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“Anchored in the Unchanging”

Philippians 4: 11: “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” What did St. Paul learn about contentment? Simply not to base contentment on such a variable thing as circumstances. His contentment was based on God’s surpassing love, His eternal presence, and His all-conquering mercy. If our desires are focused on these unshakable things, contentment is an inevitable result.

“Like Master, Like Disciples”

John 17: 16: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” In the midst of this world, the Age of Me, it is easy to forget who we are. But we must remain true to bear Christ’s image! For here we have been placed, and here we must remain (v. 15), to show those in the Age of Me just what they are missing!

“For Richer or Poorer”

Habakkuk 3: 17, 18: “Though the tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exalt in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” Those living in the Age of Me approach divinity only to insure prosperity and productivity; in the Kingdom of God we recognize His love and dominion is with us both in abundance and in lack. Our Lent fasting is there to remind us of this principle.

“The Me-sus Prayer”

Luke 18: 11: “The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people ….’” In his prayer, the Pharisee mentions himself five times; his God twice. The tax-gatherer mentions God and himself one time each. Who was justified, made right before God? If we miss this, we miss the point of today’s commemoration of Ash Wednesday.

“Gain or No Gain”

Philippians 3: 7: “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” St. Paul had it figured out: The Gospel of the Kingdom is not about what we can gain. Rather, all things are for the sake of Christ and the least of His children. He had a lot of advantages from the perspective of the Age of Me. He knew a lot, but on the road to Damascus he learned the truth; that the only thing worth knowing was Christ Jesus and His Kingdom.

“Age of Me”

Psalm 25: 22: “Remember Israel, O God, out of all his trouble.” If we want to define what the Bible calls ‘this age’ or ‘the kingdom of this world,’ it could well be described as the ‘Age of Me.’ Here, the psalmist uses the word and its possessive twenty-seven times in the first twenty-one verses, until finally arriving at the higher way: It’s about Israel, the Church, and not about self. An important lesson, with Lent arriving later this week …

Seventh Sunday after Epiphany: “Transfiguration Is Profitable”

Exodus 24: 12-18 Psalm 99 2 Peter 1: 16-21 Matthew 17: 1-9 We are celebrating Transfiguration Sunday and something happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. From the readings today, the Holy Spirit would like to communicate to us this message: let us behold the transfigured One that we might live transfigured lives. Transfiguration is a change coming from within. St. Paul says to us that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. We are to renew our minds and prove the good will of our Lord. As we put our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been made into new creations in Christ Jesus. God took away the sin nature, the old nature, and the new nature in Christ has been place

7th Sunday After the Epiphany - 13th Episode

Music and Musings is a weekly video podcast with Bishop Ariel to help us understand more and celebrate our Sunday Mass better with music and reflections for us to meditate with.

"Transfiguration is Profitable"

Many of us are excited to watch the sneak preview of a movie. In our Gospel reading today, Jesus revealed His divine glory to a selected few: Peter, James and John had a glimpse of His coming Kingdom in the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. This was the glorification of His human body. His face shone like the sun, His clothes became dazzling, and a voice was heard from the cloud saying, “This is my Son Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:1-3, 5). Jesus was fully and truly God, but also became fully human. As a man, He died for our sins. The transfiguration takes a peek at the divine nature of Christ, but He was certainly still very much human, as well. The exp

“Secret Denial”

Psalm 107: 42: “The upright see it, and are glad; but all unrighteousness shuts its mouth.” When it comes to the great and compassionate works of the Lord as shown in this psalm, the unrighteous try to deny them, to keep them a secret. Why? Because if they confessed and admitted them, then they would have to explain: Why don’t you believe?

“Secret Future”

1 John 3: 2: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be.” God has revealed many great things to us, but some, He has kept secret. Why? Because if we knew, we would be so wiped out with the awesome truth of it all, we couldn’t handle it. Just ask St. Paul! (2 Corinthians 12: 7)

“Secret Identity”

John 10: 24b, 25: “’How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you did not believe.’” The Pharisees did not want to admit the truth of Jesus’ Messiahship, because they had openly rejected Him numerous times. But Jesus’ many miracles recorded by John—and the one about to come—showed that He had no interest in keeping any secret from His children concerning Who He was; now that His time had come.

“Secret Flight”

Genesis 31: 27, 28: “Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre; and did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly.” Maybe the flocks were Jacob’s, and the daughters, but shouldn’t Laban have gotten a chance to say goodbye to his grandchildren? Was there a need for this secret flight? Actually, God had the situation in hand the whole time (v. 24), but Jacob’s fear betrayed a lack of trust in God.

“Secret Miracle”

John 9: 20, 21: “His parents answered them and said, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know.’” The context of this story indicates that the healed man’s parents did, indeed, know that it was Jesus who had healed their son, but fear was causing them to try to keep the fact secret (v. 22). Did they really think that would work? At least their son was not afraid, and was ready to tell the world what Jesus had done for him. Are we?

“Secret Sins”

1 John 1: 9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we confess, do we make it in such a way that our secret sin remains a secret? Is such a confession really a confession? If the priest assigns us to come clean to the person we’ve sinned against as penance and we refuse, is the confession valid? Does fear have that big a hold on us? Something to think about; Lent is nine days away!

Six Sunday After Epiphany: "Reconciliation is Profitable”

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Psalm 119:9-16 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Mt 5:21-26 I confess to you that I am a murderer, and I am not talking about killing insects or rodents. I have murdered people because I am guilty of what Jesus said that, “If you treat with contempt your brother, and think of them as good for nothing, then, you have committed murder in your heart.” Murder starts in the heart. The act of completing the murder in the heart is one with contempt, with a thought that a brother is different from us, and he is less than we are and we are better than he, and he is good for nothing. I will also confess that I believe in purgatory, which is the cleansing, a process of removing things that a

6th Sunday After the Epiphany - Episode 12

Music and Musings is a weekly video podcast with Bishop Ariel to help us understand more and celebrate our Sunday Mass better with music and reflections for us to meditate with.

Reconciliation is Profitable

The Word of the Lord is all about relationship. We can see how our Father emphasizes loving Him and loving our brothers in all His teachings. In Matt 22:37-39, He says, “ Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” Here, our Father is telling us to love Him first and foremost, above all things and, above all else, with intensity. THen He continues to tell us to love our neighbors also. In this passage God shows us His heart, His desire for His children — to care for one another, to live in harmony, to be one with each other, to be concerned for one another, to

“Day Numbering”

Psalm 90: 12: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.” This doesn’t mean to sew your wild oats when you are young, then slow down when you see yourself getting old. Numbering your days means you know that your life is a vapor, and could disappear at any time, no matter what your age. A heart of wisdom means that you know the value of a lifetime spent with God, walking faithfully in His ways. It’s what we’ve been saying all week: Having clean hands and a pure heart is the only way to go.

“Listen to Daddy”

Genesis 28: 2: “Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and from there take for yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.” Notice Isaac’s instructions to his son Jacob: “Take a wife.” Not two, not two wives and two concubines, but one wife. Rebekah alone had been good enough for Isaac. It’s speculation, but who knows how much fewer Jacob’s troubles would have been if he had followed Papa’s advice! PS: Important advice this St. Valentine’s Day!

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