“Truly, You Are the Son of God…”

Jesus

The angels had asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospels . With Love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33   MT 14:22-33

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds. 
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. 
When it was evening he was there alone. 
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea. 
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 
He said, “Come.” 
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 
After they got into the boat, the wind died down. 
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

 

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Even when we become focused on the world, God and Jesus show us that they never left us, that worry is useless, and to have complete, unwavering faith in the Lord our God and in the Savior. Jesus and God our Strength at all times. 

In Jesus Name 

Today Salvation Has Come To This House

Jesus

Awhile back, the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospel Readings. With love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke LK 19:1-10.  With an angel inspired message behind it. 

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

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One of the items in this scripture passage, that was pointed out today in church, was that Zacchaeus placed himself in a position for God’s Calling. Jesus didn’t say to Zacchaeus, ” Maybe I should stay  at your house”

Jesus said ” I must stay at your house.” – This was pre-ordained by the Heavenly Father and Christ/God Authority. Zacchaeus placed himself in a position for this calling- from tax collector to disciple.

Additionally, this Gospel reading also states that Zacchaeus received Jesus with joy. 

Placing our own selves in a position of God’s Calling or Christ’s Calling and Blessings is something we are all called to do- and to rejoice and receive God and Jesus with joy when receiving him in communion, prayer and/or when receiving Jesus and the One who sent Him in the Word of God. 

In Jesus’ Name 

Whoever Humbles Himself Will Be Exhalted

Jesus

Awhile back, the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospel Readings. With love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke  18:9-14. With a loving message behind it. 

 Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity –greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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Jesus is speaking to and about those who laud themselves while despising everyone else. It is not the sense of accomplishment that reeks, but the sense of superiority. The pharisee is not grateful  for what God has given him, but for the ways he “outshines” his neighbors; and especially the despised tax collector. He doesn’t realize his condition results from God’s grace and mercy; instead he believes his own accomplishment and all of his effort is done in vain. 

The tax collector does not even raise his head; for it is weighed down by the burden of his sin. Looking to where God resides in his heart and beating on its door, he simply begs for Mercy; offering his sincere contrition. 

The pharisee mistakes God’s role as that of a passive listener who hears performance reports and assigns gold stars.  The tax collector recognizes God’s true role- to welcome and love every honest and contrite heart, to generously dispense mercy, and to justify us in a way we could never do on our own. [see reference]

Reference: The Workbook for Lectors Gospel Readers and Proclaimers of the Word

God’s Mercy

Jesus 2

Awhile back, the angels had guided me to write on the gospels every Sunday. With love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke 15:1-32. With a loving message behind it. 

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Then he said,
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”

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The Gospel reading today focuses on God’s Eternal and unending Love and Mercy for his people. It was even highlighted in 1 Timothy how St. Paul noted he too,  was treated with God’s Great Mercy , as he had once acted out of ignorance in his unbelief, yet God strengthened Him through Christ Jesus, and appointed St. Paul to his ministry  (1 Timothy 1:12-17).  

All of Heaven rejoices when one of us turns to God and asks for His Mercy, which is unending. No one is outside of God’s Flowing Mercy. God can see the intentions of our hearts and  meets us halfway when we come to Him. God loves each of us very much and not only forgives us, but appoints us as heirs when we come to Him in sincerity, love and faith. God wants us to remain close to Him, as He offers His Great Love, Divine Mercy and Unending Peace to all those who hear and act on his Word. 

In Jesus’ Name

But The One Who Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted…

Jesus 2

Awhile back, the angel asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospels, with love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke 14:1, 7-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

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The wisdom of Ben Sira recommended humility as a means of winning favor with God. Here, Jesus teaches that humility is the the route to esteem, even among colleagues and friends.

The second half puts the first half in perspective, for it reveals, as occurs often in Luke, Jesus’ concern for the poor and the attitude for the rich.  He counsels , counter- culturally doing for those who can’t do back for us. This time, he predicts no earthly honor or affirmation, but an eternal reward, visible only to the eyes of faith, that will come at the eternal banquet that celebrates “the resurrection of the righteous.” [see reference] 

Additionally, Jesus points out that whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a servant and humbled himself, even to the lowest place, as Jesus, even though Divinely human, did not see  equality with God as something to be grasped. God exalted him for this, to the highest place, a name above all names- in Heaven and in all of God’s creation – so that every knee should bow God before him.  God loves humility, and Jesus shows us that humility is something God Himself exalts – which is a Divine reward indeed.  (See PHIL2:5-11) 

 

Reference: Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers and Proclaimers of the Word. 2016

Jesus Observes Contributors

Jesus

Awhile Back- the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospel Readings. Here is the Gospel of Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”

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The poor widow in today’s Gospel serves as a counterpoint  to hypocritical scribes denounced by Jesus  in the preceding brief passage. He does not present all scribes in a negative light; rather hypocrisy is a major subject of rebuke.In Jesus’ time, scribes fulfilled some of the duties of modern lawyers, and so could serve as trustees of a widow’s estate; often the fee would be paid with a share of the estate.

Today’s message is about spiritual wealth. In reference to the widow – he commends the genuine faith and generosity of one potential victim of scribal hypocrisy. Jesus observes those who come into the Temple complex known as the court of the women, where the Treasury was located. At Passover time many pilgrims would have to come make their offerings for upkeep and renovation of the Temple of the Lord. But among the multitude, one poor widow stands out among wealthy contributors. Though one of the poorest members of Jewish Society, she contributes two coins of the smallest possible denomination. She offers far more than the rich, for she gives generously from the depths of her poverty.

Reference: Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word.

“Go, Sell What You Have, and Give to the Poor and You Will Have Treasure in Heaven; Then Come, Follow Me”

lord-jesus

The angels encouraged me to dedicate Sunday’s angel message to the Gospels – so here is today’s Gospel – from the Gospel of Mark 10:17-30. With a guided message behind it.

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother
.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
Peter began to say to him,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

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“For God , all things are possible”  – for what is impossible to humans is not impossible for God- for He created all things, knows all, understands all and loves all that He has created.

Pray in faith for all things– for anything that is needed. For God sees all and nothing is impossible for Him.  

In the Gospel, Jesus did not look upon this man with disdain, rather looked upon Him with love- knowing fully that what he asked would be difficult, but also knowing God and what God adores. Jesus loved this man- as he approached Jesus with an honest and sincere heart. Jesus is very loving to all who approach him.

Giving to the poor is something God and Jesus both see as important. This was not just about a charitable act, but also answering the call of God and Jesus- who asked this man to follow Jesus as his disciple. This man had many possessions and did honor God by the Ten Commandments, which God likes, but for God all is possible, and also called this man to be a servant of others and disciple of Christ Jesus, giving all he had to the poor to follow Christ.  

God does provide for spiritual needs and physical needs. Leaning on God is truly  important – in all ways. Giving is special to God, who gives justly and effortlessly. In following his son Jesus, many are saved.  Doing what Jesus asks of us is important – in every age. God loves all- especially those who listen and accept the Words of His Son Jesus Christ- who has the words of eternal life. Jesus was not attached to earthly possession, great wealth, social status, prestige or earthly power. Rather, He listened to God to the point of complete obedience and followed God’s Words to the letter- knowing that He was to lead others in the same way. 

Following Christ – is also accepting him in our hearts. It is loving God first, before all earthly matters and possessions, loving His Son, and loving each other as much as God loves each one of us. 

In Jesus Name- guided with the Angels