Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Vessel of Grace



[Diary 327]
Once, my confessor [Father Sopocko] asked me where the inscription should be placed, because there was not enough space in the picture for everything. I answered, "I will pray and give you an answer next week." When I left the confessional and was passing before the Blessed Sacrament, I received an inner understanding about the inscription. Jesus reminded me of what He had told me the first time; namely, that these three words must be clearly in evidence: "Jesus, I trust in You. "["Jezu, Ufam Tobie.'] I understood that Jesus wanted the whole formula to be there, but He gave no direct orders to this effect as He did for these three words.

I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: "Jesus, I trust in You."



Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Birth of Jesus [December 25, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [December 25, 2011]

John 1:1-18

Merry Christmas Everyone!


1In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2He was in the beginning with God.
3All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be

4through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
5the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
6A man named John was sent from God.
7He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
8He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
11He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
12But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,
13who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.
14And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
15John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
16From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,
17because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.

Reflection

“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory of the Father’s Son, full of grace and truth.”

Today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness. No one is shut out of this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing.

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator… Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom. ~ St. Leo the Great

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, December 23, 2011

I am Love and Mercy itself


[Diary 1074] 
When I went for adoration, I heard these words: My beloved daughter, write down these words, that today My Heart has rested in this convent [the Cracow house]. Tell the world about My mercy and My love.


The flames of mercy are burning me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them!


My daughter, do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it -with peace.


Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Announcement of the Birth Jesus [4th Sunday of Advent - December 18, 2011]


4th Sunday of Advent [December 18, 2011]

Luke 1.26-38

Announcement of the Birth Jesus

26In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” 35And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” ~ v. 30-31

Very few of us would be able to imagine fully the impact of Gabriel’s announcement to Mary, a devout young maiden, betrothed to Joseph of the royal house of David, and living in a culture that severely shamed and punished an unmarried pregnant woman.

We might picture Mary’s shock at the angel’s appearance, bewilderment at his overwhelming message, and humble and complete submission to his word.

God’s messenger did not offer a specific solution to Mary’s concern or fear, but rather a mindset.  “Do not be afraid,” the angel said; and she gave her fiat.

We could have already experienced devastation or grave problems: natural disaster, violence, serious illness, or loss of means to support the family.  How did we deal with those?  At times through life we might face dire situations.  How prepared are we?  A common response to the resultant anxiety and fear is to pray to be spared or to find a resolution as soon as possible.

Would we hear God’s answer if it were “Do not be afraid”? How would we take it?  Perhaps in the intense discomfort and distress we would feel God’s answer too abstract, not specific enough to be practical, and would not immediately alleviate the situation.

However, “Do not be afraid” means to trust and hope in God who loves and cares for us, God who is with us.

Mary models for us a certain willingness to trust completely in God, a profound faith that would enable us to declare confidently: I am the servant of the Lord.  Let all be done to me according to his will.

Deacon Ricardo I. Santiago
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica – Ottawa

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, December 16, 2011

If your trust is great, then My generosity will be without limit


[Diary 548]
Suddenly I heard these words in my soul: My daughter, I assure you of a permanent income on which you will live. Your duty will be to trust completely in My goodness, and My duty will be to give you all you need. I am making Myself dependent upon your trust: if your trust is great, then My generosity will be without limit.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, December 11, 2011

John the Baptist’s Testimony [3rd Sunday of Advent - December 11, 2011]


Gaudete Sunday [3rd Sunday of Advent 2011]

John 1.6-8, 19-28

6A man named John was sent from God. 7He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites [to him] to ask him, “Who are you?” 20he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted “I am not the Messiah.”21So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” 23He said: “I am ‘the voice of one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord,”’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” 24Some Pharisees were also sent. 25They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?” 26John answered them, “I baptize with water;* but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, 27the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” 28This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,* where John was baptizing.

Reflection

“I am ‘the voice of one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord,”’ ~ John the Baptist

“Who are you?”  John the Baptizer was asked the question.  He knew the answer for he had been living it.  From childhood he had been raised to the awareness that he was to be the prophet of the Most High, destined to go before the Lord to prepare his way.  So he was able to respond clearly:  He was the voice exhorting people to make straight in the desert or wilderness the way of the Lord, to cleanse their hearts.

“Who are you?”  This is a good question to ask ourselves, especially in this season of Advent, a time of introspection and reflection on our own readiness to encounter the Lord and welcome him into our hearts.

In reply, one might identify himself as a Christian, meaning a follower of Christ.  Then this begs the other question, the one Jesus asked of his disciples: “Who do you say I am?”

In life’s wilderness, fraught with difficulty and confusion, are we truly willing and determined to maintain the integrity of that identity that we claim: that of a disciple of the Christ?

A true disciple is one who is docile, eager to be taught and to learn, and willing to obey.  An authentic disciple has the conviction to live the Christian life, through temptations pervasive in our culture, such as avarice, one-upmanship, and disrespect and exploitation of the other.

When we discover true Christianity in ourselves, we share the joy in the Magnificat, Mary’s prayer, where the prophet speaks of the same inner joy of fulfillment, of experiencing oneness with the Lord God: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”  

Deacon Ricardo I. Santiago
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica – Ottawa

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, December 9, 2011

I am the Queen of heaven and earth



Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God

[Diary 805]
From early morning, I felt the nearness of the Blessed Mother. During Holy Mass, I saw Her, so lovely and so beautiful that I have no words to express even a small part of this beauty. She was all [in] white, with a blue sash around Her waist. Her cloak was also blue, and there was a crown on Her head. Marvelous light streamed forth from Her whole figure. I am the Queen of heaven and earth, but especially the Mother of your [Congregation]. She pressed me to Her heart and said, I feel constant compassion for you. I felt the force of Her Immaculate Heart which was communicated to my soul. Now I understand why I have been preparing for this feast for two months and have been looking forward to it with such yearning. From today onwards, I am going to strive for the greatest purity of soul, that the rays of God's grace may be reflected in all their brilliance. I long to be a crystal in order to find favor in His eyes.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feast of the Immaculate Conception [December 8, 2011]


Feast of the Immaculate Conception
[Dec. 8, 2011]

Luke 1:26-38

Announcement of the Birth of Jesus

28And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, 33and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” 35And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 36And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived* a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; 37for nothing will be impossible for God.” 38Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection

[The angel Gabriel said to Mary], “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” ~ v. 28

“No, no,” said Catherine shaking her head. “The Immaculate Conception of Mary isn’t the conception of Jesus; it’s the conception of Mary.” Catherine was conducting the second RCIA inquiry session and dealing with a common … misconception. “Today’s gospel can be confusing because it’s the story of the virgin conception of Jesus and, of course, Christmas is in three weeks. But today we celebrate the conception of Mary!

“While her parents conceived her in the normal way, she was kept free from original sin from the very first moment of her life in the womb of her mother. It was God’s gift to her, seeing that she would become the mother of Jesus. That’s why the angel said she was full of grace. Baptism cleanses us of original sin, too, so we can be full of grace just like Mary. Then, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive Jesus in our bodies and bring his presence to the whole world. Mary is a model for us all.”

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Monday, December 5, 2011

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God [Second Sunday of Advent - December 4, 2011]


Second Sunday of Advent [December 4, 2011]

Mark 1:1-8

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: "One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Reflection

Even during his time, John the Baptizer stood out as on oddity of a person. Never mind his clothes; he ate locusts and wild honey. In spite of it all, people went to him to be baptized, confessing their sins, to prepare the way of the Lord.

Nowadays one may find it difficult to allow such a person, man or woman, to prepare the way of the Lord into one's heart. This is so because an eccentric person usually makes us uncomfortable and perhaps even cautious. At times, the unfamiliar can be unnerving.

Now this is what we face: in our society these days, many things that happen are not good, not life-giving, not true; yet they occur so often that they seemingly become acceptable, or worse, the norm. What used to be considered wrong or inappropriate has become so familiar and ingrained in the culture that when the opposite is encountered, it is the good, the life-giving. It is the truth that can be uncomfortable, even suspicious. At such a time we who make up the church, the Body of Christ, can be as John the Baptizer to one another, helping each other discern which paths are dead ends or crooked, and which are straight and true.

Advent is a good time to hope for and to make real the service of preparing for each other the way of the Lord. To fill in the valleys, to make mountains and hills low, to level all the rough terrain: these are daunting tasks for one person. The sooner we commit to forming ourselves as true church communities, the sooner we shall see together the glory of the Lord (cf.  Isaiah 40:5).

Deacon Ricardo I. Santiago
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica – Ottawa

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/). 

Friday, December 2, 2011

By saying the chaplet you are bringing humankind closer to Me


[Diary 929]
When I had rested near His sweetest Heart, I told Him, "Jesus, I have so much to tell You." And the Lord said to me with great love, Speak, My daughter. And I started to enumerate the pains of my heart; that is, how greatly concerned I am for all mankind, that "they all do not know You, and those who do know You do not love You as You deserve to be loved. I also see how terribly sinners offend You; and then again, I see how severely the faithful, especially Your servants, are oppressed and persecuted. And then, too, I see many souls rushing headlong into the terrible abyss of hell. You see, Jesus, this is the pain that gnaws at my heart and bones. And, although You show me special love and inundate my heart with streams of Your joys, nevertheless, this does not appease the sufferings I have just mentioned, but rather they penetrate my poor heart all the more acutely. Oh, how ardently I desire that all mankind turn with trust to Your mercy. Then, seeing the glory of Your name, my heart will be comforted."

Jesus listened to these outpourings of my heart with gravity and interest, as if He had known nothing about them, and this seemed to make it easier for me to talk. And the Lord said to me, My daughter, those words of your heart are pleasing to Me, and by saying the chaplet you are bringing humankind closer to Me. After these words, I found myself alone, but the presence of God is always in my soul.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Need for Watchfulness [First Sunday of Advent - November 27, 2011]


First Sunday of Advent [November 27, 2011]

Mark 13.33-37

33Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. 35Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. 36May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Reflection

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life.” ~ Jesus in v. 34

It is unfortunate enough that Advent is a short liturgical season: four weeks.  Coupled with the societal reality of distractions around Christmas, this rich season that is utterly important in life is easy to miss.

Advent is a time of anticipating the parousia, the second coming.  Preparation includes personal reflection and assessment: What is it that I am preparing for and what is the current state of my own preparedness.  Last Sunday's (Christ the King, Year A) parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46) illustrates an example of people unprepared.  Only at the time of judgment are they asking "When was it that we did not take care of you?"  It is a question that one needs to ask oneself early in and throughout life on earth, not at the end of it.  Today's gospel wisely reminds us to be prepared.

The first reading today (Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7) offers seeds for reflection to help prepare not only for the parousia but also for the initial welcome of the Christ into one's heart, if one has not yet gone through that faith experience.  The seeds can also guide self- assessment vis-√†-vis what our faith demands of us:

Am I ever in awe of the goodness of God?  Have I become blas√©, unconcerned about the deeply intimate relationship that I ought to have with God?

Is my heart open to compassion, sensitive to the needs of others?
Has it become immovable and hardened on account of selfishness and cynicism?
Do I live a life ever mindful of God's ways?  Do I allow the Lord, my God, to be a true father to me, to be the potter who molds me and gives shape to my entire life?

And so we pray:  Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Deacon Ricardo I. Santiago
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica – Ottawa
Our heartfelt thanks to my friend and former colleague, Deacon Ricardo I. Santiago, for agreeing to write the Sunday reflections this Advent.

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Your director and I are one


[Diary 1308] 
+ Jesus, I have noticed that You seem to be less concerned with me. Yes, My child, I am replacing Myself with your spiritual director [Father Andrasz]. He is taking care of you according to My will. Respect his every word as My own. He is the veil behind which I am hiding. Your director and I are one; his words are My words.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Solemnity of Christ the King [November 20, 2011]



The Judgment of the Nations [The Sunday Gospel - November 20, 2011]

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40And 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.’ 41Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Reflection

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory …” ~ Jesus in v. 31

Today is the last Sunday in the church year. So it’s appropriate to reflect on the end of time, on judgment, and our life to come. These topics can fill us with a number of positive thoughts and few fearful ones. In our anxious moments, we may worry about whether we or our loved ones will get into heaven. We may worry about death itself or what we will be actually be doing for all eternity in heaven.

Thinking about the Second Coming can help remind us of a key truth to our faith. We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can do that – and he did, when he died on the cross for us. But isn’t it ironic that while we cannot save ourselves, God will still judge us based on how we have loved one another and cared for the poor and needy around us? How is that possible?
The truth is, our acts of love and charity should be a direct consequence of our realization that Jesus, our King, loves us. The experience of Jesus’ love should send us to our knees in worship, and it should send us out into the world , eager to spread  that love to everyone we come in contact with – our loved ones, the needy, and even our enemies.

So as we contemplate our loving, merciful King today, let us ask him to inspire us to serve his kingdom. And whenever we perform acts of charity, let’s see them as a way that we can give our hearts back to Jesus, who gave himself for us.

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, November 18, 2011

How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?


[Diary 9]   
Once I was at a dance [probably in Lodz] with one of my sisters. While everybody was having a good time, my soul was experiencing deep torments. As I began to dance.  I suddenly saw Jesus at my side, Jesus racked with pain, stripped of His clothing, all covered with wounds, who spoke these words to me: How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off? At that moment the charming music stopped, [and] the company I was with vanished from my sight; there remained Jesus and I. I took a seat by my dear sister, pretending to have a headache in order to cover up what took place in my soul. After a while I slipped out unnoticed, leaving my sister and all my companions behind and made my way to the Cathedral of Saint Stanislaus Kostka.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Parable of the Talents [November 13, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [November 13, 2011]

Matthew 25:14-30

14“It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.15To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately16the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five.17Likewise, the one who received two made another two.18But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.19After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 20The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’21His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ 22[Then] the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; 25so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ 26His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? 27Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? 28Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. 29For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’

Reflection

“For everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” ~ v. 29

Let us take a look at today’s parable of the Talents and ask ourselves some questions: Who is the “master” in the story? Is he the “Lord” – the heavenly Father or the Lord Jesus? But he seems like a dishonorable character. The third slave’s description of the master is unsettling: he is arrogant, opportunistic, greedy, “harvesting where he did not plant and gathering where he did not scatter.” He is one tough master. And so we think again. Jesus may just be plucking out of life a greedy character who seeks to enrich himself further.

What about the servants? Who is worthy of imitation? In the story, the master praises the first two servants for doubling the talents entrusted to them. Are we supposed to follow their example? Are they not as ruthless as their master? Does the master approve of them because they follow his ways? And what about the third servant? Not a few people would say that it is he who does the honorable thing. The audience of Jesus may have realized that what the third servant does with the money is both legal and safe.

What is the parable telling us? In what way does it disorient us and lead us to a different outlook? The story focuses on the third servant who is condemned as “wicked and lazy” and whose talent is taken away from him. The opportunistic and hard-nosed master expects him to take a risk and to obtain results, not to play it safe by hiding the money on the ground. It is easy enough to dismiss this as a greedy person’s point of view. But in life, one who does not take risks may eventually lose out. “Use it or lose it,” goes a saying. Lose what? Talents, skills, opportunities, connections – the list is endless.

And this may well be true of eternal life. Jesus teaches that whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever would lose his life will save it (Matthew 16:25). Jesus himself may be regarded as a model of “reckless living.” He is careless of his reputation: associating with sinners and outcasts, healing on the Sabbath, criticizing the religious leaders. Is he not telling us by word and example that one cannot save anything without taking a risk?

Following this parable is the parable of the Judgment of the Nations where Jesus teaches that we will be rewarded or condemned  for what we do or fail to for the poor and the needy (Matthew 25:31-45). Connecting these two parables, we realize that those who do not take a risk, those who try to save by not caring for the poor in need will lose everything. But if we do the “sacrificial losing” called for in the process of serving others, we will find ourselves saved for eternal life.

Credits: Fr. Gil Alinsangan, SSP; From the Mountaintop

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

My love deceives no one


[Diary 29]
One of the Mothers [probably Mother Jane], when she learned about my close relationship with the Lord Jesus, told me that I must be deluding myself. She told me that the Lord Jesus associates in this way only with the saints and not with sinful souls "like you, Sister!" After that, it was as if I mistrusted Jesus. In one of my morning talks with Him I said, "Jesus, are You not an illusion?" Jesus answered me, My love deceives no one.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids [November 6, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [November 6, 2011]

Matthew 15:1-13

1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, 4but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 5Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ 10While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. 11Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ 12But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Reflection

“Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” ~ Jesus in v. 13

Jesus, always attentive to the customs of his people, also uses the wedding celebration to teach an important lesson about the kingdom of God. The groom’s coming may be delayed and those who wait can fall asleep. Here Jesus draws the need to be “wise” and ever watchful.

Jesus underlines the symbolism of “being asleep” and staying awake. This is not to be taken literally, for in the parable all the girls become drowsy and fall asleep. “Sleep” here means spiritual unpreparedness, coldness, even death. When a person no longer cares for spiritual values, when he no longer respects God and men, he is spiritually asleep. This is what being “foolish” also means.

One the other hand, “being awake” means to be alive and dedicated to one’s Christian calling, active in the service of God and neighbor, living one’s life to the full, never postponing conversion to the last minute. This is being prepared and being “wise.”

Somehow, life is a wait in the dark. Darkness stands for moments of tension, of temptation, of struggle, of despair that put the person in the “dark night of the soul.” On this occasion, one appreciates the value of “oil,” the sign of intimacy, of courage, of faithfulness to one’s consecration as a Christian. With this “oil” in the lamp, one produces the light that breaks through the darkness, until the night passes by and full salvation draws.

Credits: Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP; From the Mountaintop

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Holy Communion from a Seraph


[Diary 1676]
Jesus said to me, Be at peace; I am with you. Tired, I fell asleep. In the evening, the sister [Sister David] who was to look after me came and said, "Tomorrow you will not receive the Lord Jesus, Sister, because you are very tired; later on, we shall see." This hurt me very much, but I said with great calmness, "Very well," and, resigning myself totally to the will of the Lord, I tried to sleep. In the morning, I made my meditation and prepared for Holy Communion, even though I was not to receive the Lord Jesus. When my love and desire had reached a high degree, I saw at my bedside a Seraph, who gave me Holy Communion, 250 saying these words: "Behold the Lord of Angels." When I received the Lord, my spirit was drowned in the love of God and in amazement. This was repeated for thirteen days, although I was never sure he would bring me Holy Communion the next day. Yet, I put my trust completely in the goodness of God, but did not even dare to think that I would receive Holy Communion in this way on the following day.

The Seraph was surrounded by a great light, the divinity and love of God being reflected in him. He wore a golden robe and, over it, a transparent surplice and a transparent stole. The chalice was crystal, covered with a transparent veil. As soon as he gave me the Lord, he disappeared.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees [October 30, 2011]

 

The Sunday Gospel [October 30, 2011]

Matthew 23: 1-12

1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. 3Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. 4They tie up heavy burdens [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. 5All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,7greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ 8 As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.10Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.11The greatest among you must be your servant.12Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Reflection

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” ~ Jesus in v. 12

Today’s readings invite us to examine our thoughts and behavior. Are there groups of people we look down upon? Perhaps people from a different social or economic background. Maybe we look suspiciously at people who follow a different religion or who have different political convictions. Of course, we should hold on to the truth as God has revealed it, but we should also treat everyone with utmost respect. If Jesus valued them enough to die for them, shouldn’t we treat them – and everyone we meet – with honor?

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Prepare Yourself for Sufferings


[Diary 488]
Twice I was exhorted to make myself ready for sufferings awaiting me in Warsaw. The first warning was given interiorly by a voice I heard, and the second took place during Holy Mass. Before the elevation, I saw the Lord Jesus on the Cross and He said to me, Prepare yourself for sufferings. I thanked the Lord for the grace of this warning and said to Him, "I am certainly not going t suffer more than You, my Savior." However, I took this to heart and kept strengthening myself through prayer and little sufferings so that I would be able to endure when the greater ones come.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Greatest Commandment [October 23, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [October 23, 2011]

Matthew 22:34-40

34When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking, 36“Teacher,  which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Reflection

“The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Jesus in v. 39

A friend emailed this to me. Thought it would be a good reflection for the gospel today. Enjoy!

The Carpenter
Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I 'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor. In fact, it's my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day -- measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.
It was a bridge! A bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched.

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Speak to them of My great mercy


[Diary 1396]
Today I heard a voice in my soul: Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy.



Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Question About Paying Taxes [October 16, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [October 16, 2011]

Matthew 22:15-21

15Then the Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap him in speech.16They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status.17* Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”18Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. 20He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” 21They replied, “Caesar’s.”* At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 22When they heard this they were amazed, and leaving him they went away.

Reflection

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” ~ Jesus in v. 21

Jesus as we see by his answer, evades the question, rather than solve it. Nevertheless what he says is truthful; we must give to Caesar what is his due, but we must also give to God what is his. In telling us that we should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, Jesus, of course, tells us about the importance of obeying civil authorities. But what does he mean when he says, “Give to God what is God’s?”

There is a word in the latter part of the Gospel that helps us to understand all this better. When Jesus talks to the Pharisees, he uses the word, “repay.” “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God’s.” What Jesus wants to say, it seems, is that we have to repay God for all the things he has given us in the past and for all the ways he blesses us each day in our present life. How do we repay God for his blessings? Of course, we can never repay God fully for all that he gives us. But at least we can try our best to show our gratitude by living a life full of love.

In his wisdom, Jesus gives an excellent answer to the Pharisees. However, he goes far beyond what they expected by telling them – and us – of our need to be grateful for everything that God has given to us in the past and for all that he has is giving us now.

Let us pray that God would help us to love him in gratitude for all that he does for us each day of our life.

Credits: Fr. John Seland, SVD; New Reflections on the Sunday Gospels, excerpts

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Exercising Mercy in Spirit


[Diary 1316]
October 1, 1937. Daughter, I need sacrifice lovingly accomplished, because that alone has meaning for Me. Enormous indeed are the debts of the world which are due to Me; pure souls can pay them by their sacrifice, exercising mercy in spirit.

[Diary 1317]
I understand Your words, Lord, and the magnitude of the mercy that ought to shine in my soul. Jesus: I know, My daughter, that you understand it and that you do everything within your power. But write this for the many souls who are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy.

Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Parable of the Wedding Feast [October 9, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [October 9, 2011]

Matthew 22:1-14

1Jesus again in reply spoke to them in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. 4A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ 5Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. 6The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. 9Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ 10The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.11 But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.12He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.13Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ 14Many are invited, but few are chosen.

Reflection

“Many are invited, but few are chosen.” ~ Jesus in v. 14

“Don’t touch the stove; it will burn your fingers!” “Don’t cross the street until you look both ways.” Just as our parents gave us warnings to keep us safe, Jesus is giving us a warning in today’s gospel. He is warning us about the sad consequences people will face if they arrive at heaven’s gate without the mysterious “wedding garment” (verse11).

What is this wedding garment? The Book of Revelation gives us a clue. It describes the redeemed as wearing robes that have been made white “in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). It tells us that those who have been baptized into Christ – those who have immersed themselves in the gospel message of Jesus’ death and resurrection – will know the privilege of joining the Lord at the final glorious banquet.

Now it is one thing to receive the wedding garment at baptism, but it’s another thing to keep that garment clean and pure throughout our lives. Each and every day, God wants us to put on our wedding garment – the holy character of Christ – and let it shape the way we think and act.

It is so tempting to be consumed with the demands of life in this world, as the people in today’s parable were, and lose sight of the magnificent feast that awaits us in heaven. That’s why Jesus gives us a glimpse of that feast every time we celebrate Mass. There, gathered as royal wedding guests, we feast on his word in Scripture, and we receive his body and blood. This beautiful assembly, coupled with the grace of Reconciliation, gives us all that we will ever need to keep our wedding garment clean and spotless as we await the final banquet call.

Jesus tells us: “Many are invited but few are chosen” (verse 14). God is inviting you today. Accept his invitation! Heed his warning! A glorious life awaits all who keep their wedding garments clean!

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saint Faustina's Destiny


[Diary 1410]
Today [December 7, 1937] is the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. During the midday meal, in an instant, God gave me to know the greatness of my destiny; that is, His closeness, which for all eternity will not be taken away from me, and He did this in such a vivid and clear fashion that I remained wrapped up in His living presence for a long time, humbling myself before His greatness. + J.M.J.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Parable of the Tenants [October 2, 2011]


The Sunday Gospel [October 2, 2011]

Matthew 21:33-43

33 “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,* put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. 34When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants* to the tenants to obtain his produce. 35But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. 36Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. 37Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ 39They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” 41They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” 42Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes’?

43Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.

Reflection

“The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produce fruits of the kingdom.” ~ Jesus in v. 43, NRSV

The Parable of the Talents tells us how much God loves us, and how much confidence he has in us to rise above our human frailties. We are weak and because of this many of us will not reach his kingdom. But God does not despair. We may commit the greatest evil, like killing his only Son, but with his grace we can still earn the eternal blessedness he promises.

Yes, God gives us the power to win. He has given everything we need so we can rise to greatness – our intellect, our will, our eyes, hands and feet. Beyond these, his grace is offered to all so we can be like the saints. God keeps his promises.

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

St. Michael the Archangel


[Diary 706]
[September] 29. On the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, I saw by my side that great Leader, who spoke these words to me: "The Lord has ordered me to take special care of you. Know that you are hated by evil; but do not fear-'Who is like God!"' And he disappeared. But I feel his presence and assistance.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Monday, September 26, 2011

Parable of the Two Sons


The Sunday Gospel [September 25, 2011]

Matthew 21:28-32

28“What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’29He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. 31Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

Reflection

“Which one of the two did his Father’s will?” ~ Jesus in v. 31

Of course, it was the first son who did his Father’s will. Think about the father. Perhaps getting his grapes harvested wasn’t his only objective, or even the most important one he had in mind.

What is the Father’s intent for us? Perhaps there is more to it than meets the eye. God urges us to avoid sin not because he wants to make things tough for us but because he knows how much sin harms us and those we love. Perhaps what we may see as a burdensome church rule is intended as a doorway into a closer relationship with God, who longs to spend time with us but knows we may need the rule to make sure we spend time with him.

We may start out with a minimalist attitude. What is the least I can do and still be saved? But if we linger in our Father’s presence, we will discover that it is a delightful place to be!


Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do not grow weary of praying for sinners

[Diary 975]
Today I heard these words: Pray for souls that they be not afraid to approach the tribunal of My mercy. Do not grow weary of praying for sinners. You know what a burden their souls are to My Heart. Relieve My deathly sorrow; dispense My mercy.



Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard


The Sunday Gospel [September 18, 2011]

Matthew 20:1-16

1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ 5So they went off. [And] he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. 6Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ 8 When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ 9When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage.10So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.11And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’13He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? 15[Or] am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’16 Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Reflection

“The last will be first, and the first will be last.” ~ Jesus in v. 16

These words can have a number of different meanings. For instance, we look at “first and last” as referring to those who are important in this world and those who are marginal. In heaven, the lowly, the “weak of the world,” will be given the highest place (1 Corinthians 1:27).

But we could also apply these words to the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews were the first one to hear the gospel. On the other hand, many Gentiles accepted Jesus’ message and became disciples. So even though the Gentiles were “last” to receive the gospel, many were among the “first” to enter heaven.

Today’s parable of the laborers in the vineyard gives us another view of this paradox – one that is just compelling as the previous two.

To help us grasp this last view, let’s recall the few lines the last few lines of the previous chapter of Matthew. There, Jesus promises: “Everyone who has given houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more” (Matthew 19:20). So it is clear that the rewards given in heaven will be based, to some degree, on the degree of our service to God.

But then in today’s parable , we get the sense that it doesn’t matter how long you have worked in the “vineyard of the Lord.” Everyone gets the same reward.

Jesus’ point here is that reward is not based on seniority; it is based on grace. The last to enter the kingdom will receive the same amount of grace as the one who arrived first.

Putting these two passages together, we can see that it is a privilege to come early and work for the Lord, but we shouldn’t think that these early birds are special or more beloved by the Lord. Everyone is precious to God, and the delights in giving us a full share in his kingdom and his glory.

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Whatever you do for your neighbor, you do for Me


[Diary 1029]
The doctor did not allow me to go to the chapel to attend the Passion Service, although I had a great desire for it; however, I prayed in my own room. Suddenly I heard the bell in the next room, and I went in and rendered a service to a seriously sick person. When I returned to my room, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, who said, My daughter, you gave Me greater pleasure by rendering Me that service than if you had prayed for a long time. I answered, "But it was not to You, Jesus, but to that patient that I rendered this service." And the Lord answered me, Yes, My daughter, but whatever you do for your neighbor, you do for Me.


Source: DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.  Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Note: If you like my post then consider buying the Book "Divine Mercy in my Soul" from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception website. The owner of this blog have no other intention but to spread and proclaim the "Divine Mercy".

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant


The Sunday Gospel [September 11, 2011]

Matthew 18: 21-35

2Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. 23That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. 25Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. 26At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ 27Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. 28When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. 31Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. 32His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. 33Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ 34Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. 35So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

Reflection

“So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from the heart.” ~ Jesus in v. 35

Forgiveness is like a draw bridge from earth to heaven. We can also call this bridge the “Bridge of God’s Forgiveness.” Whenever we forgive someone, the bridge is lowered so we can cross over to heaven’s side. When we withhold forgiveness, God draws up the bridge. We can’t go over to heaven’s side. Our task is clear. We must keep the bridge down and clear to heaven.

Jesus said, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”  (Matthew 6:14-15). No exceptions. No excuses. The bridge is closed to us.

Source: The Reflection is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarro-abel.blogspot.com/).