Looks to what was left behind

September 30, 2015 6:00 am

“‘I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.’ Jesus answered him, ‘No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.’” (LK 9: 61-62)

Jesus, who spent 30 years in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph, never was against “family at home.” The role of the family is not to keep members together forever but to send them into the world enriched by the love, values and good strategies of service to others. “The Kingdom of God” will grow with us or without us. IF with us—we need to be fit for this.

“I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”

Michael and his angels

September 29, 2015 6:00 am

“War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.” (RV 12: 7-8)

One of the greatest gifts we have received from God is the protection of the Angels. Today we celebrate the feast of some of them, the most prestigious angels, called by their extraordinary missions Archangels: Michael—“Who is like God,” Gabriel—“Strength of God,” and Rafael—“God heals.” Three different missions and three different times but the same love for God and the same will to serve Him. Even their names, like their missions, are focused on God.

“Bless the LORD, all you angels, you ministers, who do his will.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Which of them was the greatest

September 28, 2015 6:00 am

“An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.’” (LK 9: 46-48)

Very natural among men is the tendency to compete: “which of them is the greatest.” The “intention of their hearts” could be very dangerous for them and for the mission. The main mission for the apostles is to be ambassadors of God’s love and to imitate and embody Jesus’ mission. The simplicity, trust and dependence of children illustrates the true nature of their mission better than greatness.

“The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Gospel Acclamation)

The Lord might bestow his spirit on them all

September 27, 2015 6:00 am

“Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!” (NM 11: 29)

Prophesying is not foretelling the future but speaking with enraptured enthusiasm about God’s miracles and seeing the world and our lives from God’s perspective. We can see the world from our limited perspective, which could be quite easily very selfish, or from God’s perspective, when we can see the world much wider and when we look for the common good.

“Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Be his people

September 26, 2015 6:00 am

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD. Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.” (ZEC 2: 14-15)

Our identity is defined by our relationships: we are sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, husbands or wives and fathers or mothers. The same reality applies to consecrated people. But the most important is our relationship with Our Lord, who is always coming “to dwell among us,” so we can “be his people.”

“Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Take courage… and work

September 25, 2015 6:00 am

“And take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work! For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts. This is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, and my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear!” (HG 2: 4-5)

God needs our work; somehow it is important to Him and probably even more for us; we need His presence and the constant reassurance of His love for us. He promised—“this is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, and my spirit continues in your midst.” So often we feel alone, abandoned and full of fear. And He encourages us—“do not fear… and work.”

“The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Gospel Acclamation)

The word of the Lord came

September 24, 2015 6:00 am

“On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak.” (HG 1: 1)

It was exactly on August 29, 520 B.C. At that time “the word of the Lord” needed prophets to come. Later “the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” But the true nature of the word in the Old Testament and in the New Testament is the same—to be a message from God and about God; about His merciful love for us and His forgiveness and grace. And it doesn’t matter which way “the word of the Lord came”; He always comes to people, to us: governors and priests, ordinary people and nobles, consecrated people and spouses, as well as widows and singles. And it always brings hope and joy because we are loved by God.

“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)

from village to village

September 23, 2015 6:00 am

“Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.” (LK 9: 6)

The life of an apostle is to be on the move. There are no homes for them, or—rather—their homes are everywhere. Our Lord’s order: “take nothing for the journey” leads them to complete reliance on God. It is so important to remember that “proclaiming the good news” is to lead people to Him, and we should totally disappear.

“The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Act on it

September 22, 2015 6:00 am

“He said to them in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.’” (LK 8: 21)

The common thing which we can haveevery day is that we can “hear the word of God.” More individual is the way in which we “act on it.” Here we have an unlimited number of options, different like we are different. For one person it will be an “action” by spending more time in silence, for another person—more time in a conversation—talking and sharing with a spouse about his/her day. For a consecrated person, it will be a perfect occasion for more time in front of the Blessed Sacrament; for a married person, it can be time to schedule dinner together. “Hear[ing] the word” without “act[ing] on it” is like looking at a meal without eating. It looks nice, but doesn’t give you strength.

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Gospel Acclamation)

To mature manhood

September 21, 2015 6:00 am

“And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.” (EPH 4: 11-13)

“Mature manhood” literally means “a perfect man” or possibly “the one new person.” We are going to this “mature manhood” together; we need each other and all kinds of vocations “to equip the holy ones,” “until we all attain to the unity of faith.” Everyone with his or her unique vocation can help me to grow and to mature “for building [me] up [in] the Body of Christ.” Our maturity lies in our likeness to Our Lord,like St. Matthew, who started as a tax collector and finished as an Apostle and Evangelist following Jesus.

“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)