Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friday May 1, 2009 of the third week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 9: 1-20 Psalm 117: 1-2 Jojn 6:53-59
Psalm Response: "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News"

This passage is the first of three tellings of the conversion of Paul. Armed with supeonas authorizing him to arrest and extradite members of the New Way, Paul took his mandate ratehr responsibly and set out with avengence to haul anyone professing belief in Christ's resurrection, back to the Sanhedran to face the criminal charges made against them by the Sadducees and Pharisees.
Paul was a strict Pharisee and adhered to the Law as no one else in his circle. When he approached the district of Damascus a bedrock of the Christian movement he came upon the crest of the knolls surrounding damascus. It wa shot and the cool breeze wafting the area caused and updraft. We here in Texas know the severity of the circling winds when the hot air and the cool breeze mesh. paul is said to have been tossed to the ground and blinded by the brilliance of the light surrounding him.
As he lay there not knowing what had happened to him, he heard a voice from around him asling, " Sauil, why are you persecuting me?"
Stunned, Saul asked, "Who are you sir?"
The answer came swiftly and succinctly , " I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting!
Now, into the city and you will be told what you must do!"
Unable to see, he was led to the house of Ananias a desicple of Christ. Ananias was hesitant to help Sauk as he had heard of the dastardly duty he was sent to do. However, Christ intervened and told Ananias, he must do what he disdains as paul would be His messanger and would suffer much because of His name.
Saul was Baptized, took the name Paul and henchforth becam e aleading spokesman for the Christian Faith.
We are called as was Paul tp preach the Good News to all the world. We do not necessarily, have the eloquence of Paul or Peter but our actions in concert with the teachings of our Church speak volumes of our faith and the hope we engender for all God's creatures.

As if to confirm Jesus'promise to give us His own flesh to eat and His Blood to drink, when the Jews pondered how He would accomplish this impossibility, Jesus repeated His words for the fourth time. If you do not eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink His blood you shall not have life in you.
When He was about to undergo crucifixion for our sins, He showed the depth of His love by instituting the Eucharist as the New Covenant all would have to follow to be His disciple.
When our ordained ministers call upon the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ,it isn't just a request, it is an actual chsnge without the physical dimension smoe people insit on.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thursdat of the third Week in Easter

Thursday April 29, 2009 of the third week in Easter

Readings: ACTS 8: 26-40 Psalm 66: 8-9, 16-17-20 John 6: 44-51
Psalm Response: “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy!”

This Philip wasn’t the Apostle but one of the Greek speaking Deacons appointed by Peter to see to it the widows and orphans of the Greek speaking world would be cared for and fed. By his example, the service to the widows and orphans was accomplished. Therefore, the Holy Spirit had other work for him and directed him on an evangelical mission.
By explanation of the reading from Isaiah and the interpretation of Jesus as the One Who was to come, the Ethiopian Official became convinced, believed and insisted on being Baptized. Thereby, the Africans became the first fruits of evangelization.

In John’s rendition of the Good News, we do not find the typical Eucharistic institution.
In its place, Johns 6th Chapter lays out the formula for becoming God’s disciple and attaining eternal life. Jesus reiterates the assurance we have when we believe His words of His presence in the bread and wine. He repeats the admonition four times, including a repetition after some of His disciples gagged and left because It was hard to swallow.
The formula is repeated in each of the synoptic Gospels and Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians 11: 23-26.

When we are enjoined to take Christ’s words in John 6 as symbolic by some Christian
preachers, it is then we should rely on the uninterrupted belief of the Fathers and leaders of the Catholic Church for the first 14 centuries of Christian teaching.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 29, 2009

Biblical Readings for the Day:

ACTS 8:1b-8 Psalm 66: 1-7 John 6: 35-40
Psalm Response:"Let all the earth cry out to God with Joy!"

Commentaters speculate the persecution was limited to the Greek speaking Jews, as the Aramaic Jews still worshiped and involved themselves in the Temple ritual, whereas, in Samaria and towns away from the Temple, engaged in their own ceremony and ritual.
It appears the Apostles were content to evangelize in the Jerusalem area. Christ, however, had enjoined them to preach the Good News to every creature on earth. A practical solution to their complacency was, whereas they brought Jesus' teaching, eventually, was to bring about persecution, thereby scattering the disciples to the far corners of the then known world.
God wants all to be saved. All are given faith through the intercessary prayer of the Holy Spirit, the Saints in heaven, our friends and our personal committment to the teaching dogma of the Church.
We are the scattered.If we become the banner of righteousness by our demeaner,the resultant will be more converts to the true Christian Way!

Tuesday April 28, 2009

Tuesday April 28, 2009
Readings: ACTS 7: 51- 8: 1 Psalm 31: 3-4, 6-8, 17, 21 John 6: 30-35
Psalm Response:” into Your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit!”

Push a crowd to admit their guilt, will result in the crowd pushing back to declare your guilt!
Stephen’s eloquence cost him his life. His humble beginning as a servant to the poor and widowed, Greek-speaking Jews, ended in a harangue by those who, when riled, lost their control and caused the death of a disciple of Christ. Later, Paul who stood by, without contending against their cruel judgment, rued his actions as it delayed his acceptance into the Christian community.

Christ, continued to proclaim His Divinity in veiled terms. Had He said , “I am God”, it was probably no clearer than when He said “I Am”. He is the Bread of Life; His is the Light for the dark sides; He is the Savior of the whole world!
We delay His action by our shallow lives of non-commitment. Love is never empty or half-hearted!
Love must always be complete!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reflections Lack

I just got out of the hospital for minor surgery. I haven't had the desire to do any blogging since I've been home. When I am ready and the Spirit moves me, I be back in full swing.

Love to all


Thursday, 4-16-2009

Readings: ACTS 3:11-26----Luke 24: 36-49

The readings for today includes the continuation of Peter's speech to the assembled Jews recapitulating the trial and total abandonment of the target of salvation, themselves. God had sent His Son first, to the lost sheep of Israel. However, they refuse the gift and, instead, offered Jesus as the scapegoat of theri sinfulness.
Each time we deny our formed consciences and complete an act of temptation, we join ther unsaved. We would then be remanded to the danger of eternal damnation, if it were not for God's mercy and love,

The disciples from Emmaus recounted their experience to the best of theri ability. However, it paled when Jesus Himself appeared and set them all afright. Jesus consoled themby His human actions of touch and nourishment. When they regained their composure, He enlightened of the meaning of Scripture passages foretelling His suffering, death and resurrection.
Each Eucharist celebration re-presents these experiences of Jesus assuring us of our salvation through the forgiveness of our sin.

Recent Surgery


Dear friends and fellow bloggers:

I recently went to the hospital for extensive surgery hence the lack of "Daily Reflections" from the Roman catholic Lectionary.

I hope to resume them shortly after my prospective healing and return to "normal".


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7, 2009 of Holy Week

Tuesday April 7, 2009 of Holy Week
Readings: Isaiah 49: 1-6 Psalm 71: 1-6,17 John 13: 21-33,36-38
Psalm Response: “I will sing of Your salvation”

One of the ‘Servant Songs’, Isaiah 49 prefigures the advent of the anointed One who will reveal the Father in Himself. Like a two-edged sword, His words will cut both ways, to open our hearts to holiness fully and on extraction guaranteeing it never to waver or be misunderstood.. The rescue, from depravity, self-centeredness and exclusivity both Jerusalem and the world will ultimately believe His message with joy.

When the ‘beloved disciple’ asked “who would betray Him”, Jesus didn’t name him but referred to him as the one who is fed by Him.
In our hearts, we know Christ’s message as the Church has made it abundantly clear in its many Councils which decided matters of Faith and Morals.
Like Judas, we are fed by Faith and we consume the Doctrines. However, like an abuser of food, we sometimes force ourselves to regurgitate the truth to replace it with false doctrine or selfishness!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 6,2009 of Holy Week

Monday April 6, 2009 of Holy Week
Readings: Isaiah 42: 1-7 Psalm 29 John 12: 1-11
Psalm Response: “The Lord is my light and my salvation”

Through Isaiah, God states the ideal of His servant, whom He will send for their salvation
Some of the attributes will be His compassion, His Justice, His healing of the physically and religiously blind. Isaiah almost describes our Savior while he extols the Creator Who knew and made the boundaries of the Earth and drew its limits.

Psalm 29 is about the Lord’s signs. He is our light and our salvation; He banishes fear from His loyal servants.

Our overpaid celebrities, in addition to their place of adulation are given extraordinary powers to discern the right tactic to speak for their fans or so it seems.
Judases abound in the unacknowledged theft of goods and services so small, but in accumulation loom large.
Without Mary’s acceptance, where would our Savior find His abode.
Without Judas’ treachery would our Savior been killed?

Both, in their lives provided an aspect for our redemption.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Palm Sunday

Date: Palm Sunday: April 9, 2006
Readings: Isaiah 50: 4-7 Psalm 22:2, 8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Response: "My God, My God, why have you abandoned Me!"
Philippians 2: 6-11 Mark 11:1-10

The reading from Isaiah is taken from one of the Suffering Servant Songs. In this part, Isaiah uses a form of prefigure which describes the torment the Anointed One, the Messiah, will go through when they decide to kill Him.
The Messiah is given the words, which prove His worth. He listens to the Father's words and speaks only what He has been told. He does the Father's will in all things and is repaid by His detractors with defilement, including, spitting at and buffeting His Holy Face. He was punished by the whip for doing what is right.
Do we do the Father's will for us always? When our faith is subject to ridicule and rejection? When the trend is to forget God's commands and do what's pleasurable? As followers of Christ, we are asked to do as He did, when convenient or inconvenient. Live as He did and receive a like reward.
With the tumult around us in Print and Electronic media regarding NEW discoveries allegedly proving the Gospels to be a Church plot to ensnare us all.
The Gospel of Judas??? This book circulated after it was written in the fourth century. It was given no credence by those close to the alleged source and totally by Christians and Church Fathers as a Gnostic pseudepegripha ( false books).. Surviving Groups of Gnostics, such as the Hollywood Scientology adherents, grasp anything, purported to be a revelation to foist their theology on the unsuspecting who also believe in their prurient lifestyles . “The Divinci Code”, “Left Behind” and many such forms of fictions grab the attention of a sympathetic media and non-religious types amass fortunes from gullible public ready to read and believe any drivel coming within earshot of their itching ears
The twenty-second Psalm begins as though the Psalmist has been rebuffed by God. WHY HAVE YOU ABANDONED ME?
Christ is said to have wailed this while hanging on the cross in His last breathing moments. However, we must read on to the final verses of the psalm to note the redeeming contrast intended. This is one reason why we should not pluck verses out of the context of the writer's thought. Reading the first couple of verses of this Psalm implies God would abandon His only Son. If so, what about us? We should know by our Christian faith, no matter what, God does not abandon us.
We abandon Him from time to time, but, never the other way around.

The wonderful prayer of Paul in his letter to his favorite community should be one we wish to recall, in our memory, for many occasions.
Imagine, if you will, the Word made flesh, through Whom all things were made, debasing Himself and taking on our mortal nature. WHY? So He could be the sacrificial Lamb we need to perfect our nature and become like Him, divine.
How can this be?
The Greek word translated "justification", is better translated "divinized". Therefore, the justification Christ gives us by His life death and resurrection, is His own divine nature. That is why, as His brothers and sisters, we are equal heirs with Him if we also do the Father's will.

There is a strange interlude here in Mark. Although the same theme is related in the other Gospels, giving it credence as something Jesus did and said, since a colt of an ass was a means of transportation for many people, it is unlikely one, for His use, would be tethered where Jesus told His disciples, unless it was prearranged by His followers.
The entrance of a dignitary on an ass was a sign of His coming in peace.
Had He come on a horse or riding in a chariot, the people would expect He was coming as a warlike person.
What the people really wanted and expected was a leader like David, who would start a rebellion against the Romans and free them from the slavery they were enduring. However, Jesus came as a Lamb to be sacrificed, to be the Pascal sacrifice for the salvation of the world.
In our world, we are enjoined, by God, to follow in our master's footsteps to be ready to give our lives, if necessary, for the sake of others.
As we enter into the realm of the twenty-first Century, let our hearts be open to the word of God. Read, ingest and study the Scriptures with an eye to becoming the Christian we were intended to be since the dawn of time! His word is clear. However, if we read it and interpret it in only the literal sense, we may miss the probable intent of the Writer and the Holy Spirit, Who cannot deceive.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Saturday April 4, 2009 of the Fifth week in Lent

Saturday April 4, 2009 of the Fifth week in Lent
Ezekiel 37: 21-28 Jeremiah 31: 10-13 John 11: 45-56
“The Lord will guide us , as a shepherd guards his flock”

Writing from exile in Babylon, Ezekiel prophesizes about the New Jerusalem!
Were we to read the words literally, it would seem he is telling the exiles they would be brought back to the Temple and be reinstated as their own leaders, with David as their king once again. The future for them was cut in stone.
They were indeed rescued by God and returned to the land of Israel/Jacob. However, their apostasy brought them back under foreign rule and when David’s son Jesus came among them as the prince they wanted, they not only disdained Him, they killed Him. Unwittingly, they executed God’s plan and we are the New Jerusalem, the Church.
As in the time of Ezekiel when the perpetuity of God’s covenant was proclaimed, if we continue down the path of excess and deviltry, we shouldn’t be surprised if some other people are selected by God to adore Him and properly serve Him as He has designed.

We are all aware of the fickleness of sheep! They’ll usually stick like glue to their shepherd. However, if another were to entice them with what they want, they’ll leave in a second to follow wherever he may lead as long as they are provided for Although God’s promises are never altered; the recipients of the promises change the rules and are left to their own devices.

How convenient the prophecy of Ezekiel should have such commonality with Caiaphas.
It was the tradition, at the time, the High Priest serving his term was gifted, by God, with the power to foresee. Here, Caiaphas was recognized as the spokesman for God and the rest of the Sandhedrin sort of fell in step with what he had to say. So, they plotted to have Jesus brought before them with trumped up charges and condemn Him to death. In His death, not only would He bring civil peace to the nation, He would fulfill the promise of God to bring all the people back to Jerusalem as Ezekiel foresaw years ago.

Our Pope doesn’t often resort to using his office to proclaim a Dogma. However, he is empowered with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to speak for God with regard to Faith and Morals. Our present Pope, Benedict XVI uses the media and encyclicals to proclaim his take on current phenomena. The forces of death often present solutions to problems without regard to the ramifications to those who have no spokesperson to defend their right to life.
We are needed to make his voice heard, when all else seems to offer sense, when in reality it’s nonsense!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday April 3, 2009 of the Fifth week in Lent

Friday April 3, 2009 of the Fifth week in Lent
Readings Jeremiah 20:10-13 Psalm 18 John 10: 31-42
Psalm Response: In my distress I called upon the Lord and He answered me”

Jeremiah’s words are a typological rendering of the historical text of John. Speaking for God, Jeremiah seems to herald the opposition Christ will face even though Jeremiah’s foes plotted against him as the Jews will years hence.

The psalm is a foretaste of Christ’s passion and execution. The parallels are significant. On the cross in distress, Christ called out to His Father and it was finished; our salvation came about as he forgave us from the cross.

As the Jews were after they were rescued from the Egyptians, an obstinate, pigheaded, stiff-necked people, their heritage comes through as they observed Jesus’ many Divine works, and still they don’t believe.
It is easy to see! Their blinders wouldn’t permit acknowledgement in the past; now in the present, and as we are witnesses to former Christians denying even His well understood commands of love of God and neighbor.
Are we any different??

Thursday April 2,2009

Thursday April 2, 2009 of the fifth week in Lent
Readings Genesis 17: 3-9 Psalm 105: 4-9 John 8: 51-59
Psalm Response: The Lord remembers His covenant forever”

The Church ties the readings from Exodus with John 8.
Abram was found to be a righteous man who loved and obeyed the Lord without reservation. On God’s word, Abram left the security of His earthly father’s house, his tribe, his family members and familiar surroundings to travel, on foot, hundreds of miles, to a land unknown to him on the promise of God, he would be the father of nations.
Beyond the age where he would naturally be incontinent, Abram ventured tom Canaan with his wife, his cousin Lot and what meager possessions he had.
God blessed him and renamed him Abraham, the Father of many nations because he did not hesitate to put Faith in God beyond rationality.
Our nature would demand proof positive before we’d go across town on someone’s promise. Abraham truly was justified by his Faith..

We must follow the instruction from the psalmist. God promised His Son. His Son promised His Body and Blood as spiritual food for our souls. Until we are dead, we can rely on His covenant. Then we will see His promise eternally unfold!

The Gospel gives us pause to rely on the literal meaning of Jesus’ words when He says, “ Any of you who keep my word will never see death”
Otherwise we’ll fall into the everlasting pit with His detractors!
Here, in these verses, we hear Jesus claim, “I Am!” God, having been eternally begotten, Jesus was present at the creation of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah and Rachel.
Hw chose to acknowledge being present, in their terms, before, during and after Abraham was!
The Jews were incensed! They might have killed Him on the spot. However, it wasn’t His, God’s time!
At times we forget the attributes of God. He is able by His Divine Essence to be here, there and everywhere at one and the same time.
Listen to Him!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday April 1. 2009

WEDNESDAY APRIL 1, 2009 of the fifth week in Lent
Readings: Daniel 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95 Psalm: Daniel 3: 52-56 John 8: 31-42
Psalm Response: “Glory and Praise forever.”

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, thought he could force the children of Israel to do whatever he commanded. It wasn’t unusual for rulers to believe in themselves and their subjects usually adhered to whatever he said.
Daniel, Hanniniah, Mishael and Azariah were the captives exiled to Babylon. Daniel had been given, by God, special powers enabling him to read and interpret dreams and visions.
The king decided to take some of the exiles and bring them into his official court to serve him in any way he thought would be advantageous to him. They were to be treated as members of his entourage and be fed from the royal table the same as citizens of his realm. However, the royal table included foods which were deemed unclean to them. So, they convinced the head chef to feed them only vegetables. During their training period, in spite of their vegetarian diet, they fared better than those who ate from the king’s table both in bodily health and in wisdom.The king then decided to give the four boys, Babylonian names.Daniel he called Belthezzar after a Babylonian diety. The three other boys were named Mishak, Shaddrak and Abednigo.
He king had a golden statue cast and proclaimed throughout the land, everyone would bow down and worship the statue whenever the royal musical instruments called for it.
The boys refused to bow down to the statue and were tossed, fully clothed, into a raging fire prepared for by the king for anyone who defied his order.. The boys were therefore tossed into the fire. However, the God of Israel sent one of His messengers into the flames with the boys and they and their clothes remained intact and unharmed while the King’s attendants, who were nearby, stoking the fire were singed and burnt by the searing heat.
When Nebuchadnezzar saw them dancing and praising their God, he declared the God of Israel to be the only true God. He knew it was their God’s doing when he saw four figures dancing within the flames when he knew he had only three tossed therein.
The angel may be symbolic of the Spirit Who clings to us and protects us against the onslaught from outside sources as long as we maintain our Faith I God, the harm we may endure may take our bodies but what awaits us is more awesome than our imaginations allow.

Note: in the opening verses, “Jews, who believed in Him?”
Seems incongruent whet her following verses are antagonistic to Him.
Had the Israelites known their own history or read the available Bible, after David, one oppressor after another enslaved them; either in exile (Babylon) or in fear ( Parthenon) or occupation ( Greek and now Rome) dynasties.
Christ was discussing the freedom from spiritual death, if they defied Him. They were really unbelievers. The signs He performed should have convinced them; they had never heard anyone else preach with such conviction and divine authority.
The result was to our benefit. He took our sins upon Himself. He even forgave those who were killing Him.
How can we repay such an enormous debt?