Prepare for Mass

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Mt 6:33

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  • "Religion is not a Technology!" - There needs to be a personal relationship there. - Father Ted Tyler
    If the close relationship between the Last Supper and the mystery of Jesus' death on the Cross is emphasized on Holy Thursday, today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, with the procession and unanimous adoration of the Eucharist, attention is called to the fact that Christ sacrificed himself for all humanity. His passing among the houses and along the streets of our city will be for those who live there an offering of joy, eternal life, peace and love.

    In the Gospel passage, a second element catches one's eye: the miracle worked by the Lord contains an explicit invitation to each person to make his own contribution. The two fish and five loaves signify our contribution, poor but necessary, which he transforms into a gift of love for all.

    "Christ continues today" I wrote in the above-mentioned Post Synodal Exhortation, "to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged" (Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 88).

    Thus, the Eucharist is a call to holiness and to the gift of oneself to one's brethren: "Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world".

    source: vatican.va


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  • Loving Means Acting Like The Good Samaritan

    Today, for example, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10: 25-37), which introduces us into the heart of the Gospel message: love for God and love for neighbour. But the person speaking to Jesus asks: who is my neighbour? And the Lord answers by reversing the question and showing through the account of the Good Samaritan that each one of us must make himself close to every person he meets: "Go and do likewise" (Lk 10: 37).

    Loving, Jesus says, means acting like the Good Samaritan. And we know that he himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us.

    Love is therefore the "heart" of Christian life; indeed, love alone, awakened in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us Christ's witnesses.
    source:vatican.va


  • Texts of St. Josemaría:

    Our Lady was a guest at one of those noisy country weddings attended by people from many different villages. Mary was the only one who noticed the wine was running out. Don’t these scenes from Christ’s life seem familiar to us? The greatness of God lives at the level of ordinary things. It is natural for a woman, a homemaker, to notice an oversight, to look after the little things that make life pleasant. And that is how Mary acted.

    “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

    If our faith is weak, we should turn to Mary. Because of the miracle at the marriage feast at Cana, which Christ performed at his Mother’s request, his disciples learned to believe in him (cf. John 2:11). Our Mother is always interceding with her Son so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us, so that we can cry out, “You are the Son of God.”

    Grant me, dear Jesus, the faith I truly desire. My Mother, sweet Lady, Mary most holy, make me really believe! (Holy Rosary–Appendix, Wedding Feast at Cana)

    The Christian apostolate — and I’m talking about an ordinary Christian living as just one more man or woman among equals — is a great work of teaching. Through real, personal, loyal friendship, you create in others a hunger for God and you help them to discover new horizons — naturally, simply. With the example of your faith lived to the full, with a loving word, which is full of the force of divine truth.

    Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, queen of apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, Our Lady is able to get each of her children to face his own responsibilities. Mary always does the immense favor of bringing to the cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behavior may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother — you and me — with the firstborn Son of the Father.

    Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so the “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life. (Christ is Passing By, 149)

    opusdei.us

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    • Being/Doing Balance July 26, 2016
      Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We all seek balance in our lives. In this homily, a reflection on finding harmony in our personal and spiritual lives. Preached at St. Paul the Apostle Church, New York City on 07-17-16.
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      Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles. Saints Peter and Paul helped create a strong foundation for our Church. We, too, are a part of this foundation and must continue to build off of what Peter and Paul started. Preached at St. Paul the Apostle Church, New York City on 06-29-16.
    • "Do You Think I Am Like You?" July 11, 2016
      Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time. God reminds us that while we are created in His image and likeness, this does not mean we are exactly like Him. We are susceptible to sin while God is filled with unconditional love and mercy. Preached at St. Paul the Apostle Church, New York City on 06-27-16.
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  • Recent Posts

  • The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

    pope benedict address to diplomatic core - vatican.va As a new year begins, our own hearts and the entire world continue to echo the joyful message proclaimed twenty centuries ago in the night of Bethlehem, a night which symbolizes humanity’s deep need for light, love and peace. To the men and women of that time, as to those of our own day, the heavenly hosts brought the good news of the coming of the Saviour: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Is 9:1). The mystery of the Son of God who became the son of man truly surpasses all human expectations. In its absolute gratuitousness this saving event is the authentic and full response to the deep desire of every heart. The truth, goodness, happiness and abundant life which each man and woman consciously or unconsciously seeks are given to us by God. In longing for these gifts, each person is seeking his Creator, for “God alone responds to the yearning present in the heart of every man and woman” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 23). Humanity throughout history, in its beliefs and rituals, demonstrates a constant search for God and “these forms of religious expression are so universal that one may well call man a religious being” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 28). The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man’s being and acting, the measure of the fulfilment of his destiny and of the building up of the community to which he belongs. Consequently, when the individual himself or those around him neglect or deny this fundamental dimension, imbalances and conflicts arise at all levels, both personal and interpersonal.
  • Each of us has dignity

    The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son are reminders that each one of us has dignity and are worth everything to God who wants a relationship with us and for us to be happy forever.
  • The Multitudes Were Following After Him

    The crowds were following Jesus when he turned around and made them think about something. Easy is it to follow him when it is convenient. Hard is it to follow him when doing so will cause us discomfort. Sometimes doing the right thing will cause us some discomfort but it is the cross that we are asked to bear.
  • Narrow Gate

    There is a question that has always nagged believers: Will there be many or few people saved? During certain periods this problem became so acute as to cause some people terrible anxiety.

    This Sunday's Gospel informs us that Jesus himself was once asked this question. "Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few people be saved?'"

    The question, as we see, focuses on the number -- How many will be saved? Will it be many or few? In answering the question, Jesus shifts the focus from "how many" to "how" to be saved, that is, by entering "through the narrow gate."

    We see this same attitude in regard to Jesus' second coming. The disciples ask "when" the return of the Son of Man will happen and Jesus answers indicating "how" we should prepare ourselves for that return, and what to do during the time of waiting (cf. Matthew 24:3-4).

    Jesus' way of responding to these questions is not strange or discourteous. He is just acting in the way of one who wants to teach his disciples how to move from a life of curiosity to one of true wisdom; from the allure of idle questions to the real problems we need to grapple with in life.

    From this we already see the absurdity of those who, like the Jehovah Witnesses, believe they know the precise number of the saved: 144,000.

    This number, which recurs in the Book of Revelations has a purely symbolic value (the square of 12 -- the number of the tribes of Israel -- multiplied by 1,000) and is explained by the expression that immediately follows: "A great multitude that no man could number" (Revelations 7:4, 9).

    Above all, if 144,000 is really the number, then we can both close up shop. Above the gate to heaven there must be a sign like the ones parking lots put up: "Full."

    If, therefore, Jesus is not so much interested in revealing to us the number of the saved as he is in telling us how to be saved, we can understand what he is trying to tell us here. In substance, there are two things: one negative and the other positive.

    It is useless, or rather it is not enough, to belong to a certain ethnic group, race, tradition, or institution, not even the chosen people from whom the Savior himself comes. What puts us on the road to salvation is not a title of ownership ("We ate and drank in your presence..."), but a personal decision, followed by a consistent way of life. This is even more clear in Matthew's text which contrasts two ways and two gates, one narrow and the other wide (cf. Matthew 7:13-14).

    Why are these ways respectively called "narrow" and "wide"? Is it perhaps that the way of evil is always easy and pleasant to follow and the way of goodness always hard and tiresome?

    Here we must be careful not to cede to the usual temptation of believing that here below everything goes magnificently well for the wicked and everything goes terribly for the good.

    The way of the wicked is wide, but only at the beginning. As one goes down this way it gradually becomes narrow and bitter. In any case, it becomes very narrow at the end because it finishes in a blind alley.

    The joy that is experienced in it has the characteristic of diminishing more and more as one tastes it, and it finally causes nausea and sadness. We see this in certain forms of intoxication experienced in drugs, alcohol and sex. A larger dose or stronger stimulation is needed each time to produce pleasure of the same intensity.

    Finally the organism no longer responds and it begins to break down, even physically.

    The way of the just is instead narrow at the beginning, when one starts off on it, but it then becomes a spacious boulevard because hope, joy and peace of heart are found in it.

    Father Cantalamessa

  • Faithfully Waiting

    Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

    Be watchful for you know not the day nor the hour

    You also must be ready for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour

    To whom much is given much will be expected

    Keep your lamps burning

    Watchful Servants/Faithful or Unfaithful Servant

    Are you faithful to God?

  • Thoughts on Greed

    Greed and envy focus a person on self. Those who pursue wealth seek security and safety. They use their riches to shield themselves from life's vicissitudes and to find comfort and confidence in material things. In the pursuit of wealth they lose sight of the real meaning of life because they are seduced by the illusion that with their fortune they can control their lives. Yet one day everyone will die - possessions cannot protect against that day. source: Catholic-Bible-School.org

    Novena Prayer to St Martha "St. Martha, I resort to thy protection and aid and as a proof of my affection and faith I offer this light which I shall burn every Tuesday. Comfort me in all my difficulties and through the great favor thou didst enjoy when the Savior was lodged in thy house,. Intercede for my family that we may always hold God in our hearts, and that we may be provided for in all our necessities, I ask, St. Martha, to overcome all difficulties as thou didst overcome the dragon at thy feet."

  • Pope Benedict XVI on the sinful woman redeemed by love

    The manner in which she chose to come before Jesus, bathing his feet with tears and drying them with her hair, kissing them and sprinkling scented oil upon them, was done to shock those who viewed people in her condition with the merciless eye of the judge. What is striking, on the other hand, is the tenderness with which Jesus treated this woman, exploited and judged by so many. In Jesus she found at last a pure eye, a heart capable of loving without exploiting. In the gaze and heart of Jesus she received the revelation of God-Love!

    To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be noted that Jesus' mercy was not expressed by putting moral law in parentheses. For Jesus, good is good and evil is evil. Mercy does not change the connotations of sin but consumes it in a fire of love.



  • Life is not just a succession of events or experiences; it is a search for the true, the good, and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. -PB16 Message for the 43rd World Communications Day May 24, 2009


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God desires mercy and not sacrifice

Posted by prepareformass on June 1, 2008

What does God expect from me?  The prophet Hosea got the answer to this question very plainly. 

Hos.6:6 – For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings. 

Jesus, recalls the words of the prophet Hosea after the Call of Matthew.  The Pharisees asked the disciples why he chose to eat with tax collectors and sinners.  Jesus replied…

Mt.9:12-13 – “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’.

To know Love is to know God for He himself is Love.  Why did God make us in the first place?  To know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this life so that we can be happy with him in the next – Question 2 from the Baltimore Catechism. 

Jesus calls us to act upon his words and implores us to get to know him.  We get to know him by learning what he expects of us.  We get to know him through prayer, through getting to know ourselves and the people in our lives, and by learning about our faith. 

In the sermon on the mount (Mt.5-7), among other things, Jesus tells us that we are called to love not only your neighbor but your enemies, to refrain from judgement, to lay up treasure in heaven, and to forgive.  The Beatitudes (Mt5:3-12) are the new commandments that challenge us to put our faith into action through grace.  At the conclusion of the sermon on the mount, Jesus warns of a false practice of religion.  Many will say Lord, Lord… then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’ (Mt.7:22,23).  Jesus follows this up with the story of the House Built Upon Rock.

Mt.7:24-27 – “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

God desires from us love and knowledge of Him.  Jesus’ offering of Himself on the cross is the perfect sacrifice which we all enter into and partake in and unite ourselves with.  Christians commemorate and join with the perfect sacrifice in the celebration of the Eucharist.  God wants us to know Him and to love Him, by loving and serving one another.  We are called to go forth and to put our faith into action after partaking in the sacrifice acceptable to the Lord in Mass.  Let us take the time to get to know Him and receive His blessings and grace. 

Prayer:

We ask you Father to grant us an increase of Faith and that we may come to know You more and more each day so that by knowing Your Love, we may share that Love with one another AMEN.

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