fully grown

October 31, 2017 6:00 am

“Jesus said, ‘What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’” (LK 13: 18-19) 

The beginning is always small and the potential is in the seed. The smallest “becomes a large bush and the birds of the sky dwell in its branches.” We have no idea what could happen when we allow God’s words to grow in us, how many couples and families could “dwell in its branches.” It is so good to be His “little ones.” 

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

He laid his hands on her

October 30, 2017 6:00 am

“Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, ‘Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.’ He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.” (LK 13: 10-13) 

Our Lord’s hands are always busy, always on us. Whenever He sees our wounds, He calls us to Him and puts His hands on us; He wants us seeing “straight and glorifying God.” 

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

… depend on these two commandments

October 29, 2017 6:00 am

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (MT 22: 37-40) 

When God is in His right place, everything else falls into its right place. Only when “all our hearts” are given to God, we are able to “love our neighbors as ourselves;” otherwise, we will look at what is good only for us.

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Members of the household of God

October 28, 2017 6:00 am

“You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,  built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.” (EPH 2: 19-20) 

Jesus came not only to set us free from our sins but also to make us “fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.” How amazing it will be to be with all our favorite saints. It is so wonderful that He wants to be also with us all the time and that we are important to Him.

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

Miserable one that I am!

October 27, 2017 6:00 am

“So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (ROM 7: 21-25) 

Probably everyone could say the same about ourselves: we love God, we love to serve Him and love to be with Him, connected all the time, but we “see in our members another principle at war with the law of our minds, taking us captive to the law of sin that dwells in our members. Miserable one that I am!” But we are Our Lord’s beloved children and can put all our trust in Him—“Who will deliver us from this mortal body.” It is good to be His children, “the little ones.”

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

The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

October 26, 2017 6:00 am

“But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ROM 6: 22-23)

We “have been freed from sin” by Our Lord; He gave His life for our lives. We couldn’t have our sins forgiven without His grace. He won over Satan; He won over death and gave us “eternal life.” Our role is to stay as close to Him as possible and to be connected with Him in our hearts, thoughts and actions—“that I may gain Christ and be found in him.” 

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

Slaves of righteousness

October 25, 2017 6:00 am

“But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted. Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.” (ROM 6: 17-18)

Between “slaves of sin” and “slaves of righteousness,” we can find God’s love and grace; He died for us when we were sinners and called us to be His children. “Thanks be to God,” we were “freed from sin” and “became obedient from the heart.” Every day we try to “stay awake” looking for Him and his words of love.

“Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more

October 24, 2017 6:00 am

“Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (ROM 5: 20-21)

When we see “sin increase[d] in our “neighbors,” we are disappointed and worried about their future. When God sees “sin increase[d],” He sends His grace to “overflow all the more.” He knows that only love gives enough strength to stand.

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

One’s life does not consist of possessions

October 23, 2017 6:00 am

“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” (LK 12: 15) 

Sometimes we can meet people whose position is based on possessions; the more they have, the happier they are. But it is not true. Our dignity and our position come from our relationship with God—we are His beloved children, and we do not need to have something to be loved; we are loved unconditionally. God’s world is based on different strategies: the more we give, the more we are; that means we are to be “rich in what matters to God.”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Give thanks to God always for all of you

October 22, 2017 6:00 am

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.” (1 THES 1: 2-4) 

Sunday Mass, at the end of the Program, is always offered for the good fruits of the Program. It is also a perfect occasion for me to “give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in my prayers.” I am so thankful for your “work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I’d love to repeat after St. Paul: my “brothers and sisters loved by God,” I know “how you were chosen.” Keep growing, and “shine like lights in the world.” 🙂

“Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

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