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“So, You Think You’re Humble?”

Philippians 2: 3, 5: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself … have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” We have to understand that Christ Jesus’ attitude was one that, among other things mentioned here, regarded others as more important than Himself. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have died for us. Verses 6-8 are also about Jesus, but his humble (and humbling) attitude is here in verses 2-4. Amazingly, the Son of God thought us that important – even more so than Himself. And this is the attitude we are to follow.

“Risky Ride”

Luke 19: 30b-31a: “’… you will find a cold tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it, and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?” thus you shall speak, “The Lord has need of it.”’” Kids, don’t try this yourselves at home! See what happens when you ride off into the sunset on a pony not your own. In times past that would earn you a hanging. Likewise, plopping yourself down on an unbroken colt would lead to you being dumped unceremoniously in the street. But once Jesus Christ Himself says “Hey, I need that” all debate is ended. Being Lord of all has its advantages.

“Stubborn Anointing”

Psalm 132: 17: “There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth; I have prepared a lamp for My anointed.” Aaron, mentioned Monday, looks like an innocent choirboy compared to David. Yet here again, he is called anointed. And before you ask, he did not pen this psalm; it was written after his death. In other words, when the news had already gotten out about what David had done concerning Uriah and Bathsheba. We need to be careful about touching God’s anointed with the thought that it has “worn off” – the merciful Lord just may have not come to that decision yet!

“Source of the Spirit”

Zechariah 12: 1b: “Thus declares the Lord Who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.” When you’ve completed your dance away from God and deny Him His role in creation, you open the door to all sorts of foolish speculation about, among other things, what (if anything) separates us from other beings. We’ve got to get back to this truth: Man has a spirit within him, it comes from God, and one day will go back to God. How simpler that makes everything!

“Wise Guy, Eh?”   (With apologies to the Three Stooges)

1 Corinthians 3: 18, 19a: “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.” Generally speaking, philosophy is the act of dancing away from God. The word means “love of wisdom”, but as James says, this wisdom is from below. There is, however, a wisdom from above; to seek this divine wisdom is to dance with God. And the beautiful part: in Christ, God dances with us.

“Who You Calling Holy?”

Psalm 106: 16, 17: “When they became envious of Moses in the camp, and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord, the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and engulfed the company of Abiram.” What made Aaron so holy? Wasn’t he the one who led the people to make a golden calf, and let them get out of control? And later, wasn’t he the one who accused Moses to his face over his second wife? He was made holy by the call of God upon his life. What guys like Dathan never understand is that the smell of incense rarely leaves completely the clothes of a man who’s been invited into the Holy of Holies, and as long as the Lord can smell that, he is not to be touched.

FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING - "Purity of Dominion"

Today is the Feast of Christ the King. The kingship of Jesus Christ is not supposed to be just a spiritual concept. The reality is that it is the truth; it is real; it is right among us. Some Christians think that Jesus came to give advice or a suggestion as to how we should live out our lives, how we should pray, how to have a relationship with God, how to get to heaven or on how to start a new religion. There may be some truth to these things, but He came mainly to bring us good news. What is news? News means something has happened or is happening, and as a result, everything will be affected and everything will be different. If a baby is born, the husband and wife adjust because so

Feast of Christ the King

It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of “King” because of the high degree of perfection whereby He excels all creatures. So He is said to reign “in the hearts of men,” both by reason of the keenness of His intellect and the extent of His knowledge, and also because He is very truth, and it is from Him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in Him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by His grace and inspiration He so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of His “charity which exceeds

“No Surprises to God”

Psalm 33: 13, 14: “The Lord looks from heaven, He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth.” We can trust God with our lives and patiently wait for His promises because He isn’t exactly disjointed from His children. Yes, He’s as close as our heartbeat, but in another view, from the heavenly realm, he surveys us all and our every situation is well known to Him. Whatever your case don’t worry, He’s on it!

“Window Wiles”

Malachi 3: 10: “’… Test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of Hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven.’” Windows can be handy things to have. The two spies of Jericho escaped the manhunt for them through a window in Rahab’s house (Joshua 2: 15), and David, with the help of his new wife, escaped death via a window in his own house (1 Samuel 19: 12). Centuries later, Saul of Tarsus pulled the same trick in Damascus (2 Corinthians 11: 32). But of course the best windows are those of heaven, through which pour God’s overflowing blessings to us. May the Lord provide you with all the windows you need in your life!

“Pass Word”

Psalm 105: 19: “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” This verse is a perfect illustration of what was said on Monday. Joseph’s word (the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream) took fourteen years to come to pass fully. No one could delay it, advance it, or stop it. The only thing that could be done was to prepare for it. This was done, to the advancement of Egypt and the preservation of the house of Israel. Things haven’t changed: While waiting, prepare!

“I Want What I Want When I Want It”

James 4: 1, 2a: “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is it not your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.” Lust is a manifestation of so many vices: greed, lack of self-control, lack of trust, lack of patience. Knowing that God will supply our needs when needed, we should also trust Him with the wants when wanted: what He wants for us when He wants us to have it. This is the way to satisfaction and peace. The other way, to use the words of James, leads to frustrated murder.

“Showgiving Can Wait, Thanksgiving Can’t”

Luke 17: 15: “Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice.” Decisions, decisions. Before the ten lepers could show themselves to the priests in obedience to Christ, He healed them. Should they continue their journey in their fulfillment of the Mosaic Law, or obey their urge to go back and give thanks to Jesus? One listened to God. How do we know? Because the Lord moved on from that place, and never returned; a short time later He was crucified. The other nine never got the chance to thank Him. In their impatience to get the attention of the priest, they lost the attention of Jesus.

“… Wait for It …”

Habakkuk 2: 3: “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail, though it tarries, wait for it.” A couple of weeks ago we read from Ecclesiasticus 34: 7-8, “For dreams have deceived many, and those who put their hope in them have failed. Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled, and wisdom is made perfect in truthful lips.” As was said at that time, a vision or dream is not dangerous in itself; it is deceptive only when it is used to manipulate others. If the vision is real you don’t have to push for it or make it happen. That’s with God, Who won’t fail. Our role: prepare for it, and … our least favorite thing to do … wait for it!

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: "Purity of Endurance"

Looking at the gospel reading today, we hear about things and we can say, “This just can’t be right. This kind of stuff doesn’t belong in the Bible.” Jesus is saying, “There is going to be a time when fathers will turn their sons over to death or children will turn over their parents over to death.” I can’t imagine this and this seems not to be right. Why would it be like this? Jesus said, “The time will come.” What in the world is going to go wrong? Scriptures also said something strange, “They will flogged you in the synagogues.” It hurts to be flogged, and it is bad enough when it happens in the courts in some cities, but it says that you are going to be flogged in the Church – i

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: "Purity of Endurance"

Every Sunday, as we come to Mass, our desire is that we may be able to learn something from the teachings and remember it as we leave this place. Hopefully, it could bring about a change in our lives from glory to glory to being like Christ. The way to do this is for the Word of God to be richly dwelling in us. We come to Mass to be students of the Word. The Collect of the Day says, “Blessed Lord, Who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.” This is the victory that we have in our lives as God’s people. We are in the secon

“Law of Liberty”

James 2: 12: “So speak and act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.” So what sets us free from being possessed with self? St. James refers here to a Royal Law (v. 8), twice calling it the law of liberty (1: 25). And what is this liberating law? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Along with love for God, this is the eternal truth, the all-pervading law that sets us free. By the grace of God this is me – or rather, we.

“Oh Me, Oh Me, Oh Me!”

Psalm 88: 14, 15: “O Lord, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on; I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome.” We live in a time of focus on self. “This is me!” the popular anthem goes, and multitudes shout back, “Me too!” But look at what it gets you. More than thirty times in eighteen verses this psalmist uses a personal pronoun, usually in accusation against God. The Lord is showing us: a positive self-image is a good thing, but consumption with self leads to depression and a skewed perception of how things really are.

“The Importance of Being Merry”

Luke 15: 23, 24, 32: “… bring the fatted calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry … and they began to be merry … we had to be merry and rejoice.” We all know the point of this famous parable, right? The conversion of the lost. But if that were really the case, Jesus could have stopped talking at verse 24. But it goes on to tell about an older brother who had never been merry, and three times mentioning that, given the occasion, they had to be so also. Coming on the heels of two other parables about the virtue of mirth, perhaps we should rethink Luke 15. Is it the repentance chapter, or the Merry Chapter?

“How to Make an Angel Happy”

Luke 15: 2: “And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’” So let’s get this straight: In the Pharisee’s mind, to draw a sinner you must insult him, reject him, and refuse to be around him. Seriously, would anything there entice you to convert? But in spite of their closed-mindedness toward others, the fact remains: if you want to make an angel happy, bring a sinner to repentance (vv. 7, 10).

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