Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wednesday July 1, 2009

Wednesday July 1, 2009 0f the 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Genesis 21: 5, 8-20a Pslam 34: 7-8, 10-13 Matthew 8: 28-34
Response: “ The Lord hears the cry of the poor!”

Abraham was a viral specimen ! Hagar, the Egyptian slave of Sarah bore him a son, Ishmael, at age 86. Then 14 years later when he was 100 years old he conceived Isaac to Sarah. We may find these difficult to believe but we have had a 90 year old man, Strom Thurmond, of So. Carolina impregnate his young wife and she bore him a son. In the story related today, when Sarah found she was indeed pregnant, she coerced her husband into sending Hagar and Ishmael into exile not wanting to share Isaac’s heritage with anyone else.
Hagar obeyed Sarah but thought she would die in the desert when the water ran out. However, God had promised her son would also be the patriarch of a huge nation. He pointed out a well to her so she was able to replenish her water supply and save her son.
God accomplished His mission in ways we might not understand but we do not have His perspective knowing what is coming!

To reiterate, God hears the cry of the poor. Hagar and her son cried for help and God heard and replied. If we have the faith, He hears and responds to our pleas. Try Him!

Jesus went to an area which was obviously gentile. Jews wouldn’t have swine! The demon knew Jesus very well as a Deity. Therefore, he begged not to be just extricated from the cave where he could terrify the people; but, to send him into the herd of swine! Acquiescing to the demons wish, Jesus complied causing a stampede of the swine into the lake to drown.
The demons which attack us aren’t as blatant as then. They subtly inveigle their way into our confidence and before we know it if, we aren’t steadfast in our compliance with God’s will, we end up drowning in misery.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tuesday June 30, 2009

Tuesday June 30, 2009 The First martyrs of The Catholic Church

Readings: Genesis 19: 15-29 Psalm 26: 2-3, 9-12 Matthew 24: 4-13
Response: “O Lord, Your mercy is before our eyes.

This story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction follows after Abraham implored God to spare the cities of the plain if only ten good men could be found. Failing, Lot, his wife and two daughters were led safely out of the town and urged to flee to the hills. Lot was old and offered he was too weak to travel very far so he asked the angel to allow them to go to a nearby city named Zoar. They were warned not to look back on the destruction God rained down but curiosity got the best of Lot’s wife. She turned to look back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters made it to Zoar .
Scholars are not sure where the area destroyed was exactly. The traditional area is at the southwest of the Dead Sea where there is evidence of mounds of salt as far as the eye can see.
We may conjecture as to the cause of the destruction by God. Some say the debauchery of the townsfolk wanting to have intercourse with the men visiting Lot was such an abomination,; others say the abuse of the tradition of hospitality was abridged, an unforgivable sin in the culture of the time.
Our society leans more and more in favor of same sex coupling and other diversions from God’s, plan for man and woman. Are we in for some devastating disaster?

The psalmist implores the Lord for His test of fidelity to His direction. He does what the Law says religiously and doesn’t deserve the punishment meted out by God on a sinful generation.

Before concluding his Gospel with the examples of charity desired by God, He warns us there will be attempts to dissuade them from the path of righteousness. We are to be the example to others and ourselves of the correct way and stick to it.
With warnings of many disasters to befall the human system, Jesus will go on to direct us in the way He would want us to be Him to others in Chapter 25.
If you do what God wants and put your own ideas to the side, you will experience the words of Christ, “ The righteous will enter into eternal life!”

Monday June 29, 2009 Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

Readings for Morning Mass:

ACTS 12: 1-11 Psalm 34: 2-9 2Timothy 4: 6-8, 17-18 Matthew 16: 13-19
Respone: "The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear Him!"

King Herod Aggripa,one of Herod the Great's sons, ruled in Judea after his dad died. He was a ruthless leader and is suspected of being the infamous killer of the first martyrs of the Church. In addition, the Jews hated him. So, to curry favor with the Jewswhom he ruled, he decided to crush the movement begun by Christ and continuing through the efforts of His Apostles. So, he had James, the brother of John Zebbedee, beheaded and had Peter arrested to bring him to trial and probable execution.
Peter was shackled and thrown into the deepest part of a prison and secured by guards beside and around him to prevent followers from rescuing him.
During his imprisonment, while he was sleeping betweentwo guards, an earthquake ensued and the shackles fell from the wall. He was free! However, because of the sleeping guards he hesitated to skeddadle until the angel of the Lord lead him past the guards and the locked gates which miraculously open of them selves as Peter and the angel approached.
This is a lesson of how God will rescue us from the perils of a sinful generation. We're not tied to a wall but we're intimidated by the mores of our society. If we prayerfully ask for His direction in our lives, He will remove our shackles and provide the courage to go against the grain of society at large and follow Him.

The psalm response affirms God's concern for our safety. He will rescue those who fear Him. He is always there if only we impolore His grace to get through the days and nights without offending Him.

Paul's adopted son, Timothy, is the recipient of two letter from his mentor Paul.
Knowing he is about to die for the Faith, Paul exhorts Tim to oimitate him. Keep the Faith, finish the race, be ever perserverent! These are the same benchwords to encourage us to stay until the last lap in our lives. By doing so we will be accepted into the arms of Jesus when the race is over!

As a prelude to His taking His message to the rest of the world, Jesus symbolically enters into pagan territory to establish His Church. When He asked for an idea of what the people thought of Him many suggestions popped into the minds of the followers. "One of the many prophets returned to life"
However, moved by the Spirit of God, good ole Peter proclaimed Him to be the Only Son of God the Father. This is what prompted Jesus to rename Simon, "Peter", Rock as an additional symbol of the foundation of His Church. We are the beneficiaries of the imposition of authority on Peter to preach His Chufch to the ends of the earth!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 29, 2009

Monday June 29, 2009 of the 13th Week of Ordinary Time
Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
Scripture Readings: ACTS 3; 1-10 Psalm 19: 2-5 Galatians 1: 11-20 John 21: 15-19
Psalm Response: “Their message goes out to all the earth.”

On this feast, we recognize the power of the two Apostles who formed the nucleus of the New Way for Jews and Gentiles.
The first reading details the first recorded miracle of the Apostles. Healing a cripple who was unable to stand for 40 years, in the view of Jews entering the Temple where he had begged gave them an inkling of the power of the word of Jesus. Peter and John invoked His name when they encouraged the man to get off his duff and walk around.
We can only imagine the awe (fear) overcoming the visitors and regular patrons of the Temple. It was a manifestation of Christ’s power distributed to the Apostles.
All of the Apostles were given the order to heal in Christ’s name. However, few are recorded in the Scriptures. Suffice to say, this was an example of the divine attributes present in His Apostles because of His granting it to them.
We are also given the same power. Unfortunately, we want to feel it is of our own doing and not the Faith which Christ says is the ingredient necessary to effect healing.

Paul’s letter to the Galatians is one of the benchmarks for Paul’s take on salvation through Faith. Paul points out, he wasn’t one of the original Apostles and only came to know Christ through the extraordinary vision he had of Christ on the way to Damascus.
He didn’t even consult with the Apostles until he had meditated on his personal experience with Christ for about three years. During the time he was mulling over in his mind the teaching he was to impart to the gentiles we can be sure he received other revelations to confirm he wasn’t going bananas before he went to his missionary journeys.
We need to begin, if we haven’t already, to learn, what are the real teachings of the Church? By doing so and asking of our pastors and confessors to clarify any areas of misunderstanding, we will be better able to answer queries from interested parties why we are so sure of the faith we have been granted by God.

Peter may have been chagrined at Christ’s persistence in asking him about his love for Him. Tradition has noted, the tri-part questioning was to offset his triple denial and to reestablish Peter’s leadership over Christ’s Church.
As we offer our Thanksgiving today it would be well to recognize Peter and Paul’s contribution to our faith and its solidity. Nothing has changed from the beginning if onereally investigate the origin of our Faith.
As a recent convert said to me, “How can an intelligent educated person deny our Faith”.
I can’t answer that one!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunday June 28, 2009 the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Date: Sunday June 28, 2009, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Wisdom 1:13-15,2:23-24 Psalm 30:2,4-6,11-13
2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15 Mark 5: 21-43

The words, in the Book of Wisdom, read today are missing from the KJV and most Bibles, except Catholic and Orthodox. In the New Testament, the writers of the Gospels and Paul refer to the Wisdom literature, by direct quote or context, as Scripture. (Matt.
5:34,6:12,6:14,7:2,11,29,21:16,26:68) (Sir.23:9, 28:2,28:1-5,Wis.12:22,Sir.51:26,Wis.10:21, 2:19)

In fact, the Scripture, at the time of Jesus, among the Pharisees and Essenes, was generally known as the Septuagint. All the Wisdom literature, including Tobit, Judith,Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, I & II Maccabees were included as Scripture.

The books were compiled and translated into Greek to satisfy and complete the library at Alexandria, Egypt by Jewish Scribes as requested by King Ptolemy, in about the year 285BC.

When the Canon of Scripture, including the 27 books of the New Testament was decided, in 395 AC, in Hippo, North Africa, many other texts were considered. However, the Fathers of the Church agreed to keep all 46 of the Hebrew Scripture and 27 of the New Testament writings. Every Catholic Bible, therefore, contains these 73 books.

The writer of Wisdom concludes God did not create a sinful humanity but in the image of His own nature. Our free will permits us to choose not to do God's Will but sin becomes actual at the urging of the prince of Darkness and sin. The implication, of our likeness to God as imperishable, is the reward for a virtuous living, is life after mortal death. Those who choose a wayward existence, unrepentant, choose eternal death, often called Hell.

Psalm 30 reminds us God is responsible for our being brought up from the abode of the dead (the nether world). It is His Will, alone, which keeps us from the suffering because of His absence in our lives. Therefore, we must thank and praise Him, incessantly, because we do not deserve His forgiveness. Thank Him also for not remembering our offenses against Him.

Paul urges us, through the teachings in 2 Corinthians to exercise our love by supplying the needs of others. Each of us has the opportunity and the obligation to provide, in some way, the needs of those in need.

Whether it be consolation, material or spiritual aid, our abundance of any, requires the distribution to all.

We show our love for Jesus by our love for our fellow beings. Reading the full text of Mark 5: 21-43, gives us an opportunity to witness an example of Christ's love for His people. The synagogue official, aware of Christ's extraordinary power to heal, came with faith to ask for his child's sake.

The official was looking for a simple healing. What he received was the resurrection of his daughter from death, which the people though was final.

When we see ourselves sinking in the quagmire of death, we need to affirm our faith in Jesus. He can do anything, provided our faith is strong and not wavering.

The woman, who touched the tassel of His garment and was immediately healed, was desperate. For twelve years, the doctors tried what they knew to heal her. The only thing they did for sure was deplete her bank account, Broke, she did the only thing left to her.

Isn't that what we do?

We wait until we're spiritually bankrupt before we reach out for the only straw we can clutch at.

Instead, reach out now!

Don't wait until your strength is gone

He will respond to your call!

Why not respond to His?

Saturday June 27, 2009

Saturday June 27, 2009 of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings” Genesis 18: 1-15 Psalm Luke 1: 46-55 Matthew 8: 5-17
Response: “The Lord has remembered His mercy”

The continuing saga of our father in faith, Abraham, we see an additional reference to the three persons in one God, in the first verses. When Abraham recognized the deity of the images before him, he naturally bowed low to show his adoration and homage.
The meal Abraham prepared would feed a mob but it didn’t deter him from his heritage of hospitality. God approved of his offering and dined with him and his family.
In the banter during the meal, God revealed His plan to have His will completed in Sarah’s pregnancy to produce the heir to the promise in a son, Isaac.
On hearing the prospect, and knowing her age and the probability, Sarah laughed emulating her husband, who had laughed before at the prediction.
They were an old couple by anyone’s standard but God’s. Aware she had passed the term of her cycle of production of ovum, she, like us, were skeptical.
Ever get in an inscrutable frame of mind with no escape and prospects dim? Almost everyone would immediately call upon their God to do something, usually, all the while, filled with doubt but still hoping.
Sarah was thrilled at the prospect but antsy about how this was to take place.
Her question, “Am I still to experience sexual pleasure? This wasn’t in the sense we might attribute to the question but as a hope to produce progeny for her husband and become a whole woman! Hebrew woman felt it was a curse not to be able to conceive!
Compare that with our generation where pregnancy becomes a burden, not a gift from God and an easily corrected mistake. For shame!

Luke’s expression of our mother Mary’s Magnificat alludes to the attitude we should take when a detour from our plans becomes a reality. According to Tradition, Mary had vowed to remain chaste even in the marriage arranged for her by her parents, she wished to serve God alone. However, when His angel announced her conception, she immediately supplanted her will for the Will of God as the angel proclaimed.

The gospel story of the faith of the gentile Roman Centurion has been repeated by us in the prelude to receiving our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament until Vatican II when the words were changed. I prefer the old way personally. However, as a faithful Catholic, I adhere to the teaching office of the Church which states in its dogmatic constitution on the Church, mandates, “No one, not even a priest, can change one word in the Rubrics of the Mass”.
The faith of the Centurion is rewarded when his servant is healed remotely just as his faith had stated. Peter’s mother-in-law also was healed by Christ with just the touch of His hand.
We may not be in His physical presence to receive personal healing but His presence is always there when we receive Him in the Eucharist. The healing will come about in Christ’s way and time, if, you have the faith of the Centurion too!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday June 26, 2009

Friday June 26, 2009 of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: Genesis 17: 1, 9-10, 15-22 Psalm 128: 1-5 Matthew 8: 1-4
Psalm Response: “See how the Lord blesses those who fear Him”

When we read this episode in the life of Abram, there are several points of theology made clear in the script.
First, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham. We wonder what the significance of adding “AH” to Abram’s name might be. Both Abram and Abraham mean “the father of many nations” in the Hebrew from which it is taken.(ab-hamo). Further, God places an extraordinary blessing on those whom He changes their name. Sarai becomes Sarah;
Jacob becomes Israel; Simon becomes Peter are the most significant.
Suffices to say, the promise of a son who will generate nations seemed improbable to both Sarah and Abraham due to their age at 100 and 90 as possible candidates for conception. We however, forget Who’s in charge. Age make no difference to God. As Scripture says, God can create followers from strewn rocks if He wanted to.
So the laughter of Sarah and Abraham coincidently becomes the name of their son, Isaac.
We are the subjects of God. He’s in charge. When ever we decide to allow Him to be the instigator of our heritage, blessings will multiply as did those to Abraham and Sarah.

The response engenders awe. We do not fear the Lord in the sense of “Afraid” but rather, knowing He knows what is best for us we crater to His will and become vassals, as we should.

Jesus finishes His mountaintop discourses, with such power, the throngs recognize He is more than just a prophet. They do Him homage and a leper pleads for healing. Jesus touches Him; heals the scourge and sends him to the Priests to offer the typical gift at the Altar of God in accordance to the traditions in place at the time.
Christ shows us the way when we are to become like Him to His people. To touch a leper, under the law subjected the toucher to unclean status, requiring the toucher to be subject to being made clean. However, Christ’s touch cleanses the leper therefore He need not be contaminated.
We need to recognize the power of prayer in the healing process when medicine and doctors seem to fail. It is the power of God. Use it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thursday June 25, 2009

Thursday June 25, 2009 of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: Genesis 16: 1-12, 15-16 Psalm 106: 1-5 Matthew 7: 21-29
Response: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!”

The beginning of God’s establishment of the Arab Nations under His wing is told, in the saga of Hagar, an Egyptian maid to Abram’s wife Sarai.
We tend to exclude people from God’s providence, if they don’t believe as we do. We must realize God’s hand in all creation, even those who we don’t necessarily deal with on a day to day basis.
The Nations from the loins of Ishmael, also had their genesis from Abram. Therefore, although we believe their religion isn’t what God preferred, we none-the-less must recognize, He created them as well.
The Nation of Islam consists of more than a Billion souls. Do we think for a moment God will ignore them.
The story of Hagar and Abram illustrates how sometime God uses extraordinary means to accomplish His objectives. We should get used to others pleadings to God for their cause. It may not be our cup of tea. However, we are not the judge of God’s initiative or final purpose. Therefore, we are to do His will as He has designed through our Church and because we believe His instructions are clearly delineated therein, follow them!

The psalmist makes the same point. Give thanks to God for He is good.
Who are we to deny His mercy to whomever He desires?
All the praises due Him cannot come from us alone. ALL who sincerely seek Him will be heard. ALL who do what is right will be blessed!

To further amplify the theme of dependence of Him, Jesus tells us in His Gospel message, “Those who DO the will of My Father will enter the Kingdom. Not the words only folks, but the doers.
He continues to outline some of those who will not enter! Hypocrite preachers and prophets, saintly lechers, insincere exorcists and others of their ilk are in for a tough time if they don’t repent now!
Do you think of yourself as one of God’s chosen? If you ignore the needs of others, refuse to solace those in suffering, and put on a holier-than-thou face when you pray or petition, don’t be alarmed if your requests fall on deaf ears, It may be an omen of your need to change.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wednesday June 23, 2009

Wednesday June 24, 2009 of the 12th week in Ordinary Time
Biblical Readings: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 Psalm 103: 1-4, 6-9 Matthew 7: 15-20
Response: “The Lord remembers His covenant forever!”

From a personal visit from God, Abram goes into his reverie stage. He is either in a dream or in a trance when God makes Himself known in word and deed.
Abe was distressed. He’s old, beyond the years when man is able to produce children, he has all this stuff and God promises him more and more. If he attains all God has promised, who will inherit the riches?
Then he goes into a trance mood. God tells him his servant Eliezer, will not be his heir but a son of his own loins would be there to inherit all.
Skeptical, at first, Abe pondered the prospects and wondered, “How can this be?”
God then produces an ancient remedy for asserting a covenant. It may seem weird to us but it was the way two people sealed an agreement.
Abram took three animals; split them in half and placed the parts of the animals side by side with a path between them. By traversing through the animal parts, Abram agreed to the covenant. However, how was God to assure Abram, He would do the same?
When nightfall came, there appeared a brazier-like flame which came between the animal parts. The flame representing God’s Spirit, certified His promise to provide as He had said.
Every day we ask God to do stuff for us or our family! How do we know with certainty He’ll deliver. He said He would! Therefore, don’t worry what you’ll eat, what you’ll put on or where you’ll sleep. God knows you need this stuff and will provide through His emissaries you parents, your family, your benefactors. Don’t Worry!

What can we learn from the psalm?
Written hundreds of years after the time of Abraham, David, the assumed writer, had a similar relationship with God. As one of Abraham’s sons, he was a natural heir and wanted to assure his constituents of his knowledge of God and His covenants. He assures them by the eternal word, God will always provide even in times when they don’t do the right thing!

We live in a society where the Church is not recognized as God’s sole source of Grace.
Christ tells us, “Beware of false prophets!” He knew there would be detractors from His word; often using seemingly convincing words to discredit His Church. However, we must be vigilant in our dealings with those who do not agree with us. Don’t preach with words, as they are wont to do. Preach with actions they’ll wish to emulate!

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 23, 2009 Tuesday of the 12th week in ordinary time

Tuesday, June 23, 2009, of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: Genesis 13: 2, 5-18 Psalm 15: 2-5 Matthew 7: 6, 12-14
Response: “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord”

Abram wasn’t stingy or possessive. He had more than he needed for his entourage and family. However, there arose a conflict between Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen over where they should be able to graze their flocks and steers. Abram was also not aggressive so he told Lot his cousin, to look about the land and choose where he wanted to house his flocks and people.
Lot selected an area consisting of the Jordon Plain in which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located. Abram on the other hand took what was left as a place of refuge for his family and herds.
Thus there was peace among the relatives and Abram was promised by another appearance of God to him there would be no limit to the land God would give him for his faithfulness and love.
Abram built an altar to signify his adoration of God and remained faithful during the trying years he was without an heir.
Do we count on an immediate answer to our requests from God. Abram was 75 years old when he ventured forth at God’s behest. He wasn’t in shape to become a father but he never waned in his devotion to God or his resolution to do what God sought for him.
Our culture demands immediate action; not considering the billions of folks all of whom are begging God for relief of their burdens. Pray for the perseverance of Abram when others are champing at the bit to get God moving. He knows our needs and will provide in His time!

If we read and take the words of the psalm seriously, we will be at the top of God’s list for redemption. Otherwise look for the sliding scale.

Many of our “Christian” friends think they’ve got it made by their acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior. While this rank acceptance has merit, the Bible they cherish sure doesn’t mince words about how they are to be saved.
If they were to read the words of today’s Gospel, the Lord makes it perfectly clear. “The road is narrow and not too many will find it. Millions may think they’ve got it made but when the road ahead seems to narrow, will they be able to forge ahead and claim entrance to God’s realm without doing His will in all things?

June 22, 2009 Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time

The readings for today are from Chapter 12 of Genesis and the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 7.

God appears to Abram (later Abraham) and encourages him to leave his homestead, familiar surroundings and the rest of his father's tribe to venture to a land unknown to him or any of the prospective travellers.
Abram is known as our father in Faith, just as he is known by the Jews, the nation of Islam and all Christian denominations, true and half-true.
In reading abour his call from God, we wonder why he didn't hesitate even for a second to do God's bidding even though this was their first encounter and Abram whould see God again until his son was to be conceived. Talk about Faith!
Most of us wouldn't go across the street if we weren't sure what was there ahead of time; let alone travel to an unknown country without some in depth research.

God promised to make Abram great! So, at age 75, when most of us are winding down our activity, Abram ventyres south from Haram to Caananite country with his father's son, Lot, His wife Sarai, his wealth and lots of guts to satisfy his God's request.
This is the reason Paul and all following preachers extol Abraham as a man of Faith!

The Gospel story is familiar to us for Christ's admonition, "Don't judge!"
We're pretty much a nation of judgemental attitude.
Our vicarious knowledge of Blacks, their supposed rancor against other enthnics causes us to judge All Balacks as rancorous.
We are sure all Jews are rich, educated and ready to pounch on any situation of suppremecy to put us in the poorhouse.
The Islamic people are all bent on converting everyone to Islam or Else!

Christ makes it a simple ordinance to Not Judge! No One, No How, No Where, as the cowardly lion exclaimed.
We think we're superior to others because out faith is as old as Christ's resurrection. However, if we do not act as He would act, He wasted His breath on us!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

I'll be away for a couple of days. I hope my reflections will stae your appetite for scripture!

Friday June 19,; Saturday June 20 and Sunday June 21, 2009

Scripture Readings: 2 Cor. 5: 14-17, 2 Cor. 11: 18, 21-30; 2 Cor. 12: 1-10
Job: 36: 1, 6-11
Psalms: 34: 2-7; 34: 8-13; 107: 23-26, 29-31
Matthew 6: 19-23; Matthew 6: 24-34; Mark 4: 35:42

The first reading from 2 Cor. is actually read on Sunday. Here Paul establishes his relationship with Christ. Not as a constituent, present with Him in His earthly ministry but in His Spiritual reality. If we consider ourselves one with Christ we should be proud indeed; not in the sense we can boast but in the sense we are sure of His effect on our daily lives. These passages are a prelude to Paul’s later declaration of his own ministry, selected by Christ to bring salvation to them, the Gentiles.
In the second and third readings, for Friday and Saturday , Paul almost in tears has been castigated by false prophets to be without the necessary background to be the bearer of such wonderful news and they should listen to them.
Evidently, the perpetrators of the division among the Corinthians are Jewish converts who think, because of their heritage, they are better qualified to deliver the message of salvation. So, Paul lays out his own lineage. He is a Jew, whose parents were Jews, Circumcised and inducted into Abraham’s cult, steeped in the Law and writings, etc. If they have badges of faithfulness to Christ, his are more numerous. Beatings, shipwreck, stoning, vilification all were dealt him in his many journeys.
The litany of actions taken against him, are long and arduous, if they are characteristic of the Love of and for Christ.
In order to confirm his experience, Paul even alludes to an out of body experience whereby, he was taken to the third heaven, about fourteen years previous, and was imbued with the knowledge of God as no human before had been exposed. This is the reason Paul underwent such turmoil and persecution. If he had made up the situational reason for his hope, it would have waned long ago. But to Paul, this was real and sustaining.
We are slow to believe people who seem to be spiritual in their easy manner. However, who are we to doubt the sincerity of a dream or a vision just because we haven’t had the chance, yet!

When we read the Book of Job and realize his wealth and resources were diminished in one day along with his children, we wonder why his friends doubted he was sinless. After they and his wife badgered him with their accusations and he offered his promise of innocence, Job asked the Lord, “Why me?” just as we do when illness or danger approach.
In this periscope, God answers Job emphatically. The perimeters of the created Earth didn’t just happen. They were designed by the marvelous builder who had the foresight to know what would occur, as created life decided to be monotheistic or go their own way.
He knows all!!


Mark’s Gospel rendition of the storm at sea when they were going to the other side of the Lake Galilee has some differences from other renditions. The fact Jesus could sleep while the wind was raging and the boat was filling with water seems to tell us something about relaxing when all seems to be awry. There doesn’t seem to be any concern for the other boats who were in the same proximate area when the storm occurred.
This episode was an initial hint at Who Jesus was! The sea raged until His gentle voice quieted it. If the Apostles accompanying Him didn’t get it then, it’s no wonder they were addled when He showed up after they were sure He was dead and gone.
We need to take into consideration every aspect of our lives when we don’t understand something. God knows us better than we do ourselves. He also knows when we’re in a dire strait and how to get us safely home. Depend on Him!

Matthew takes another road to present Christ’s wisdom and know-how. They knew as well as He birds don’t plow to raise their own food; they forage for seed left over from the farmers sowing. Matthew also points out Christ’s admonition not to worry. Worry can’t grow a single strand of hair. However, worry may dye your hair grey before its time.
We’re so used to having things, food, shelter and clothing at our beck and call or our local Mall we don’t realize the favor we have been given in our country. Other cultures still scavenge for sustenance while we wallow in plenty. Christ told us we are to be Him when we see others suffering or hungry. He would supply their need.
Imitate Him!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Car Manufacturer Solution???

Had I known, in 2008, the US Auto Industry would soon be gasping for clean air,
perhaps I could have offered a solution to their dilemma before, we, the citizens of
our country, were saddled with the huge cost in money, jobs and expectations.

I’m no CPA; I’m not even an accountant, if you don’t count balancing my check book
Account monthly as significant.The kids I graduated from High School in 1941, for the most part, are dead and lived without the “benefit” of a college degree, somehow!

Here is my solution:

Since competition, among Automobile fuel suppliers, is non-existent, and. the industry is Unregulated, except by screaming clients, and since their captive clients would be mostly car owners, why can’t/don’t Exxon/Mobile and/or other cash loaded fuel suppliers use their excess cash to buy up the stock of GM, Chrysler, and Ford (US Manufacturers) and thumb their collective noses at Congress, as they usually do, when constituents of the Congress, complain about rising gas prices.
Truly, supply and demand would work! If their tanks are glutted, people tend not to buy gas, no matter the price. However, their clients don’t have but a few choices to purchase their supply.Some people do not drive around looking for a lower price for gas. A 1 cent rise in the price of gas/gallon equates to 20 cents in a car with a 20 gallon capacity.Therefore, level heads will pay the local gas station price and control their expenditure by usage. Need a temporary influx of cash? Raise the price $ 1.00/gallon temporarily.After the din, things will quiet down. Other countries have been paying $5 and $6 and more for years before we complained.

I say “GO FOR IT!”
The country will be better off. Thousands of jobs saved, and future pensioners can

June 19,2009 Thursday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Thursday June 19, 2009 of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: 2Corinthians 11: 1-11 Psalm111: 1-4, 7-8 Matthew 6: 7-15
Response: “Your words, O Lord, are justice and truth”

As has happened in the years following the Reformation, and, the early centuries of our land, distortions and misunderstandings of the Church’s deposit of faith have crept into the disciplines the Church ordains, as the people of Corinth are experiencing in Paul’s time.
Then as now the number of “experts” proliferated while those true to the Faith were demeaned and even persecuted for sticking to their guns.
Paul was Christ’s own convert. He wasn’t satisfied to allow His chosen Apostles to inform Paul of the Traditions He established during His three year teaching ministry. No, He personally selected Paul to be His emissary to the gentiles. What a job he did!
Not satisfied to rudimentary knowledge, Paul spent several years learning at the knees of teachers of the law and then was imbued by Christ, Himself with the truth he was to impart to his converts.
He knew the Torah and the writings and their application in the light of the revelation of God’s only son. Who was better able to bring the truth in its fullness than Paul?
When he hears of divergent views expressed by other self-appointed “apostles”, he naturally had to reply!
These “apostles” had some of the truth! However, like the reformers and the current crop of “experts” they lacked the fullness of the faith imparted to Paul and there was no other source as we have in our day. These imposters depended on the contributions they subtly requested; while Paul no stranger to work, toiled to make himself independent of their gifts so he could honestly say, “My message is true and free”

When we contemplate God’s creation, we marvel at the intricacies of the least of his creation the a amoeba and protozoa defy eye contact yet their makeup is impossible to duplicate and on the other end of the spectrum the creation of the whale and elephant, who is able to deny our Lord?

We say the prayer of the “Our Father”, probably daily. Our Church produced a marvelous discourse in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, section Two of Part Four, paragraph
2759 to 2875, giving us an indisputable interpretation of the intent of Our Lord.
Read the paragraphs pertaining thereto, and become familiar with its intent.You’ll be amazed and gratified!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 17, 2009

Wednesday June 17, 2009 of the 11th WEEK OF Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: 2Corinthians 9: 6-11 Psalm 112; 1-4, 9 Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18
Response: “Blessed the man who fears the Lord”

There are times when we discount God’s ability. We are reticent about giving to our Church or to worthwhile charities because we may fall short of our own needs. “Be assured”, says Paul, “with your own largesse God will outdo you every time.” So when the basket is passed or a petition arrives by mail, especially of those charities you know well provide for the poor and needy, don’t be niggardly. Give ‘til you think, “it hurts”!
Then you’ll experience God’s generosity in ways you hadn’t even thought of.

The blessings received from God always will exceed our finest expectations. We need not be afraid of the recompense we’ll receive at His hands. He knows our need and will give us the talents and the will to attain them.

In the Gospel message, however, He tells us not to blatantly broadcast our generosity! For the praise elicited will be the payment you’d expect from Him. He gives other examples of how NOT to engender His gifts. “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand has given”, implies a secretiveness which He endears.
It isn’t necessary for us to gloat about our holiness. For every time we brag we diminish the effect of our fasting or prayerfulness. God knows everything about us and has logged in His memory each act of kindness. He also will take note of our haughtiness if our gestures are insincere.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 16, 2009

Tuesday June 16, 2009 of the 11th week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings; 2 Corinthians 8: 1-9 Psalm 146: 2, 5-9a Matthew 5: 43-48
Response: “Praise the Lord my soul!”

There are so many nuances in this section of Paul’s appeal to the Corinthians for help to the Church in Jerusalem it is difficult, if not improbable to give a rational idea of his points and do him justice.
In his journey to Macedonia, he answered a dream which implored him to come to them with his message of salvation. While there, the Macedonians devised a plan whereby they would assist the Jerusalem Church with a monetary collection they took up for its benefit.
Recognizing the profound poverty of the Philippians of the Macedonia area, Paul infers the Corinthians should also be willing to aid the mother Church with a donation equaling or exceeding that of the Macedonians.
He did so by schmoosing them with the vocabulary intended to convey a message they could take in several ways. Thereby, they were insured his eternal gratitude and with it the gratitude of Christ.

As we read and respond to the psalmist’s message, we can almost feel the love of God being poured out upon us undeservedly. After all, God is the creator of everything and we, therefore, owe Him everything we have through His Grace.

After reversing the understanding of the Pharisees regarding vengeance, Jesus goes one step further. Don’t even hate the people who obviously hate you!
The crown listening must have thought Jesus had left His senses elsewhere. However, He didn’t soften the blow by ant means. Instead He tells them to Love their enemies. Then to make them understand the rationality of His statement He essentially states, “ When did God rain on the good alone; and, when did God’s sun shine only on the righteous?”
Sort of puts them on the defensive as they hear him say, “Even the wicked love their own children” What good is it if you only return love for love?
We must all recognize some cultures despise us because we have so much and we don’t share it proportionally especially to those who need it most.
Some day we’ll have our recompense, maybe in spades.

Monday June 15, 2009 of the 11th week in Ordinary Time

Monday June 15, 2009
Readings: 2 Corinthians 6: 1-10 Psalm 98: 1-4 Matthew 5: 38- 42
Response: “The Lord has made known His saving power”

Paul’s original letters to the Thessalonians, were circulated throughout his ministerial arena so his thoughts on other subjects was well known in areas other than Thessalonica.
In this letter to the Corinthians he alludes to some of his previous teachings regarding the time when Christ will arrive again.
Here he tells them not to wait, doing nothing, as NOW is the acceptable time, NOW is the day of salvation for us all.
By putting into practice the attributes he recommends, they will be prepared at any time the Lord may call. Not satisfied with a few examples, Paul details most of the attributes he expects his converts to display in their daily lives. By making them part of their regular routine, they will be able to appear before the Lord sinless and beautiful in His eyes.

If we’re familiar with the Liturgy of the Hours, the Psalm for today is repeated almost daily by those who practice and pray with the rest of the religious of Catholicity. Truly, all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of the Lord.

Jesus seems to say we are to be non aggressive in our dealings with others. Not only do we not seek revenge but we are to offer to go the extra mile to help another, even an enemy to his salvation.
It’s a hard principle! We tend to lash out when we’re attached. However, Jesus wants us to be meek and mild. By doing so, we pile coals on the heads of our adversary and perhaps give him pause to reflect on his own actions.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunday Jun2 14, 2009

Date: Sunday June 14, 2009, The Body and Blood of Christ
Readings: Exodus 24: 3-8 Psalm 116: 12-13, 15-18
Hebrews 9: 11-15 Mark 14: 12-16,22-26

The core of Catholic Worship is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross in an unbloody manner. It also culminates in a meal whereby we receive the Body and Blood of the Risen Christ, truly present in the form of bread and Wine.
The first reading is the acceptance of the Israelites of the Law and the Covenant with God. After Moses read the Covenant and wrote it down for all to read, they all agreed to accept the terms in exchange for being deemed, by all nations, as God's own people. This set a tradition for the leader of the community to lay before the people of God His pledge to take care of them if they live up to their end of the bargain.
In our time and in the early church, the Apostles and their successors, through their actions and universal councils, brought to the attention of the members of the New Covenant, the terms which Christ enjoined on them and through them, on us. There's no guesswork involved. His Church decides and like Moses lays the Covenant before us. We don't have to accept it, however, not to accept puts us at peril.
The Covenant is a Covenant of Love which calls for all Christians to love God, as he loves us and all His people, wherever they may be.
When we approach the altar of God and receive Him in the Blessed Sacrament, we say AMEN as the response to the presentation of the Sacred Host by the minister, signifying our belief in the real Presence and our oneness with Christ and the Community.
By receiving Him worthily, we become one with Him and heirs to His Kingdom, now and forever.

June 13,2009

Saturday June 13, 2009 of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21 Psalm 103: 11-4, 9-12 Matthew 5: 33-37
Response: “The Lord has made known His salvation”

When we read Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, we can almost understand 2 Peter 3: 15- 16) when he regards some of Paul’s points as difficult.
This section of Paul’s writings almost reads as though he didn’t write them at all as the idioms and sentence construction are at variance to his 1st letter.
It was the custom of the time to have scribes actually write the messages the author wished to convey. If this is the case, Paul may have instructed one of his scribes to put into words some Christian theme or principle and left the actual words up to the scribe.
We sometimes marvel at the erudite speeches of our political leaders when in person, candidly, they cannot seem to put two words together to make sense.
Pointing out some ancient concept of the sins of the ancestors somehow falling on subsequent generations, Paul presents the fact of Jesus’ death having been in substitution for our sins and our death imitates His; Whereas, when His death and resurrection occurred, we were vicariously included in the process thereby receiving salvation through His suffering, death and resurrection.
We have the assurance of Jesus, Himself, in other writings, we are in Him as He is in us and collectively we all are in God.
When we recycle our lives, where we are and where have been, can we understand God’s love any better than, while we were sinners, He took those sins upon Himself and nailed them to the Cross!

The psalm almost was written as a postscript to Paul’s concept. The psalm retrojects the benefits of Christ’s Passion, forward and backwards. We and the first readers are the beneficiaries of the plan of God to include all penitents in the salvation offered. We only have to accept!

Tuesday’s first reading from 2 Corinthians proclaimed the same precept Jesus enjoins on His disciples and us. Don’t mince your words or deny oaths and vows we’ve taken.

Say Yes and No! All else is from the evil one who tries to muddy the waters. Our Church ids better able to proclaim morals and faith matters. Listen to Her!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friday June 12, 2009 of the 10th week oin ordinary time

Biblical Readings: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-17 Psalm 116: 10-11, 15-18 Matthew 5: 27-32
Response: "To You Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise"

We don't even usually think in terms of Paul's expressions of his faith.
He had been telling his Church in Corinth of the glory available to us, if we persevere. However, his letter seems to contradict what he is saying.
What glory is there in suffering and deprivation?
While Paul os speaking of the eternal reward to be bestowed on the faithful when the end ckmes, at the moment he is writing, he is being pursued by the Judaisers who would persecute him to death.
We need to absorb the same attitude; join our thinking with his! Our term on earth has been set from the beginning, even befoore we were conceived and is limited. The Glory promised by Jesus is immortality, never ending! We may not see the results now; however, God does not promise and then renege. He will fulfill His edicts both the positive and the negative aspects.
Christ is the example! He suffered, died and was raised! We are heirs to the same future, if we persevere!

The psalm iterates Paul's words and God's promises. It is difficult to see the product of faith when the forces of evil seem to prevail1 If we keep our eyes on the cross and the ultimate resurrection, then we can be assured of the same for our mortal lives.

Christ records His message for all to hear! The specific orders of the commandments are just the tip of the iceberg. If we are to proceed to perfection required for entrance into heaven, even the peccadilloes will have to be purged. Christ uses hyperbole to show the seriousness of sin. If necessary, remove the offending appendage rather than spend eternity in Gehenna! Gehenna was a huge trash dump outside the gates of Jerusalem. The fires used to burn the trash was incessent and a rerminder to mortals of the everlasting fire of Hell.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10, 2009

Thursday June 11, 2009 0f the 10th week in Ordinary Time

Readings 2Corinthians 3: 15-4: 1, 3-6 Psalm 85: 9-14 Matthew 5: 20-26
Response: “The Glory of the Lord will dwell in our land”

In our reflections on some of Paul’s writings, it is suggested we discount the literal meaning and use the typological genre to understand its meaning. When Paul writes of “Moses’” writings, it was the tradition of the Jews of the time, the first five books of the Scripture, the Torah, were physically written by Moses. Historical studies place the actual writings during the time of the Exile in Babylon. They may have been in the tradition of Moses and his phrasing, but the actual inscriptions were by others who were adept to recalling, from memory, exact quotes from the oral tradition.
Typology presents a sense of placing the reader at the sight when the proclamations were first uttered.
The “veil” wasn’t a physical material but rather a muddling of the mind. Those of the disciples of Jesus and Paul were not left in the dark. Rather , they submitted their minds to the Spirit Who enabled them to make sense of remote passages while the unbeliever used his own uninfallible brain to attempt discernment.
When we refuse to listen to the Church’s wisdom in matters of Faith and Morals, we place ourselves on the slippery slope to perdition.
The varieties of creeds produced since the 15th Century is overt evidence of the folly created by individual minds unfurled in the gusts of dissent. Christianity has lost its way. Witness the growth of Islam where the same message prevails in most communities.
Hold on to your Faith!

If we are guided by the words and the response of the Psalm, we can expect the wisdom of God to penetrate our hearts and produce an abundance of faith. Prayer is the armor and the weapons we have in superiority to the false teaching surrounding our nation. However, we can’t wait for ‘John’ to do it. Join in!!

Christ’s advice to us follows on the heels of His beatitudes. Be keenly aware of your neighbor’s needs and provide when you can. The Commandments against our neighbor outline our obligations. However, don’t be a minimalist!
Hate is Murder!
Love of things is Adultery!
Coveting seeks another’s goods or physical intimacy!
Lust debases the Body of Christ!

God doesn’t discriminate; Neither should we!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wednesday June 9, 2009

Wednesday June 10, 2009 of the 10th week in ordinary time

Readings: 2 Corinthians 3: 4-11 Psalm 99: 5-9 Matthew 5: 17-19
Response: “Holy is the Lord our God!”

Our participation in Christianity seems to be a choice of ours affirmed by our willingness to proclaim our sonship with Christ. Nothing could be further than the truth as Paul points out in this passage from 2 Corinthians.
Paul was so intent in his love of God through the word he delivers to these converts, he almost tells them to disdain the Old Testament and take up the New which hadn’t even been written yet.
It is a confirmation of Tradition as the basis for our Faith. He tells his converts, if the radiance of Moses was so intent, the people of the time couldn’t look upon his face without losing their sight, how much more Glorious is Christ whom we’ve assumed in the Spirit and is present in them by our adoption.
In other words, we have nothing to boast about. God’s gift to us is poured out whether we accept it or not. When we come to our senses and realize God’s love is always present, we then can fall to our knees and praise Him as we should.

As is declared in the Psalm, Moses, Aaron and the other priests of the former way received their blessing through a personal relationship with God. We have the same opportunity if only we commune with Him and recognize Him in others about us.
They were blessed with an occasional visit. We have Him at our beck and call every day in the Eucharist we celebrate, with His assurance, He is with us!

When Christ began His public teaching, some of His disciples assumed He was changing the Law. Rather He stated, rather emphatically, if one of them, or us were to remove the slightest accent from the words and teach others to do the same we were inalterably doomed to hell. If we teach, as our church teaches, His way without change in basic religious tenets, we will be extolled with Him.
Those who deny Him will be denied by Him. Acknowledge His love by our devotion in return!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tuesday June 9, 2009

Tuesday June 9, 2009 of the 10th week of Ordinary Time

Readings 2 Corinthians 1: 18-22 Psalm 119: 129-136 Matthew 5: 13-16
Response: “Lord, let Your face shine on me”

Ordinarily, Paul’s words would make no sense to us in our language. He points out the incongruity of answering both positively and negatively out of the same mouth.
God always uses the positive mood when He speaks to His people whether in person or through His Church. The “shalt nots” of the past proclamations, suited the genre of the people of God at the time of the Exodus. Now, however, Paul’s converts were of a different era and they were weary of proposals with more than one answer.
Paul insists on the positive; “Do this or do that” not leaving it up to the person’s intent but on the intent of God. Christ put it slightly differently when He said, “Say yes or say no” with little phumphing, a Yiddish expression leaving room for individual interpretation.
Our Church in earlier times, when education wasn’t the prevalent social attribute, discouraged our reading of the Scripture; not because we couldn’t read, but because there were few among us who could make sense of some of the transliterated language. There are some expressions in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew with no direct translation. Biblical scholars are needed to interpret the true meaning; the Yes and the No of a particular passage in the context used by the author.

The psalmist uses many metaphors to describe the positive words of God. He substitutes Law, Statutes, Traditions, Ordinances, etc. to emphasize the obligation of the Jews to not pick and choose between renderings but to take the straight meaning and go with it!

Jesus, in talking to His disciples, tells them they are to be the flavoring of the Gospel, not the taste but the meaning. They are to be the light to the world. Since on their teaching revolves the salvation of the world, they are to explain it in terms not veiled but plain.
We distort the Word when we profess a doctrine as our own and then disregard it if the present situation doesn’t uit our fancy.

Say YES and NO!

Monday of the 10th week in Ordinary Time

Monday June 8, 2009 of the 10th week in Ordinary Time

Readings: 2Corinthians 1: 1-7 Psalm 34: Matthew 5: 1-12
Response: “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

Paul has unusual insights not often associated with the lives of the Apostles. He is probably in Ephesus, a sister city in Turkey writing to this center of Commerce. He had heard of the false teachers infiltrating the Corinthian Church and writes because he cannot be there to dispute them and encourage them to remain true to the only God.
With Timothy, his adopted son in Spirit, he urges them to remember the fact of his own and his associates suffering for the intention of the faith.
Paul reminds them of the great gift they have received acknowledging the suffering they were going through and it was as he, himself had suffered in imitation of Christ. It is an additional gift from God to strengthen them as they continue the journey to perfection. Because of their Faith and suffering they will be rewarded when their salvation is confirmed through their suffering.

Almost as an addition to his plea, the Psalmist presents the attitude we all should take when faced with the temptation to dissent to the true teachings of the Church. All our actions should be pointed to the attainment of our goal; eternal life with Him.

When Jesus saw the crowd coming to Him for guidance, He got right to the point. The beatitudes, the blessings He poured out upon them were meant to sustain their new faith in Him. He wasn’t extolling new commandments but reiterating them in a different, more down-to earth fashion.
Like His predecessor, Moses, He spoke from the mountain to the people. Thereby, He recalls their travail in the desert when they were escapees from the Egyptians and were fought against by the people who lived in the land the Lord had given them.
Once again the people were in the captive mood forced on them by outsiders into the kind of poverty they had suffered before. Christ wanted them to know He commiserated with them in their poverty, meekness and deprivation. By invoking God’s blessing upon them He showed the depth of His love and His compassion for their state in life.
When we’re confronted with seemingly hopeless situations, we can look back to the days of Christ’s beatitudes and be in the place of this new people of God, also knowing He is always ready to be at our call when we’re being provoked.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Trinity Sunday

June 7, 2009

Readings: Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40 Psalm 33: 4-6,9,18-20,22
Response: My soul waits for the Lord
Romans 8: 14-17 Matthew 28: 16-20

The first and only open declaration of the Trinity in the Bible occurs here in the 28th chapter of Matthew. Jesus told the disciples before," As the Father sent me, I also send you."
Here, before He leaves them to Ascend to His Father and ours, He tells them how He is sending them. Since the Father's authority has been given over to Him, He, in turn, is giving over to them full power. The way they are to make disciples of all nations is to Baptize them in the name of the Trinity.

Originally, they were to go only to the lost tribes of Israel. Now, there are no bounds. Everyone is eligible and capable of the faith necessary to become His disciple and follower.

Matthew, in writing to his Jewish community, compared Moses and Jesus exploits. Not wanting to turn them away from their roots but to channel their faith in a different direction, many of the Mosaic actions were reformulated into actions of Jesus. Moses received the Law on the mountain; Jesus gave the new law of love from the mountain. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, Moses and the Israelites 40 years. The quantitative numbers aren't compatible; however, the symbolism is the same.

The Psalmist reiterates the power of God. In poetic style, he tells how the world and everything in it was created by the Word.

Paul's Romans is a declaration of justification by Faith. Here in chapter 8, he
tells the Romans and us, we are the adopted children of the Father, through the Spirit given us by our Baptism in Christ; if;;; only we suffer with him.
When we get in the Grace line, to feed on the body and blood of Christ, we are willing to accept the love in large portions, plenty of compassion and forgiveness is in our diet. But, when it comes to the dessert, suffering, we all push ourselves away from the table.
We must be ready, if necessary, to take up the cross of Christ even if it means death. Jesus did not shy away from the horror of the cross, why should we?

Saturday June 6, 2009 of the 9th week in ordinary time

Saturday June 6, 2009 of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Tobit 12: 1, 5-15, 20 Psalm Tobit 13: 2, 6-8 Mark 12: 38-44
Response: “Blessed be the Lord, Who live forever”

Tobit, not aware who Raphael was, took his son aside and advised him to be sure to reward the ‘man’ for his actions on their behalf. It was due to Raphael’s intervention Tobit’s treasure was recouped, his son’s bride was saved from the demon and Tobias was returned to him and his wife.
Therefore, in Tobit’s eyes there was nothing he wouldn’t give him as compensation for his efforts on their behalf.
Raphael, as God’s messenger disagreed! All the praise should go to the rightful God!
He is responsible for all the good done and He alone can and does reward and condemn.
Raphael advised them all to direct their praise and prayers to God, not to him, as he was just God’s messenger.
We often forget the true giver of all the gifts we are given. Our birth, our upbringing, our health, our fortunes are all gifs from God. Our talent to be successful comes from Him at no cost other than love which is an endless source, freely give and He deserves all ther credit and praise.

As the concept of Purgatory had not yet been revealed, Tobit presupposes it by having God be the accuser and the forgiver, even from the nether world and the abyss spoken of in Scripture. Therefore, it is cogent to offer praise and thanksgiving to God alone as He is the ultimate source of forgiveness and blessing.

It seems Jesus is excoriating the Scribes in this periscope. In reality, He condemns the action of the Scribes who act in the manner He describes.
We are included with those hypocrites when we profess our belief and then proceed to act in a way different from our teaching.
Jesus doesn’t look at the amount of our gift to Him but rather the heartfelt intent. That is why the poor widow’s donation, though small monetarily was considered greater than the treasures of the rich who gave from their excess while she of her want.
Christ told us, when we give alms, we shouldn’t let our left hand know what our right hand has done.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Friday June 5, 2009 of the 9th week of ordinary time

Friday June 5, 2009 of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time

Readings: Tobit 11: 5-17 Psalm 146:1-2, 6-10 Mark 12: 35-37
Response: “Praise the Lord, my soul!”

After having been blessed with a successful wedding and the thwarting of the demon’s hex, Tobias and Raphael began their journey back to Nineveh with the gall of the fish as an antidote to the droppings which blinded Tobias’ father Tobit.
One can imagine the stench of the dead fish as it was carried over the period in question. The smell probably was enough to cure most any illness. Needless to say, when Tobias applied the fish to his dad’s eyes the cataracts became pliable and Tobias peeled the scales from Tobit’s eyes. Able to see his son, Tobit embraced him and wept for joy.
Tobias’ mom also came into view and was overwhelmed by the appearance of her son and his new bride.
Their exile into Nineveh became the source of both sorrow and joy.

The psalmist projects God’s will into his poetry. He pleads with his God to hear his pleas and bring him the joy promised to the people of Israel long ago. Exhorting God to bring His promise to conclusion, he expresses his conviction God will do as He had said.

As was His wont, Jesus poses an enigma to the scribes, the interpreters of the law and the composers of the targums explaining the law. Their silence voiced a thousand words; just as in our society, the spiritual meanings have more wisdom than the literal. Therefore, we depend on the scholarship of our Biblical Commission to enlighten us when a passage isn’t completely clear. Be cogniscent of the many senses of the scripture, the nuance of the etymologies, and the axioms used by the society to clarify misconceptions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 4, 2009

Thursday June 4, 2009 of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time
Readings: Tobit 6: 10-11; 7: 1bcde; 9-17,; 8: 4-9a Psalm 128: 1-5 Mark 12: 28-34
Response: “Blessed are those who fear the Lord”

After having suffered the death of seven previous men who were betrothed to her according to the Law of Moses, regarding successor rights to marriage, Tobias, asked for Sarah’s hand as the nearest relative to her.
Tobias knew of the demon’s obsession with Sarah and the fate of the seven previous husbands still undertook to become hers. Her parents were upfront with Tobias and made the necessary arrangements.
On the night they were married, Tobias took his bride and before exercising their right to consummate the marriage, they prayed together for God’s guidance, mercy and protection. After which they went to bed and were made one by God without the intervention of the demon!
Our marriage vows are often taken lustfully rather than as a covenant commitment.
The result is often unsatisfactory relationships because God was an after thought rather than the beginning of a successful wedding of thought and prayer.

The prayer of the Psalmist furthers the plea of Tobias and Sarah. They were aware of the perils they would be facing. Not just the history of death rained on the previous marriages but the ordinary everyday pitfalls facing a couple in their beginnings as one.
Pray your marriage will be always the example of love and relationship God intends for all His couples when they contemplate this Holy step in their lives.

The intent of the Scribe’s question to Jesus was to elicit a different response than usual as though Jesus was not aware of God’s intent. When the ancient “schema” came from Jesus’ lips, the scribe was taken aback and forced to agree Jesus was totally in compliance with the law.
We are imbued with the teaching of the Church. The Readings, Liturgies and the Catechetical Homilies relating thereto are meant to keep us in touch with the current understanding of the words and instructions of Jesus. Our faith didn’t drop out of the sky; nor was it left to us on tablets to assure there would be no deviation. Our Church, from time to time, updates its understanding of revelation and suits it to current situations by way of Ecumenical Councils. Just as the Apostles had to deviate from their Jewish practices, not to accommodate converts, but to remove unnecessary restrictions and to introduce meaningful rituals and devotions, so our Church recognizes out-of-date practices may be a stumbling block to souls wanting to be one with Him.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wednesday June 3, 2009 of the 9th Week of Ordinary Time

Readings: Tobit 3: 1-11a, 16-17a Psalm 25: 2-9 Mark 12: 18-27
Response: "" To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul"

When Jesus was confronted by the Sadducees regarding who would be the husband, in heaven, of the girl who was married to seven brothers in succession as they died childless, their probable reference was Tobit 3. When some passage strikes us as appropriate for reflection and explanation, can we pluck one out and use it as an example of right living.
Raphael was sent by God to heal Tobit's eyes and to derail Asmodeus in his jealous attempt to keep Sarah for himself. The prayers of Tobit and Sarah were heartfelt petitions for healing. God heard and delivered them both from the shackles of Satan.
We have the same opportunity to ask for God's intercession directly or through the saints to heal our faults whether physical or psychological. A good helping of Faith will be the means whereby an answer will be forthcoming.

The psalmist's confidence should be our aim when we petition God for relief. He may not always respond as we'd like but His solutions take into consideration all time to come to the proper and most cogent answer!

Mark's pericope on the dilemma of the Sadducees regarding the multiple marriages and the ultimate husband of the woman married according to the Law, seven times.
Jesus, knowing the conditions in Heaven corrected their misunderstanding and unbelief in the resurrection of the dead at the end of time.God truly is the God of the living. Proof of the concept is shown the Apostles and us in the act of Transfiguration before His death and resurrection. Moses and Elijah were long mortaly dead when the vision occured. Jesus appeare to them to insure Hie was the God of the living both now and forever!

Tuesday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time June 2, 2009

Tuesday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time June 2, 2009
Readings: Tobit 2: 9-14 Psalm 112: 1-2, 7-9 Mark12; 1-12
Response: “ The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord”

Tobit, after performing many deeds of virtue for his neighbors, finally got to rest against the wall of his courtyard. Some birds, roosted on the edge of the wall defecated and their warm droppings fell on his eyes. The doctors of the time hadn’t the necessary remedy so Tobit eventually became totally blind.
When his wife was forced to provide for their family’s needs, she did so bu taking in sewing and repairing torn and ripped clothing. Her payment was in the custom of the time. Once a client gave her a goat in addition to her usually charge as a bonus.
Tobit was incensed with her, wondering if the goat was stolen. He insisted she return it to its rightful owner, turning a deaf ear to her pleadings of innocence.
For all his holiness and good deeds, he couldn’t accept his wife’s explanation and received a just remonstration.
It was as a demonstration of our penchant for doing righteous deeds when everyone is looking but neglecting our duty when someone else’s deed is charitable! God expects us to always be charitable, even when our minds think otherwise!

When Jesus is confronted by some Herodians and Pharisees, trying to ensnare Him in a plot to establish His perceived unorthodox teachings, as usual, He turned the tables on them and caught them in a hypocritical situation.
Carrying, on one’s person, a coin of the realm, was tantamount to idolatry. When they produced, at His urging, a coin with Caesar’s image etched thereon, objectively, they committed idolatry.
We must be careful in dealing with unbelievers. They often do not realize the blasphemous nature of their deriding our Faith in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
However, when we ignore common norms of dress or behavior when we approach the altar, these same unbelievers rightfully judge us hypocrites.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday June 1, 2009 of the 9th wek in Ordinary Time

Monday June 1, 2009 of Pentecost Week

Readings: Tobit : 1-3; 2: 1a-8 Psalm 112: 1b-6 Mark 11: 27-33
Response: “Blessed the man who fears the Lord”

Tobit is one of the Books of the Bible which was relegated to Apophrical status by the reformers. It was contained in the canon of the Septuagint (LXX), a 3rd Century BC rendition of the Hebrew books, by the Greek King of Egypt, Ptolemy, when he decided to include Hebrew literature in the famous Alexandrian Library.
Later, (1st Century) Jewish religious leaders developed criteria whereby ancient writings would be admitted to the Hebrew texts. At the time, the book of Tobit was available only in the Greek rendition. Therefore, it was denied authenticity. Later, Protestant Bibles also left these books out of their canon even though, by reference, Jesus and the Apostle Paul used quotes from Tobit and other Apophrical books, lending credence to their inspiration by the Holy Spirit.
Tobit was a holy man who, during the exile of the northern Jewish tribes, was in Nineveh, the capital of Assyria in the 7th Century BC. The practice of burying dead Jews during the exile was looked on by the Assyrians as a recognition of the Tradition of the Jewish people and was usually denied them under pain of execution.
Tobit, an honorable Jew, defied the Assyrian edict and attempted to do the honorable thing by burying bodies in accordance with their tradition.
He, thus, put his life in danger every time he did so.
We do not regard interment as dishonorable but have ventured into formerly forbidden practices of cremation. Although sanctioned by the Church, nevertheless, the preference, except in case of plague or disease proliferation, is burial.

The psalm response is a confirmation of Tobit’s action on behalf of his neighbors. Tobit wasn’t afraid of God but he honored God’s traditions and commandments as mandatory, not suggestions.

The Gospel story continues the theme of denial of religious civic leaders when their edicts deny our consciences. When the scribes who challenged Jesus about His authority, He befuddled them with a practical question. No matter their answer, they were at a loss how to respond.
The fact of His many cures and instances of inexplicable actions should have shown them the manifestation of God’s sanctions of His actions.
We are in the same boat when we question the authority of our Church. It was given to the Apostles and their successors by Christ.
When some people ask where the Church got its authority we may not be as clever as Christ but we can, because we believe, comfortably say, “From Him!”