Backsliders

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Suffering and difficulties are part of our lives. They can be physical, financial, spiritual, psychological or social. They can be full of resentments or can be redemptive. The Israelites failed to trust God fully. God had only one condition for them to reach the Promised Land: to trust in Him at all times. But they were so stubborn. They even wanted to return to the land of slavery, only to eat their fill of bread. They complained: “Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine” (Ex 16:3). The Israelites failed to realize that their suffering was nothing compared to the divine promise of freedom from slavery and God’s gift of peace to them.

The letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians shows the same situation:

  1. St. Paul realized that the Ephesians were backsliding (in the faith). He urged them to no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds as that was not the way they learned Christ (cf. Eph 4:17-20).

We are also backsliders. The world teaches us to worship the body that is why there is so much attachment to pleasure, rather than to Jesus who gives joy. It teaches us to worship property, that is why there is so much attachment to worldly wealth, rather than to Jesus from whom flow riches from the Father. It teaches us to own time, that is why we lose sight of eternity, rather than focus on Jesus who is the Eternal Word of the Father. Jesus teaches us that we are one body in Him, that apart from Him we can do nothing. He teaches us that He is our wealth, so that there will be nothing we shall want. He teaches us that time is to be used only to realize our salvation here and now in our relationships and responsibilities.

  1. St. Paul declared that corruption does not come from the outside but from within the self. He urged the Ephesians to put away the old self of their former way of life corrupted by deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds (cf. Eph 4:22-23). Yes, an evil act is a result of a decision which is personal and internal.

In the 6th chapter of his letter to the Ephesians St. Paul says,

draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God…. to stand firm against the tactics of the devil…. stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace…. hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one…. take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…. With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit…. be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones (10-18).

  1. For St. Paul, growth in life of the community and in spiritual life is transformation of the self; as the word suggests from its etymology: trans – to move beyond, and form – what we see, what we touch. He urges us to “put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth” (Eph 4:24).

Salvation in Jesus is moving beyond our desires and moving beyond the things of this world. Putting on the new self is allowing Jesus to work in us and through us, for we are mere servants and we only do what we are supposed to do. Jesus says, Do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:31-33).

God gave the Israelites manna for their sustenance and for their faith in His protection. Elijah was given bread to eat in the desert to do God’s will. Jesus ate His last supper with His disciples to institute the Sacraments of the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and He proclaimed that He was the bread come down from heaven and left to His disciples the memorial of that Supper as the food of life and the eternal sign of His presence in the Church until the end of time.

In the celebration of the Eucharist, we are fed and strengthened with the living Bread to renew our commitment to our Lord, to do God’s Will and be His disciples. As we hear His words: “This is my Body…. This is my Blood….” let us confirm our “yes” to love Him in truth, to serve Him in one another and to be faithful to Him despite all the uncertainties of this world. With Mary, our Mother, who always leads us to Her Son Jesus, we won’t ever feel inadequate.

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Called to the One Hope

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” We can look at this question in two ways. On the one hand, on the part of Phillip, the Apostle, it was one of exasperation and great worry. Phillip was looking at the question of Jesus on the world’s point of view of supply and demand: “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” On the other hand, Jesus “said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.” Jesus would give the people food for their spirit and for their bodies to sustain them in their search for the truth, because, “he was teaching them with authority” and “because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.”

On our part, we tend to worry so much and feel exasperated with the increasing needs of our families, with unpleasant relationships and with the poor condition of society. Jesus is leading us to realize that trust in Him is the key to our faith and hope in Him. But we always have the tendency to multiply our temporal needs, and lose sight of the more important things in life:

  • We fill our refrigerators with food, but can’t share with the needy;
  • We build wider roads, but fail to make roads toward peace and total human development;
  • We multiply fast food chains, but poorly feed the hungry of the world;
  • We multiply highways in the sky, and remain in the skies of indifference and selfishness;
  • We produce tremendous amount of disposable appliances, and also make lots of trash;
  • We multiply diplomatic relations, but fail to curb the nations’ greed;
  • We multiply books and magazines, but fail to read the Bible;
  • We multiply pain killers, but fail to alleviate the pain of people’s conditions and reduce indifference to the plight of the poor;
  • We multiply the number of cars to have the ease of movement, but fail to multiply ways to move toward the hearts of people;
  • We produce a good number of fans and air conditioners, but fail to cool down the anger of the abused and oppressed; and many more.

In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul teaches us the following:

  1. “…. to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” (cf. 4:1-6). Jesus multiplied the five barley loaves and two fish for the people to eat and to reach their hearts, for they were seeking life.

We are urged to multiply the blessings and virtues that we have: a) humility and gentleness – to remember that God is the Almighty, our Creator and our destiny, and that we are His creatures and should be His faithful people; b) patience – God has forgiven us our sins and brought us back to His friendship, for without Him we can do nothing; c) unity of the spirit – we are a people, a family, invited and commanded to walk in His ways, to live in peace and attain His salvation here and now and in the life to come.

  1. “…. you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all….” (cf. 4:1-6). Five loaves and two fish are certainly not enough. The world is too small for things that we like to have. But Jesus is big enough to fill the emptiness of our hearts. With Him we can live lives in wisdom, courage, hope, faith, and self-giving in the midst of a world infected by selfishness and indifference

There are many things in life that we take for granted: water, electricity, food, members of our family and many others. Until we lose them, we don’t miss them. We come to Church every week, or every day, and we can also take the Mass for granted. We can even take Jesus for granted, for He has always been mentioned to us since we were children, and we have grown up in our religion and our devotions.

By fully participating in and consciously partaking of the Eucharist, we are filled with Jesus, we learn to share Him with others, we manifest His greatness to the world and we become more grateful for the blessings we have and those of others. In the Eucharist, selfishness is eradicated, indifference destroyed and pride torn down, as it is the Body and Blood of Jesus given up for us and for the forgiveness of sins.

Let us be grateful to Him for the Eucharist and all other blessings. Let us be attentive to Him at all times, in prayer, in our responsibilities and in our relationships. When we visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament, allow Him to talk to us. Let us always make it point to make Jesus present in our endeavors, plans, joys, and suffering. God will not forsake us, if only we listen to Him, obey His commands and remain faithful to Him.

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God-Shepherd

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

1. Circumstances may have changed, but our situation today has always been similar to the situation from the beginning. Jeremiah talks of shepherd-kings who satisfied themselves of the weakness of the people. They were remiss of their responsibilities and scattered the people till they were exiled to Babylon. Few centuries later Jesus sees the crowds of Galileans that flocked around Him to hear his Words of truth and salvation as “sheep without a shepherd.” In their society, they were considered sheep, because they knew little or nothing about the law.

There were also frustrated shepherds who failed in the task entrusted to them. They did not proclaim the Word of God. They prophesied only their own words. Equally, among the priests and leaders there were some who led their sheep astray with their bad examples.

A generation without good shepherds lives in a state of confusion. A generation with leaders who are not real shepherds falls prey to lack of confidence in authority, experiences the anguish of disorder, wraps itself up in subjectivism that is dreadful and devoid of unity. Every generation urgently needs shepherds who are witnesses, who with their lives show the right way, temporal as well as spiritual.

God presented himself as the Shepherd of the sheep of Judah. This image of God as Shepherd is reflected in Jesus Christ. “Like sheep without a shepherd” is an accurate description of many in the world today: directionless, helpless, voiceless, and very vulnerable to the seductions and attacks of the evil one. Jesus showed His compassion on the sick, those possessed by the devil, those in danger, the slaves of sin, and the abandoned. He tells us to be compassionate as the Father is compassionate.

2. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who continues to lead His sheep to green pastures and fresh waters. He shows this in the following:

a) His institution of the Church. This is His own Body that continues to be the life and the institution that protects all His teachings for the salvation of all. And we are the people that comprise the Church.

b) His institution of the Sacraments. They are the means that Jesus instituted to sustain us in the Church and to remain in Him. Without the Sacraments the Church will not survive in this world.

c) His institution of the Priesthood. This was instituted by Jesus so that all the graces that He would give to all for their salvation would be dispensed by and through the priests. When we celebrated the Year of Priests we celebrated the Priesthood of Jesus in us and helped in varied ways in the sanctification of priests and the lay faithful. Despite the difficulties and scandals caused by some priests, the Church courageously proclaims the holiness of the Priesthood of Jesus manifested in the life of the many faithful priests, and asks us all to pray for all priests.

3. When children achieve some success or are hurt, they run to their mother (or father), who assures them of support and joy, or kisses away the hurt. So, the apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mk 6:30-31). People followed them and Jesus was moved with pity and taught them. Jesus teaches us that:

a) Life is a cycle of prayer (silence) – activity – prayer. Many people today work only for money. Many spend hours in front of the television at the expense of time for prayer, study or relationship. Only in solitude with God can we learn His compassion, gain wisdom to follow Him in this unruly world and gain strength when we return to our responsibilities and relationships. Pope Benedict XVI says: One who prays is not afraid; one who prays is never alone; one who prays is saved!” (Wednesday audience, 1 July 2009).

b) Time is given to us, not for selfish reasons, but to bring hope to others through teaching, serving and living out our faith. We cannot abuse our time by squandering it in useless activities.

c) People who come into our life are not accidents, but means to bring them close to Jesus. They are not instruments to take advantage of. They are an opportunity to grow in holiness.

The fact the we are gathered here to celebrate the Eucharist shows that we are looking for someone greater than us, One who can save us. Jesus is our Good Shepherd, our pasture and our food.

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Destined And Chosen for God

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Our consumer society today shows us that we have to buy things now, and buy them in bulk to beat prices, without thinking that tomorrow has its own needs. Advertisements tell us that companies have the best products in the world, and all are number one in quality and in production, and they do not consider that things and people grow old. Stores can make their presentations attractive that make our eyes bigger than our houses, our stomachs and our kitchens. They can be so appealing that it’s easy for people to open wide their purses and swipe their cards fast, yet find themselves difficult to open their hearts to the plight of the needy.

Our consumer society today also promotes all kinds of insurances, from life and property to intellectual rights. So, we have to work so that we can retire, thus lose the enjoyment and meaning of our work and the stamina of our youthfulness. We get life insurance only to die and not see the benefits of our contributions. We are happy to have accident and health insurance, and lose personal care how we drive our cars and how much we eat and exercise. What about our eternal life insurance?

Popular culture tells us that artificial contraceptives are good devices and beneficial to all, that abortion is a human right, that sexual promiscuity and self-indulgence are healthy human behaviors, that marriage of the same sex is just as good and true as marriage of a man and woman, that killing of human embryos to harvest their stem cells is praiseworthy. Yes, today’s world is too comfortable with lies and very uncomfortable with truth. Many would rather live comfortably without God than live uncomfortably with truth and with God. Even Amos, who was a simple shepherd and a dresser of sycamores, was rejected by the priest of Bethel, because Amos was proclaiming the message of God. Adam and Eve were promised by the devil a life like gods. We tend to accept more the popular rather than what can form our consciences to the truth and things of God.

In his letter to the Ephesians St. Paul proclaims:

  1. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens…. He chose us in him…. to be holy and without blemish before him” (Eph 1:3-4). We have all the blessings to live here on earth and in heaven. Yet we become so attached to this world that we find it difficult to follow Jesus towards the Father through our responsibilities and relationships. We are seasonal pray-ers. We pray only when we find the time, not aware that our time is God’s gift to us. We easily find our way to gossiping, unaware that we ourselves are full of weaknesses and sins. We are short tempered and proud, unaware that life is too short for anger and pride. We are lazy, thus making ourselves susceptible playground of the devil. Only in Christ can we bring back the blessings of the Father for us as chosen people, to be holy and blameless in His sight.
  1. “In love He destined us for….Himself through Jesus Christ…. In Him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions…. In Him we were also chosen…. so that we might exist for the praise of His glory” (Eph 1:4-6). {Imagine a criminal attempt to murder a king. He is arrested and thrown down in the dungeon. He can only be grateful for being alive. Now, imagine that the king shows up in prison, walks into his cell and tells the prisoner that he can go free. Surprised and overjoyed he leaves his cell, only to find out the king is locked inside. Shocked, the guard explains that the king took the punishment on himself so that he could have another chance to live. Then the joyful criminal is greeted by an official who leads him to a beautiful and well furnished room with access to the king’s palace. That would be a very generous king, to do so much for a criminal who tried to murder him (cf. epriest, July 12, 2009).} Have we imagined well? That is an image of what God has done for us. The Father sent Jesus to the world to redeem us, to make us His children and share in the joy of His kingdom.

Today let us renew our trust and commitment to God. Let us make prayer a priority in our life. Prayer, though, is not particularly when we talk, but when we make God present and when we listen to Him. Let us make the Sacraments, especially the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, important devotions in our life. And let us chose our friends who can lead us closer to the Lord through words and actions, in our responsibilities and relationships. As we strive to be holy, let us ask our Mother Mary, always to lead us to Her Son Jesus, who gives us strength in the face of temptations and authority over unclean spirits.

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Facing Life’s Challenges In Faith

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

The readings today bring beautiful and important situations we may consider:

a) In the first reading, God says to Ezekiel: Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me…. whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them” (Ez 2:2-5). The Israelites underwent a crisis of faith which they could not control mainly because they were looking at and admiring the way of life and worship of their neighboring nations. So the Lord always had to put them to the test.

b) In the Gospel, Jesus tells the Jews: A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house” (Mk 6:4). The Jews, residents of Nazareth and fellow countrymen of Jesus, were experiencing a deeper crisis of faith when Jesus appeared and became too much for them. They could not believe that someone could be better than they were, and that Jesus was talking with authority. They refused to listen, to believe and to love their own. The Jews were very jealous that they even had to refer to Him as “this man,” “the carpenter” and “son of Mary.”

c) In the second reading, the Lord tells Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Paul also underwent a crisis, but a crisis that led him to accept Jesus to be the power of, in and behind his preaching, and the grace of God the moving factor of his life. In his weakness the power of God would be made manifest, the Kingdom of God realized, and God’s Will done on earth as in heaven. Paul’s grace was to suffer for the Kingdom of God.

The greatest critics in our life are the ones closest to us: our family, relatives, neighbors, people we relate with almost every day. Jealousy and violent reactions happen because of a relationship that is selfish. We do not want somebody to be better than us. We want to manipulate everyone according to our standard. We cannot accept a person as he is.

This is one big crisis that we experience. Many times we cannot accept Jesus because we want Him to be and to do things according to our desires and standard. We want Him to turn around when we do something wrong, especially our favorite sins. We want Him to see us when we do something good. It’s hard for us to be open because we do not want to expose our weaknesses and our sins even to God.

We are asked to pray and be watchful against attitudes that are against the examples and commands of Jesus. In Jesus, who is the Savior of the world and King of all, we cannot remain possessively selfish and proud egoists; neither can we keep our minds and hearts so small for the love of God. God gave us a big heart enough to accept Him and His Kingdom.

It takes a great amount of humility and knowledge of self to know and accept Jesus. It is easy to fall into the trap of being like the unbelieving Jews. We are so distracted with many philosophies, with our own ideas and with products media bring to us. Remember that humility has a root word in Latin that means earth or soil. If we disregard our origin that from dust we came and to dust we shall return, knowledge of Jesus, who is divine yet became human for our salvation, will only be superficial, and knowledge and love of our neighbor will also be foreign to us. As Jesus and neighbor can be one, we can also ask the same similar selfish questions: who is this that comes into my life? Where did he get his wisdom and style? Thus, to know Jesus and to love Him just as we love our neighbor is to know self and realize our origin and our destination.

Mary also underwent a crisis in accepting her motherhood of Jesus, who became for us the Eucharist that we now celebrate, but she left everything in the hands of God and proclaimed: be it done to me according to your word. Before Holy Communion we humbly pray, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Let us ask Jesus and Mary to give us the courage and fortitude to face life’s challenges. With these gifts of courage and fortitude we can be faithful to the commands of God, for only Jesus can turn our crises into opportunities of life and joy, and with Him we can make a big difference in this world for the Glory of God and for the good of his people.

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The Power of Humility

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

1. Media has been storming us with ways to live and with things to acquire. Among the many things that media bombard us with are the following:

a) We should work hard, have more money, gather more properties, so that we will be happy now and plan to retire. So, we should work for 12 to 16 hours a day so that we can retire and fill our house with things. And when the house is full we put what we think are unimportant things in the garage and park our car outside.

b) We should always look physically attractive and find ways to extend our life. So, we should get all kinds of beauty and anti-aging products, so as not to miss any good one, (to add a year to our life?).

c) We should expose our accomplishments and project our status in the community, so that everyone will know us, respect us and give credit to us. So, we tell everybody what we have and what we have done (till their ears bleed).

2. The two stories in the Gospel today tell us that we have to recognize our need for help, that we need to accept the power of God over life, and that we have to recognize the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.

Jairus was a synagogue leader. His position could make him proud, and for his companions, seeking the help of a carpenter’s son would be a shameful situation. But at this point, he recognized his need for help from someone greater than he was. He was not aloof or skeptical, unlike the Pharisees, but humbly fell at the feet of Jesus and pleaded: “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live” (Mk 5:21ff). His faith gave him hope and brought back the life of his daughter.

The woman with hemorrhage was not getting any better, and spent all her savings. She was not influential. Her long suffering could bring despair. But at this point, with shame because she was unclean and afraid of the people who could drive her away, she made her crucial wish: “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured” (cf. Mk 5:21ff). So it happened.

Their humility made Jesus turn around and heed their plea. Despite the seeming hopeless situation, Jesus strengthened them in their weakness and enlightened them in their darkness. Here we see the powerlessness of men and the power of faith.

They also showed their courage, not because they had something to show off, but only because with their prayer and faith, they could face their fears and deal with their situation. With their willingness to take Jesus into their lives and with their courage to face their fears did they realize the great power of faith that could bring back to them health and life.

3. Like the Disciples, many times we are indifferent to what’s happening around us. We also say: “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?” (cf. Mk 5:25ff). We think we are getting close to Jesus, while all the time in our words and actions we drive people away from Christ and the Church. But just like Jairus and the woman, we can also approach Jesus through the following:

a) The sacraments. When we kneel before the priest at the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we allow God’s mercy to flow into our hearts. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist we fill ourselves with God’s life. When the priest anoints the sick, he brings down the healing power of God. The Sacrament of Confirmation allows the Holy Spirit to come with all His gifts. At baptism we accept a person into the Church. In Matrimony, man and woman confirm their love in the Blessed Trinity. In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the Church ordains priests as ministers of the blessings God has for His people.

b) Our relationships. When we are obedient to one another because of our love for God, we bring in the unity of the Blessed Trinity, as well as the love of our Mother Mary, to shine not only in our families, but also in the whole world.

c) Our service to the poor. At the end of time, everyone will face God, and will hear the words: “whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to Me; whatever you did not do to the least of My brothers you did not do to Me.”

d) Our prayers. In prayer we get in touch with our God and with ourselves. In prayer we allow the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to work in us, so that we can exercise our capacities in the wisdom of God.

May the healing power of God remain with you always.

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The Word in Our Life

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

The era of the Apostles was no different from our time today. People then worshiped stars, the human body and the unknown. They worshiped stars and worldly things as if they were solutions to problems and difficulties. They worshipped the human body as if it were the only pleasure in the world. The worshipped the unknown as if it would protect them from their fears. Today people worship technology, progress, wealth and power as if they will stay forever in this world.

God showed Job that He (God) was always in control of all things and was the refuge of people who humbly come to Him. He questioned Job:

Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb?… I set limits for it…. and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!

God still shows us the same condition. We can also ask ourselves related questions. Has money solved the problems about money? Love of money is still the root of all evil. Did any bailout solve the problems of the economy? Consent to abuse of money and bailout have heightened the abuse of access to money. Have the popularization of contraception and the pro-choice movement and the legalization of abortion solved the problems of population and the rights of women and of the family? Popularization of contraception has only fostered promiscuity, and abortion has degraded man and woman into instruments of commerce and sexual abuse. Has the legalization of marriage of the same sex solved issues on constitutional rights? It has degraded the dignity of marriage.  Have wars solved differences among nations? They have perpetuated killing of innocent people, made the production of weapons a lucrative business and made the strong more arrogant. (And many others.)

At all times the Word of God brought about order into the world. At creation the Word of God brought life to the world and to man. The Word of God stopped Abraham from killing his son as sacrifice to prove His fidelity, and promised him innumerable descendants. The Word of God broke the bonds of the Israelites and brought them out of Egypt. The Word of God split open the sea so that the Israelites could be liberated from the Egyptians. (And many more.) The Word of God was born to us at Bethlehem, performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead and promised eternal life to all who would remain faithful. In the Gospel today, the Word of Jesus calmed the sea and calmed the fear of His Disciples.

In our highly technological society, we need to learn to accept our fears and limitations and our dependence on God. Progress, technology and science are not gods. They crash. But we tend to see them as OUR creation and we become very dependent on them. They have become so attractive that they become for us the modern temptation of Adam and Eve who were seduced by the devil that they would become gods. Progress and technology have become imbedded in our lives, just as we glorify advertisements, movies and TV scripts, and other campaigns that idolize them. And as they crash, we also crash.

God continues to give us opportunities to recognize Him as God and to realize that we are creatures and should be dependent on Him. He gives us all the opportunities in our responsibilities and relationships, in hardships and trials, in aspirations and inspirations. Just like the Apostles in the boat, it is going to Jesus that we discover the greatness of our life and the power of His blessings. It is in being faithful to Him, despite the difficulties we experience, that we can calm the storms of our life. It is in our love for Jesus as we see Him in the light of His revelation of the Father that we can walk according to His ways.

In prayer, we come to Jesus, and Jesus comes to us and works in us and through us. It is the school where we learn the beauty and wisdom of God’s suffering for love of us. Prayer is an exercise that strengthens us in faith, hope and love for Him. Prayer also opens our hearts to the needy and the suffering, as they are instruments of our salvation. For at the last judgment, the Son of man will say: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).

We thank the Lord for the Eucharist, for He fills us with the power of His Words and the vitality of His Body and Blood, so that we are able to carry our crosses in life and face God in His glory.

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