I knew you, I dedicated you, I appointed you

January 31, 2016 6:00 am

“The word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (JER 1: 4-5)

In just a few words, we have fully expressed life’s mission. “I knew you”: I loved you and chose you; “I dedicated you”: I set you apart to be a prophet; “I appointed you”: take care of my words, be my ambassador. What a dignity we have, how amazingly we are loved. Formed by God’s love, dedicated and appointed by Him, we “cannot fully find ourselves except through a sincere gift of ourselves” (GS, 24)

“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Quiet! Be still!

January 30, 2016 6:00 am

“They woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ The wind ceased and there was great calm.” (MK 4: 38-39)

How often we need this kind of intervention from Our Lord—“the wind ceased and there was great calm”–all kinds of hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes when our family members’ lives are in danger because, extremely overwhelmed, “we are perishing.” Our Lord always responds when we ask.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)

…would sleep and rise night and day

January 29, 2016 6:00 am

“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” (MK 4: 26-27)

“The Kingdom of God” grows “night and day” when we “sleep and rise.” We do not know how it works. The same is with God’s word in us. We will see, at some time in the future, the beauty of Our Lord’s work. “The seed will sprout and grow,” quietly yet powerfully, without our intervention, but with our loving cooperation, being gentle, respectful and givers of selves.

“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Take care what you hear

January 28, 2016 6:00 am

“Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (MK 4: 24-25)

There are two persons responsible for “what we hear”: the speaker and the listener. God’s word reminds us today of our responsibility: “take care what YOU hear.” In words of anger and rage, we can hear our child’s cry for love and a hug; in words with a lack of respect, we can hear our spouse’s cry for attention, love and help. Of course we can hear only the first part, but for full communication, when we responsibly give the gift of self, we add our generous part and receive the benefits: “the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” His Word is “a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.”

“A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit

January 27, 2016 6:00 am

“But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” (MK 4: 20)

Just like where there is A and B we can expect to find C, the same is true with us: when we “hear the word and accept it,” we can also expect fruit. The more we carefully listen and the more our hearts are open, the more fruit we can expect.

“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation)

the will of God

January 26, 2016 7:49 am

“Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (MK 3: 34-35)

Our Lord came to us to tell us about “the will of God.” Probably we can describe how much we do to recognize (our vocation, studies, job, number of children, and so many others) and to accept “the will of God,” and how much we do to practice it in our everyday lives. Sometimes we forget that God’s will, besides this, is quite simple—to love each other. Period. No more, no less.

“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)

What you have seen and heard

January 25, 2016 6:00 am

“The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard.” (ACTS 22: 14-15)

This is the strength of the apostles—“witness before all to what you have seen and heard.” It had to happen also to St. Paul to be an apostle, designated by God “to know His will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of His voice.” The last, “the smallest”—like he used to call himself, but still—he was “chosen from the world” to be the Apostle of Jesus Christ.

“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing

January 24, 2016 5:57 am

“Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, ‘Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.’” (LK 4: 20-21)

The amazing thing with God’s word is that with Him, when we listen to His word—daily readings, especially during Mass, everyday is “today.” Our Lord is not in the past, as a nice memory of the past events, but is always with us, in our present time, among us. And He is always concerned “to bring tidings to the poor, and to proclaim liberty to captives.”

“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)

impossible for them even to eat

January 23, 2016 6:00 am

“Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.” (MK 3: 20)

Jesus is again in the house surrounded by “the gathered crowd,” hungry for His presence and with different needs. For Our Lord and His disciples, that was their first mission—answering to their necessities, “making it impossible for them even to eat.” The corporal works of mercy and spiritual works of mercy in Jesus’ life intertwine.

“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Summoned those whom he wanted

January 22, 2016 6:00 am

“Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.” (MK 3: 13)

He appointed them in a very solemn way—“went up the mountain” and used His authority—“summoned those whom He wanted.” But also He left a place for us—“they came to Him.” And this is God’s whole strategy—He is always first with His blessing, vocation and grace; we are always invited to respond—to take action and to be in relationship.

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (Gospel Acclamation)

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