A Time To Revere Wisdom

Wisdom – Knowledge is Greater Than Gold!


Edinburgh University Library Blogs – University of Edinburgh Collection: University of Edinburgh; Persons: N/A; Event: N/A; Place: McEwan Hall; Edinburgh; Scotland; UK; Category: University Buildings; Description: Details from the ceiling space of the McEwan Hall during the 2016 refurbishment of the building.

TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

Ant. 2 (Evening Prayer) “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.”

Solomon’s Respect for Wisdom

Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her. Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her. 10 I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light because her radiance never ceases. 11 All good things came to me along with her and in her hands’ uncounted wealth. 12 I rejoiced in them all because wisdom leads them, but I did not know that she was their mother. 13 I learned without guile and I impart without grudging; I do not hide her wealth, 14 for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals; those who get it obtain friendship with God commended for the gifts that come from instruction. ~ Wisdom 7:7-14  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Reflection One – Wisdom Lost on the World!

Two weeks ago the American people witnessed the spectacle of a contested Supreme Court Nomination in which all wisdom was forfeited for political self-interest. Two years ago the American people for the second time witnessed the spectacle of a Presidential election be won by someone who did not win the majority of the vote and which to this day their presidency is both contested and under investigation for a multitude of election tapering violations;  again for the political-self interest of a few. This past week we have been watching the spectacle of a leader who may have ordered the murder of a Saudi born journalist named Jamal Khashoggi who was an American Green cardholder at the time of his alleged killing in Turkey because he simply held views that were different from the young Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Who for good measure has many business deals with the aforementioned  American President. We also prior to all these more recent events for decades have been embroiled in what has become a political debate where the powerful have engaged in beating down the scientific community on the topic of Global Warming’.  A topic which affects every human being on planet earth because to change how we produce energy would radically affect a minority who are heavily invested in how we create, sell, and thus turn a profit in the modern energy markets. Once again, we are witnessing the destruction of a world we all were born on and therefore will live and die on as well. We need nature – nature does not need us! The simple common sense that has been lost on our world of greedy… powerful… tyrants!

Reflection Two – Wisdom in Stark Contrast!

I bring these issues up because each one of them defies logic, they completely ignore wisdom, and are upheld by just a very small minority of the people who benefit while the supremely larger majority of human beings do not. That static by itself is outside the box of moral thought! Morally speaking in the eyes of God no one man or women is better than any other man or women.  The poor are just as valid as the rich. God sent His only son for the salvation of the entire human race, Jews and Gentiles alike. Once more as a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. we all were given the responsibility to uphold justice, protect the innocent, stand up against immoral behaviors, and to love your fellow human being! All of which is the signpost of God’s wisdom, God’s morality, and God’s final covenant with the human race. Therefore, my brothers and sisters there is no room for people of any color or greed, religion or belief, and or status as mankind calculates it to be so blinded by the very idea of wealth, power and influence that they put into jeopardy the larger – remainder of peoples who simply do not benefit or share in any of the mega prosperity that so few enjoys. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against rich people in general, rather I truly believe that wealth for the sake of wealth, power for the sake of power, and greed for the sake of greed is a mortal sin; a plague thrust upon us humans. All too often our petty weakness does nothing more than to create more needless sin and unrest. Moreover, the resources of earth were given to mankind to protect not to destroy, or to use up, and or to profit from! There is no wisdom in any of those things. The son of King David could have been just like the Saudi Crown Prince – drunk on his wealth, ordering the murder of those he disagreed with. Solomon could have been just like Trump ignoring the laws which bind us together just for his own blinded greedy self-interest. But as the Bible tells us that here was a man who loved only one thing above all the wealth and power he wielded and that my friends was wisdom. For Solomon prayed to God for wisdom, he called out to God and was given the Holy Spirit which showed him truth and justice. In his own words, Solomon writes,

” 7:8 I preferred her to specters and thrones and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.” 

Wisdom 7:8 – New Revised Standard Version  (NRSV)

Because of this very idea, core belief, and righteous understanding, Solomon found the panicle of fair play and became a just ruler. I have always said if you want to rule, be the boss, then be fair and just and your leadership will stand the test of time. But that of the jealous malevolence of a tyrant; they will always be hated and loathed standing as an example of what not to do. In stark contrast, history reflects that King Solomon was the opposite of most of the powerful leaders we see today. In fact, Solomon further draws the distinction between the worth of wisdom over the monetary worth of gold and silver as he continues in the very next verse,

“7:9 Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.” 

Wisdom 7:9 – New Revised Standard Version  (NRSV)

For this reason, we have the words, “WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING”, written in all caps in the Edinburgh University Library. For once again my brothers and sisters, knowledge trumps greed and blind self-interest. That is also why people who live for power often times seek to subdue the scholarly and those who pursue wisdom. Men of the world will always be at war with themselves and the world at large, everything to them is a competition – always having to come in first place, for they shall never find peace of heart and the wisdom to be an effective force for good.

Modern Day Wisdom – Call to Action!

So I say to you my brothers and sisters, make no time for lies in your life. Make no room in your heart for part-time friends. Make no concessions for the deeds that you know are evil. Make truth your only reality. Make your words trusted among all you meet. Make your life’s journey full of love, laughter, and happiness and show mercy where needed! Show love in the face of hate and our creator shall love you back! Be the color of God – the color of everyone and be one with all creation. Make your stand with purity of heart and know you are always loved!

LET US PRAY!

The Happiness of the Just Man

Psalm 112 
Blessings of the Righteous

Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end, they will look in triumph on their foes.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Ant. 2 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they will be satisfied.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then please leave a comment below. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today.

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Brother Brian

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Miracles Are Real!

Miracles Happen!

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK II

Antiphon “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

Warning to Rich Oppressors

“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.” ~ James 5:1-3

A Modern Day Miracle

Senator Flake listening to a tearful confession of abuse

The morning of Friday, September 28, 2018, I woke up anxious. I was feeling this way because the night before I had watched the entire events of the testimony of Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh who both appeared before the United States Senate Justiciary Committee. Dr. Ford testified about the sexual misconduct of now Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh when they were in High School. Not surprising Judge Kavanaugh testified that those allegations were false. I watched how both carried themselves, the words they chose, and how they said them. After all, this is a job interview for one of the most powerful positions in our country and the manner to which a person testifies to the truth under penalty of perjury is important. In fact, that is partly what the Committee’s job is, to determine if Mr. Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice, and in addition, this is about character and credibility.  Prior to this Republicans have been quoted as saying they were going to “plow through this…”  their intent was clearly to rush the process and put Kavanaugh on the bench regardless! Thursday night I heard over and over by Democrats who simply wanted the FBI to investigate these allegations, to gather the facts, and seek out the truth. So Friday morning I woke knowing that the Republicans would try and vote to push the Kavanaugh confirmation to the floor of the Senate without seeking out the truth in a way the country could deal with, in a way that showed respect to Dr. Ford and all the other women who had come forward against Mr. Kavanaugh. I turned on the TV to see the proceedings and in my heart, I just felt so sad and upset. From my growing anxiety, I had to just let it out, so I said aloud very firmly as I watched Senator Grassley try as he might too make good on the Republican promise to just push it through moments before I had to leave to go to work, I said, “Brian just have faith. Miracles happen!”, then I turned off the TV and left still feeling defeated and anxious all rolled up into one. I got into my truck and turned on the radio to listen to what was happening but before I could get on the road I felt a deep need arise to say it again, so I did, I told myself, “You just have to have faith!” Then around noon, I received a text from a friend who told me that the Committee had voted the way I had expected, then I was informed about what Republican Senator Flake had done to get the FBI to investigate. ‘It was a miracle I thought.’

Sex assault survivor who confronted Jeff Flake speaks out – 
Maria Gallagher &  Ana Maria Archila

It wasn’t until I got home when I saw with my own eyes the first of the three real miracles that had transpired Friday in Washington D.C.  I saw and heard two women who stopped Senator Flake in the private elevator and poured out their hearts to him. One of them confessed for the first time that she was a survivor of this kind of abuse.  Mr. Flake to his credit stood there listening to them taking it all in. Then the second miracle caught on camera; the speech from Democrat Senator Coons that moved Republican Flake to the point he stood up and walked out to a private meeting room adjacent the committee room calling Coons out to discuss what the right actions should be. Then after 15 minutes, they came back in and Mr. Flake voted to push for an FBI investigation.

Miracle number three caught on TV was the President who ordered the FBI to investigate these allegations of Dr. Ford. His description of Dr. Ford was surprising and elegant. My faith that God would act, that something good would happen, the freight train stopped dead in its tracks was now reality before my very eyes! So my brothers and sisters, in these events we are seeing our God act, for the warning of Saint James is happening in real-time! The games of the rich and powerful are crumbling down as truth makes those who mislead out of a sense of entitlement are now weeping and wailing! Their treasures are rotting away before them and all they hold dear are wasting away! It is their lies and past corruption which now serve as evidence against them and will surely eat their flesh away like a wisp of flame turned into a roaring fire that burns all impurity into ash. Indeed, I tell you this is what we are seeing with this confirmation hearings as God moves to allow truth to prevail!

Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

“O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants, you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.” ~ Psalm 8:1-2 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Dear brothers and sisters, I truly say to you, what price do we pay when we ignore the truth? What price do we pay before God when we ignore civility, love, and dignity? In the words of Daniel; ‘Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are His.’ (Daniel 2:20)  So it is within this truth – for many years I have written here on Listening Faithfully what to look out for, I have talked about the pitfalls of our weak and earthly desires. But I think we now have a newer gospel, a newer truth for our more modern age, but make no mistake – current events are still linked to our ancient history with a deep common thread which is even more relevant today as history unfolds. That common thread is our faith – blind faith in the Lord, Our God which reigns in heaven forever and ever! Make no mistake my brothers and sisters, God is surely unchanged, remains pure, and forever loyal! Our God is a seeker of truth in all men and who holds us up to the standards of salvation and everlasting life with Him! In the words of Paul the Apostle ‘Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them.’ (Ephesians 5:6-7 So it is I say all these things to remind you all that God is a destroyer of lies, a punisher of the malcontented, troublemaker, sewer of mischief, agitator, dissident, and rebel who seeks to mislead, sell half-truths, sew heartache, and those who seek personal gain through others misfortune!  Please, I beg you, my brothers and sisters, to always remember that we are never victorious without God, we receive nothing in this life without first being given the blessing of God to have whatever it is or achievement that which we have sought out. We are not an entitled race, rather just the opposite – we are given forgiveness after first asking God to forgive us, it is God who makes the decision always, and it is God who decides to grant us His perfect grace! Despite the rich and powerful family you may have been born into, despite the riches your family may have gathered here on earth, and despite the elite school your privileged life allowed you to attend, we all are first subject to God and His moral and just truth! Again, let the words of Apostle
Paul speak loudly to your heart, ‘And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them.’ (Ephesians 5: 11). So it is my brothers and sisters that truth binds us to God, holds us accountable in all that we do for the entire length of our lives, which by no mistake is also governed by our loving, loyal, and perfect God. It is these truths which King Nebuchadnezzar tested when he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the flames. It was Jesus who came to save them as a shadow in the midst of that inferno which kept the three men safe. Through that event, it was the miracle we know as the Son of Man which made the powerful King bow down and praise God! (Daniel 3:8-30).  So it is the same God today – in our own time which softened the heart of Senator Flake, the same God that provoked the two women in the elevator to pronounce their truths, it is the same God in heaven that will surely guide all the FBI Agents to seek the truth of Dr. Ford! Yes… the mighty and powerful now tremble as the flames of a disastrous plan are blown against them by yes… the same God in heaven. Our divine God who plows through the sins of man to make way for all His children to come home with dignity and truth on our side and loud praise for God on our lips!  So I proudly proclaim today that miracles are real, they do happen, and if you look hard enough and open your eyes, heart, and mind you also will see the Son of Man working in the shadows. 

LET US PRAY!

The Song of the Three Jews

‘Let All Creatures Praise the Lord’ 
Daniel 3:57-88 (NRSVACE)

Ant: “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

57 ‘Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

64 ‘Bless the Lord, all rain and dew;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

66 Bless the Lord, fire, and heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

67 Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

68 Bless the Lord, dews and falling snow;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

69 Bless the Lord, ice, and cold;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant: “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

70 Bless the Lord, frosts, and snows;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

71 Bless the Lord, nights and days;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

72 Bless the Lord, light, and darkness;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

73 Bless the Lord, lightning, and clouds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

74 ‘Let the earth bless the Lord;
    let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

75 Bless the Lord, mountains, and hills;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

76 Bless the Lord, all that grows in the ground;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

77 Bless the Lord, you springs;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

78 Bless the Lord, seas, and rivers;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

79 Bless the Lord, you whales and all that swim in the waters;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

80 Bless the Lord, all birds of the air;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

81 Bless the Lord, all wild animals, and cattle;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

82 ‘Bless the Lord, all people on earth;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

83 Bless the Lord, O Israel;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

84 Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

85 Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

86 Bless the Lord, spirits, and souls of the righteous;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

87 Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

88 ‘Bless the Lord, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever. 

Ant:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

For he has rescued us from Hades and saved us from the power of death, and delivered us from the midst of the burning fiery furnace; from the midst of the fire, he has delivered us.

Anti:  “Come, worship the Lord, for we are his people, the flock he shepherds,  alleluia.”

Special Prayer for Mrs. Elan LeDay – My Good Friend, Fellow Teacher, and Sister in Christ

Prayer for Health & Healing:

Dear Lord, grace is yours alone, it is grace you bestow upon those who ask, and it is your grace which is at the heart of your perfect agape love. Today, I pray a special prayer for a woman who has spent a lifetime listening to you, clinging on every word, and who has spread your light throughout this world bringing joy to all she meets. Today, O’ Lord, I come before you with a host of friends and relatives of Mrs. Elan LeDay who currently suffers from asthma which steals away her breath. We humbly ask you to give her breath back and also ask for you to heal her ailing body of 81 years young and increase her joy, extending your grace, and infusing into her heart the power of your presence so as to allow her to move without pain as she had in years past.

Dear Father in heaven, Mrs. Elan LaDay has been a good and loyal friend, (too many),  she has been a good teacher and support, (too many), and most of all a wonderful Sister in Christ who has lead thousands of your children to your light. Mrs. Elan LaDay has been a marvelous doer of you word urging others to not just be hearers only; filling them with the truth and morality which only comes from your love and wisdom. We all ask for your hand to touch her heart Lord, to chase away her physical pain and healing her with your perfect grace and love.

O’ Lord, my Savoir you are ever faithful – ever true. It is your promise of an incorruptible body – an everlasting gown of white made from a holy thread of your grace and love. I ask dear Lord for you to wrap this gown of blinding light around Mrs. Elan LaDay – your daughter of the light – and hold her hand with your preserving touch taking upon yourself her troubles and worries – sickness, weakness, and distress carrying away her sorrows and pain. Dear Lord, we all thank you for loving Mrs. Elan LeDay and all her sisters and brothers in Christ so much that you sacrificed yourself on the cross which gave the world a marvelous hope in an everlasting life with you in heaven forever. With sincerity and fidelity we, your children acknowledge our dependence upon you. So once more we thank you for listening to our many cries and prayers today on behalf of Mrs. Elan LeDay. We ask this in Jesus’ name? Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then please leave a comment below. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

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LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Brother Brian

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Exhortation to Uprightness

Walking in the Ways of Righteousness

TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

Antiphon “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

FIRST READING

THE WICKED SAY:   12  “Let us lie in wait for the righteous one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.” Wisdom 2:12 (New American Bible -Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Wisdom of Solomon is a book every person should carry with them making it easy to grab, in order to consult and to discern. It specifically should be the code all Judges and all lawmakers before acting or asking questions of others uprightness. If Jesus was here today – in person I tell you, my brothers and sisters, He would not have approved of how our government is being run or those who run it. Jesus would not approve of this rush to power attitude some of our Senators have conducted themselves with as it relates to the nomination of Judge Cavanaugh especially after they refused to allow Former President Obama’s nominee to even get a hearing. Hypocrisy is what Jesus would call it, “Hypocrites all!”, would be his cry! Why do I say that you ask? Well let’s look at what people in power would do if they did consult The Wisdom of Solomon; 1:1 “Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord in goodness and seek Him with sincerity of heart;” ~ (NABRE). If our rulers did this then every day their words and actions would reflect their love for the people, all the people. But sadly for the Republican Judiciary, their words and actions do not reflect any kind of love for anyone but their own self-serving interest. So let them be warned – their hypocrisy is in full view of the nation, their double standards are on full display before the Lord! For how they sound like the wicked in our first reading, (Wisdom 2:12) For I tell you, my brothers and sisters, a heart that is filled with love and, “For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit and will leave foolish thoughts behind, and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness.”(Wisdom 1:5 ~ NABRE). Based solely on those two scriptural verses I have shown how the Republican Judiciary is unfit to be in office themselves and the only good they do will be for themselves, and ill for the country!  This is a modern-day example of the same cancer that Jesus Himself talked about two thousand years ago in a parable of the wicked tenants, (Mark 12:1-12 ~ NABRE) So I ask, how are we any different as human beings who receive everything from God and who are currently simply tenants? For those who rule unjustly and with unrighteousness are no different than the scribes Jesus warned us about as well. (Mark 12:38-40). 

Reflection Question:

Think deep my brothers and sisters, what does this say about all of us today? How have we improved our standing with God if we still allow hypocrites to serve as our lawmakers, Presidents, Judges, or even our Justices when they themselves are corrupt and sew wickedness? 

Walking in Uprightness

6For wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she does not acquit blasphemous lips; Because God is the witness of the inmost self and the sure observer of the heart and the listener to the tongue.” ~ Wisdom 1:6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

To walk in the ways of the Lord should be everyone’s first goal in life! Why? Because, when you walk with God you no longer seek to gratify self-serving motivations. Instead one seeks to glorify God with every action bring good into the world that the receiver may have outside your hearing had prayed for and thus God sent you. In this, amazement fills the heart of the receiver and galvanized their soul with truth and the knowledge handing them proof that God is listening faithfully to every word, plea, and cry we utter in prayer. In being sent as a messenger of God we sew love, peace, and come to the defense of the weak or the sick, many times unknowingly of Gods greater plan. When we give all praise to God for acts of kindness what we ourselves physically do for others God rewards us faithfully for doing. For it is true what is written, “Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all things together knows what is said, therefore those who utter unrighteous things will not escape notice, and justice when it punishes, will not pass them by.” ~ Wisdom 1:7-8 (NABRE). Therefore, do not be fooled into unjust acts which bear evil and wickedness in your own lives, do not be foolish in mind or spirit, and do not allow others to bully you into doing things that you know are morally wrong; for those actions will be punished all the same. Instead, walk in uprightness and receive everlasting life with God. For the upright know the power of prayer, they know the majesty of a pure heart, and they recognize the value of wisdom which is, “a reflection of eternal light, a spotless minor of the working of God and image of His goodness.” (Wisdom 7:26). Finally, when you walk with God sweat Wisdom, “Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things, in every generation, she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.” (Wisdom 7:27-28).

LET US PRAY!

The Lord Upholds My Life

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?” PSALM 54

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

54 O God, save me by your name and vindicate me by your might.

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

With a freewill offering, I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Ant. “Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us, alleluia.”

Special Prayer for Dr. K. – My God Mother

Prayer for Health & Healing: 

Dear Lord, Today a special prayer I offer for one of your most faithful of servants, Dr. Kallay, who constantly finds ways to uplift the spirits of those around her and who is steadfast in the defense of those who cannot defend themselves when troubled times come knocking. I plead with you O’Lord that in her time of need you hear this cry of all those who pray with me in this simple but most urgent of prayers. 

Dear Father, your word promises healing for your children of which Dr. Kallay is one, therefore I come before you and humbly ask with a sincere and pure heart that you remember your promise of healing. That you touch her heart and heal her ailments allowing her physical pain to be gone and her physical heart be restored to a healthy beat. 

For you know that Dr. Kallay’s body is one of your grandest and gloriest of temples and all her days she has filled it with the workings of the Holy Spirit. It is in your wisdom I cry out for your hand to restore this temple allowing her good deeds to continue and to flourish unimpeded without pain restoring her to good health. For you know her effectiveness, her love, her life’s’ work better than anyone who may pray these prayers on her behalf. I ask these things in Jesus’s name. Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

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LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
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Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Brother Brian

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

FAITH & WORKS

WORDS VERSE ACTIONS

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

CANTICLE OF MARY – Antiphon “I say to you: there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”

14-17 “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” ~ James 2:14-18 Message Bible (MSG)

Reflection Question:

“Have you ever confessed how much of a Christian you are and how much you love God but then treat someone close to you badly, ignoring their real needs because someone else told you to do so? Better yet… have you ever confessed your love and friendship for someone close to you but never truly defend them with both words and actions as Christ has done for you?” [Hint: God gave us all free will for a reason.]

Dear brothers and sisters, I say to you that God sees everything you do and hears everything you say. There are plenty of people in this world that have the gift of the tongue – they sound really really convincing and say all the right things when it counts, but their actions do not match their words. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who sorta sound OK but their actions are a great inspiration as they make sure they are in all the right places being seen by all the influential people but build detractors because of the harsh criticisms they say in private. Another example is those fake friends and lovers who will say they love you but are never around when times get tough. To all these sorts of people I ask, “What good is there in that?” “How are words without actions working for you?” “How are actions with harsh criticisms making a real difference?” To those fake friends – “How is being around only in the times of plenty emulating Christ?” 

Last week was centered on these words put into action, “Peace I leave with you…and “The Spirit of fear, God, therefore, did not give to humanity”. In that post, we discover how mankind is the catalyst for sewing the seeds of fear into each other for the purpose of convincing or controlling the situation or circumstances which arise from those actions and how God plays no part in the spreading of fear but yet is the light of peace in the world. The same applies here in this post… If our spirit is true and pure the words which come forth from our mouths will be from God as well as our actions emulate God. Words and actions together that glorify God and which overcomes this world of sinners is our mission plane and simple. So, I say to you my brothers and sisters, make sure every word you say is pure and filled with compassion and love. Likewise, make sure every action is in-line with God and His will, guiding your actions and emulating the love and peace which only comes from God above.

God-Talk with God-Actions Reflection

“Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Modern Egnlish Version (MEV).

So… where did Paul choose to start with Timothy? In truth, I really like this epistle because it highlights so much of what every person is called to do not just Ministers and Priests, but also the laity – that being you and me. There is so much wisdom in Paul’s words, so much love in how he approaches the many duties of discipleship, and truly you can see the father/son relationship they shared. Beyond the greeting – “To Timothy, my true son in the faith…” (1 Timothy 1:2) to the warnings of false doctrine… (1 Timothy 1:3-20) Paul starts his instruction with the very topic Jesus had started with His very own disciples… that of  Prayer. That is the main reason I decided in my own life to begin a ritual of prayer using the Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours.  It was Paul’s deep desire that all people pray everywhere, clearing our minds of our earthly troubles and to open our hearts without contentiousness. (1 Timothy 2:8). The other thing which Paul does here is expresses Jesus’s deepest desires; being that all people be saved and come to the wisdom and knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, sounding good, talking the talk, and or showing up with a deep self-serving motive does you and those who follow no good because an act disguised as faith is no faith at all and therefore dead in the eyes of God. (1 Timothy 1:5-7) For true teachers are most concerned with devoting their entire life to the truth, wisdom, and shares their faith with both God-talk and God-actions with fidelity. This is a lifelong pursuit as God allows diversity to teach and mold you into the most perfect version of yourself possible. But this can not happen without any effort or thought to one’s own sins and the most heartfelt supplications lifted up with sincerity confessing to yourself and to God as Paul did in writing to Timothy that; “I accept that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)  So my brothers and sisters, the power God gave us, (2 Timothy 1:7), is rooted in the knowledge of what Christ has done for us and because of His sacrifice we love Him;  1 ” I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication, Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.”(Psalm 116:1-2). Paul expresses that through his supplications of being a sinner Jesus gave him mercy. (1 Timothy 1:15) Again, my brothers and sisters just as lip service doesn’t work with us humans it doesn’t work with God either. Thus, prayer with sincerity is what cleanses the soul and makes ready for those God-Actions. The fulfillment of being in harmony with God allows the obedient heart to show all patience, love, and mercy with each other which are some of the most wonderful fruits of the Holy Spirit. Beyond this pray earnestly for one another; even those people whom you do not like. For if you do not what good is there in that? Again, I say to you my brothers and sisters do not be as those who have plenty and are lost and thus act and sound pious. Rather lack nothing in your hearts… pick up your cross and follow Jesus exhibiting your faith with both your words and actions! (Mark 9:22).

Reflection Question: “Do you think that you will be strong enough to answer Jesus when He comes to you and asks, ‘Who do you say that I am?'”

LET US PRAY!

Thanksgiving to God Who Saves from Death

Psalm 116

Beseech the Lord


1  I love the Lord, who listened to my voice in supplication,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

2 Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

3 I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

4 Then I called on the name of the Lord, “O Lord, save my life!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

5 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yes, our God is merciful.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

6 The Lord protects the simple; I was helpless, but he saved me.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

7 Return, my soul, to your rest; the Lord has been very good to you.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

8 For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

9 I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

10 kept faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars!”

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

12 How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me?

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

13 I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

14 will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

15 Dear in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his devoted.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

16 Lord, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

17 I will offer a sacrifice of praise and call on the name of the Lord.

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

Ant. “I say to you; there is great rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” Canticle of Mary – Divine Office

19 In the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

Remember to also pray for all the victims of Sexual Misconduct within the Catholic Church, we all pray: (Month of September 2018) The Prays of Contrition & Reconciliation.

Special Prayer for Fr. Mike 
December 7, 1946 – September 9, 2018

The Ascension community thanks God for the time that Father Michael J. Mandala S.J gave as a beloved guest minister at Ascension Catholic Church… he will be sorely missed. We Celebrate his life of service to Our Lord and his ministry of giving on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church 6657 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood CA 90028.

Ant. I became all things to all men, that all might find salvation. Common of Pastors – Canticle of Mary – For a Priest.

5 “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. ~ 1 Peter 5:1-4 (NIV)

REST IN PEACE AND LOVE – FR. MIKE

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

Powered by Podbean

Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Peace I Leave With You…

The Spirit of Fear, God, therefore, did not give to humanity.

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK II

CANTICLE OF MARY – Antiphon “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them, says the Lord.”

7 “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Dear brothers and sisters, listen for the truth in these trying times of which we live is under attack at every turn! You only have to watch the nightly news channels, the doom, and gloom reporting about the lies and misconduct of those in power, people who have decided to take it upon themselves to commit horrible crimes leaving in their wake pain and heartbreak. But, I would like to reassure you that there is still a lot of good news to be had in all of this daily chaos. Simply put God did not put into our hearts the spirit of fear, no… flawed people do that. They do it in their words laced with the selfish intent of maintaining control over those around them. They do it in their selfish actions and unreasonable deep-seated misguided beliefs that are transferred from one to another like a plague. I have known people who have prided themselves on the fact that they were hard to get along with; I used my nice voice on that comment. Moreover, I have known people that have boasted… yes you heard me… boasted that they can be argumentative, pushy, rude, and admit they have a bad attitude and that they don’t care who they hurt. They wear these bad attitudes like a badge – a badge of honor! Remember my brothers and sisters, “God gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)  

Practical Application

In reflection, I think we all need to get back to the basics by looking at some examples that inhabit our sinful world for the purpose of striking fear into our hearts! From there I promise to serve as a guide in looking at ways we can overcome our individual personal fears which plague us daily; finding the right source –  knowing where to turn for relief and rejuvenation.

World-Wide Societal Examples of Fear Driven Agendas

Slavery of all kinds around the world, racism, sexism, as well as economic, religious, and cultural oppression. The idea that human beings allow the spread of lies, resentments, crushed and fearful hearts, as well as the condoning of acts of social deviance, in all do not come from God, but rather the human race.

Reflection Question:

“Have you ever been put into a situation that put real debilitating fear into your heart? Was that situation manifested by a flawed human being or by our loving, forgiving, perfect God?”

Think about this for a moment before answering. Take time to examine it fully. I would wager that 100% of the time it was a man-made dangerous and careless action that snowballed out of control. Perhaps it was an accident or maybe due to unforeseen events. Then look around you in your town, city, neighborhood, and state and if you look deep enough for every so-called innocent accident created by man there are at least a hundred events that affect your life which had been planned and executed diligently and deliberately with fidelity over a long period of time that does real evil in our world. Crimes which tear families apart, suppress fathers rights, discriminate against the weakest and most vulnerable of us, that being our children. Actions by people in power at all levels and even by individuals who seek to maintain control over their children and make a convincing argument which leads to alienation of the child’s biological father or mother. I am talking about things in this world so evil that it causes permanent damage to our hearts, minds, and souls. All of which was not condoned or given to us by God, but perpetrated unto us by members of our own human race! From start to finish evil allowed to live in our world by the heinous actions of yes… our own brothers and sisters! Done with malice and purpose to drive fear into those who only see the effects and are innocent of the long-range plan. But take heart my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, for it is this fear mongering which kicks up the fears from within, stirs the insecurities passed down by family members, or maybe close friends, certainly the nightly news can wear thin on our sensibilities. Ignoring them, using sarcasm, comedy,  or worse in the attempts of shutting them out only puts a band-aid on your problems at that singular moment. These fears are real and valid and stock us during the day and at night when we are awake and in our dreams.  Know that the fears of our world if allowed into our hearts take hold and grow becoming your new unwanted reality and begin to shape your life in ways you could have never possibly imagined. It is these fears which hold you back and until you find a way to free yourself from those fears will then and only then your eyes be truly opened. (John 8:32)   Now, think about your life and ask yourself were did these fears come from then when you arrive at the true answer do not sit back and do nothing, but rather give them all to God. For I tell you from experience that God gave us power and love and self-control. The power to stand up and let our true feelings be heard loud and clear. God gave us love so that the message we preach is given with sincerity and kindness which allows for forgiveness and reconciliation.  Self-control to know when to talk and when to be quiet, when to help and when to be still.

Turn To God!

4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” ~ Psalm 23:4 Modern English Version (MEV)

In the depths of your fear know that God protects you, God comforts you, and God walks by your side. In that what reason is there to fear? When you think your parents, brothers or sisters, husband or wife or a friend may not support you, or when you think you will be deserted know that God is with you and in that knowledge you are never deserted, left alone, unprotected, and when a person slams a door closed in your face God is there ready to open a new and better door! What is there to fear in the face of such unjudging love? I can’t tell you how many times in my life people have closed the door in my face without rim or reason. I can’t begin to express the uncertainty of not having any income, or even worse yet to have money taken from my bank account because falsehoods had been propagated against me which left me almost without a home, car or food and without any recourse to spend precious time with my only child. Imagine the evil it takes to tell a parent they can never see their only child at no fault to that parent! What gets me is the unfairness of it all!  On the other hand, God never left me and put good people in my life which took wonderful care of me. That my brothers and sisters is the very nature of our God, always walking by our side bringing us to glorious victory! Jesus says we must have confidence in our faith, and God has given us many perfect examples that are powerful and tangible so that we might have that confidence in Him. (Mark 5:36)   When life gets you down don’t allow pity to fill your heart rather say this instead; 13 “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)   Say it with confidence, my brothers and sisters, because I testify before you that it is true, God does indeed hold your hand and walks with you through all kinds of mayhem, hoopla, and chaos! Finding comfort in the Lord is the starting point for reclaiming the real you, the one He is molding into a more perfect version! (Jeremiah 29:11)

LET US PRAY!

MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR – Psalm 27

Psalm of David

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Ant. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 MEV

Remember to also pray for all the victims of Sexual Misconduct within the Catholic Church, we all pray: (Month of September 2018) The Prays of Contrition & Reconciliation.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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LISTENING FAITHFULLY PODCAST W/BROTHER BRIAN

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

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7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
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Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Disregarding The Bread of Life – Secular Humanism Series

The Dangers of Nonbelief!

Twenty-First Week of Ordinary Time

48-51 “I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.” ~ John 6:48-51  The Message (MSG)

Convenient Absentmindedness pt. 2

Last week I wrote, “We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from.” (Brother Brian Disregarding God, August 21, 2018) I took aim at what I feel is a great and terrible evil we are fighting in our everyday lives. I gave examples of how humanity is guilty of being collectively unmindful. I asked, “Is anyone listening?” This week I give more examples of how Secular Humanism pulls us away from God and makes us blind to God’s offer of everlasting life and instead living your life on a ledge of disaster!

Secular Humanism says, “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”, just as the Jews had begun asking in, (John 6:52 MSG). This rhetoric sowed disbelief because man inherently fears what he does not understand but that is only a small part of what drove the mass disbelief. Even the disciples had a hard time with this one, proclaiming, 60 ” this teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” (John 6:60 NRSVACE).

Thinking Deeper: “Why is it that this specific teaching sowed so much disbelief?”

Perhaps, my brothers and sisters, we like children take things too literally! Maybe, we think so basically as to misunderstand what Jesus said? Surely it is easy to hear one thing and interpret it in a completely different way than what it was meant to mean. On this point how many times have you intently listened to the rhetoric other people say? How many times do you take them at face value or doze off not really hearing their overall message?  Worse yet picking and choosing the parts you like and discarding the rest? (We will circle back around for more on this point.) Notice that those who left John calls them disciples indicating that they all had once believed and followed but had lost their way or maybe simply had grown tired and so they simply wandered off to take up their old lives. Maybe, the idea of being the bread of life; the most staple food source at that time period referencing the bread (manna) that fell from heaven when the Jews were escaping Egypt was simply too much for those one-time disciples of Jesus to bear? Whatever the reason, modern secular humanism supports the falling away from Christ, enforces the disbelief in God, blurs our vision so much so we do not know where then to look for salvation. Jesus made many hard to understand and follow statements but in each one of them at the root, He was calling us to Himself so that we would have the hope of everlasting life. Secular Humanism, however empowering will not and can not save your immortal soul because man cannot save himself apart from God.

On the other hand, maybe those lost disciples did indeed get Jesus’s “I AM” proclamation of everlasting life! Maybe they had also heard Jesus’s teaching on marriage, his view of both husband and wife needing to be equal partners; which flies in the face of both Mid-Eastern culture and practices going back thousands of years. I have to admit this scripture found in (Ephesians 5:21-32), is a blow to the male ego in almost every culture around the world. But simply put that is our Lord and Savoir, He was not afraid to say it as it was or needed to be. Maybe His message was too harsh for some, but whoever said everlasting life was going to be easy to attain?

Thinking Deeper: “How does being subordinate to another person in marriage mix with the message of disregarding the bread of life?”

21 “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” Ephesians 5:21 The Message (MSG)

Many of Jesus’s “I AM” proclamations were intended to shock, to stir up, to challenge the way we see this secular world. But mainly to wake us up to what is coming upon His return. But more to the point we will not be awake if we as a human race do not first get with the program of submission and being subordinate to each other first. Oh yes… I said the words that our own egos can’t stand to hear or even confront, (submission and subordinate), without saying the word love. Truth be told many people in their marriages treat their spouses horribly and try to assume the role of the boss in the relationship! After all our secular world is all about the wants of the individual right? How then can you possibly be submissive to your spouse if your mentality is all about the preservation of ‘SELF’ wants? In this listening and communicating becomes the last priority then lies and deceit creeps in to fill the gap of being submissive and subordinate i.e. loyal to your spouse! If then love is not associated to any of this then marriage is not rewarding and thus tiresome and labor intensive. You will my brothers and sisters lose the love you so crave from the world, blinded so severely that you do not know where to look for salvation! Therefore, to love and honor your spouse and children is both the greatest gift and redeeming qualities that emulate God! Think of it this way, submissive love is being God-like! So Yes… “He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28 NABRE) For Jesus so loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her – (the collective of mankind as His Holy Church!) 

Putting It All Together: In short my brothers and sisters, to be loyal, faithful, living your life honoring your relationships with fidelity and love is one of the best ways any human-being has available to honor and emulate God.  To live for your own selfish means then is the same as being that group of disciples who got bored and wandered off and consciously or unconsciously ended up emulating secular humanist. When we fall into this secular mold we become lost and blind not knowing or seeing where to turn for salvation and/ or redemption. Sadly in that state, we become the property of Satan and headed for damnation. But when we honor our relationships we emulate the Christian Family Jesus had wanted us to live. We, in turn, serve God and are headed for His everlasting grace and mercy. Believing in Jesus, honoring your personal relationship with Him is, in turn, mastering the concept of eating and drinking his body and blood which is traditionally in the Church known as the Eucharist. For spiritually Jesus lives within each one of us and loves all of the human race. He is always calling to us to be that better person, He is always reaching out to intervene and protect us which is something this secular world cannot do. In the end my brothers and sisters, the choice is yours to make. Which interpretation of living in this secular world will you choose? Who do you want to emulate?

LET US PRAY

PRAYER FOR LOVING OTHERS

From: Catholic Doors.com

Lord, Make me an instrument of your love. 
May I see each circumstance in my life 
as an opportunity to grow in your love.
May I see my environment 
as a place to grow in your love.

May I then take this love to other people…

When I am tempted to become impatient, 
help me to be patient. 

When I am tempted to become unkind, 
help me to be kind. 

When I am tempted to become jealous, 
help me to be tolerant. 

When I am tempted to become boastful or proud, 
help me to give you the glory. 

When I am tempted to be rude or selfish, 
give me the gift of gentleness. 

When I am tempted to take offense, 
help me to let go. 

When I am tempted to become angry with someone, 
give me the gift of forgiveness. 

When I am tempted to become resentful, 
give me your power to love. 

Lord, grant that I may take no pleasure in criticizing others, 
but that I may see good in them, as you do.

When I begin to concentrate on the faults and failures of others, 
give me the courage to praise their accomplishments. 

Help me be loyal to those you give me to love. 

Help me to believe in them, 
even when they do not believe in themselves. 
To expect the best from them, 
but accept the best they can give. 
May I always defend them, 
as you always defend me. 

All gifts and powers come from you. 
All will come to an end. 
With one important exception, the gift of love!!! 
Lord, when I was a child, 
I thought like a child, 
I acted like a child, 
and I reasoned like a child. 
Now that I have become an adult,
I release my childish ways.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

NOW GO SPREAD THE WORD!!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

REAFFIRMING OUR MISSION

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

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LIVE STREAM

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11:30am – Mass
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6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Disregarding God – Secular Humanism Series

The Consequences of Conscious Decision

Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:18 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 

Convenient Absentmindedness

We have become unmindful of the one who bore us, the one who gave us life, and forgot where we have come from. A strong statement right? But is anyone in this secular world hearing this message? This question I think is a deeper question which is even more impactful. Free will, my brothers, and sisters is a two-edged sword that leads to two completely different versions of humanity.  On one hand, we could be in compliance with God at every turn, worship Him and praise Him every day of our lives and be given everlasting life for doing so. Practicing our faith in Him with fidelity and joyful obedience! But that world of worship is not what we are living today. Instead, we are living in a secular world filled with sin at every turn, where we are tempted by Satan within every thought we think, and our hearts have been soiled because of our own corrupt decisions and absolute compliance to sin itself. So I ask again, is anyone listening?

On a global scale, we see the needless deaths of children in the United States, according to a January 2018 Health Affairs report, “The United States has the worst child mortality rate among a group of 20 wealthy democracies…” Furthermore, the report states, “And despite an overall improvement in the child mortality rate in the U.S. and those 19 other countries, the U.S. has persistently outpaced those nations in that grim metric for decades.” Reported by Dan Mangan – CNBC Health and Science.

Reported by BBC on August 13, 2018, in Yemen, “Local authorities say, 51 people including 40 children were killed in the air strike on a bus traveling in Dahyan, in Saada province, last Thursday. Most of the children were aged between 10 and 13.” This airstrike came from the Saudi-led Coalition rebel-held north. There are pictures online where the friends of these victims literally are digging the physical graves for those who had died.

Also reported by BBC this past April 2018, “At least 70 people have died in a suspected chemical attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, rescuers and medics say. Volunteer rescue force the White Helmets tweeted graphic images showing several bodies in basements. It said the deaths were likely to rise.”

More Than 300 ‘Predator Priests’ In Pennsylvania Accused Of Abuse | Video Link – NBC Nightly News

Once again in the United States, a probe led by Attorney General Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania found, “There were hundreds of “predator priests” sexually abusing more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania for decades — all while being shielded by Roman Catholic Church leaders, according to a scathing grand jury report released Tuesday. The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal,” the report states, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing: They hid it all.”  Reported by Tamar Lapin of the New York Post, (August 14, 2018)

Effects of Secular Humanism

21 “They made me jealous with what is no god, provoked me with their idols. So I will make them jealous with what is no people, provoke them with a foolish nation.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:21 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE) 

It would be easy to say that the devil made this all happen, but the truth of it is what is reported on the nightly news is more damning and more human. In a secular age, God is replaced by our own desires, humanity is guilty of making a morally horrifying collective conscious decision to replace God with the ego-driven “Self”! Driven by the need to function as an individual satisfying our own “Self-interest”. The definition of secular humanism plan and simple, “Secular Humanism is an attempt to function as a civilized society with the exclusion of God and His moral principles.” found online at AllAboutPhilosophy.org

Again, it would be to easy to blame the founders of the Secular Movement because each person has free will, the ability to make up one’s own mind and beliefs and thus to face one’s own consequences for those actions. With that said, to abandon God is a “Self – damning” conscious decision. In that sense when we hear the snake oil salesman say, “What if I told you that you could be completely in control of your own life without being shackled by any religion, law, realm or beings imagined to transcend ordinary experience?” I ask you my brothers, and sisters, doesn’t that sound like a modern version of what Lucifer said to Eve in the garden of Eden?1′Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ ~ Genesis 3:1-5 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Is anyone listening, seeing, hearing, or feeling the world is not right? I presume this was much like how the world was during Noah’s age before the flood! In both instances, God punished mankind for lapsing into ungodliness. In each case in history where a group of people has forgotten God things don’t pan out well for those humans! Remember this if nothing else – we are all guilty of forgetting God and yet God has never forgotten about us! Jesus from day one has been calling out to each one of us saying, “Come and follow me.” The real question is… will you?

Let Us Pray

Prayer by: Kimberly J. Edwards – Catholic Online

May I Remember

God,
I find myself heartbroken by
the hatred I see all around me. 
So I ask that I may never forget :

That behind every brown, yellow, red, black or white face, there is a family like mine, and souls trying to live in a world that often tells them they are less than or unworthy, aliens that are not wanted. May I never lose sight of the soul behind each face, the souls of Your children.

That behind every homeless person there is a story that may be so familiar to me as to be uncomfortable. May I never be comfortable until there are no more homeless faces seeking a kind word, or an opportunity, or just a smile and a little love.

That I never forget the truth of Your gospel, that storing up riches here, withholding from others out of some misguided sense of superiority or right to judge, that treating any one of Your children as unworthy to come to Your table is not the Christian love You came to teach us.

That I count as treasures the friends who stand beside me, encouraging, loving, supporting and accepting me, through word and deed. Sometimes just being available, sometimes through prayer, sometimes through the sacrifice of their own. Let me never take them for granted, and always see them as the blessing You meant them to be, and do my very best to love them as well as they have loved me.

That when I see actions or hear words that mean harm to the ‘other’, to never stand still or be quiet in the face of injustice, cruelty, racism, to call out behavior that seeks to harm my neighbor. To always see in each face the potential of a child of God no matter how I might disagree with their manner or actions. To protect those who are being shunned, criticized, or even threatened because they are considered different.

That I appreciate the love and devotion shown to me by my pets. The unconditional adoration that radiates from the soul of our animal friends is surely sent from heaven, through souls that speak a different language, one of complete acceptance. It is no small thing for an animal to love a person. May I always remember those gone on to You to await our reunion.

That I see and cherish each small blessing, from a spontaneous hug given by a grandchild, to a moment of clarity when I realize that my grown children love and understand me despite my obvious imperfections, a gesture or look from a husband who shows devotion and commitment each day, an unexpected phone call or card from someone reminding me that I matter, to the sunset, birdsong, moonlight, joyous bark or laugh that sweeten my life.

That I never find myself so blinded by my illness or difficulties that I forget those around me, and around the world, who hurt, hunger, shiver, grieve and strive for rights denied them by oppression and greed.

That I take every opportunity to let the wonders of Your creation heal and uplift me. Knowing that something as simple as sunshine on my face, sand, and waves under my feet, regal treetop canopies, a bird in flight or the beauty of horses galloping across a field can be proof of Your love for Your world.

That I always, always remember that color, creed, faith or none, accent, sex, age, language, dress, orientation, hairstyle, home, or financial status has not one thing to do with the worth of anyone to You and to follow your example.

That above all the chaos and upset in this world, You gave us the greatest Gift the world has ever known. You loved us then, and love us now, that much. May we all continue to grow and journey toward the greatest we can be for You, and because of You.

That I do all I can to give my children an grandchildren an example of the power and light of Your love in my life. That I always do my very best to be a light for Your world, to honor and respect each individual I meet, no matter our differences. That I grow into the person You wish me to be. 

Amen.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember you’re never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

Listening Faithfully Podcast w/Brother Brian

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

Nothing Is As It Seems!

The Trap of Human Perception

22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts?” ~ Luke 5:22 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Insight on Perception: Know that the Lord Our God is perfect in His understanding of every person who has ever lived on this earth, every thought that we have ever entertained and those which we have dismissed, every reason behind every decision whether justified or not, and every impulse that leads to each action or none action we take or do not take. In this God is the only true judge of our actions. Hence Jesus warns against judging others; (Luke 6:37 & Matthew 7:1). Our perceptions are not like Gods, and therefore inherently flawed which leads us into making some of the greatest mistakes, misjudgments, and emotional betrayals.

Guiding Questions: How many times have you or your actions not been fully understood by friends or family? How many times have you misjudged someone you care about and accused them of something which later is proven false?

Our Perceptions Do Not Always Lead Us to Truth!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I truly say unto you do not pretend to know what your brother or sister is thinking and do not fool yourselves into the assumption that you know what is in another person’s heart! Actions they have taken only speak of a specific set of circumstances which are between God and that person (Job 19:4-5). As Christians, we can only do our best to be a support and serve as a reminder of God’s perfect love without judgment or condemnation.  When we allow ourselves to perceive the reason why a friend or family member has done something, we fall to speculation that allows in the seed of distrust and sews deep into our hearts contempt for that individual. I know all to well the guessing game which ensues, the acceptance of falsehoods because they seemingly fit into the puzzle whether they truly do or not, and the outright rejection of any explanation that is offered especially if in our own mind it does not match what we have judged to be the truth do-to personal biases. I say unto you, my brothers and sisters, only God knows what is in our hearts, minds, and soul, and in this truth, judgment is His alone! Therefore, when you are tempted to accuse, remember that this is not from God and is not in our jurisdiction rather remember that it is the game of Satan to trick you into the mindset of division for the sole purpose of sowing discord. Resist from telling your brother or sister in Christ that he/she is not a true Christian, again this is a judgment and God will judge you as you have judged them with the same measuring stick of intolerance and prejudice (James 4:12). Do not be that scribe or that Pharisee who through falsehoods allows doubt into your heart rather trust in the Lord that all things are in his purview and be like the Saints who reach out anyway, loves anyway, believes with an open heart trusting in friendship, and practicing the wisdom of nonjudgment and compassion.

Let Us Pray

Posted by: Mark and Jill Herringshaw – Pray Plain and Simple

Father,

I lay down my self-imposed responsibility of judging the heart, motives, intentions, and actions of the people in my life. You have instructed me in this, and I will obey you. I remove the back-breaking burden of being the judge, and I repent of the pride in my life that is evident every time I have a critical, judgemental thought. You have commanded me to walk in forgiveness and love, to rise above offenses, and to walk humbly with you. I choose that road today. I submit my thoughts to you – each and every one – for approval, choosing loving thoughts and not condemning thoughts, compassionate thoughts not critical thoughts. And kindly remove the log in my eye. Thank you.

In Jesus’ Name and with the help of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

A Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome! Come and be part a of the discussion!

Listening Faithfully Podcast w/Brother Brian

powered by Podbean

Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

“Let’s grow together as children of God”

photo

Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

What Truth Sounds Like!

Human Life Is Scared

10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 New International Version (NIV)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I can no longer stay silent on this week’s events of the Trump Administration who simply cannot stop telling lies from one top official to another.  These lies are not just lies which simply have no effect rather they have a catastrophic effect upon hundreds of families and thousands of children who are seeking a better life in America as many hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have fled their native lands for hundreds of years have done to find a better life here in America. Life is sacred! Respect for life is one of the cornerstones of Christianity and has been from the very start! Christians show this respect for life in many different ways from standing up to stopping capital punishment, War, abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and defending the Fifth Commandment, “You Shall Not Kill”, all wrapped in the deep concern for the respect of human health.

“We are wonderfully made-body, mind, and soul. When any aspect of our being is hurting, we cannot be whole, the way God made us. As individuals we must respect our own health, avoiding all kinds of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.” ~ The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth 3rd Edition, (2013) Chapter 28: Respecting Life.

In this, we see that God is all about human health; mind, body, and soul. So the children who are in distress this week, these many past months since Trumps, ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ policy at the border has been in effect has once again gone against our nations deepest core moral boundaries, the respect for health, respect for life, and the greatest of commandments; to love our God and our neighbor as we love ourselves.

ASYLUM SEEKERS

Is it possible to be strong on immigration? Yes! Can we as a nation show compassion at the same time? Absolutely! But what I find most offensive is that this policy now made worse this past Wednesday with Trump’s Unlawful Executive Order, that has been at its core meant to detour people from coming here by separating them from their children! This has been their design from the start! My question to Trump and his family and to the top officials who can’t stop lying is; “Have you ever been unjustly separated from your child by the state?” I have had that happen to me personally through lies told in Family Court. I know what people go through when one biological parent alienates the other then gets the child to believe the lies. More on Parental Alienation – Click Here.

But what makes this policy of Trumps so horrific is the mental health of those children who have been taken from their parents, moved to various places across our nation. Many of which will never see their biological parents again! How can these families ever be whole? I am especially appalled at Malonia Trumps Thursday visit to one of the places children are kept. The jacket she wore said it all! “I really don’t care. Do u?”  This is our answer to the question – “Does anyone in the Trump family really care about those children taken from their families at the border?” This my friends is what truth looks like and the answer to the above question, “NO!” Our President, the First Family, and many of the Trump Administration simply do not care despite what they may say about it in public! What we are seeing in our top leadership is an abomination and a mortal sin against God! Though in my research I did find the following scripture which did bring a sense of peace to my otherwise furious heart;

19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. ~ Proverbs 12:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12, 2018

Let Us Pray that these barbaric acts last but a moment in our history and are washed clean with new and more faithful leadership in the coming Mid-Term Elections where we hold those accountable for their inaction to account. In the mean-time take action by donating to the fundraiser created by Charlotte Willner and Dave Willner: Reunite an immigrant parent with their child facebook campaign. Click Here

LET US PRAY

ACT OF HOPE

(Say as often as you can throughout the day)

O my God, trusting in your infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord, and redeemer. Amen.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

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Most Holy Body – Most Holy Blood of Christ

A Story of Two Covenants

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Corpus Christi

June 3, 2018

Passover pt. 1

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the LordMoses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.’ Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, ‘See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’ – Exodus24:3-8 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Insight One: Being the Year of Grace – I want to point out that in the events upon Mt. Sinai we can extrapolate the overwhelming love of God shown to His people. It is not enough to set one free but rather to give freedom with responsibility which shapes character and builts a morally just person.  Thus, in this love, God is seen molding His people through Moses and giving them a first (Exodus 19-23) and even second opportunity, (Exodus 24) to get it right – so that the words spoken would have depth of purpose and a resounding historical meaning that which cements the foundational convenient, that by all accounts is God showing mankind absolute grace! As for the Israelites, they were literally, “taking on the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Berachot 2, 2).

Reflection One: Moses acting as the intermediary consecrated the people, forming a covenant with God, and delivers laws to the Israelites that will set them apart from every other nation on earth. The laws Moses reads from the BOOK OF THE COVENANT , covered many topics which included;

Before we go any further let’s look at the underlying symbology which is repeated later with Jesus and the New Covenant;

‘Words of the Covenant’ – Passover Night

– Moses reaches Mt. Sinai where God delivers His divine word and promise that if the Israelites obey they will be God’s Priestly Kingdom.  (Exodus 19:1-6)

– Jesus speaks the words that outline His divinity, offering a new and everlasting covenant through His sacrifice consecrated with His body and blood. (John 13-17

‘Covenant Sacrifice Prepared’ – Passover Day

–  Moses told the people what God had said, “the next day he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord.” –Exodus 24:3-8

– Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin who find him guilty, they send Him to Pilot who has him whipped. Still not satisfied The Jews call for Jesus’s execution. Jesus then is taken and nailed upon the cross at Calvary or Golgotha where He gives His life in payment of our sins. – John 18-19

Passover pt. 2 – 1,680 Years Later

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; they prepared the Passover meal. – Mark 14:12-16 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Insight Two: Jesus Christ who came as the bridge linking us back to God – the olive branch that is the intermediary between man and God. Jesus is the lamb led to slaughter and it is His blood that is shed that is at the center of God’s divine plan. Again, over time we can see God’s never failing love, His unrelenting grace for the people that He loves. Think about the blood of the oxen shed during Moses’s day which served as the cleansing and purifying force which God had accepted. Now think of how much more clean and purified are we when covered with Jesus’s body and blood. No longer do we need to sacrifice animals, for the Lord is a loving and merciful God who took all this upon Himself for us. That my friends is the essence of this solemnity that we celebrate because now that yoke of our sins has now been lifted! Amen Allaluliah!

Reflection Two: God spoke – Moses took notes – man received. Now God became man walked among us, then God spoke again. How powerful is this idea? Well, it started two world religions, saved millions from sin, and gave every living person the opportunity to know God intimately. In both covenants, God was bringing His people closer to himself. In both instances, a sacrifice was required and laws had to be given for man to be molded into a better more purified version of himself. I find it ironic that Jesus during His ministry confronted the Pharisees on many different occasions and each time He showed a higher level of mastery over the first covenant laws than did they. In many ways, this goes to show the corruptness of Gods first set of laws by man given by Moses as the intermediary. So God became man to straighten the path back to Himself through the intermediary of His Son Jesus Christ – the High Preist for All Time! We give thanks because of this grace, love, and a symbol of Gods commitment that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit has shown to us.

Through Christ All Things Are Possible!

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’ – Mark 14:22-26 (NRSVACE)

Reflection Two Cont: So now instead of the flesh of animals that had been sacrificed we have Jesus – the bread of life, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Instead of the blood of animals, we now have the blood of Christ,This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’ In this Jesus concentrates his disciples as the new priesthood – spelling the fall of the Pharisees and giving rise to our modern day Papacy starting with Saint Peter. In this Jesus is the more perfect mediator, delivering a more perfect covenant. – Hebrews 8:6-8 (NRSVACE)

During the institution of the new covenant throughout His ministry, Jesus makes clear God’s new commandment, 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.’ – John 13:34-35 (NRSVACE)

What Jesus Becomes:

Jesus gives purpose to the New Covenant

You’re the Witnesses

44 Then Jesus said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled.” 45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.” – Luke 24:44-49 The Message (MSG)

Final Thoughts: In the fulfillment of the scriptures Jesus hands it all over to man – like a teacher in the classroom who has given the instruction. Jesus sets the limits (The Rules), then models each concept (Guided Practice), then letting the students at it to do it themselves (The Release). This is how Jesus taught, instructing, modeling, then giving it over for man to emulate. Jesus serves ultimately as the perfect example of God’s grace and love and in that each Sunday we are given the opportunity to participate in His body and blood through the Holy Eucharist – Corpus Christi.

Amen

Let Us Pray

Young girl praying
Lauda Sion

The shorter form of the sequence

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

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

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

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

Amen. Alleluia.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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Listening Faithfully Podcast w/Brother Brian

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!

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To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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Donate

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

 

 

Miracles of the First Pentecost

Sounds of a Strong Wind!

Pentecost (SOL)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. – Acts 2:1-4 Message Bible (MSG)

For the Vigil of Pentecost – Click Here
Pentecost – It’s All About Math!

Lesson Starter 1

The word Pentecost means, “fifty” which is a Greek word. Biblically speaking Jesus was with the disciples for about 40 days after his resurrection, then after he ascended the disciples waited “ten” more days equalling “fifty” days or Pentecost. However, this also coincides with a Jews festival known as Shebuot or “Weeks” originally a grain harvest festival that later was associated with God giving the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. Taking this information we can connect the disciples being Jewish having to wait mere weeks before Pentecost. Also, interestingly enough Jerusalem was filled with people, (primarily Jews), from all over the Middle East because of this celebration of  God giving to Moses the Torah or the law. Therefore, in both Christain and Jewish traditions, this day is the starting point of God’s declaration of a new life with Him; one being of law and the other being of the spirit. Moreover, this connects both religions in a very profound way; the fulfillment of a divine plan for all mankind under “one” all-powerful God.

PENTECOST QUESTION ONE: How would you summarize the math of Pentecost and how does it affect our time today?

Pentecost – It’s All About SYMBOLOGY!

Lesson Starter 2

Pentecost is full of miracles chalk full of a rich heritage that at its core is all about stoking the fires of our souls and receiving a new purified life with God. In a sense, we are purified by God’s holy flame that burns deep inside us. We are brought to this new life by God’s very breath as He breathes into our nostrils via the Holy Spirit.

DID YOU KNOW? There are several symbols in the bible that clue people into the idea that God or those he has sent has shown up. Consider this example;

WindEzekiel 37:9  Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ – New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit comes as a wind, as in how Jesus describes to Nicodemus the new birth experience – John 3:8, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Thus the work of the Holy Spirit breathes into us a new – reborn life and as it does so we human beings cannot see it nor completely recognize it but instead it is something we feel deep down inside. As in the case of Pentecost the Holy Spirit does not come as a gentle breeze but a rushing wind – symbolizing His power and His guidance. That sound of the rushing wind is what drew the crowd. Jesus told his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit, and in this act, The Spirit serves as the sovereign God which is dynamic, irresistible, and unstoppable.

PENTECOST QUESTION TWO: Why are symbols so important? Doing some research on this topic what other symbols are attributed to the Holy Spirit?

Pentecost – It’s All About one Dramatic sermon!

Lesson Starter 3

With the crowd assembled they hear those in the upper room talking in tongues, astonished the people begin saying among themselves, “They’re speaking our own languages, describing God’s mighty works!” – Acts 2:11 (MSG) In this crowd was hundreds of people from what are now Israel, Iran, Irag, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Italy, Crete, and Jordan.

“That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen: “In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billowing smoke, the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; and whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.” 

“Fellow Israelites, listen carefully to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you—the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through him are common knowledge—this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for him. David said it all: I saw God before me for all time. Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side. I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope, I know you’ll never dump me in Hades; I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around.” Acts 2:28 (MSG) 

Many more things were said then Peter finished with this;

“Peter said, ‘Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.’ He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!Acts 2:38-40 (MSG) 

In all about 3000 Jews were converted to Christianity! (Acts 2:41) Simply put God breathed into the world a new movement that would spread all over the world and convert millions. In many ways, we can say that this was the Birth of Christianity & Birth of the Church! This is why Pentecost is the very core of our Religion and why it is a time of new life. “For Catholics, this is when we dare to hope for our own resurrection and eternal life with God.”The Catholic Faith Handbook For Youth 3rd Edition, pg. 178 (Easter Season) Saint Mary’s Press

PENTECOST QUESTION THREE: What does Pentecost mean to you personally?

LET US PRAY
Christian Prayer:

The Liturgy of the Hours

Lord, open my lips.

– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

PSALMODY: Pentecost Sunday: Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

PSALM 63:2-9

A SOUL THIRSTING FOR GOD

Whoever has left the darkness of sin, yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

– Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praises. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy.  

– Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

On my bed, I remember you. On you I muse through the night for you have been my help; in the shadow of your wings, I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

– Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world; come, let us worship him, alleluia.

(To Pray the Liturgy of the Hours as in the PENTECOST SOLEMNITY click here

PRAYER

Father in heaven, fifty days have celebrated the fullness of the mystery of your revealed love. See your people gathered in prayer, open to receive the Spirit’s flame. May it come to rest in our hearts and disperse the divisions of word and tongue. With one voice and one song may we praise your name in joy and thanksgiving. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Happy Birthday Church… may your love, light, and peace shine on in the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

FRIENDS WHO LIKE LISTENING FAITHFULLY COMMUNITY

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Listening Faithfully Podcast w/Brother Brian

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Each podcast is focused on a specific reading based upon the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (3rd Edition) by Saint Mary’s Press. Listen, Learn, Share!Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

Help Support A Family In Need

Donate

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LIVE STREAM

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9:30am – Mass
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Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

 

It’s All About Love – pt 1

The First Act of God’s Love

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – PSALTER, WEEK III

May 13, 2018

1 “First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see.” – The Message Bible (MSG)

God in the absolute is a creator God. He alone knows all the secrets of what He has made. In that, each singular creation reflects an individualized miracle from the creation of the universe with its many miracles we have yet to discover and all the things which are now in our knowing.  In all these miraculous things within the universe, God saw fit to spread life throughout. Therefore, He gave life to each sun, planet, moon, within each galaxy right down to every solar system. When we look up into the night sky we are really looking at a detailed oriented creator who is all about life in all it’s it many forms. Yet God held in the highest esteem an idea of a creation that would represent him in the flesh, made in His own image. Acting upon His idea God created man from the dust of the Earth and women from the rib bone of man which we traditionally call Genesis. Life is God’s gift, His divine love, and His hope manifest and expressed in an infinite number of ways too numerous to count.  So I testify today my brothers and sisters that God created all that we see and all that we do not see out of love.

LET US NOW TALK ABOUT LIFE!

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7 New International Version (NIV)

What is life? What parameters equal life? Well from the scientific definition of the word we find that life is, ‘the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.’ – Dictionary.com

This explanation of life is a good description of what living things do but fails to express the source of life. What gives organic matter life? For this, there is an element most people in the scientific community is not ready to admit but is necessary to explore in order to get the full picture. With that said, life originates from God. Nothing lives without the blessing of God over it first. That being the case then nothing dies without the blessing of God over it as well. This makes God the absolute source of both life and death. The bible teaches us that God formed Adam, molding him from the dust of the Earth but Adam though created was not yet alive. It wasn’t until God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In this act, God gave Adam a soul or spirit which is in its most basic expression a piece of God, which resided within Adam that which gave him life. We are no different from Adam in that we are formed and given a spirit or in other words, a tiny piece of God Himself which resides within us. This is why Jesus answered the Pharisees as he did, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17: 20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

This is our eternal link to God the absolute creator. In everything so far discovered life abounds and is a reflection of God. Life then is also much more than the actions of a living being, rather life is the very embodiment of the living God which dwells within each one of us. Life is precious because it is both a miracle and a blessing from God again in every form that it takes. Life is sacred because it is the very expression of God’s love. Therefore, God could not forsake us when we fell into sin. Think of it this way, God being a detail-oriented creator is also a detailed oriented savior. Where he gave life there can be found His love, mercy, and grace. Thus, life is as much about forgiveness as it is about living justly and morally. For the Kingdom of God is also in each one of us and in God’s eyes that makes us scared.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE!

16 We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. – 1 John 4:16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Insite – When I was about five years old I remember the Baptist Preacher bigger than life preaching away about sin and moral consequences and everything was a sin which as he put it, ‘Will take you straight to hell! No passing go, no collecting $100, and no hope for redemption!’  It was this kind of language and fire and brimstone tone that truly scared me because I did many of the things he was talked about! Yes… I cussed twice, I disrespected others a couple of times, I got angry and threw a fit, I lied more than I could count on my fingers and toes, and worst of all I was a sinner for life headed straight to hell… at five!  On the other hand unnoticed to me at the time was this pastor never talking about God’s love, which is a shame because as I grew older I had to learn about this awesome concept through other means known as life experience and studying about the subject.

Moreover, the older I grew the more I would hear many people around me blame God for the bad things which happened to them while never seeing the moral life lesson God was teaching them. The problem of course with this is that God was not the culprit because God had enough foresight to have given all mankind something called ‘Free Will’, which happens to be the most sacred and greatest gifts which God has never interfered with. Thus, if said person does something that causes negative repercussions that comes back to haunt them then said person who decided to perpetuate whatever it was in the first place cannot by default blame God! Why? Because everyone is held responsible for every action, decision, and words spoken be them good or bad! But yet somehow many people still want to blame God for things they themselves have done. People are willing to do ungodly things but yet cling to the concept that they are saved because Jesus saved them on the cross. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way! Rest assured my brother’s and sister’s God loves you and He knows how you are feeling every minute of every day. Likewise, He knows every lie you have ever told, every ill thing you have done to someone else, and He is aware of every consequence to those actions which were perpetrated through individual human free will! Here is the kicker I inherently already knew all this at the ripe old age of 5 yet it takes many people an entire lifetime to figure that one out. Go figure!

Yes… God is willing to forgive us for our transgressions but we must humbly come to Him first. Wait! Free will again? You got it! God didn’t force us to ask for forgiveness or to humble ourselves… that happens through our own free will… or perhaps guilt hopefully played its part. But when the guilty truly come to God looking for forgiveness it is a decision made by that person alone and as for God… He has a strick none interference policy much like the Federation in Star Trek!  This being true what more could anyone ask for from a God of Love? Oh… wait! A savior? A savior willing to sacrifice himself for you? From Jesus’s perspective and His mothers perspective, His death was cruel, but God allowed it, and Jesus complied with God’s wishes. Jesus is the very definition of love just as God is love. Without the passion, there would be no salvation! There would be no hope, no peace, no grace, and no life in God. But yet it is through love we find God, we have hope, He gives us eternal grace and is responsible for the miracle of life within Him. That is love expressed to it’s fullest extent. God gave us life, a spirit, and a path back to Him and His kingdom and on top of it free will all out of love. For truly I say to you my brothers and sisters only a God of Love, a God of creation, a God of detail would dare to give so much to beings that did not deserve not one ounce of any of it. But we have only scratched the surface… [To Be Continued]

Guiding Question: “How can God not be about love after doing all this for us?”

LET US PRAY

Lord, open my lips.

– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

PSALMODY: Easter 7th Sunday: The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

PSALM 93

SPLENDOR OF GOD THE CREATOR

The Lord our mighty God now reigns supreme; let us rejoice and be glad and give him praise (Revelation 19:6-7) 

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed; the Lord has robed himself with might, he has girded himself with power.

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

The world you made firm, not to be moved; your throne has stood firm from of old. From all eternity, O Lord, you are. 

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

The waters have lifted up, O Lord, the waters have lifted up their voice, the waters have lifted up their thunder.

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

Greater than the roar of mighty waters, more glorious than the surgings of the sea, the Lord is glorious on high.

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

5 Truly your decrees are to be trusted. Holiness is fitting to your house, O Lord, until the end of time. 

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

(To Pray the Liturgy of the Hours as in the COMMON OF APOSTLES  click here

PRAYER

Father, help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior lives with you in glory and promised to remain with us until the end of time. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Amen.

Happy Mothers Day 2018, I wish my mother all the best and hope all is well on this special day.

 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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EASTER OCTAVE – Resurrection Sunday

Second Sunday of Easter

DIVINE MERCY

April 8, 2018

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” – John 20:19-23

Ant. 1: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia. 

Insight 1 – Part 1: Jesus appeared to many people after His resurrection but the first to whom He appeared was Mary Magdalene. (John 20:16-17) It is here we see the loving mercy of Christ as He tells her to go tell the others that He has risen. The suspense was now over, the truth now finally revealed. The guilt and confusion pushed to the side as Jesus announces that He is alive – concurring death forever! I often think about this moment when Jesus came to Mary alive, her only word, ‘Teacher!’ was said out of shock or perhaps more of a sigh of relief. How quickly did her sadness change to joy? That is what it will be like when we pass away and go to Heaven and see Christ for the first time… sadness turned to instant joy! What must have been racing in her mind as she ran to tell the others? How was she going to announce the good news?  I wonder if she thought; would they believe? When she burst into the room the disciples were all hiding, how joyful her voice must have been yet they did not believe her. The visual clues must have been confusing for the disciples when they saw how excited she was. Now in John’s account, this joyful news was in the morning and that Jesus appeared to the disciples in the evening of the first day…

The Resurrection Narrative

According to Matthew, Mark, & Luke

In Matthew’s account, (Matthew 28:1-10) both Mary’s witnessed an angel from Heaven descending to earth and caused an earthquake. Then the angel rolled back the stone and invited Mary, mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and Mary Magdalene to come into the tomb to see that it was empty. It was the angel who told them to go tell the disciples and on their way Jesus appeared to them both. In Mark’s account, (Mark 16:1-8) which closely supports Matthew’s account in that it was an angel who told the two Mary’s to go tell the others. The main difference is that the two Mary’s did not see the angel roll back the stone as the angel had already done this and was inside the tomb when the two women came in.  The longer ending of Mark, (Mark 16:9-10) supports the individual appearance by Jesus to Mary Magdalene alone. It also states that the disciples did not believe her. Mark also further mentions an appearance to two disciples on the road to the countryside. These two unnamed disciples came back and told the others and were also not believed. Finally, in Luke’s account, (Luke 24:1-12) Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women who went with them which are unnamed coming to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. Supporting Mark, the stone was already rolled away by the time they got there. When they went in they did not find Jesus’s body but were greeted by two angels who reminded them of what Jesus had told them in Galilee, that he would die and be raised on the third day. They then returned to the disciples who did not believe them. (Luke 24:12) Tells that Peter got up and ran to the tomb and was amazed! Luke also supports the appearance of Jesus by two disciples, Cleopas & and an unnamed disciple while walking into the countryside, but does not tell of where they were actually headed… but we later find out they were going to the town of Emmaus. This account goes into detail of the conversations they had with Jesus without knowing it was the risen Lord. It ends with the breaking of bread and their eyes being opened and once this had happened Jesus disappeared and the two men went back to tell the disciples of what had happened to them.  In all during the first day, Jesus had appeared to;

Jesus Appears

 Ant. 2: After eight days, although the doors were locked, the Lord came among them and said: ‘Peace be with you.’ Alleluia. 

Insight 1 – Part 2:  Peter got up and ran to the tomb! (Luke 24:34) then in the evening after all the witnesses came to tell the disciples of the risen Christ – Jesus finally appears to them. (John 20:19-23) At this point, Peter is the only male disciple who had seen the risen Christ, as opposed to all the major female characters who had all seen Him, talked to Him, and in which truly believed. It was the women disciples who proclaimed that Jesus has risen and to this point, none of them were believed by the male disciples. Why was it that they did not believe? The hint is within, (John 20:19), they were afraid, terrified, and in Peters case depressed because of his three denials of knowing Jesus. In such a state how could they go out and preach about Jesus, and I really think that Thomas gets the worse wrap of them all by being labeled, ‘Doubting Thomas’, for clearly at this point they all did not believe it possible for Jesus to be alive for their collective grief had taken them over. 

Therefore, I tell you, my brothers and sisters, Jesus appeared to His disciples to lift their spirit, prove that He is the Son of Man, and to dispell this fear they had deep in their hearts. Mercy was extended to them all in different but similar ways as none could refute His divine powers. As for Thomas who had to wait eight days, and the second appearance to His disciples was invited by Jesus to stick his finger into Jesus’s side as proof of the resurrection. For truly I say to you that if Jesus’s body had been stolen from the tomb, thus not risen, then in the words of Saint Paul, ‘If Christ has not risen, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.’ – Jesus’ Resurrection, (pg.118) The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Saint Mary’s Press. Furthermore, the following three things we factually know because Christ did rise from the tomb;

1.) Jesus is confirmed as the Son of God

2.) All of Jesus’s teaching is in fact true

3.) The divine truth of the Paschal Mystery –  That death is not the end.

Guiding Question: “Do you personally believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead?” “Why is this fundamental question so important?”

Answer Q2: This core belief; that Christ was raised from the dead on the third day is so important because how you answer this question determines how seriously you believe in Jesus, His teachings, the reason why He had to die, and His promises He has made to you and the rest of mankind. If your answer is, ‘Yes! I believe in His resurrection!’ Then how can you not make Jesus the center of your life? 

For I tell you, my brothers and sisters, that this is why we celebrate His divine mercy.  For through His suffering and death we; all of God’s children will have everlasting life with Him in heaven forever and ever. How much greater our reward in heaven to have not seen but yet believe?  We celebrate because of Jesus Christ, His absolute truth within His words, His divine promises which he fulfilled on our behalf, and to which all our worries have now been made mute in His presences. For the Son of Man goes before us shining a light leading us to salvation which is God’s ultimate mercy upon all of His children.

Intercessions 

In rising from the dead, Christ destroyed death and restored life. Let us cry to Him, saying:

Lord Jesus, you live forever; hear our prayer.

You are the stone rejected by the builders which became the cornerstone rejoiced by the builders which became the chief cornerstone.

make us living stones in the temple of your Church. 

You are the faithful and true witness, the firstborn from the dead,

make your Church bear constant witness to yourself. 

You alone are the Bridegroom of the Church, born from your wounded side,

make us reveal to the world the love of the Bridegroom and Bride.

You are the first and last, you were dead and are alive,

keep those who have been baptized faithful until death, that they may receive the crown of victory.

Light and lamp of God’s holy city,

shine on our friend who have died, that they may reign forever. 

Let Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

– Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

Ant 3: The Lord is risen. Alleluia.

God of mercy, you wash away our sins in water, you give us new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 451-452.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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EASTER 2018 – The Lord is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia

The Price of Sin Paid in Full by the Gift from God!

April 1, 2018

Easter SUNDAY

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Ant 1:  The splendor of Christ risen from the dead has shone on the people redeemed by his blood. Alleluia

Insight 1: So it was at the beginning that God created the Earth and from the dust of the Earth he created Adam, the first human, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then Lucifer offered to Eve the first women made from Adam the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She ate it and gave it to Adam and he too ate of it. From this day forth sin entered into the world and God saw man’s heart had been taken by sin, therefore the Lord God declared,

You were made out of the ground. You will return to it when you die. You are dust, and you will return to dust.” – Genesis 3:19 (NABRE)

Therefore, I tell you my brothers and sister from that time till the rising of Jesus Christ death took us and we had no hope, no repentance, and our relationship with Our Heavenly Father was severed. It took the sacrifice of Jesus to redeem our sinful hearts, repair that sacred relationship with the Father, and in this, we now have his precious gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. For today he is risen!

The Tomb is Empty

20:1 Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. It was still dark. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. So she ran to Simon Peter and another disciple, the one Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb! We don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. Both of them were running. The other disciple ran faster than Peter. He reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there. But he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him. He went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there. He also saw the funeral cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place. It was separate from the linen. The disciple who had reached the tomb first also went inside. He saw and believed. They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. – John 20:1-9 (NABRE)

Ant 2:  Our Redeemer has risen from the tomb; let us sing a hymn of praise to the Lord our God, Alleluia

Insight 2: Jesus had told his disciples many things before he was crucified and much of what Jesus had said they did not understand. Chief among them was;

17  “The reason my Father loves me is that I give up my life. But I will take it back again. 18 No one takes it from me. I give it up myself. I have the authority to give it up. And I have the authority to take it back again. I received this command from my Father.” – John 10:17-18 (NABRE)

To his disciples, this was a mystery because they did not want Him to die. They did not understand why he had to die. Therefore, when he was crucified they ran and hide filled with fear and uncertainty. Over and over they recounted the many things Jesus had said and in their grief, they still could not understand. However, Jesus had also told them;

 21 “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” – John 16:22 (NABRE)

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I tell you when Jesus was beaten for our sins, we too were one with Him in that pain. When Jesus felt the anguish of the cross, so was it that we too were in anguish for his blood was innocent and the worlds from Adam to this day was guilty steeped in sin. It was the curse of sin which equals death that Jesus now faced on our behalf willingly. His love so filled with forgiveness, mercy, and kindness that He walked confidently to His death on the cross, and willing lay His life down for us. But the mystery His disciples missed was in the words, ‘And I have the authority to take it back again.’ So, at the moment the disciples arrived at the tomb they saw with their own eyes that it was empty, and at that moment they understood that Jesus defeated death for all of us, redeemed all of us, and in this victory over death, we all now have eternal life.

Guiding Question: ‘So after knowing that Jesus willingly died for you then was raised on the third day to conquer death for you… is there any doubt left what Our God wouldn’t do for you… the one He loves so?’ 

Peter’s Speech

40 This man God raised [on] the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses were chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him, all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:40-43 (NABRE)

Ant 3:  Alleluia, The Lord is risen as he promised, Alleluia!

Insight 3: Dear brothers and sisters, it is our victory of salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ who died to wash away our sins, and who rose again on the third day to glorify our eternal Father in Heaven. I say to you that His promises which span millennia are as valid today as when he made them, for our Lord is faithful to His word. With fidelity did he make plans before the foundations of the Earth to conquer sin, and to bring salvation to His children whom he made in likeness, and who he within His infant wisdom became man, and lived among us. Through the prophets he reached out to us laying down His divine law, working wonders so that we might believe, and then in His final efforts to bring us closer to Him God raised Jesus from the dead. It was God’s declaration that the earthly tombs we are put in at death shall not be the final experience of life, for His promise was to raise us in His likeness, to shower us with His love and mercy. To breathe upon us the breath of everlasting life. This promise He fulfilled through His son Jesus Christ two thousand years ago in Jerusalem! Alleluia, alleluia!

Happy Easter – Celebrate saying, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia!

Intercessions

Christ is the Lord of life, raised up by the Father; in his turn, he will raise us up by his power. Let us pray to him by saying;

Christ our life, save us.

Lord Jesus, light shining in the darkness, you lead your people into life, and give our mortal nature the gift of holiness,

– may we spend this day in praise of your glory.

Lord, you walked the way of suffering and crucifixion,

– may we suffer and die with you, and rise again to share your glory.

Son of the Father, our master, and our brother, you have made us a kingdom of priests for our God,

– may we offer you our joyful sacrifice of praise.

King of glory, we look forward to the great day of your coming in splendor,

– that we may see you face to face, and be transformed in your likeness.

Let’s Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Ant. Very early on the morning after the Sabbath, when the sun had just risen, they came to the tomb. (Alleluia) 

 

God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 428-429

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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Good Friday – Christ’s death at Calvary

Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord

FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD

MARCH 30, 2018

13 See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. 14 Even as many were amazed at him— so marred were his features, beyond that of mortals his appearance, beyond that of human beings 15 So shall he startle many nations, kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. – Isaiah 52:13-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Insight 1: From Heaven to Earth was the son of man called to do the impossible, write the wrongs of the entire world of sinners, and bring the truth into the world of darkness. God gave this knowledge to Isaiah and in the wisdom of the Lord it was written and spread by mouth unto all the many nations.

Ant. It is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Insight 2: God chose to forgive us just as Lucifer through pride chose to spread sin amongst us, tempting the Lord Our God to wipe man away as he had done in the flood thus forever breaking His divine promise made in the age of Noah. But God chose to forgive us, putting away His anger and wrath and in its place sent love, mercy, and grace. It would be by the promise of salvation the world would be redeemed by a God who is the father of us all. Therefore, perfect in every way God made a plan before the foundations of the world.

Ant. The eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, today emptied himself for our sake and became man.

Insight 3: For the Lord, God in Heaven did not send an angel to die for man’s sin, rather a whole army of angels could not accomplish this task. The whole of Heaven is not divine enough to wipe away the immortal sin now before God. This Lucifer knew but was unaware of the might of God’s love, unexpecting the Father’s desires to wipe away sin, unaware of the strength of His Holy Son to become man. For Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary to look like we do, feel like we do, love and hate as we do, but born without sin or blemish. Sent with a mission, a holy volunteer that would bring salvation to the world despite Lucifers plans to spread sin and to harden men’s hearts.

 Ant. In his great love for us, God sent his Son in the likeness of our sinful nature.

The Fourth Servant Oracle

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye, no beauty to draw us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, knowing pain, like one from whom you turn your face spurned, and we held him in no esteem. – Isaiah 53:1-3 (NABRE)

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law.

Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him as stricken struck down by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way, But the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all. – Isaiah 53:4-6 (NABRE)

Ant. I put all my trust in the Lord and he has not failed me.

Insight 4: How could the world believe if Satan himself could not know God to be so loving, so forgiving and merciful? How could a mortal man see the Son of Man in his true personage, know it was God made flesh, hear His voice and man’s hearts not be stirred? For some purposefully hardened their hearts, ran from the light while clinging to the Holy books of Moses refusing to believe. The true message of Christ lost among them but was not wasted on the poor in spirit. For each miracle from His birth till His death, those who did see, who’s eyes where opened, and hearts filled with grace was Jesus received.  Gladly He walked with His cross to His final suffering –  dying upon it for all mankind.

Ant. But not in hurried flight will you go out nor leave in headlong haste, For the Lord goes before you, and your rear guard is the God of Israel. – Isaiah 52:12 (NABRE)

The Crucifixion of Jesus

 

So they took Jesus, 17 and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 20 Now many of the Jews read this inscription because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19:17-22 (NABRE)

Insight 5: Dear Brothers and Sisters, truly I say to you that in the hour of judgment be not afraid, take heart in the fidelity of Christ, to which He gave Himself for you. For as it is written Jesus Christ goes before all mankind, both men and women, He descended into Hell for you, freed many who had no hope and in that hour Christ shook the foundations of the world on your behalf! He suffered, was beaten and scourged until unrecognizable, His blood poured out so ours would not have to be shed, and in that hour of judgment carried His cross to His death.  Truly Christ goes before all mankind paving the way and God the Father truly protects from the rear as we all march to the Holy Banquette in Heaven.

The Blood and Water

31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:

“Not a bone of it will be broken.”

37 And again another passage says:

“They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

John 19:31-37 (NABRE)

Insight 6: Even after death Jesus was fulfilling scripture. For Our Lord told His beloved disciples these things and they did not believe. Isaiah for told these events and yet many did not believe during his age. In truth, it was those who condemned Jesus who helped to bring about the fulfillment of scripture unwittingly. For their lust for power drove them into sin out of fear. Had the Pharisees contemplated further, consulted the scriptures more, prayed to God to help them discern the truths about Jesus perhaps our salvation would have been in parallel, i.e a paradox. But God knew no one would be able to ignore the temptation to murder Jesus, and thus fulfilling scripture and set in motion our salvation.

The Burial of Jesus

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42 So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Insight 7: So it was when the Lord died the earth shook and the sacred place in the temple was torn. God cried for His Son, for His tears fell to the earth as rain and all who were there fleed in fear. The wind gushed up as the Romans broke the legs in haste of the two criminals who still were alive but Jesus appearing to be dead thus He received a spear to His side. After all these events it would be two Pharisees who would lay Jesus to rest, taking Him form the cross, bounding him with ritual spices and closing the tomb. If they had not believed before they did now. If their hearts had been hardened by Satan they were open and obedient to God now. Yet there was a plan to keep Jesus in the tomb as guards were placed to watch over the tomb making sure there was no one to steal Christ’s body claiming Him risen. In these things, we see the love of Jesus as man tried his best to snuff it out, to end the works of Christ. But it was written;

13 The one who forms mountains and creates winds, and declares to mortals their thoughts; Who makes dawn into darkness and strides upon the heights of the earth, the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name! – Amos 4:13 (NABRE)

Ant. All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord. Praise and glorify him forever.

For I tell you now my brothers and sisters today we witness the death of Christ Jesus and we wait for His resurrection and final return.

Let’s Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. (Alleluia) 

Psalm 119:25-32

 25 My soul lies in the dust;
by your word revive me.
26 I declare my ways and you answered me:
teach me your statutes.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. 

27 Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders.
28 My soul pines away with grief;
by your word raise me up.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. 

29 Keep me from the way of error
and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law.

31 I bind myself to do your will;
Lord, do not disappoint me.
32 I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.

Lord, we are citizens of this earth and ask to be made citizens of heaven by your free gift. Help us to run in the way of your commandments and to set our hearts on you alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

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Palm Sunday 2018

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday

11 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’ They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ They told them what Jesus had said, and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna!
    Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10     Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. – Mark 11:1-11 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Reflection

The Conspiracy Against Jesus 

The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to take place in two days’ time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death. They said, “Not during the festival, for fear that there may be a riot among the people.”

The Anointing at Bethany

When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her. Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial. Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

The Betrayal by Judas

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them. 11 When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money. Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

Preparations for the Passover

12 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” – Mark 14:1-15 (NABRE)

This reading always gets me because here we see Jesus executing the final part of the Lord’s plan for Salvation. It is a plan which will end with torcher and death, much suffering, and much torment. Jesus knows what is now going to happen once he enters into Jerusalem, he knows that the only way out for him is by completing the plan His father has laid out for him.

Guiding Question: ‘If you knew the future and saw your own suffering and death, knowing you put your self in that position to save the world would you?’ 

The other part of this which I find is mindblowing is how Jesus prepared for this moment, how he tried to prepare his disciples, how Jesus took each step closer to his own death with confidence in His resurrection and glorification by His Holy Father in Heaven. But even knowing all this Jesus still did not do it for His own rewards rather he single-mindedly sacrificed Himself like a sheep led to slaughter for you and me so we all could be together feasting with Him and God together in Heaven for all time.

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

 

43 Then, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” 45 He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. – Mark 14:43-45 (NABRE)

So, it was with a single kiss our Lord, Jesus was betrayed and taken to the High Priests in the cover of darkness. How many things do we do under the cover of darkness? How many people in course of our life could we be guilty of betraying? Still, none of those betrails equals this single betrail of Jesus by Judas. But remember my brothers and sisters this was all part of a greater plan that Jesus Himself was executing as instructed by God on our behalf. With that said Jesus would have to have known Judas would be able to play his part, Just as He would have known the other disciples would flee in fear and that Peter would deny him three times before the cock would crow. (Luke 22:61-62) Each step Jesus took for you and me for our sins, so we might know God and receive His mercy and salvation. So, each of our personal betrails of others is forgiven by Jesus, and thus we must also learn to forgive others and love each other as Christ, Jesus loved us on this day of His own personal betrail by man. 

Let’s Us Pray

ANNUNCIATION

SOLEMNITY

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Ant. A shoot will spring forth from the stock of Jesse, and a flower will blossom from his root. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him (Alleluia) 

Psalm 113

 Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
    as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

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Let Them March!

A Lesson in Social Justice

March 24, 2018

Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. – Psalm 82:3 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

School shootings in America is not a new phenomenon, rather gun-toting angry people, mostly young males have taken upon themselves to dispense justice by raining bullets into the crowds full of the innocent, who in some cases had nothing to do with the anger felt by their now armed peers. We call ourselves God-fearing, we are a Christian Nation, we declare that we hold the moral high ground, but yet time and again nothing is done once the bullets have stopped flying, it seems social justice is spouted while the emotions are high but those two words are allowed to disappear until the next mass shooting. We have utterly let our youth down in both faith and in governmental policy. When I said, my brothers and sisters, that school shooting is nothing new I am quite serious, for the American record reads as follows;

1.) July 26, 1764 – Greencastle, Pennsylvania – 10 dead, 2 injured

2.) November 12, 1840 – Charlottesville, Virginia – 1 dead

3.) November 2, 1853 – Louisville, Kentucky – 1 injured

4.) August 16, 1856 – Florence, Alabama – 2 dead

5.) July 8, 1858 – Baltimore, Maryland – 1 dead

6.) January 21, 1860 – Todd County, Kentucky – 1 dead

7.) February 6, 1864 – Ashland County, Ohio – 1 dead

8.) February 16, 1867 – Knights Ferry, California – 2 dead

9.) April 2, 1867 – Madison, Florida – 1 dead

10.) June 8, 1867 – New York City, New York – 1 injured

11.) December 22, 1868 – Chattanooga, Tennessee – 3 dead

12.) January 27, 1871 – Knoxville, Tennessee – 1 dead

13.) February 1, 1872 – Washington, Pennsylvania – 1 injured

14.) February 11, 1873 – Wisconsin – 1 injured

15.) February 20, 1874 – Agency, Montana – 1 dead

16.) April 9, 1874 – Lebanon, Tennessee – 1 dead

17.) May 24, 1878 – St. Paul, Minnesota – 1 injured

18.) May 24, 1879 – Lancaster, New York – 1 injured

19.) December 1, 1881 – Santa Monica, California – 1 dead

20.) December 22, 1881 – Shelby County, Indiana – 0 dead 0 injured (School teacher Charles J. Gregory shot at a pupil at close range because he refused to write on a slate. The bullet missed the boy. The teacher was arrested) So much for teachers caring guns into the classroom Mr. President Trump! 

21.) January 16, 1882 – Iola, Kansas – 0 dead 0 injured (A group of boys shot into a schoolhouse, but no one was hurt. Two of the boys were arrested and pleaded guilty three weeks later. They were fined $9.00 each.) Outrageous! 

22.) April 13, 1882 – Huntsville, Texas – 1 injured

23.) February 14, 1883 – Florence, Nebraska – 3 injured

24.) November 20, 1883 – Barber County, Kansas – 0 injured 0 dead (A bunch of drunken cowboys stopped at several schoolhouses, forcing two teachers to drink whiskey and firing numerous shots at three schoolhouses.) Wouldn’t this be called an act of terrorism today? 

25.) February 28, 1884 – Danville, Virginia – 2 injured

26.) March 6, 1884 – Boston, Massachusetts – 0 injured o dead (As news of outlaw Jesse James reached the East Coast, young boys started to imitate him. For instance, boys armed with guns shot at police investigating their activities at the Concord-street schoolhouse.) To this day we call Jesse James an American hero? 

27.) March 15, 1884 – Gainesville, Georgia – 0 injured 0 dead (In the middle of the day, a group of very drunk Jackson County farmers was shooting their revolvers as they headed down the street, driving people into their homes. As they approached the female academy, the girls fled from the yard into the school. The gang followed and fired several rounds into the front door, but no one was hurt.) Yet another case where guns were used by people to scare and intimidate the masses – Guns make us feel powerful but lead us to unnecessary violence and depravity, such a disregard of life and dignity of the human spirit. 

 Is this the justice we American’s seek?

29.) June 13, 1889 – New Brunswick, New Jersey – 0 injured 0 dead (Charles Crawford, upset over an argument with a school trustee, went up to the window and fired a pistol into a crowded schoolroom. The bullet lodged in the wall just above the teacher’s head.) Misplaced anger? ‘Again, a person who with a gun needlessly endangers innocent children and their teacher!’ That could be a modern-day headline!

 April 24, 1890 – Brazil, Indiana – 1 injured

31.) December 27, 1890 – Staunton, Virginia – 1 dead ( At the Kable’s Military Academy a 15-year-old student, A.H. Hathaway of Dennison, Texas, was accidentally killed by his 17-year-old classmate James Whitworth of Sulphur Springs, Texas, while they were playing with an old pistol.) An accident no parent wants on their conscience. 

32.) March 30, 1891 – Liberty, Mississippi – 14 injured

33.) April 9, 1891 – Newburgh, New York – 0 dead / ? injured (70-year-old James Foster, fired a shotgun at a group of students in the playground of St. Mary’s Parochial School, causing minor injuries to several of the students.) What makes an old man do such an unspeakable act of violence? 

34.) June 29, 1892 – Van Wert, Ohio – 1 dead (Convoy teacher, B.L. Richie, was killed by 14-year-old student, Shirley Longsworth, son of Dr. Longsworth.) Are you tired yet? Can we conclude that people are dangerous with a gun in their hands? Can we now say we need strike gun control laws? No… ok. Heres more history of needless human violence.

35.) October 10, 1892 – Lawrence, Kansas – 2 injured

36.) March 26, 1893 – Plain Dealing, Louisiana – 4 dead / 1 injured

37.) October 17, 1894 – Parkersburg, West Virginia – 2 dead

38.) December 13, 1898 – Charleston, West Virginia – 6 dead / 1+ injured

(38) dead by the end of the 19th century. I say to you my brothers and sisters even one death is too many! Remember when the students speak tomorrow in Washington D.C., in fact when you personally witness to others of the need for gun control, “It is not you who speaks but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” – Antiphon – Morning Prayer for TURIBIUS DE MONGROVEJO, BISHOP, The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 1113

39.) February 24, 1903 – Inman, South Carolina – 1 dead

40.) July 21, 1903 – Jackson, Kentucky – 2 dead / 1 injured

41.) April 6, 1904 – Chicago, Illinois – 1 dead

42.) November 16, 1904 – Riverside, California – 2 dead / 1 injured

43.) December 16, 1904 – Magee, Mississippi – 1 dead / 1 injured

44.) February 9, 1905 – Colusa, California – 1 injured

45.) October 5, 1905 – Hickman, Kentucky – 0 dead / 0 injured (While returning from church, Professor Emmet W. Roach, was ambushed by an assassin) 

46.) March 23, 1907 – Carmi, Illinois – 1 dead

47.) December 20, 1907 – Chico, California – 1 dead

48.) January 10, 1908 – Council Bluffs, Iowa – 0 dead / 0 injured (At around 6 a.m., as George O Mortensen, 35-year-old janitor of the Washington Street school building, was unlocking the outer door of the school, someone discharged a shotgun from only a few feet. The shot riddled the door within a foot of his head) 

49.) March 11, 1908 – Boston, Massachusetts – 2 dead

50.) March 19, 1909 – Mount Vernon, Illinois – 0 dead / 1 injured

51.) June 10, 1909 – Trinidad, Colorado – 1 dead (Walter Harris, 11-year-old student, accidentally shot his teacher, B.C. Briggs in the head while on a school field trip, killing him.) Why did Walter have a gun in the first place, let alone out and loaded on a field trip? I am quite sure that question was asked many times by everyone involved.

52.) August 18, 1909 – Bakersfield, California – 0 dead / 0 injured (After hunting doves, a group of six young men deliberately shot out the glass at the Fruitvale School. They also shot at the nearby residence of A.J. Hunter, narrowly missing several children in the rear yard.) Another case of irresponsible youth taken by the power of the gun. In this case was it the guns fault or those who used the gun? 

53.) September 11, 1909 – Gravette, Arkansas – 1 dead (John Butram, a student at the Bear Hollow School, told his fellow students that school was canceled. The teacher A.T. Kelly insisted that the day’s lesson was not over. When Butram drew a knife on his teacher, Kelly drew his gun and shot him.) Another instance of why arming teachers is not a good idea. 

54.) January 12, 1910 – New York City, New York – 2 dead

55.) March 10, 1910 – Ione, California – 0 dead / 0 injured (At the reform school, known as Preston School of Industry, students Albert Brown and Eugene Griffin tried to escape, stealing a revolver from the school’s bakery shop. They shot at Captain William H. White when he pursued them. No one was hurt, but the boys were transferred to the penitentiary, which held adults.) 

56.) August 16, 1910 – Lexington, Kentucky – 1 dead / ? injured

57.) April 27, 1911 – Manhattan, Kansas – 1 dead / 0 injured

58.) January 31, 1912 – San Francisco, California – 1 dead (During a stone-throwing confrontation near the Oriental School on Clay Street, a group of white boys found themselves trapped between two groups of Chinese boys. In an attempt to escape, Jose Aguilar, fired a BB shot air rifle twice hoping to frighten the Chinese. However, 10-year-old Wong She had a gun and fired back. One bullet passed through Aguilar’s coat sleeve as he ran and fatally struck 14-year-old James Kane in the school’s rear yard.) 

59.) February 16, 1912 – Lagrange, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

60.) November 19, 1914 – Sayre, Pennsylvania – 1 dead / 0 injured (While walking to school, 14-year-old Charles Listman, killed 15-year-old Andrew Milton, over the affections of a classmate, 13-year-old Minnie London.) 

61.) January 13, 1915 – Vancouver, Washington – 1 injured

62.) February 3, 1915 – Jasper, Florida – 1 dead / 1 injured

63.) September 20, 1916 – Bemidji, Minnesota – 1 injured

64.) December 26, 1916 – Danville, Kentucky – 1 dead / ? injured

65.) June 5, 1917 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – 1 injured

66.) October 28, 1917 – Chicago, Illinois – 1 dead / 0 injured

67.) November 29, 1917 – Manes, Missouri – 0 dead / 1 injured

68.) March 29, 1918 – Jefferson City, Missouri – 1 dead / 0 injured

69.) April 6, 1918 – Reeder, North Dakota – 1 dead / 0 injured (During the afternoon recess, a boy was looking over a 22-caliber rifle; it discharged, striking the head of the Coyne boy in the seat to the front, killing him instantly.) 

70.) January 9, 1919 – Monroe City, Missouri – 0 dead / 0 injured (While school was in session, Hugh Claggett shot through the school house’s front door while on his way home from work. No one was hurt, and he was fined $20) So we see fines have risen from $9.00 to $20.00  a growth of $11.00. Children could have been killed but this is what the price of life is in our Nation. Sad commentary all around. 

71.) April 12, 1919 – Ogden City, Utah – 0 dead / 1 injured (During a high school assembly, six boys shot off their guns. Permission had been given in the belief the guns were loaded with blanks but they had live shot. Teacher Verna Davidson was shot in the foot.) Complete lack of judgment! What possessed the school Administration to allow such a thing in the first place?

72.) August 4, 1919 – Berkeley, California – 0 dead / 2 injured

73.) February 14, 1920 – Durant, Oklahoma – 0 dead / 1 injured

74.) March 4, 1920 – Cincinnati, Ohio – 0 dead / 1 injured

75.) May 1, 1920 – Summerville, Georgia – 0 dead / 0 injured (At the High School, 15-year-old student Alexander Potter, fired six shots at his teacher, Prof. Ransom, but missed. Potter was upset over having received a severe thrashing and expulsion. Potter was sentenced to six years at a reform school.) 

76.) May 15, 1920 – Bowling Green, Ohio – 1 dead / 0 injured (While attending her son’s school track meet, Mrs. F. Mahl was killed accidentally by shot from the starter’s pistol.)

77.) August 1, 1920 – Ogden, Utah – 0 dead / 1 injured

78.) October 22, 1920 – Chicago, Illinois – 0 dead / 1 injured (Mrs. Carmila Rindoni went to the school and twice shot Rosalind I. Reynolds, her son’s teacher, for spanking her son the day before. Mrs. Rindoni was arrested, and Miss Reynolds was expected to recover.) 

79.) November 4, 1920 – Middlesboro, Kentucky – 1 dead / 0 injured

80.) February 17, 1922 – Valdosta, Georgia – 2 dead / 0 injured 

81.) August 1, 1922 – Ardmore, Oklahoma – 1 dead / 0 injured

82.) December 29, 1926 – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – 0 dead / 1 injured

83.) May 22, 1930 – Ringe, Minnesota – 1 dead / 0 injured (24-year-old Douglas Petersen, killed 20-year-old teacher, Margaret Wegman, who was standing in the doorway of a rural schoolhouse.) 

84.) May 28, 1931 – Duluth, Minnesota – 1 dead / 0 injured (Katherine McMillen, 24-year-old teacher at the Howard Gensen rural school near Duluth, was accidentally killed by a pupil who brought a revolver to school.)

85.) September 14, 1934 – Gill, Massachusetts – 1 dead / 0 injured (Headmaster Elliott Speer was murdered by a shotgun blast through the window at Northfield Mount Hermon School. The crime was never solved.) 

86.) May 7, 1935 – Irvington, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

87.) May 19, 1936 – Williamstown, Massachusetts – 2 dead / 1 injured (Lewis Jack Somes, Jr. shot and killed classmate Robert Henneberry and wounded William Hartz, Jr. before killing himself in Lehman Hall at Williams College.) 

88.) June 4, 1936 – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – 2 dead / 0 injured 

89.) June 4, 1937 – Isabel, Kansas – 1 dead / 0 injured

90.) September 24, 1937 – Toledo, Ohio – 0 dead / 2 injured

91.) January 24, 1938 – Blencoe, Iowa – 1 dead / 0 injured

92.) May 6, 1940 – Pasadena, California – 5 dead / 2 injured (South Pasadena Junior High School murders: Outraged by his dismissal, following conflicts with other staff, thirty-eight-year-old Verlin H. Spencer shot and killed 62-year-old superintendent of the South Pasadena city schools George C. Bush, 50-year-old principal of South Pasadena High School John E. Alman, and 52-year-old School District business manager Will R. Speer. He then attempted to kill Bush’s secretary, 32-year-old Dorothea Talbert; she was struck near the shoulder. He later shot and killed 45-year-old art teacher Ruth Sturgeon, with whom he’d been in conflict, fatally wounding her in the chest and, following an intense struggle, 35-year-old mechanical arts teacher Verner V. Vanderlip, another with whom he had a grievance. Spencer was cornered by police as he attempted to escape through the school cafeteria; as one officer aimed, Spencer pressed the .22 caliber automatic pistol against his right side and fired twice, critically wounding himself. Police later found a suicide note from Spencer to his wife, Polly. He survived his wounds and was tried for murder. Pleading guilty to all charges, he received 5 consecutive life terms. He was discharged from California’s Department of Correction in 1977, aged 75. Verlin Spencer died January 11, 1991.) I guess the question I have is, ‘Was it worth it?’ 

93.) July 4, 1940 – Valhalla, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

94.) October 2, 1942 – New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

95.) June 26, 1946 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured

96.) February 2, 1947 – Madill, Oklahoma – 2 dead / 0 injured (62-year-old Ellis Laird killed his estranged wife, a 40-year-old teacher, Jessie Laird, inside her first-grade classroom. He then took his own life. All of this took place in the presence of several pupils.) 

97.) December 24, 1948 – New York City, New York – 1dead / 0 injured

98.) March 11, 1949 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured (A 16-year-old student at Stuyvesant High School was accidentally shot in the arm by a fellow student who was ‘showing off’ with a pistol in a classroom.) 

99.) November 12, 1949 – Columbus, Ohio – 1 dead / 0 injured

100.) July 22, 1950 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured

101.) January 24, 1951 – Alton, Illinois – 1 dead / 0 injured

102.) March 12, 1951 – Union Mills, North Carolina – 2 dead / 0 injured

103.) June 4, 1951 – New York City, New York  – 1 dead / 0 injured

104.) November 27, 1951 – St. Louis, Missouri – 1 dead / 0 injured (15-year-old student, David Brooks, was fatally shot as fellow pupils looked on. Two former students were sought by police.) 

105.) April 9, 1952 – New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured (A 15-year-old boarding school student shot a dean rather than give up his pin-up pictures of girls in bathing suits.) A case where a thing was more important than human life! 

106.) July 14, 1952 – New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

107.) October 2, 1953 – Chicago, Illinois – 1 dead / 0 injured (14-year-old Bernice Turner, killed 14-year-old Pasquale Coletta inside the science classroom at Kelly High School. The shooting was later ruled to be accidental.) Why was there a gun in the classroom in the first place? How could this be an accident?

108.) March 31, 1954 – Newton, Massachusetts – 1 dead / 0 injured (14-year-old John Frankenberger, was accidentally killed in a classroom at Day Junior High School when a pistol being held by a classmate discharged.) Again, why was there a gun permitted in the classroom and how could the death of an innocent be an accident?

109.) May 15, 1954 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina – 1 dead / 2 injured

110.) January 11, 1955 – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania – 1 dead / 0 injured

111.) May 4, 1956 – Seat Pleasant, Maryland – 1 dead / 2 injured

112.) October 20, 1956 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured

113.) October 2, 1957 – New York City, New York  – 0 dead / 1 injured

114.) March 4, 1958 – New York City, New York  – 0 dead / 1 injured

115.) May 1, 1958 – Massapequa, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

116.) September 24, 1959 –  New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured (Twenty-seven men and boys and an arsenal were seized in the Bronx as the police headed off a gang war resulting from the fatal shooting of a teenager at Morris High School.) 

FOR COMPLETE LIST OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS CLICK HERE

The Breakdown

Within the 1960’s there were a total of 18 shooting, 44 deaths and 64 injured. This then brings the death toll of the 20th century up to 109 dead. That means the 1960’s having 44 dead was the most deaths by school shootings ever in our nation’s history. However, it just gets worse from here. 1970’s we see at a total of 36 dead and 73 injured. Bring the 20th century up to 145 dead. The 1980’s records 49 dead and 164 injured, bring the death toll within the 20th century to 194 dead. The 1990’s records a total of 88 deaths the most in any single decade of the 20th century leaving 146 injured. By far the 1990’s was the most violent period in American history, raising the 20th century’s death toll to 282 dead. When calculating total deaths from the start of this count to the end of the 20th century the overall deaths in America comes out to 330 people who died in school-related shootings. I find this oddly ironic because during this period of time America has clung tightly to the 2nd Amendment of the constitution which is the right to bear arms… and in light of this the rights of those who have been killed have been forgotten, so I ask which is more important, the Right to Bear Arms – which has been taken out of context by the NRA, or the right to, ” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?” Do guns bring us happiness? For it says in the Bible, (1 John 2:15-16), ‘Do not love the things of this world.’ Happiness cannot be found in the things or deeds of men,

 20 Hell has a voracious appetite, and lust just never quits. – Proverbs 27:20 (Message – MSG) 

Social Justice

Indeed, I say to you my brothers and sisters that the ‘Hell’ our country has been sucked into by a few over the gun issue has cost us much at the price of innocent blood. In just the 21st century we have seen 278 deaths within our schools bring the overall death toll to 608 dead. This problem is not getting any better rather it is just getting worse! For it is a sin of the love of money which forces the many to continually pay the price of blood for the few who want or mistakenly think they have the right to bear arms. What would you say to those who have died, what will you say to the God upon judgment day? For I tell you the truth, “In God’s infinite wisdom, we came into this world dependent on those around us, and we will exit this world having left some great or small impression on the strands of life. We will be held accountable, not only for the things we do but also for the things we do not do. When it comes to the social effect of our moral decisions, the things we do not do may be as important as the things we do.” – The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, 3rd Edition, Saint Mary’s Press, Chapter 24 – Social Justice, pg.264-265.

The overwhelming death count is now and always had been a matter of Social Justice, the laws not enacted, those who keep the lawmakers from acting, and the money within the system which lines the pockets of the powerful all have become an issue of right from wrong, a matter of moral conscience, an issue of social justice.  For, “God calls society to follow moral principles that defend human dignity by ensuring that essential human needs are met and that essential human right are protected for all people.” – Social Justice, pg.265…  Not for just a few.

So, I say let the children march! Let the students teach society a lesson about the basics of human dignity, let them stand up and be heard as they cry out for Social Justice, and make the lawmakers in every State of the Union see the numbers of the dead and know it’s time to finally act! LET THE STUDENTS MARCH, LET THEM MARCH, LET THEM ALL MARCH!

Let’s Us Pray

TURIBIUS DE MONGROVEJO, BISHOP

Commemoration

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Ant. This is a faithful and wise steward: the Lord entrusted the care of his household to him so that he might give their portion of food at the proper season. 

Lord, through the apostolic work of Saint Turibius and his unwavering love and truth, you helped you Church grow. May your chosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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Joseph the Carpenter, Husband, and Father

Knowing the Voice of God

Solemnity of Saint Joseph – Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, March 19, 2018 – Fifth Week of Lent

23 “Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, 24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

He who knows the voice of God is truly blessed, he who hears and obeys the voice of God truly knows the grace of God the Father.  It could be said that Joseph, husband of Mary, Father of Jesus knows the voice of God. It could be said that his faith led him in such ways as to accept the unacceptable, believe in the unbelievable, and love and forgive despite the harsh and stiff laws of man. There is nothing more rewarding than to rise up and confront the world in its most terrible of moments with God’s courage, conviction, and love as Joesph had done. Joseph for all his flaws was a man of deep faith and courage. He loved with his heart and listened intently to each word from the lips of our God in heaven and rightly in the Bible (Matthew 1:19) Joseph is described as a righteous man. Moreover, Joseph was the type of man who not only wanted to do what was right for others, but also to do those things in the right way.  We know that Joseph listened to and could understand God. But listening is just one part of the total action of Joseph, for he also obeyed our Lord. So, let’s walk together, my brothers and sisters through the story we all know concerning Joseph and his four dreams.

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

First Dream – Joseph the Husband: (Matthew 1:19-25) Joseph was engaged to Mary and she came to him telling him about the ‘Immaculate Conception’, knowing the baby was not his and did not want to get her in trouble with the law chose to dismiss her quietly. But God had other plans, for he sent an angel to Joseph in his dream, assuring him that the baby was of God and that Joseph was to name him Jesus. But above all Joseph was to take Mary as his wife.

Question ‘What does Joseph immediately do after waking from this dream?’ 

Answer: That’s right, Joseph does what he was told to do without any reservations. In addition to this, he also makes sure Mary stays a virgin until Jesus is born. In this way, Joseph plays an essential part in the plan of salvation. 

The Escape to Egypt

Second Dream – Joseph the Protector: (Matthew 2: 13-15) While still in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus once again we read that Joseph was asleep and an angel of God appeared to him in a dream forewarning him of King Herod’s plans to kill every male child the age of two and younger. The Angel instructs Joseph to go to Egypt and wait there until told to come back.

Question ‘Again what does Joseph immediately do after waking from this second dream?’ 

Answer: That’s right, Joseph does what he was told to do without any reservations. Again, setting it up for scripture to be fulfilled – ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’

The Return from Egypt

Third & Fourth Dream – Joseph Loyal Servant to God: (Matthew 2:19-23) This time once again came to Joseph in a dream telling him to get up and go to Israel, but when Joseph heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was ruling over Judea from the fourth and final dream, Joseph became concerned and thus changed their destination to the district of Galilee, settling in the town of Nazareth. In doing this Joseph once again fulfills yet another prophecy concerning Jesus, ‘He will be called a Nazorean.’

Ok, I’m not going to ask the same question and give you the same answer as the first two times, however, it is painfully obvious that Joseph is both listening and obeying God’s every command to the letter. Joseph exhibited some core characteristics of a righteous man in his actions above that I would like everyone to take note of;

1.) Joseph exhibits a great deal of confidence in the angel’s messages, always immediately do what was being requested of him without delay.

2.) Joseph exhibits an enormous amount of faith in that his dreams were indeed inspired and from an angel of God. This is also recorded in, (Luke 2:41-42).

3.) Joseph exhibits a real maternal fatherly roll over Jesus in that he not only acts as a protector but also caregiver during those first days.

Scripture also tells of Joseph and Mary having other children of their own, (Matthew 13:55), but moreover, Joseph taught Jesus how to be a carpenter, (Mark 6:3), this is certain as it was the Jewish custom for fathers to pass down to their sons their trade and training at the age of 12 for this is a known Jewish custom, therefore Joseph becomes a teacher in the training of his son’s to be a tektōn (τέκτων), Greek for artisan/craftsman, in particular, a carpenter or wood-worker or builder. Following Jewish customs we also know that Joseph was very religious as scripture also records that Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple, once every four years. So, we can conclude Joseph had an immeasurable influence on what religious message Jesus received under his tutelage. I would like to think that Jesus used some of the lessons His step-father had taught throughout His ministry. So, with these additional character traits my brothers and sister take a moment and reflect on Joseph as a father figure;

4.)  Joseph as the legal father of Jesus taught him a trade, that being a carpenter. This would allow Jesus to earn money and provide for his family once Joseph had passed on.

5.) Joseph instructed Jesus in matters of religion as a member of the Jewish faith. Thus, Joseph takes his family to the temple every four years.

In these ways, Jesus was taught life skills as well as how to practice his religious customs. I have heard by several priests that out of every person on earth God could have possibly chosen to raise His son, God chose Joseph, from the House of David, again fulling scripture, (Isaiah 9:6-7).  With all these admirable traits Joseph as Saint is looked up to for his characteristics of loyalty, commitment, labor, selflessness, humility, honorable, chivalrous, and as a brave servant leader.

Saint Joseph – Patron of Use All

Pope Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church in 1870. Having died in the “arms of Jesus and Mary” according to Catholic tradition, he is considered the model of the pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death, in other words, the patron of a happy death. – Foley, O.F.M., Leonard. Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey O.F.M.), Franciscan Media, ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7

Referring to Saint Joseph, Pope Leo wrote, “[h]e set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant; regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing…” – Quamquam pluries, (August 15, 1889), in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Veneration of Saint Joseph is believed to have started somewhere around the year 800 A.D. referencing Joseph as ‘Nutritor Domini’, or (educator/guardian of the Lord). Saint Joseph believed deeply in the dignity of the human person, in the family, in sacrifice, and in the love of service to his community and to God. Because of his qualities as a believer in God, he also is the patron saint of families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), explorers, pilgrims, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general. The following countries and cities claim him as their Patron Saint as well, Americas, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Finally, as there are special payers said for Mother Mary, there are also the same for Saint Joseph. These prayers within the Catholic Church focus on the seven joys and seven sorrows of Saint Joseph which include prayers for daily protection, vocation, happy marriage, happy death, and hopeless cases; specific prayers, novenas, and devotions include the Prayer to Saint Joseph and the Novena to Saint Joseph.

Saint Joseph indeed emulated the words of  (Colossians 3:23-24) in all that he did, he was the perfect model of a servant leader, embodying the what it meant to be a father, teacher, husband, believer, and most importantly of all a protector. There is no better a person to be your personal hero and patron. Saint Joseph is the one man who helped preserve the salvation story fighting earnestly for Jesus, for Mary, and for God. Today my brothers and sisters take time and join in with the world and celebrate Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary, through the INVITATION TO PRAY. 

LETS PRAY

ANCIENT PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH

Over 1900 Years Old

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.

Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.

Amen.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

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Born of Paradise

An Argument to be Exalted

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

14 ‘And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.’ – John 3:14-15 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

First a Warning!

There is a true battle which rages within us, it consumes us, and in the end, it will either prove us to be innocent and straightforward children of God beyond reproach or guilty sinners unworthy of eternal life. For I confess we will either be with God in heaven or be like the snake and trampled underfoot.

The Snake of Fiery Copper

4-5 They set out from Mount Hor along the Red Sea Road, a detour around the land of Edom. The people became irritable and cross as they traveled. They spoke out against God and Moses: “Why did you drag us out of Egypt to die in this godforsaken country? No decent food; no water—we can’t stomach this stuff any longer.” 6-7 So God sent poisonous snakes among the people; they bit them and many in Israel died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke out against God and you. Pray to God; ask him to take these snakes from us.” Moses prayed for the people. God said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.” So Moses made a snake of fiery copper and put it on top of a flagpole. Anyone bitten by a snake who then looked at the copper snake lived.” – Numbers 21:4–9 The Message (MSG)

Reflection

For I tell you, my brothers and sisters, that Jesus came from heaven, he is of heaven, descended from paradise barring witness to the things he saw and heard and from his experiences testified here on earth to the truth. In this, I speak plainly so it will not be misunderstood or mischaracterized by talented charlatans who speak out of the side of their mouth, who weave a believable story which leads thousands astray.  So, that it may be made known to you the secret message of, (John 3:14-15). This message is more of a revelation about the Season of Lent and the selfless acts which are characterized in what God has done for us.  For this season of Lent is all about rebirth, it is about renewal, it is all about repentance, and forgiveness. It is about God showing us His everlasting grace, and bring to humanity the wisdom of life; the words of every lasting life.  We find here in this scriptural reading that Jesus is making the argument to Nicodemus that before people actually commit and believe in something, even if it was a well-known truth, written down in black and white moreover, proven in plain daylight; we human beings still need a signpost! In many ways, even with a signpost, there are some who still question its validity and procrastinate with questions that they already know the answer to. In this Jesus is instructing us that his signpost leads straight to Heaven, to salvation, we can skip past Hell collect eternal life and move on to spending eternity with God forever! As Moses lifted up the serpent as a signpost, so is God lifting up His son here on Earth to lead us all to everlasting life! Thus, I gave the warning against those who would tell you others wise first, I expressed this internal fight we all have with ourselves so you all may see there are no more reasons to continue warring with yourselves, (internally), just as there is no longer the basis to listen to liers and thieves about God’s signpost… Our Lord Jesus Christ! I boldly proclaim for the world to read in black and white the truth, for we are in the crisis of disbelief in the face of a modern world who has grown to think, dare to believe, that Christ is no longer relevant, that the laws of God have no hold on us, and if you fall to this disbelief you fall to sin and damnation needlessly! Just like the Israelites who cursed God and Moses in the desert. Surely I say to you your spirit will be forever damned needlessly! I say needlessly because all you have to do is look to the serpent lifted up on the flagpole, look to Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross!

A question of a new hearer: ‘So, how do I know this signpost is real? I mean… it is a scary thing to give up control of our lives and give that control to God. Someone we cannot see, feel, hear, or touch. So, how can I or anyone else be sure Jesus is the real deal?’ 

Answer: ‘Just Look!’

What is of Earth & What is of Heaven

31-33 “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The Earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heaven-born is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.” – John 3:31-33 The Message (MSG)

The principal thought that should be in every human beings mind once hearing Jesus’s message for the first time prior to committing to being baptized is this… ‘Already, how have I handled myself before others?’  The hearer should be concerned with how they have led their lives up to this point, how they have conducted themselves, and they should already before hearing the message have wanted to have acted humbly thinking of others needs first rather than their own. The pretext is just as important as the post-change soon to follow the baptism. I started with this because Jesus has already testified to the truth and the life God wants for us, we know what is possible if only we submit and believe. The first time hearer needs to understand this basic fact and accept it as truth. I say this because it is not an easy thing to do, for either party, the one who is leading and the one who is following. Prime example, (John 3:1-10), in which Nicodemus, a full-fledged Pharisee who seeks Jesus out but was still fighting this internal war I spoke about in the beginning. His questions elementary in nature revealing his wanting to believe, but just needed Jesus to be that signpost. Nicodemus was deeply troubled as he tried to resolve his own faith and beliefs with what his eyes had witnessed and his ears had heard from Jesus – in the flesh! The moral of the story frankly is simple, God wants you to exhibit the changed life once you have committed because He is committed to you! God is in a league all His own, He knows your mortal body could never see Heaven in its fullness and He knows the spirit is weighed down by the wants of the flesh. God knows that before you can accept the truth there needs to be a very persuasive argument. Above all, God also knows to be saved all you have to do is look – look at His saving grace of the cross. I think that the one thing we can rely upon with confidence each time we confess our faith in Jesus, is the promise He spoke two-thousand years ago – found in, (Luke 21:15);

‘I will inspire you with the wisdom which your adversaries will be unable to resist.’

Closing Prayer

God our Father,

Foundation and source of our salvation, may we proclaim your glory every day of our lives, that we may sing your praise forever in heaven. O Lord, make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals. I pray that you help me and all of humanity daily to never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let us think humbly of others as superior to ourselves, looking to our brothers and sisters interests from all around the world rather than our own. As I look to the Day of Christ, O My God I know you will always be there holding my hand validating my faithfulness uplifting me at the end showing me that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose. As you have done this for me I know you will do the same for all your children whom you love endlessly. We, your children, ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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