(Not) with me…

March 11, 2021 3:00 am

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (LK 11: 23)

Whenever we go to our brothers and sisters with Our Lord, we do our part: bringing people to Him and letting Him do His part. When we go without Him, we put ourselves in danger because we do not know what is really good for them. 

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.”  (Verse before the Gospel) 

Obeys and teaches. 

March 10, 2021 3:00 am

“But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” (MT 5: 19)

This is the right union: “obeys and teaches.” Teaching without being obedient is like someone who obeys but is not concerned and interested in sharing with others. The authority of those who teach comes from practicing what we teach. This is why when we practice strategies from our Programs, and we recommend them to others, we can expect much better results; “Verba docent, exempla trahunt” (words instruct, illustrations lead) used to say the Romans. 

“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.” (Verse before the Gospel)

Forgive your brother. 

March 9, 2021 3:00 am

“So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.” (MT 18: 35) 

Forgiveness is so crucial for our spirituality. We regularly confess to receive God’s forgiveness, but we are also asked to do the same to our brothers and sisters. When we forgive, we are closer to understanding what we have received from God through forgiveness. 

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.” (Verse before the Gospel)

Naaman the Syrian

March 8, 2021 3:00 am

“Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” (LK 4: 27)

We have our own expectations about God’s help and God’s interventions. We might think that God’s support should go first to our family, our friends, and definitely to our Church. We know that Catholics are not the only people in this world, but definitely, they must be the best and favorite of God. God’s grace, of course, can also go to non-catholics, but after and when we have more graces than we can use.

If God favored this pagan, maybe we also should be more concerned to support our neighbors who are not catholic or even not believers?  

“I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word; with him, there is kindness and plenteous redemption.” (Verse before the Gospel)

We no longer believe because of your word.

March 7, 2021 3:00 am

“We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” (JN 4: 42)

How important is our example, how important is it to show others what really matters, and how important is it to show others great strategies to improve our relationship? Our lives and our experiences are a great support for others. Our role is to bring hope, show that good strategy, and bring others closer to Our Lord. We meet people where they are and help them become what they could be. 

“Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world; give me living water, that I may never thirst again.” (Verse before the Gospel)

Drawing near to listen to Jesus.

March 6, 2021 3:00 am

“Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (LK 15: 1-2)

This group of people: “the Pharisees and scribes,” are never dying; we can always hear their complaint: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” But this is our mission—to go to sinners, people in need. 
It was something unique in Our Lord’s voice, gestures, and teaching that “tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus.” In today’s world, many in need want to hear the Good News, not to be blamed and punished, but to be inspired and encouraged. 

“I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and you.” (Verse before the Gospel)

To a people that will produce its fruit.

March 5, 2021 3:00 am

“Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” (MT 21: 43)

The Kingdom of God is about taking care of others and looking for people who suffer from despair, loneliness, or lack of hope and who do not believe. The Kingdom of God is not about being among good people, nice community, or a great parish; it is about the mission and bearing fruit.  

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

Then Abraham said

March 4, 2021 5:20 am

“Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’” (LK 18: 31)

A friend of mine shared with me an interesting “acronym”—BIBLE: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth; “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets.” We have the same Scriptures which have helped all the generations before us. All the saints learned from the Bible and were inspired by God’s word. We do not need to be persuaded by dead people; but definitely, we can inspire many by living the Gospel message. 

“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.”  (Verse before the Gospel)

Be great

March 3, 2021 3:00 am

“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” (MT 20: 26-27)

The Gospel recommends a totally different style for thinking about greatness or to be first. When we think about being great, we compare ourselves with others, trying to see our better results or achievements. Our Lord proposes not to compare, but to serve, not to look at our greatness, but to see others as worthy to serve them.

“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Verse before the Gospel)

But they will not lift a finger to move them. 

March 2, 2021 3:00 am

“For they preach, but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.” (MT 23: 4)

There are not many priests who want to serve couples. It is not easy to understand a totally different vocation. However, when they practice what they teach, life becomes simpler. Love is the same in every vocation; it needs the same things like gentleness, respect, giving and not demanding, finding good quality time to practice your relationship, trying to understand first, then be understood, and uniting everything in everything—be consistent. These things are not easy to practice, but when we practice, we understand each other fast, and huge differences between our vocations become smaller and smaller. 

“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” (Verse before the Gospel)