November 19, 2017

Reading 1 Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.
   I love this reading because it contradicts society so much.  Women should be treated like the unfailing prizes they are rather than an object of pleasure.  We are beautifully hand-crafted by the Lord, but so many women do not carry themselves as if they are.  They look rejected, hurt, torn, and bothered.  I do have to say it is disheartening to see guys always going for girls that are easy and makes us girls wonder if we should just join them (even though we know we shouldn’t).  There is so much pressure on girls to have amazing bodies, hair, faces, teeth, etc.  But physical beauty is fleeting.  There is nothing like a woman with the Spirit inside her.  Boys may not realize this, but men do.  Some people say that if women would raise their standards, more guys would be gentlemen.  Then  the would have to treat us like the pearls we are because we would not settle for less.

Reading 2 1 Thes 5:1-6

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come
like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security, “
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.

        I don’t think people really think about the fact that Jesus can come back at any day, any time.  It is real, but people act like it is always so far in the future.  The thing is, would you be ready if He came tomorrow? What about today? We are different though.  We know Jesus so there is no need to be scared.  We just need to use this as a reminder to follow His Commandments and love as He loves.  This is also an invitation to help others and guide them to the cross.  There are so many out there wandering lost and confused.  They need light in this dark world.  Stay on watch, and find those souls that are in need of saving.

Gospel Mt 25:14-30

Jesus told His disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

     God gives all of us talents.  Think about what yours are.  Do we use them?  They are given to us to enjoy life and ultimately should bring Him glory.  We should not hide them like the man that buried his.  We should be working on our talents daily and bettering ourselves.  Our talents give us platforms.  Think about it.  The all-star football player that rushes 200 yards a game and says he was able to do that because he dedicated his season to God.  Or the gorgeous girl that wins beauty pageants who brings up her faith in the questionnaire part of the contest…Don’t you think that stands out to people? Our talents give us an avenue to promote Him.  We can touch so many lives all because we can sing, dance, play soccer, dj, write, speak well.  Much is expected of those whom much is given.  Bear fruit.

November 12, 2017

Reading 1 Wis 6:12-16

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire;
Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed,
for he shall find her sitting by his gate.
For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever for her sake keeps vigil
shall quickly be free from care;
because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her,
and graciously appears to them in the ways,
and meets them with all solicitude.
      Everyone wants to be smart, but really we should want to be wise.  Wisdom comes in time and with experience for many people, but to be naturally wise is a blessing.  With wisdom, one can make the best decisions and know the peace of Christ.  Wisdom allows us to take that step back and not fret about the world and what everyone else is worrying about.  It makes us pure, intelligent, and seeking Him.

Reading 2 1 Thes 4:13-18

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.
Indeed, we tell you this, on the Word of the Lord,
that we who are alive,
who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord Himself, with a Word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from Heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

   We should not be ignorant of the reality of the people that are comfortable in this world and do not make it to Heaven.  We need to fully accept Christ into our hearts and have strong faith.  Do our actions align with our words?  Or do we just say we love God and do nothing about it?   I know for sure I want to be with Jesus forever, and as scary as it sounds, we must be aware of reality.  We must be alert and awake at any moment for Jesus to come again.

Gospel Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told His disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
     See it pays to be wise !!! But on the real, are you ready ? If Jesus came down from Heaven, would you feel ashamed or excited to go meet Him?  It is so hard to think like that in every day life because we carry on in the world in our routine not really thinking this could be the day Jesus comes.  In reality, we should because we need to be ready at any time.  We do not want to feel like we have things to fix or need to run off to Confession first.  We need to prepare.  And none of this is to scare us, but God wants us to be serious about following Him.  Those most persevering are those that are good even when no one is watching and there is no reward.  We need to push through those hard situations and difficult days because that day might just be the day.

November 5, 2017

Reading 1 Mal 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10

A great King am I, says the LORD of hosts,
and My Name will be feared among the nations.
And now, O priests, this commandment is for you:
If you do not listen,
if you do not lay it to heart,
to give glory to My Name, says the LORD of hosts,
I will send a curse upon you
and of your blessing I will make a curse.
You have turned aside from the way,
and have caused many to falter by your instruction;
you have made void the covenant of Levi,
says the LORD of hosts.
I, therefore, have made you contemptible
and base before all the people,
since you do not keep My ways,
but show partiality in your decisions.
Have we not all the One Father?
Has not the One God created us?
Why then do we break faith with one another,
violating the covenant of our fathers?
      We need to give glory to Jesus’ Name.  Greater is He living in me than he who is in the world.  We need to live more for Him than ourselves.  We are nothing without Him, and our lives should be a prayer, living and sacrificing not for our own benefit but for the betterment of Him.  We must represent Him well because we will cause people to sin if we do not stay faithful to His Word and Commandments.  It is selfish to lead people away from God because of our own sins.  We must put our desires, pleasures, and wants to the side if it does not praise Him Name.

Reading 2 1 Thes 2:7b-9, 13

Brothers and sisters:
We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.
You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery.
Working night and day in order not to burden any of you,
we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.

And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly,
that, in receiving the Word of God from hearing us,
you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the Word of God,
which is now at work in you who believe.

  As sharers of the Gospel, we must truly care for our brothers and sisters.  We are working to save souls.  Building relationships is a catalyst to trust and will help others become closer to God through you.  We become God’s tools/instruments for the Gospel.  His Word is truly from Him, and He is working in us and through us.

Gospel Mt 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in Heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one Master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

   Do not be a hypocrite.  Follow the Lord but do not make it seem like a hardship or burden.  Happy Christians are the best Christians.  Everything we do for God must be genuine and true.  We are not to look pompous or try to look better than others but be humble and walk with our Lord.  Jesus is humble and did all for others.  We need to follow His example and take ourselves off the #1 priority spot in our lives.  Then there will be room to love others.  It will take the dirt out of our eyes to see where others need to love, too.

All Saints’ Day November 1, 2017

Reading 1 Rv 7:2-4, 9-14
I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, Who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

We are washed clean by our Lord’s Blood.  Our sins run read, but we are washed white because of His sacrifice.  All the praise belongs to Him.  How often do we start to complain or think we deserve more, yet Jesus came down to give His own Life.  We act like that was not enough.  This is how we are saved, and we are set apart because of this salvation.  We are His; we should act like it.

Reading 2 1 Jn 3:1-3

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know Him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him,
for we shall see Him as He is.
Everyone who has this hope based on Him makes himself pure,
as He is pure.

I often have a hard time why so many people reject Christianity or mock it.  Well, it is simply not going to be answered, but if people did not accept Jesus Christ, God Himself, they sure are not going to accept us, His followers.  I can’t comprehend how people turn something so good into something so bad, but it is part of the fight.  The daily struggle to not let the world take your soul.  We have to put all the hate behind us and into the background because our Focus should be Him.  There is a spiritual war against Christianity, and we must accept that and continue to beat the crosses.  He bore His, and now it is time for us to bear ours.  We just need to remember that He gets us and is here to help.  We are not alone and need to let our pride go because we have so much to give to the God Who gives us everything.  We must make our thoughts, words, and deeds pure.  The secular world wants to taint the beauty of innocence by making it seem that the bad is good and the good is bad.  This is so warped and takes souls away from God, the purest Being.  Pure Love.  To be like Him is to be pure.

Gospel Mt 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up the mountain,
and after He had sat down, His disciples came to Him.
He began to teach them, saying:“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of Me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in Heaven.”

     Those that live a virtuous life shall be rewarded.  The Commandments told us what not to do, but the Beatitudes tell us what to do.  This is hard but everything should be filtered through these Statements.  We have to understand that Jesus Himself said these things.  Don’t we want to listen?  We need to WWJD on every decision we make, and through that we should see these Beatitudes come to life.  This is the ticket to life, love, and true happiness.

October 29, 2017

Reading 1 Ex 22:20-26

Thus says the LORD:
“You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
You shall not wrong any widow or orphan.
If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me,
I will surely hear their cry.
My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword;
then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.

“If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people,
you shall not act like an extortioner toward him
by demanding interest from him.
If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge,
you shall return it to him before sunset;
for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body.
What else has he to sleep in?
If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate.”

    We must treat others with respect.  We cannot go around forgetting when we were at the bottom.  We have to realize that everything we have and are is because of God.  None of this happened because of our own doing.  The Lord hears those that are struggling, and we do not have any right to act better than anyone else.  We have to be humble and love others just like Jesus loves them.

Reading 2 1 Thes 1:5c-10

Brothers and sisters:
You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake.
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord,
receiving the Word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit,
so that you became a model for all the believers
in Macedonia and in Achaia.
For from you the Word of the Lord has sounded forth
not only in Macedonia and in Achaia,
but in every place your faith in God has gone forth,
so that we have no need to say anything.
For they themselves openly declare about us
what sort of reception we had among you,
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God
and to await His Son from Heaven,
Whom He raised from the dead,
Jesus, Who delivers us from the coming wrath.

       I want to be a model for all believers.  I want others to know Him because of me, with the Holy Spirit radiating off of me.  I do not want to hide my faith or keep it private.  That is for the weak.  That’s for those that live for themselves, not Him.  We all do it.  Some situations are uncomfortable to share faith, but that is when we have to do it more.  It is selfish to hold it in because we could save so many more souls if we are unapologetic.  It should not take long for people to see God in us.  It should be noticed right away.
         We need to turn from our idols as well to serve God.  The living and true God.  Everything else is dead and also kills us.  If it is not of God, we should run.  Those things/sins are our enemies.  We need to keep our focus on Jesus.  The Word of the Lord should sound forth, confidently and courageously.

Gospel Mt 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested Him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole Law and the prophets depend on these two Commandments.”
        These Commandments are so simple yet we have such a hard time with them.  The greatest is loving God with everything in us because only then will life be right.  Everything stems from our relationship with God and can become so much better if He is put first.  All our heart, all our soul, and all our mind.  That is so key.  All of our energy, effort, and enthusiasm is supposed to be put into loving God.  He will take care of us.  It is an easy solution.  Because He loves us, we will love others.  We will see Him in them.  It is only natural.   Love will overflow.