Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus

January 31, 2017 6:00 am

“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (HEB 12: 1-2)

Jesus is our Lord and our Redeemer, “the leader and perfecter of faith.” All His life He had only one mission—to proclaim the unconditional love of God to us and to assure us of how important we are to Him. When we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,” we can see better how much we are loved (“He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases”), and how important it is to love each other.

“Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

Go home to your family

January 30, 2017 6:00 am

“’Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.’ Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.” (MK 5: 19-20)

Whatever we have received from Our Lord individually goes naturally to our homes. “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you”—because God respects our vocations. Not only our family will be enriched, but also “all were amazed.”

“A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)

By human standards

January 29, 2017 6:00 am

“Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.” (1 COR 1: 26-29)

Human standards and God standards are different. The most unique way to see the difference is our “own calling.” “God chose the foolish… God chose the weak… God chose the lowly and despised, those who count for nothing,” and all of them have a common denominator—“of the world”: the foolish of the world, the weak of the world, the lowly and despised of the world He chooses because God sees our situation differently; He sees our dignity, our love and our dedication first, secondly—our limitations and our inability.

“Rejoice and be glad; your reward will be great in heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for

January 28, 2017 6:00 am

“Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested.” (HEB 11: 1-2)  

It is not about a definition of faith; it is more about what we can achieve by faith. It is more about Whom we trust and believe, not about us.

“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)

You need endurance

January 27, 2017 6:00 am

“You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised. For, after just a brief moment, he who is to come shall come; he shall not delay. But my just one shall live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him.” (HEB 10: 36-38)

God is faithful, and we will receive “what he has promised.” From our perspective it takes time, but from God’s perspective it requires virtues, like faith, trust and endurance. God’s graces are for our growth and holiness, not for pleasure.

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

Stir into flame the gift of God

January 26, 2017 6:00 am

“For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2 TIM 1: 6-7)

We are protected and armed with power from on high, and God gave us a spirit “of power and love and self-control.” Our responsibility is “to stir into flame the gift of God.”

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

Go into the whole world

January 25, 2017 6:00 am

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (MK 16: 15)

Sometimes our “whole world” is very close and limited only to our house and our family. Sometimes it is a little bit bigger and contains also our work and our close neighbors. Sometimes our “whole world” is very large and very close to “the whole.” It doesn’t matter how small or how big our world is; it matters what we do in this world. Do we “proclaim the Gospel to every creature”? Do we share with others how much we are loved, how important we are to Him and what He did for us to keep us free from sin?

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

My brother and sister and mother

January 24, 2017 6:00 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)

How close Our Lord keeps us in His heart: “Whoever does the will of God”–we are His “brothers and sisters and mothers,” the most important family relationships. We are more than colleagues or friends; we are more than believers or followers; truly–we are members of His family. Always loved and protected. Always His.

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

Possible revisions:

Christ might now appear before God on our behalf

January 23, 2017 8:07 am

“For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.” (HEB 9: 24)

Our Lord always prays for us. He is “before God on our behalf.” Whatever happens to us, He knows how to support us, how to protect us and how to help us. We are unconditionally loved by Him.

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

Be united in the same mind and in the same purpose

January 22, 2017 6:00 am

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.” (1 COR 1: 10)

One of the worst things is divisions within the community. St. Paul reminds us, or even “urge[s] us,” that “there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.” “Be[ing] united in the same mind” is not easy, doesn’t come naturally, but is achievable when we are focused on this and when we understand how important it is to protect our relationship from “divisions among us.”

“Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the people.” (Gospel Acclamation)

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