You are the Christ—you are Peter

February 22, 2018 6:00 am

“Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”” (MT 16: 16-18)

Everything in our lives we received from Our Lord; He gave us life, He gave us redemption, He gave us purpose and supports us all the time in our mission. When we are away from Him or when we don’t recognize His presence in our lives, we live only with our small names and our small missions. We are missing something big we are called to be. When Peter recognized the truth about Jesus, he could receive his new name and his new mission.

“You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

When God saw by their actions

February 21, 2018 6:00 am

“When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” (JON 3: 10)

We are body and soul. Our bodily actions are important because they show what is in our hearts. We can show, through our actions, “how we turned from our evil way.” We can show this not only to God but also to our friends, coworkers and relatives in our homes and offices. We can inspire others. 

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

Just as the rain and snow come down

February 20, 2018 6:00 am

“Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (IS 55: 10-11)

Every word of God comes with a mission to help us, to protect us and to lead us. When we listen to Him, when we spend time together, reflecting on God’s word, and when we put His words into action, we are “making it fertile and fruitful… achieving the end for which God sent it. “ 

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

One of these least brothers of mine

February 19, 2018 6:00 am

“And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (MT 25: 40) 

We can’t truly say that we love Our Lord if we can’t show this love to our brothers and sisters. “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” We are for Him all brothers and sisters, and when we feel so vulnerable, damaged or broken, we can identify ourselves with “these least brothers” of Him. Every gesture, look or word full of gentleness goes also to Him. 

“Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Tempted by Satan

February 18, 2018 6:00 am

“The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” (MK 1: 12-13) 

It happened right after Our Lord’s Baptism: “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.” We also can experience more difficulties when we decide to start this Lent more focused on our relationships, growing in gentleness and respect and being a giver of self. Temptations are normal; God’s grace supports us, and we can build our strength and strategy “on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” In God we trust. 

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Leaving everything behind

February 17, 2018 6:00 am

“Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.” (LK 5: 27-28) 

Our Lord said to tax collector named Levi, “Follow me. And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.” These words inspired many of us to change our lives. Some recognized being called t0 marriage, some to consecrated life, some of us became coaches for Love and Life Programs. “Leaving everything behind” may have many names but the same root—we heard when He said to us: “Follow me.” 

“I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

The fasting that I wish

February 16, 2018 6:00 am

“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.” (IS 58: 6-7) 

Our Lord’s idea for fasting is to bring us back to unity with him, to keep our relationship strong and to open our eyes for people in need. It is much more important than sacrifices we can make. The only reason for sacrifices is to help us to be gentler and more respectful, and more a giver of self. 

“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord will be with you.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Loving the Lord, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him

February 15, 2018 10:20 pm

“Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you, a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (DT 30: 19-20) 

These are three simple words and actions: “loving, heeding His voice and holding fast to Him.” This is all we need. When we love somebody, we naturally want to heed them, and it takes us closer to him or her. When we take our Bible with love to listen to Him, we can finish our prayer holding the Bible fast to our hearts. 

“Repent, says the Lord; the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Return to me with your whole heart

February 14, 2018 6:00 am

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” (JL 2: 12-13)  

We are losing our integrity, our “whole hearts,” being too busy, having too much concern for our daily activities, forgetting about daily meditation and minutes of silence focused on Our Lord. Ash Wednesday and Lent are perfect times to “return to the LORD with our whole hearts.” This is the best way to learn again how “gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” 

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

All good giving and every perfect gift is from above

February 13, 2018 6:00 am

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” (JAS 1: 16-17)

Our thanksgiving is the best answer we can offer to God, Who is supporting us and strengthening us with “perfect gifts from above.” His grace comes first with “all good giving” to prepare us to be with Him and fulfill our mission in this world. 

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

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