they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth

February 2, 2020 4:00 am

“When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (LK 2: 39-40)

These two sentences covered 30 years of Our Lord’s life with Mary and Joseph in their house. And from this point, every house could be a place for children “to grow and become strong, filled with wisdom.” It could be — because it comes not from the house but from the parents, and the quality of their love will guarantee a good environment for their children. 

“A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” (Gospel Acclamation)  

Take care what you hear

January 30, 2020 4:00 am

“Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (MK 4: 24-25)

“Take care what you hear,” because words are powerful—we can “kill” and destroy people or we can heal and strengthen them just by words. “Take care what you hear” could mean: eliminate destruction from your environment (media, messages, movies, naysayers) and invite good, inspiring people, books, programs, and friends, who will lead you to be the best gift of self, the best communicator, the best spouse, parent, and friend. “Take care what you hear.” 

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

hear the word and accept it and bear fruit

January 29, 2020 4:00 am

“But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” (MK 4: 20) 

The strategy is simple: “hear, accept and bear fruit.” Every day God speaks to us. Daily readings are like a daily portion of manna which was given daily for Israel in the desert. Every day we have a small portion of the Bible in the Mass which speaks about God’s love to us and gives us strength. Our role is to “hear the word”—read it, and read it again, trying to understand and accept the message, then implement this word into your daily routine, daily activities, “and bear fruit.” Recently we spoke about being “one in mind and purpose,” and doing ”the will of God” which means to be a free, creative, and joyful gift of self—we can hear it, accept it, and bear fruit practicing it. 

“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Whoever does the will of God

January 28, 2020 4:00 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) 

Unfortunately too often we think about doing “the will of God,” like doing something unpleasant when we need to force ourselves to do the thing we don’t like to do. But “the will of God” is very simple—God wants for us (and from us) only the most important thing: that we will love each other in the most amazing way. He wants us growing in love, being the best gift of self, always free, creative, and joyful. That kind of gift of self makes us like He is and makes us part of His family: “my brother and sister and mother.” 

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

divided house

January 27, 2020 4:00 am

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (MK 3: 24-25)

Yesterday we spoke about unity in mind and purpose. Today Our Lord reminds us of the consequences of division: “and if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Our Lord spent thirty years with Our Lady and St. Joseph, and He knows all about the beauty of a house which is totally dedicated to love, respect, gift of self, and where rituals and dialog are practiced in the most amazing way. 

“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 26, 2020 4:00 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) 

We know how important is our unity, especially when we are parents. Our children’s safety and comfort depend on the quality of our relationship. When we are “united in the same mind and in the same purpose,” they can grow and live in the most loving environment. To be “in the same mind and in the same purpose,” we need to talk daily, to keep our daily rituals, and to spend time together daily. It helps. 

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

be his witness before all

January 25, 2020 4:00 am

“The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.” (ACTS 22: 14-16) 

As believers and married couples, we are called to “be his witnesses before all.” In a very special way, we are called to be witnesses before other couples, sharing with them the beauty of our vocation, the reason we are called to be married couples, and the mission for us. 

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

that they might be with him

January 24, 2020 4:00 am

“Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” (MK 3: 13-15) 

This is the first task for “Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,” and for everybody else from “those whom he wanted,” even in our own time, “that they might be with him.” How often do we think that when we are called, consecrated, or ordained, He is calling us to work for Him—“to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” It took me years to understand that the most important thing is to be with Him, not to work for Him. The same is with marriage; marriage is to be husband or wife, not to have husband or wife. 

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

to touch him

January 23, 2020 4:00 am

“He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.” (MK 3: 10)

We can’t “touch Him” physically like “those who had diseases,” but we can touch Him in every moment with our hearts. He is with us. He lives in our hearts, and, whenever we are in need, we can touch Him. When Our Lord is touched with faith and love, miracles happen. 

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

they watched Jesus closely… 

January 22, 2020 4:00 am

“Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him.” (MK 3: 1-2) 

Today again we have the same situation: “they watched Jesus closely” not to learn from Him how to love, how to respect, how to grow in prayer, and how to have a close relationship with God, but to “accuse him.” We know how horrible it was. But we can do exactly the same when we look to our spouses not to protect, but to accuse, not to love, but to condemn. 

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

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