At once 

November 30, 2017 6:00 am

“As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” (MT 4: 18-20) 

Such a simple situation: “Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee” and saw two brothers “casting a net into the sea” and invited them: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This life-changing decision was so simple for them: “At once they left their nets and followed him.” We are called by Jesus when we do our daily things, when we are with our “nets” on our “seas;” we also can improve our “at once.” 

“Come after me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Gospel acclamation) 

It will lead to you giving testimony

November 29, 2017 6:00 am

“They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to you giving testimony.” (LK 21: 12-13) 

This is our vocation: “giving testimony.” When we are used to doing it in front of our spouses or children and our colleagues or clients, we will know how to do it when “they will have you led before kings and governors because of His name.” And He will take care of us.

“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)

for such things must happen first

November 28, 2017 6:00 am

“See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’  Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” (LK 21: 8-9) 

Even though “such things must happen first,” the message is not about the end but about being with Our Lord for eternity. Difficult moments, stressful situations, misunderstandings and all of the things like that are part of our lives, and we should “remain faithful until death, and Our Lord will give us the crown of life.” 

“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

I myself will pasture my sheep

November 26, 2017 6:00 am

“I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.  The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.” (EZ 34: 12.15-16)

Our Lord is not only our God and King of the Universe, but also our shepherd who takes care of us: “the lost I will seek, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal,” “shepherding us rightly.” We can count on Him—He will rescue us from every place where we are scattered.

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Children of the coming age

November 25, 2017 6:00 am

“The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.” (LK 20: 34-36)  

We are children of this age—we marry, but the next age is coming—“neither marry nor are given in marriage.” All of us are “children of God,” and we are going to spend eternity with our Lord. Marriage is a means to an end—to teach us how to love and to be a sincere gift of selves and to be with God. 

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

All the people were hanging on his words

November 24, 2017 6:00 am

“The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.” (LK 19: 47-48) 

The story is from the beginning the same: on one side authorities “were seeking to put him to death” and on the other, “all the people were hanging on his words.” God, eliminated from the public sphere, has a space in our houses. When we “hear His voice,” we can change our houses into holy houses, like the Holy Family.

“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

I and my sons and my kin  will keep to the covenant of our fathers

November 23, 2017 6:00 am

“Although all the Gentiles in the king’s realm obey him, so that each forsakes the religion of his fathers and consents to the king’s orders, yet I and my sons and my kin will keep to the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments. We will not obey the words of the king nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree.” (1 MC 2: 19-22)

When we joined Love and Life Programs, we made a decision to follow, not our plans for marriage, but God’s will, His plan. Even though “all the Gentiles in the king’s realm obey” different visions for marriage, we “will keep to the covenant of our fathers.” As witnesses, we can inspire many and change this world. 

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Engage in trade with these until I return

November 22, 2017 6:00 am

“A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.” (LK 19: 12-15) 

We remember the story: the first brought another 10, the second another 5 and the third one nothing. We are invited to do exactly the same. When we had made a decision during Program 1 to change ourselves, not our spouses, we are like servants, who recognized received talents and followed God’s will: “engage in trade with these until I return.” People who are focused on changing their spouses, not themselves, are like the servant who did nothing to improve what he received. We are chosen to “bear fruit that will last.”

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

Seeking to see who Jesus was

November 21, 2017 6:00 am

“At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.” (LK 19: 1-4)

Zacchaeus “was seeking to see who Jesus was.” He used “a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus.” Our Lord was, is and will be the same; also today He “passes through our towns.” Today’s “sycamore tree” depends on our “shortness” and could be the Church, a Bible, but also our spouse or friend, who is closer to Our Lord and could help us to “see who Jesus is.” 

“God loved us, and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Entrusting his heart to her

November 19, 2017 6:00 am

“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.” (PRV 31: 10-13; 19-20; 30-31) 

The first step in “entrusting his heart to her” is the moment when he learns how to defend, not to attack. An attack is when we try to change our wives to our own image and likeness; a defense helps us to recognize her beauty, her differences and talents and results in “entrusting his heart to her.” When women are recognized in their dignity, we can expect all of those things mentioned in today’s first reading.

“Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me bears much fruit.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

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