship;
perform the work of an evangelist;
fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well;
I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

Responsorial Psalm PS 71:8-9, 14-15AB, 16-17, 22

R. (see 15ab)  I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
with your glory day by day.
Cast me not off in my old age;
as my strength fails, forsake me not.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
But I will always hope
and praise you ever more and more.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
I will treat of the mighty works of the Lord;
O God, I will tell of your singular justice.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
So will I give you thanks with music on the lyre,
for your faithfulness, O my God!
I will sing your praises with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel!
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Alleluia MT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext,
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”

Do something great for our Lord today – stay true to His message for all of us.  be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.  Be charitable to His people…A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.  No matter how small you think your contribution may be, it may be just enough to change the world.  Don’t be afraid to change the world.

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.

 

Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

Yesterday I posted the readings for the day.  I am going to do the same today but I will offer a few more thoughts after them.  These thoughts have come to mind after reading and contemplating on God’s word today.  I hope they make sense to all of you reading this.

Reading 1 2 TM 3:10-17

You have followed my teaching, way of life,
purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions,
and sufferings, such as happened to me
in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra,
persecutions that I endured.
Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me.
In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.
But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse,
deceivers and deceived.
But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching,
for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

Responsorial Psalm 119:157, 160, 161, 165, 166, 168

R.    (165a)  O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Though my persecutors and my foes are many,
I turn not away from your decrees.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Permanence is your word’s chief trait;
each of your just ordinances is everlasting.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Princes persecute me without cause
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Those who love your law have great peace,
and for them there is no stumbling block.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I wait for your salvation, O LORD,
and your commands I fulfill.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I keep your precepts and your decrees,
for all my ways are before you.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.

Alleluia JOHN 14:23

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 12:35-37

As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,
“How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:
The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.’
David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he his son?”
The great crowd heard this with delight.

We have a lot to deal with in our lives these days.  We are a nation in turmoil; we are a nation fighting against each other on so many different fields – political, racial, religious, financial, pandemic – and each one of those can be broken down into so many different topics.  What came to my thoughts this morning (and as I’ve said before, I believe it to be the Holy Spirit guiding my thoughts) was to look at the author of the 2nd letter to Timothy we read this morning.  Who is it that penned this letter to Timothy?  We know him to be St. Paul, one of the biggest evangelical men of all time, yet one of the most brutal men to Christians – OF ALL TIME – at one point in his life.  What changed him?  Jesus Christ.  We all know the story so I’m going to repeat it here in this post.  My point is that Jesus Christ can change even the most hardened, oppressive, bigoted men to a point where they are made saints.  St. Paul isn’t the only one whom Christ has converted and I believe those conversions can still be made by God today.  So as we all continue to post about the brutalities of man against man, how about each one of us take some time today to pray for the conversion of those persecutors.  In all of the stories I’ve read on social media, in all of the Twitters from the numerous Bishops that I follow on Twitter, on all of the Catholic sites I follow on Twitter, on all of the personal “likes” that show up on my Twitter from people I follow, they all state their support for George Floyd; they all talk about the need for protests; many of them blame the political party for which they don’t support.  In short, I’ve read a lot of angry posts these past couple of days, weeks, months.  What I haven’t read – and I find this disturbing, especially from all of the Bishops – the Shepherds of the flock – NOT ONE has stated that they would pray for conversion of Derek Chauvin,  Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao.  If we truly want to combat evil, racism, political strife we must turn to God to do this. Only in God will our souls be at rest; whatever you ask of God – in the name of Jesus – will be provided to you.

R.    (165a)  O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Though my persecutors and my foes are many,
I turn not away from your decrees.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Permanence is your word’s chief trait;
each of your just ordinances is everlasting.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Princes persecute me without cause
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
R.    O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Those who love your law have great peace,
and for them there is no stumbling block.

Let’s read again from the words of one of the most ruthless bigots to ever walk the earth.  No longer Saul, that ruthless bigot, but now Paul – St. Paul – one willing to offer his life in order that Christ’s message be brought to ALL men.

But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse,
deceivers and deceived.
But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.

Do something great for our Lord today – do something great for mankind today – pray for the conversion of those four men responsible for the death of George Floyd.  God created all of us in His image, in His likeness; He created all men and women to be equal  – not one receives more or less love from God.  Pray for the conversion of all who don’t believe that truth.

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.

Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.

I wish I could write something here that will make all of the chaos go away.  I wish I could write something here that would make the world come to peace; that would make the world love one another as God love’s us – all of us – He excludes no one from His everlasting love.  I wish I had that gift.  What I will post for you to read today – and I hope that you forward this to everyone you know and they forward it to everyone they know and before long, we can all be Amway sales reps…just joking.  I am not going to hyperlink today’s readings for our daily Mass, but I will copy and paste them for you to read, to contemplate, to pass on to others but most importantly – believe these truths in our readings; live these truths in our readings and maybe, just maybe, all of this chaos will come to an end.

Reading 12 TM 2:8-15

Beloved:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
such is my Gospel, for which I am suffering,
even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

Remind people of these things
and charge them before God to stop disputing about words.
This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen.
Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God,
a workman who causes no disgrace,
imparting the word of truth without deviation. (bold emphasis added by me)

Responsorial Psalm 25:4-5AB, 8-9, 10 AND 14

R.    (4)  Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R.    Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R.    Teach me your ways, O Lord.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R.    Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Alleluia 2 TIMOTHY 1:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself

is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Do something great for our Lord today – read, reflect and pass the good Word on.  Thanks be to God.  Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ.  Pray for the world and its full conversion into the Light; the Truth; the Gospel of the Lord.

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.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children.

I haven’t posted since Saturday morning, the day of our 33rd Wedding anniversary.  Prayer has been a very important part of my life and I would like to share a prayer that I’ve heard countless times over my life having played at countless weddings since 1980 my sister Janice’ was my very first one.  As many times as I’ve heard this prayer, it really hit me on Saturday morning as Msgr. blessed my wife and I and offered this prayer to us during his blessing.  Take some time to reflect on this prayer and the vocation of marriage that many of us have been called to.  The following has been copied from the website lordcalls.com…

The Nuptial Blessing is a beautiful prayer of blessing in the Catholic wedding ceremony. It takes place after the bride and groom have exchanged their consent and so have become husband and wife. In this blessing, the celebrant (priest or deacon) extends his hand over the married couple and prays for them, and asks that God give them special graces, including fidelity, the blessing of children, and a long life together.

This excerpt is taken from the English translation of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony – Option 1 for the Nuptial Blessing. These words of the Nuptial Blessing are really worth mediating on by married couples specially when you find it difficult to fulfill your responsibilities pertaining to your vocation. Engaged couples who are preparing for their wedding should also ponder on these words as they prepare to receive the Sacrament.

O God, who by your mighty power
created all things out of nothing,
and, when you had set in place
the beginnings of the universe,
formed man and woman in your own image,
making the woman an inseparable helpmate to the man,
that they might no longer be two, but one flesh,
and taught that what you were pleased to make one
must never be divided;

O God, who consecrated the bond of Marriage
by so great a mystery
that in the wedding covenant you foreshadowed
the Sacrament of Christ and his Church;

O God, by whom woman is joined to man
and the companionship they had in the beginning
is endowed with the one blessing
not forfeited by original sin
nor washed away by the flood.

Look now with favor on these your servants,
joined together in Marriage,
who ask to be strengthened by your blessing.
Send down on them the grace of the Holy Spirit
and pour your love into their hearts,
that they may remain faithful in the Marriage covenant.

May the grace of love and peace
abide in your daughter,
and let her always follow the example of those holy women
whose praises are sung in the Scriptures.
May her husband entrust his heart to her,
so that, acknowledging her as his equal
and his joint heir to the life of grace,
he may show her due honor
and cherish her always
with the love that Christ has for his Church.

And now, Lord, we implore you:
may these your servants
hold fast to the faith and keep your commandments;
made one in the flesh,
may they be blameless in all they do;
and with the strength that comes from the Gospel,
may they bear true witness to Christ before all;
may they be blessed with children,
and prove themselves virtuous parents,
who live to see their children’s children.

And grant that,
reaching at last together the fullness of years
for which they hope,
they may come to the life of the blessed
in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

What really struck me on Saturday was the verse of the prayer that said the strength of marriage was not forfeited by original sin nor washed away by the flood.  Marriage is so essential to the life of the Church, it is so essential to the mission of God that not even the most devastating things in life can breaks its holy bond.

Do something great for our Lord today – renew your love for your wife; renew your love for your husband.  Reflect on the covenant you swore before God and cherish the man or woman God brought forth for you.  Love your children and your share your faith with them.  Do this and I guarantee you it’s going to be a great day.

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 Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you.

I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all truth.

One of the most widely used hymns in the Church, Veni, Creator Spiritus, is attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is used at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost.
VENI, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.
Amen.

We celebrate one of the greatest gifts the our Father bestowed on us…His gift of the Holy Spirit.  We celebrate Pentecost this weekend.  I would not be the man of God that I am today without the Holy Spirit as my guide in all that I do.  Not a day goes by that I don’t pray for the wisdom, guidance and strength in every decision, every act that I make.  The children I’ve raised, the songs I’ve written, the posts made for this blog, the work I now do for Bell Electrical, all are done in the name of God through the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in my soul take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill this heart which Thou hast made.

I will also celebrate another of God’s greatest gifts in my life today.  Today my wife and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.  I have many fond memories of that Saturday.  The day started out raining, but that didn’t stop my wedding party from playing 18 holes of golf.  The weather cleared for the wedding Mass and so we gathered and celebrated with friends and family.  And today my wife and will celebrate our anniversary the same way we have every year since then.  We will put on our Sunday best and head to Mass at 8 AM to give thanks to God.  It was God who joined us together; it has been God who has kept us together, growing in love with each other each and every day.  After Mass, we will do the music for a young couple’s wedding; I find that rather appropriate today.

I look forward to celebrating today these two great gifts given to me by God.  My two best friends in all of the world – The Holy Spirit and my beautiful wife Sarah.  It is through these two that I see the great works of God in my everyday life and it is through the guidance of these two that I’m able to stay on the path to the ultimate gift – the gift of eternal praise of God in heaven.

Do something great for our Lord today – renew your relationship with the Holy Spirit; renew your relationship with your spouse.  Let them enkindle in you the fire of your love for 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 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.

May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord.

This prayer comes to mind after reading today’s Gospel.  We recite this prayer every Sunday and every time we prayer a Rosary.  Join me this morning in reflecting on this prayer…the true prayer defining my faith, our faith.

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake
he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
the giver of life, who proceeds
from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic
and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection
of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Do something great for our Lord today – believe.  Just as Jesus prays for our unity in our Gospel today, pray too for that unity amongst us now more than ever.  Say to yourself throughout the day – I believe; I believe; I believe.

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.

Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.

I’ve been thinking of my dad a lot lately.  On Sunday, my wife and some of the family met out at Jefferson Barracks to visit his “resting” place, maybe that’s why he’s been in my thoughts this morning.  Or maybe after reading today’s Gospel, he’s been in my thoughts to help explain the Gospel to me.  My dad was never one to go into too much detail when giving us instructions or when we asked questions growing up – most the of the time these two things happened in the same conversation.

Dad…”Jerry, go clean your room.”

Me…”Why Dad?”

Dad…”Because.”

Me…”Dad, how is that you and Mom had 7 children and I got placed smack dab in the middle of them?”

Dad…”Because.”

Me…”Dad, why do we have to go to 7:30 Mass on Sunday, sit in the front pew and answer all the prayers and sing all the songs?”

Dad…”Because.”

And so when I finished reading the Gospel this morning and was thinking to myself what Jesus’ prayer meant to His Father and what this means to me, I could hear my dad whispering in my ear…because.

And then it hit me…sometimes “because” is explanation enough.  Sometimes I’m not smart enough yet to fully comprehend a more detailed answer and “because” will have to do.

Ask my kids, I have the cleanest bedroom in the house; ask my co-workers, I have the cleanest office at work.  Why?  Now I know a clean room/office helps me relax; it keeps my mind clear at work that I can think about the task at hand instead of looking around and being distracted by things out of place.  It calms my nerves at the end of the day to retreat into a clean room and get the rest I need to face the next day.  In short – because.

Sitting in the front pew at church taught me that there are a whole lot less distractions when the only thing you have to look at is the Altar.  Over time,maybe from sitting in the front pew, I came to love the beauty and tradition of my Catholic faith and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and still to this day have a deep love for my faith.

I’d love to tell you I’ve figured out all of the deeper meanings of “because” but I’m still trying to figure out how I was number 4 of 7…I will just have to live with that “because” a little while longer.

And so it is today that I may not be able to give the full meaning of the Gospel but I do know this.  The Gospel is the Word of God; The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; the Word is the Truth and it was the Word that prayed for us this morning; to this there is no dispute.  So when Christ speaks to me and I don’t fully understand, I still follow.  Why?  My dad on earth and my Father in heaven said BECAUSE.

Do something great for our Lord today – because.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Our Gospel this morning ties in beautifully with what was proclaimed to us in yesterday’s Gospel.  In Msgr. Ramacciotti’s homily yesterday, he reflected on the following statement recorded in yesterday’s Gospel…

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

When they saw HIM, they worshiped.  What would you do if you saw Christ in the flesh, having arisen from the dead; appearing to you again in flesh and blood?I’m sure you too would worship.  Msgr.’s reflection was on the next statement…but they doubted.  After all the miracles, after suffering the scourging and death on the Cross; after rising from the dead and coming back to them in His resurrected body – they still doubted who He was?  Msgr. thinks the line but they doubted was not meant to reflect on if they believed in Christ or not, it was meant to mean that they doubted themselves in carrying on the mission Christ had ordained them to do.  They didn’t doubt Christ – they doubted themselves.  But once Christ breathed on them, gifted them with the Holy Spirit, how that doubt changed.  We have been reading about this the entire Easter season.  They no longer doubted.  They no longer feared.  They were no longer ashamed to shout from the mountain tops that Jesus Christ was the Savior promised by God.  And they shared their strength, their wisdom, their love of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to anyone who would listen.  They converted the unfaithful by the thousands.  They inspired many people along the way to do the same and that tradition, that spirit of evangelizing still continues today.  They were willing to die, without fear, to make sure this message was proclaimed.

So let’s look at our Gospel being proclaimed to us today…

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone…In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.

Each of you will be scattered to his own home…does this sound eerily familiar today?  Are we experiencing that doubt now that was professed to us yesterday?  I believe we are.  But take courage, be stouthearted and have faith.  What is faith?  I don’t know if I am the true authority on faith but you can look it up online and find a number of ways to define it.  Faith, simply put, is trusting in something with the confidence that is is true.  Want some biblical backup?  Click this.

In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world…Christ has conquered the world for us.  Christ has gifted to us the Holy Spirit so that we too can conquer this world;  that we too can conquer our doubts; that we too can have the faith of Abel, Abraham, Moses, the Twelve Apostles, the Communion of Saints, our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph.  Faith tells me that all of these people had doubts about their role in Salvation History; faith also tells me that they all conquered their doubts, that each one of them came out of their own scattered homes and that they came to believe in God’s mission.  We are now called to do the same.  As I say to each of you every morning I post…

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Do something great for our Lord today – trust in God and trust in His mission for you.  Do not doubt your abilities but believe that you too can do the good works God has ordained you to do.  Let us not be scattered anymore, let us have faith in God alone.  Live your life honoring 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 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.