READING OF THE DAY: 21 MARCH, 2016

the-anointing-at-bethany-01
“Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said,
Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?

He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.

So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial.

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

(The) large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.

And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.” – John 12:1-11.

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READING OF THE DAY: 20 MARCH, 2016

lsg05 religious stained glass lg

“When the hour came, Jesus took his place at table with the apostles.

He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,
for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;
for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.”

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.

And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.”

And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed.

Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.

He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’; but among you it shall not be so.

Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.

For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves?

Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves.

It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”

He said to him, “Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you.”

But he replied, “I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me.”

He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?”

“No, nothing,” they replied.

He said to them, “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.

For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, ‘He was counted among the wicked’; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.”

Then they said, “Lord, look, there are two swords here.”

But he replied, “It is enough!”

Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.

When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.”

After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed,
saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

(And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.)

When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief.

He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”

While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas.

He went up to Jesus to kiss him.

Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, “Lord, shall we strike with a sword?”

And one of them struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.

But Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.

And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?

Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”

After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest;

Peter was following at a distance.

They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them.

When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, “This man too was with him.”

But he denied it saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

A short while later someone else saw him and said, “You too are one of them”; but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.”

About an hour later, still another insisted, “Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean.”

But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.”

Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and

Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”

He went out and began to weep bitterly.

The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him.

They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”
And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.

When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin.

They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond.

But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.”

Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.”

Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate.

They brought charges against him, saying, “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.”

Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.”

Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, “I find this man not guilty.”

But they were adamant and said, “He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here.”

On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.

He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer.

The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly.

(Even) Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate.

Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly.

Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them, “You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him.

Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

But all together they shouted out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.”

(Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.)

Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus, but they continued their shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Pilate addressed them a third time, “What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed.

The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.

So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him.

Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’

At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”

Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed.

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.

(Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”)

They divided his garments by casting lots.

The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.”

Even the soldiers jeered at him.

As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”

Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”

The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?

And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon
because of an eclipse of the sun.

Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.”

When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events.

Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council, had not consented to their plan of action.

He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the kingdom of God.

He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried.

It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it,they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils.

Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.” – Luke 22:14-71.23:1-56.

READING OF THE DAY: 18 MARCH, 2016

 

 

 

Forgiveness - all within my hands

 “The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.

Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.

For which of these are you trying to stone me?”

The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.

You, a man, are making yourself God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”‘?

If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize (and understand) that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

(Then) they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.

Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.”

And many there began to believe in him.” – John 10:31-42.

…TO ANSWER THE QUESTION….

Hand of God

 

So…I was asked “What does the Bible say about ‘The End of Times’..?” ..and more recently “Do you think it IS the end of times?”…well…let’s take a look in my Master’s own Words….

“As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,

“Tell us, when will these things happen?

And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.

Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.

When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed.

Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.

These are the beginning of birth pains.

“You must be on your guard.

You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.

On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child.

Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out.

Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!

Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.

“If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive.

But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

“But in those days, following that distress,  the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” – Mark 13: 1-31

His Disciples also expounded a bit more about this subject in the following verses…

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth.

They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.

But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Well…I am not a Theologian…nor am I a Prophet…..nor am I a person who sees shadows where there are none…but even THIS cleric can see that in the last half decade there have certainly been “signs” spoken of coming to fruition…

It is not for the likes of ME to interpret these things, but to simply help those who need the help to get their soul in order, so that if these ARE the ‘beginnings of the birthing pains’ then I know my duty is to do my job the hardest and best way possible.

My advice to ANYONE who asks these things? “Is your soul in order?”…”Would you be ashamed to stand before Him if TODAY were the LAST day?”….think about it, and look to your soul…for I know MINE is not ‘Lily-white’…hence why I will keep working till the very end to help those who need it.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 16 MARCH, 2016

Saint Abraham

Solitary and Priest
(†370)

and Saint Mary  (†375)

his niece
(†370)

Saint Abraham

Abraham was a rich nobleman of Edessa, born in the year 300. Ceding to his parents’ desire, while still very young he married, but escaped to a cell near the city as soon as the feast was over.

His family searched for him for seventeen days, and were still more astonished when they found him.

Why are you surprised? he asked them. Admire instead the favor God has granted me, the grace to bear the yoke of His service, which He has wanted to impose on me without regard to my unworthiness.

He walled up his cell door, leaving only a small window open for the food which would be brought to him from that time on.

The wealth which fell to Saint Abraham by the death of his parents ten years after his retirement, he gave to the poor by the good offices of a friend, to whose probity he entrusted the commission.

Since many were seeking him out for advice and consolation, the Bishop of Edessa ordained him priest, overruling his humility.

Soon after his ordination, he was sent to an idolatrous city which had hitherto been deaf to every messenger.

He was insulted, beaten, and three times banished, but he returned each time with fresh zeal.

For three years he pleaded with God for those souls, and in the end prevailed.

Every citizen came to him for Baptism.

After providing for their spiritual needs he went back to his cell, more than ever convinced of the power of prayer.

In that cell, then, for fifty years, he would continue to sing God’s praises and implore mercy for himself and for all men.

Saint Ephrem wrote of him that a day did not pass without his shedding tears; but that despite his constant and severe penance, he always maintained an agreeable disposition and a healthy and vigorous body.

He never reproved anyone with sharpness, but all he said was seasoned with the salt of charity and gentleness.

His brother on dying left an only daughter, Mary, to the Saint’s care.

He placed her in a cell near his own, and devoted himself to training her in perfection.

After twenty years of innocence she grew lax and fled to a distant city, where she drowned the voice of her conscience in sin.

For two years the Saint and his friend Saint Ephrem prayed earnestly for her.

Then Abraham went in disguise to seek the lost sheep, and had the joy of bringing her back to the desert a true penitent.

She received the gift of miracles, and her countenance after death shone as the sun.

Saint Abraham died five years before her, in about 360.

All of Edessa came for his last blessing and to secure his relics.

(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 3;Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 16 MARCH, 2016

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“Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.

How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.

A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains.

So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free.

I know that you are descendants of Abraham.

But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you.

I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.”

They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham.

But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this.

You are doing the works of your father!”

(So) they said to him, “We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.” – John 8:31-42.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 15 MARCH, 2016

Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer

Redemptorist Priest, confessor
(1751-1821)

Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer

Born in 1751, the youngest of twelve children, Clement was six years old when his father died.

His great desire was to become a priest, but since his family was unable to give him the necessary education, he became a baker’s assistant, devoting all his spare time to study.

He was a servant in the Premonstratensian monastery of Bruck from 1771 to 1775, then lived for some time as a hermit.

He made three pilgrimages to Rome, and during the third, accompanied by a good friend, he entered with the same friend the Redemptorist novitiate at San Giuliano.

The two were professed in 1785 and ordained a few days later.

The two priests were sent in the same year to found a house north of the Alps, and Saint Alphonsus, Founder of the Redemptorist Order, prophesied their success.

They were granted a church in Warsaw by King Stanislaus Poniatowski, and labored under incredible difficulties from 1786 to 1808.

A larger church was also reserved for them, where daily instructions were given for non-Catholics.

Saint Clement also founded in Warsaw an orphanage and a school for boys.

His great friend, Thaddeus Habul, died in 1807; the following year four houses founded by Saint Clement were suppressed and the Redemptorists expelled from the Grand Duchy.

Saint Clement went with one companion to Vienna, where for the last twelve years of his life he acted as chaplain and director at an Ursuline convent.

There he exercised a veritable apostolate among all classes in the capital.

He devoted himself in a special way to the conversion and formation of young men.

When he died in 1821, Pius VII said, Religion in Austria has lost its chief support.

(SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia, edited by C. G. Herbermann with numerous collaborators (Appleton Company: New York, 1908).)