Thursday, February 28, 2013


Say 'THE MIRACLE PRAYER' daily and it will change your life! SHARE!

The Miracle Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you just as I am. I am sorry for my sins, I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In your name I forgive all others for what they have done against me.

I renounce Satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self, Lord Jesus now and forever. I invite you into my life, Jesus. I accept you as my Lord, God and Saviour. Heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, soul, and spirit.

Come, Lord Jesus, cover me with your precious blood, and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I Love You, Lord Jesus. I Praise You, Jesus. I Thank You, Jesus. I shall follow you every day of my life. Amen.

Mary, mother of sorrows, Queen of Peace, St. Peregrine, the cancer saint, all you Angels and Saints, please help me. Amen.

Say this prayer faithfully, no matter what you feel, when you come to the point where you sincerely mean each word, with all your heart, something good spiritually will happen to you. You will experience Jesus, and HE will change your whole life in a very special way.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Papa, Say It Isn't So

by Father John McCloskey
"Papa, say it isn't so."
This was my first reaction to the totally unexpected resignation of our great Holy Father. Yes, there had been some recent signs of weakness in him, clearly a result of old age and the understandable fatigue that comes with being the Father in Christ for over a billion souls. But we certainly did not expect by the end of February to be praying for the cardinals as they gather to elect a successor to a still-living ex-pontiff. What shoes he will have to fill, succeeding the best one-two punch in papal history! Start praying for him now.
Pope Benedict was not without his particular contributions to and for the Church during his nearly eight-year reign. When he was unexpectedly elevated to the papacy in April 2005, he had served under John Paul II for close to 25 years in arguably the most important position in the curia: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He knew the state of the Church intimately and was excellently equipped to both provide continuity with his predecessor and also make his own special contributions.
One thing is sure: Both men furnished strong interpretations of the authentic teaching of the Second Vatican Council, whose golden anniversary we celebrate in this Year of Faith. Vatican II was essentially about holiness, evangelization, and the search for unity in Christianity. Wojtyła (as a bishop) and Ratzinger (as a peritus, or expert theologian) both attended the Council. They "were present at the Creation," and their interpretation will be enduring.
In some ways, Benedict could be seen as an even better communicator than the more naturally charismatic John Paul II – he faced bigger crowds at World Youth Days and drew larger crowds at the Wednesday general audiences at the Vatican. Perhaps he was standing on Wojtyła's shoulders, or maybe his theological style trumped John Paul's somewhat abstract philosophical approach.
In another sense, Benedict was certainly not the world traveler John Paul was. But how could he have been, given that he was already in his late seventies in 2005, when he began his nearly eight-year reign. Nonetheless, his visits to many countries throughout the world were triumphs in their own right: for instance, in the United States, he used the opportunity to contrast freedom as the secular world understands it and freedom as the Church views its. This secular misunderstanding of freedom as license is key to understanding our society's surrender to hedonism and to the culture of death.
Pope Benedict frankly and courageously addressed the sexual abuse crisis, which John Paul had at first simply found hard to believe as having existed on such a scale. Indeed, no other bishop has more forthrightly denounced the whole crisis of abuse and cover-up than he did just before his own election – "How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those in the priesthood who ought to belong entirely to [Christ]!"
John Paul wrote books during his tenure, but they tended more toward personal memoirs than serious theological or philosophical works; he saved theology and philosophy for his Wednesday addresses and his many and influential encyclicals. Benedict spent his summers writing his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy and meeting with former students to discuss various topics in theology.
Pope Benedict will certainly be remembered for his Regensburg lecture in 2006, in which he spoke about the danger of uncoupling religion from reason. The speech was widely misunderstood and denounced by many Muslims, but surely he was correct on this essential point for our era to reflect on: if reason is not united to faith, violence is inevitable. Benedict also insisted repeatedly on the perils of "the dictatorship of relativism and the abandonment of the search for truth."
By far my favorite moment of Pope Benedict's pontificate was his historic trip to Great Britain for the beatification of fellow theologian John Henry Newman – the only beatification at which he presided as Pope, except for John Paul's. All the prognosticators of the British press predicted small crowds or even violent demonstrations. Instead, Benedict's humility and holiness charmed everybody from the Queen on down. What a scene it was to see him giving an address in the Hall where St. Thomas More was put to judgment, and then the crowds waving goodbye with love as he departed for Rome.
I will miss you, Holy Father, and so will millions of many admirers.
First appeared at on February 18, 2013.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today's Gospel Reading - Sunday, February 24, 2013 with Reflection

Second Sunday of Lent
1ST READING - Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

P S A L M - Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14
R: The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 7Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call; have pity on me, and answer me. Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.(R) Your presence, O Lord, I seek. Hide not your face from me; do not in anger repel your servant. You are my helper: cast me not off. (R) 13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord withcourage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord. (R)
2ND READING - Philippians 3:17-4:1

From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear him.
Luke 9:28-36
28 Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. 29 While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus thathe was going to accomplish in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. 34 While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” 36 After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They fell silent and did not at that time tell anyone what they had seen.


The Transfiguration of Jesus atop Mount Tabor is recorded by all the Gospels as a very important hinge in the mission narratives of Jesus. This is commonly regarded as the signal of Jesus’ final ascent to Jerusalem to fulfill His saving sacrifice for us. Aside from the manifestation of the Heavenly Father’s voice from the cloud that overshadowed the mountain, the Gospel tells us about the presence of Moses and Elijah.

Several explanations are offered about the figures of Moses and Elijahin the Transfiguration. First, it is argued that it was possible for both Old Testament personalities to show themselves with Jesus because, in the traditions of the Jews, Moses and Elijah possessed glorified bodies. Moses is said to have been assumed, body and soul, after his death, hence no one ever found out where the grave of Moses was (cf Deuteronomy 34:6). Elijah, on the other hand, was taken up bodily into heaven with a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11-13). Second, Moses is thought to represent the Law, and Elijah is regarded as the greatest of all prophets. Therefore, Moses and Elijah were there before Jesus to emphasize that the Law and the prophets both point to Jesus’ mission.

The presence of Moses and Elijah with Jesus on the holy mountain has still another significance: God’s plan is a continuum — something greater, and something that connects times and generations. Our individual missions, ministries and apostolates build on top of each other towards the attainment of God’s purpose. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What precedent works and initiatives are you building on? Remember persons whom you consider to be pioneers and forerunners in your parish or in your congregation. What legacies did they leave behind?
I thank You, Lord, for the people who blazed the trail for us in building Your Kingdom on earth.

Blessed Luke Belludi, pray for us.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Discovered: a lost Catholic classic

From the ashes of
Revolutionary France:

A manual to help you hold fast to
Faith in a barbaric, faithless world.


We found this lost classic among the cherished works that French Catholics risked torture and death to save when the Church was under attack—in the frenzied days of the French Revolution and its aftermath.
Written by the French priest Jean Nicolas Grou (who died in 1803), The Spiritual Life is a tough, uncompromising handbook to help you deal with all the obligations and problems of the spiritual life.  As such, it teaches you what you need to know and to do when the comforts and supports of life have been swept away.

Indeed, Fr. Grou reminds you right at the beginning that salvation is only won at a great price. He wrote this book for those who are willing to pay that price themselves.

Fr. Grou's focus is firmly on Christ, whom he maintains should be the model for your own spiritual life—not just in theory, but in the hard fact of sacrifice and love so great as to pierce your very heart.
Our times are not so far removed from the Godless irrationality that swept across France in Fr. Grou’s day. That’s why, in our own tumultuous age, we decided to republish The Spiritual Life, and to do so quickly.

This is the one guide you need to help you
navigate the treacherous spiritual waters of today’s
world, and through it all, to keep the Faith.

Gain the strength of a faith tried by fire as you learn:
  • Five things you should be doing every day (and right now) in order to prepare your soul for the trials that are sure to come
  • Three words that contain everything you must do in order to be doing the will of God
  • The one sure sign of the vanity in your soul that can choke off its proper development
  • Are you too weak for hard times?  How to strengthen your soul now
  • Spiritual dryness: why God sometimes withdraws His consolations, and what you must do when He does so
  • How you can eradicate the ingratitude toward God that creeps into your soul
  • If you died today, would you be happy with your spiritual state? What you can do now to make sure the answer is “yes”
  • What God has a right to expect from you: are you measuring up?
  • Much, much more to help you make real progress in the spiritual life!

by Father Jean Nicolas Grou
176 Pages - $14.95


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013



One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forthfrom the mouth of God.
Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread; 12 and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; 13 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
think: Our relationship with God is the most important aspect of our lives.

The “Our Father” is the first formula prayer that many of us were able to memorize and take to heart. Reflecting deeper on the words of this prayer as Matthew renders it, we take 
note of several things.
First, the prayer contains seven petitions: the first three petitions deal with God’s Kingdom and will; the last four petitions deal with our human needs. Now, “7” is a favorite number in Matthew. He speaks of Jesus’ genealogy as consisting of ancestors who are 3 x 7 in number. He renders seven parables of Jesus in Matthew 13. He underscores Jesus’ teaching that forgiveness be not seven times, but 77 times (cf Matthew 18:22).
Second, we note that the prayer brings together certain expressions that are very common in the vocabulary of the evangelist. Among these are: “Father in heaven,” “Your will, “ and “on earth as in heaven.” Prayer then is not just the lifting up of our needs before the Lord. We pray as we live, and we talk with God in the language and expressions that are common to our lives. We pray just as we are before Him.
In prayer, then, we do not just come before God, our Father and Creator. We get in touch with our selves, our deep thoughts and sentiments. We pray our memories and our relations with God. We pray our anxieties and hurts to God. We pray our loves and joys, our inspirations and plans. Prayer, therefore, is a synthesis of ourselves. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Today's Gospel Reading - February 17, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Deuteronomy 26:4-10

P S A L M - Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
R: Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (R) 10 No evil shall befall you, nor shall         affliction come near your tent, 11 for to his angels he has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. (R) 12 Upon their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shalltread upon the asp and the viper; you shall trample down the lion and the dragon. (R) 14 Because he clings to me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in distress; I will deliver him and glorify him.(R)

2ND READING - Romans 10:8-13

One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Luke 4:1-13
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live on bread alone.’” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” 8Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’” Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written: ‘He willcommand his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ 11 and: ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” 13When the devil had finished every temptation, he departedfrom him for a time.


The First Sunday of Lent always has a Gospel reading on the “Temptation of Jesus.” This event in the life of Jesus is chronologically rendered by the evangelists as one that immediately followed the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River. It happened at the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, three years before His Passion and Death. St. Luke clarified the liturgical association of an event in the ministry of Jesus that seemed remote in time in connection to Lent. He ends his narration of the temptation of Jesus in this statement: “And when the devil had finished all his tempting he left him until an opportune time.”

The Passion and Death of Jesus is regarded as the opportune time when the devil came back to tempt Jesus. All the three temptations started with a premise: “If you’re the Son of God....” On the cross, Jesus would be taunted in like manner: “If you are God’s Son, get down from that cross and we will believe!” During the Passion, Jesus was again tempted by the devil to run his earthly ministry according to the ways of the world—that is, through the display of power and self-glorification as a means of asserting oneself.

The core of every human temptation is the exaltation of the self, underscoring of one’s privileges over anything and everything, unbridled pride and self-worth. Jesus, in contrast, shows us a different way. Though He was truly God like the Father, He did not deem equality with God, something to be grasped, but He emptied Himself and took the form of man, and was found human in appearance, being obedient even to the point of death (cf Philippians 2:5ff).

In all circumstances, it is humility that extinguishes man’s tendencies to abuse, to violence and to vengeance. It saves us from even practicing seemingly right but aggressive ways that often make one regret later. Humility leads us to instrospection, to gentle ways, to compassion amidst anything. With these, we can never go wrong. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: How tolerant are you when people challenge not just your ways but your self-worth? What signs of being aggressive are you prone to manifest when threatened? How do you deal with yourself in such situations?
Lord Jesus, grant me a gentle spirit and humble heart to always act with compassion.

Seven Founders of the Order of Servites, pray for us.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Catholic books $5 each

Warehouse Sale

Catholic books for only $5

We’re out of space.
As you can see, every square foot
of our warehouse is filled with fine Catholic books.


Dave, our warehouse manager, told me that we have no place to
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are on their way to our warehouse right now!
And so we took out a red pen and slashed prices on
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This is your chance to own wonderful and holy Catholic books
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searching for the Truth or desire to grow in holiness.

Charlie McKinney

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Monday, February 11, 2013

ODB: Greek Fire


Greek fire was a chemical solution that was used in ancient warfare by the Byzantine Empire against its enemies. According to one online source, it was developed around ad 672 and was used with devastating effect, especially in sea warfare because it could burn on water. What was Greek fire? Its actual chemical composition remains a mystery. It was such a valuable military weapon that the formula was kept an absolute secret—and was lost to the ravages of history. Today, researchers continue to try to replicate that ancient formula, but without success.

One source of catastrophic destruction among believers in Christ, however, is not a mystery. James tells us that the source of ruin in our relationships is often a very different kind of fire. He wrote, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body” (James 3:6). Those strong words remind us how damaging unguarded words can be to those around us.

Instead of creating the kind of verbal “Greek fire” that can destroy relationships, families, and churches, let’s yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit’s control and allow our words to glorify the Lord.

It seems, Father, that sometimes we are our own
worst enemies. Forgive us for speaking destructively
to fellow Christians, and teach us to use wise words
that can encourage and build their walk with You.

To bridle your tongue, give God the reins of your heart.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Today's Gospel Reading - Sunday, February 10, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8

P S A L M - Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8

R: In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

1 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; 2 I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. (R) Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. 3 When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (R) 4 All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O Lord, when they hear the words of your mouth; 5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord “Great is the glory of the Lord.” (R) 7 Your right hand saves me. 8 The Lord will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. (R)

2ND READING - Corinthians 15:1-11


Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.

Luke 5:1-11

1 While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. 2 He saw two boats therealongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing theirnets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them.They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking. 8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” 9 For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, 10 and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.



A unique detail in our Gospel story is this: Jesus seated Himself in one of the boats — the one belonging to Peter, the evangelist stresses — and from there He taught. The boat of Peter signifies the Church. Theologians say that it is in the Church, under the visible headship of the Popes as successors of Peter, that Jesus’ saving words and actions continue to reach out to many through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Going through the rest of Luke’s Gospel story, we note that when Peter allowed Jesus into his boat and gave Him permission to direct him on where to lower the nets for a catch, Peter had the most tremendous catch of fish he ever had in his entire fishing life! So great was the catch that the nets began to rip. And the greater message for us as a Church, as church leaders and as churchmen, is that the success and fruitfulness of our apostolates and mission are founded on our humility, faith and obedience. Success comes not because of our competence in theology, in preaching, in pastoring, and in devising formation programs. Success is found in Jesus’ presence and grace.

Two great Popes, now both declared as “Blessed,” had a great impact on the history and progress of our modern Church. First was Blessed John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli) who, though elected as Pope in his elderly age, went on to convene the Second Vatican Council. Second was Blessed John Paul II (the Polish Karol Wojtyla) who served long and who charmed the youth of the world during his life and in his death. Even after his death, long lines of pilgrims, notably with a good number of young people, would come and pray at his tomb. Both Popes had pronounced humility that showed itself in their many candid and unassuming ways, and was founded on their deep sense of dependence on God. Blessed John XXIII kept a crucifix in his bedroom, andbefore this he prayed to Jesus every night about his various concerns for theChurch. Blessed John Paul II had the crucifix of Jesus atop his crosier, and he would be in deep prayer with it even in the midst of a large crowd. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you belong to a church organization or community, like the Charismatic Renewal movement?  What blessings have you experienced by joining this group?  What activities of the Church make you feel the presence of Jesus most? Why?

Lord Jesus, teach me to be more humble as I grow closer to You.

St. Scholastica, virgin, pray for us.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

The restoration of Catholic culture begins now

Introducing Our Newest Release: 


Rebuilding Catholic Culture
by Dr. Ryan Topping
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Rarely does a book come along that so succinctly explains the decline of modern culture, articulates a defense of the Church's teachings, and offers a hope-filled path for building a civilization grounded in Catholic truth.

In these pages, Dr. Ryan Topping does all three, pulling back the curtain on the false philosophies of the secularists and showing that in the West today the most formidable threat to freedom is not failing economies or Islam, but secularism.  Our best defense, he claims, is a vibrant Catholic culture, and our best hope for creating it lies in the principles found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Rebuilding Catholic Culture takes you on a masterful journey through the relevant portions of the Catechism, distilling sophisticated theological concepts into words that are simple, clear, and direct while unpacking its core teachings on faith and morals that nurture true civilizations.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Today's Gospel Reading - Sunday, February 3, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19

P S A L M - Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17

R: I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. (R) Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue mefrom the hand of the wicked. (R) For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength. (R) 15 My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. 17 O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

31 Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. 13:If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashingcymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it willbe brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. 13 So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives.
Luke 4:21-30

21 Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” 23 He said to them, “Surely you willquote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. 25 Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. 26 It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. 29 They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. 30 But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.


A long brewing issue regarding salvation is about who and how many will be saved. Through the ages, various religious movements — including numerous Christian sects and denominations — have claimed that their respective groups are surely and only the ones certain to be saved.

The people of Nazareth also wanted to put a hedge around Jesus. They believed that since Jesus was their compatriot, He ought to have made them the first beneficiaries of all the good things He had begun to be known for, among which were His miracles of healing. Instead, Jesus made His early signs and works more known in Capernaum.

Beyond what had happened, Jesus seemed to have further enraged His listeners from Nazareth when, reading the scroll from the prophet Isaiah, He broke off the quotation in mid-sentence (cf Is 61:2), omitting all reference to divine vengeance against the Gentiles. Jesus even went on to refer to the stories about the prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha who, in their respective ministries, blessed a Sidonese widow and a Syrian general respectively.

The religious, it seems, have a great tendency towards exclusivity and elitism. We make classifications that lead to the exclusion of others. We label each other in Church: between the baptized and the unbaptized; theordained as against the unordained; the covenanted as distinguished from the ordinary members; between diocesan priests who have but a promise of obedience to their bishops, and the religious priests who profess the three evangelical vows; between nuns who are contemplative and those in active mission. While we preach about various callings and charisms as works of the same Spirit of God, we cannot help but compare many times — which one could be superior in graces and in privileges? Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you more welcoming than discriminating, embracing than alienating? What does today’s Gospel challenge you to do in your ministry and in your relationships with people?

Lord, I pray for a heart that is like Yours: open, blessing and all-embracing.

St. Blasé, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

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