Blessed

November 1, 2015 9:00 am

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: ‘Blessed are…’” (MT 5: 1-11)

Our Lord totally changes perspectives for all kinds of situations generally recognized as bad situations. The Bible uses the word makarios (gr.) which means fortunate or lucky rather than blessed. Our Lord turns around the entire perspective. How often we can see only the other side of the tapestry–full of knots, short threads, a mishmash of colors—it generally looks like a mess. Only God looks from the right perspective—“He went up to the mountain,” and can see the beauty of the tapestry, and only He has the authority to say what is good and what is bad.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit

December 26, 2014 7:00 am

“As they were stoning Stephen, he called out ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’” (Acts 7: 59)

Our Lord takes care of us in every circumstance, even if we are totally abandoned and persecuted by others. He came to take away all our fears, overcome all our enemies and lead us to invincible love. St. Stephen, from a human point of view, lost his life, but from a wider perspective — he won his life: the Lord Jesus received his spirit. Now he is with Him to protect us and to help us in our lives.

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: the LORD is God and has given us light.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Jesus, I trust in You!

November 25, 2014 8:47 am

“All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” (Lk 21: 6)

We have a tendency to build our safety on “solid” constructions: my profession, my job, my bank account, my savings, my home and property. Jesus reminds us to build on Him, on His word and on His love. St. Faustina’s message to us for these and the final days is the same: “Jesus, I trust in You!”

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

And that is what we are

November 1, 2014 5:00 am

“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 Jn 3: 1)

We are the children of God. When we believe this, we can recognize the dignity of other people more easily. When “the world does not know” Him, it does not know us, either.

Today we are surrounded by all saints. They recognized Him and His love, they recognized dignity of others, and respected it. And He made them holy.

“Let us rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honor of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.” (Entrance Antiphon)

Entrap Jesus in speech

October 19, 2014 12:39 pm

“The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.” (Mt 22: 15)

An absolutely stupid idea—“entrap Jesus in speech.” Who is trying to do that to Him? The creation to its Creator? The sinners to their Redemptor? Why? He brought the most beautiful message from God: we are loved, redeemed and saved. He is the Word of God, and His speech reveals His identity.

Today we receive a new beatified Pope—Pope Paul VI, the author of the encyclical letter “Humanae vitae” (1968). His words are clear, strong and full of faith in men, although these words are the words of challenge; his words are full of love and respect for mankind—created by God.

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

Names written in heaven

October 4, 2014 9:30 am

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Lk 10: 20)

Our final destination is in Heaven – not here, on earth. Even the greatest success here means nothing in comparison with the life in Heaven. Without that perspective of living with God for Heaven, we can be extremely busy but in reality we bear very little fruit. St. John of the Cross used to say: “a very little of this pure love is more precious in the sight of God and the soul, and of greater profit to the Church, even though the soul appears to be doing nothing, than all these other works together”. The saints in heaven can do more for us than they did when they were on earth.

“Francis, the man of God, left his home behind, abandoned his inheritance and became poor and penniless, but the Lord raised him up.” (Entrance Antiphon)

Proclaim the Kingdom of God

June 7, 2014 5:00 am

“He remained for two full years in his lodgings. He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:30-31)

This is the end of the Acts of the Apostles. The circle is closed: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Paul started his mission in Jerusalem, where he watched the death of St. Stephen (Acts 8:1), and now is in Rome, ready to give his own life for Jesus. From the moment he met Jesus “he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ” to “all who came to him.”

“I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord, he will guide you to all truth.” (Alleluia versus)

Agapas me? Philo se!

June 6, 2014 10:38 am

“‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’” (John 21:15)

One of the most famous dialogs in the New Testament between Our Lord and Simon after resurrection. Because Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, now there are also three questions: “Do you love me?” And the opportunity to answer again, and again, and again. Threefold denial — and now threefold declaration or confirmation of Peter’s love. This is how we generally understand this scene. But maybe there is one more option of understanding this scene, in a deeper sense.

Our Lord asked Peter: “Do you love me?”, which means, in Koine Greek (the Greek of that time): “Agapas me?” – and this is a word for unconditional love. Peter answered: “Philo se,” using the word which describes an affection that could denote friendship or brotherhood. It is as if Jesus asks Peter: “Do you love me unconditionally?” – and Peter answers: “You know, Jesus, I like you so much, you are a good friend, the best in my life.”

So Our Lord asked him again. And again the same thing happened. So, Jesus asked him for the third time. And also this time he wasn’t upset or offended that Peter didn’t understend his invitation to a true relationship, and He asked him: “Philo me?”. Peter answerd” “Philo se.” “Do you ‘like me?’ ” –  “Yes, I like you so much.” It was more important for Jesus to meet Peter at his level of love than to force him to declare more or to reject him. We know, that the last word of Peter’s, at the end of his life, was AGAPAS SE. I LOVE YOU, MY LORD!!!

Our Lord loves us unconditionally. And he is patient. He can wait for us until we grow up.

“Christ loved us and washed us clean of our sins by his Blood, and made us into a kingdom, priests for this God and Father, alleluia” (Entrance Antiphon)

 

The gift of wisdom

June 5, 2014 11:30 am

“Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees, so he called out before the Sanhedrin, ‘My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees; I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.’ ” (Acts 23:6)

Our Lord promised us to be our protector. It doesn’t mean that He should be there physically to defend us. We can use the gift of wisdom. Paul was aware of being alone against two strong groups, so he looked for allies; knowing the basic difference between Sadducees and Pharisees he put the subject of resurrection of the dead into the discussion. It helped.

We are never alone, Our Lord is always with us. He will come with help whenever we need it. Important is to use our reason enlightened by faith.

“Perpetual light will shine on your Saints, o Lord, and life without end for ever, alleluia.” (Entrance Antiphon)

St. Joseph, the Worker

May 1, 2014 8:24 am

“…you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching” (Acts 5:28)

The goal: our countries, cities and towns filled with the teaching of Jesus Christ. The beginning is always very small. Like the first days of a child. In future, this child could be a nurse or a doctor, a blue or white-collar worker, a priest, pope or pilot. And he or she could change the world, like the Saints. When I am “filled with His teaching,” I can influence my marriage, my family, my neighborhood, my city… St. Joseph filled this world with Jesus and His teaching even though he was not a preacher; just a craftsman, a blue-collar worker. With can we fill Omaha, the Institute, and our families with?

“You believe in me, Thomas, because, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe” (Alleluia versus).

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