My Daily Visitor

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aug 29, 2012 - Mark 6:17-29

In today's reading, Mark tells the story of the beheading of John the Baptist. John, who was recognized by many as the greatest prophet at the time, some even believing he was the Christ, was imprisoned by Herod. Herod found John interesting and liked to hear him speak. But it was Herodias, the ex-wife of Phillip, Herod's brother, that detested John because John spoke out in public of her marrying Herod, her brother-in-law. John stated "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife" (Mk 6:18), speaking to Herod.

I stopped to think that times have not really changed since those early Christian years. There was still malice, hatred, deceit, idolotry, etc., that drove people to murder, executions and betrayal. In the year 2012, those behaviors still exist in today's times. I believe what seperates us from those times is that today, we are rooted in Christ. In those days, I compare it to the outlaw days of our western culture. There was not much law and order except by those who wielded the staff. And they ruled with iron fists and without conscience where beheading was not thought of twice.

Today, because we ARE rooted in Christ, those who choose to do bad know the consquences of their actions. Christ did an awesome job of laying out the law for us and the consequences that we face if we choose not to follow him. A million beheadings will not equal what we face in damnation if we turn away from God. Often times I think how my decisions affect my final judgement. Did I do everything I could to follow Christ? Did I love and serve the Lord to the best of my ability? How do people see me as it relates to Christ? Do I take the time to speak to at least one person everyday about Christ?

It's a complex way of living but Christ, in all his wisdom, made it very easy for us. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mk 12:31).

"Lord, even in times of distress, give me the wisdom to love my enemies and neighbors as myself. Grant me peace where there is dispair. Open my heart to receive the Holy Spirit at all times." - Amen

Meditation: Mark 6:17-29 (

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Aug 25, 2012 - Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b

Today is the first Sunday in Ordinary Time. It is also the day I was chosen to read the first reading at today's 11:15am Mass. It was the reading from the book of Joshua. Joshua, in this reading, challenged the Isralites to make a choice between false gods or the true God that led them from slavery in the land of Egypt.

As I read the verses, I imagined a large group of leaders of the community gathered around to hear Joshua talk. Joshua, who was Moses' apprentice, was a well respected leader in his community. He led the Isaelites in conquering the land of Canaan after Moses died. Joshua was putting his cards on the table. He MADE his choice and was frustrated over the fact that his people were turning away from the true God that saved them from bondage. No beating around the bush, it was either a take or leave it situation.

After Mass, I went to the reception hall to mingle with the congregation and I was approached by Sister Rita. Sister Rita is so tiny that I didn't even notice her approaching me when she tapped me on the shoulder. She said "I enjoy hearing you, you are a very good lector....would you consider volunteering for our ESL program?" I was humbled that this little tiny nun came across the room to speak to me and ask me that question. Clearly she was moved by God to come and seek me out. At this moment, I reflected on my reading and thought to myself, "she is asking me to make a choice to follow God and be a leader in your community by volunteering". She was very sweet and I did not have the heart to turn her down.

God comes to you in many ways. Sometimes you don't recognize it. Other times, he grabs your attention immediately so that your left in amazement that he chose you. In either case, it feels wonderful to know that your efforts to follow God and spread his Gospel bears fruit. A fruit that feeds one person or a multitude.

"Dear God, you came to me today and asked me to volunteer. I accepted gladly because you are always there for me when I need you. Thank you for choosing me. Through Jesus Christ our Lord...Amen"

Meditation: John 6:60-69 (

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Aug 22, 2012 - Matthew 20:1-16

Today is my 31st wedding anniversary. I thank God each and every day for introducing my lovely wife into my life. She is my heart and soul and without her I would be incomplete. Happy Anniversary honey!!!

In today's gospel we have the parable of the Landowner who pays an equal day's wages to those he hired for one hour and to those he hired for a full day. This parable is sometimes difficult to understand because as humans we are taught from the time that we are little that what you reap is what you sow. In other words, hard work pays off. And to those who are lazy or "idle", as the Lord states, you do not get anything or little in return.

God makes it clear in this Gospel that it is never too late to lead a religious life. Whether you become active in God's life at the end of your time on earth or since you were old enough to remember that you followed God, He will invite you " to go into his vineyard" as long as you seek him. The pay is the same for all who follow Him, life everlasting in Heaven!! Jesus made that possible for us when he died for our salvation. He defeated death and created a threshold for us to step over to be with Him forever in His kingdom.

"Lord, Thank you for accepting me as your faithful servent to love and serve you. I accept your wages to work in your vineyard. It pleases me to serve you!! - Amen 

Meditation: Matthew 20:1-16 (

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Aug 20, 2012 - Matthew 19:16-22

I have been away for a while but I am back now. I lost my focus on God for a few weeks and I am endevouring to return my focus back to him. No one is perfect and with that being said....

In today's Gospel, Jesus is approached by a young man who asks, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?". This young man is most concerned about how he is going to be judged in the afterlife. Did I do enough to enter in the kingdom of God? Will I be worthy enough to stand before God? Does God expect more of me to be found worthy of heaven?

Jesus puts his mind to rest by saying "There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." But the young man is still bothered that he hasn't done enough. Then Jesus replies "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

This got me to thinking how extremely difficult it is to be "perfect". As a human being, it is virtually impossible to be "perfect". I think also about Mother Theresa and how perfect she must have been during her time on earth, yet, as a human being, I am sure she also had flaws. So Jesus gives us the straight and narrow truth with a reassurance that he doesn't expect us to be pefect but to DO YOUR BEST! Keep the commandments, because a perfect life would be that you completely divest yourself of everything you own and give it to the poor. Your clothes, home, car, shoes, money and all other material possessions.

Keep the commandments and leave the rest to God. God loves us and he will never abandon us but he does want us to care for each other. Doing so will make this world a much better place.

"Lord, come into my heart so that I can be more charitible and love my my neighbor as myself" - Amen

Meditation: Matthew 19:16-22 (

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Aug 6, 2012 - Mark 9:2-10

After reading today's Gospel I thought to myself, why would Jesus only allow Peter, James and John on the holy mountain so they may see him transfigured? Did he not trust the other disciples to see this transfiguration? Perhaps he didn't feel they were ready to see him that way. Maybe Jesus knew that if he had shown his transfiguration and the apparition of Moses and Elijah the other disciples would not be able to keep it to themselves as Jesus requested of Peter, James and John.

Imagine holding a secret like that until AFTER Jesus had died and rose from the dead. They also had trouble figuring out what Jesus meant about "rising from the dead". Have you ever held a secret until the appropriate time? It's very hard because we want to share what we've just heard or seen.

Well the secret is certainly out! Jesus died for us and all our sins. He manifested to human form to be like us and to lead us from darkness to light. As the verse in Mark states "and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them." (Mk 9-3). This dazzling white became the light of the world. Jesus is our light and key to everlasting life if you choose to accept him.

"Jesus, your brightness shines a beacon in a dark place. Shine bright always so that I may always find you amidst the darkness and trials I encounter each and everyday." - Amen

Meditation: Mark 9:2-10 (

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Aug 4, 2012 - Mt 14:1-12

When I read today's Gospel, I was reminded of the book of Genesis, when the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden tree, who then tempted Adam to eat of it too. 

The devil has been at work since the beginning of time. It was no different in the time of King Herod. Like Adam who was tempted by Eve, Herod was tempted by Herodias, the wife of his brother Phillip. John the Baptist, who Herod had imprisoned, warned Herod that it was unlawful to keep his brother's wife. Filled with hate for John the Baptist, Herod could not kill him. Doing so would have caused a riot in his kingdom. The Bible states, "Although he (Herod) wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him (John the Baptist) as a prophet." (Mt 14-5). 

But the devil did not stop his work. During a birthday celebration for Herod, Herodias gave Herod a gift of dance by her own daughter, which I'm sure was very provacative even by todays standards. After the dance, Herod was so weak and far from God that he "swore to give her whatever she might ask for." (Mt. 14:7). Herodias, under the influence of Satan, whispered to her daughter to ask for John the Baptist's head on a platter. Herod had no choice to meet her demand since he promised her whatever she might ask for in front of witnesses and guests.

How many times has Satan entered our lives? Maybe it has not been as drastic as asking for someone's head on a platter but he is at work each and everyday. The futher out we are from God, the easier his temptations become. That is why it is so important to pray and to take some time out each day to meditate on the Word of God. Even if it's for 10 min a day. Those small steps lead to bigger ones and soon enough, Satan has no power over us. 

"Lord, you are my strength. Keep the evil one away so that I may focus on your wisdom and love for me." - Amen

Meditation: Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24 (


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Friday, August 3, 2012

Aug 3, 2012 - Matthew 13:54-58

In today's Gospel, Jesus attempts to teach in the synagogue in the city where He was born. While teaching there, the leaders of the synagogue were astonished at his "wisdom and mighty deeds" (Mt 13-54). I thought to you myself, how would I react today if I had known Jesus all my life and he started performing miracles and wonderous deeds? Would I believe in him or would I write him off as crazy or pretentious?

It's easier to question and use logical explanations to reason away something new to us rather than to trust and accept what your eyes see. And because his own townsmen did not believe in him, he chose not to teach there due to their "lack of faith" (Mt 13-58). This decision by Jesus can be compared to the sowing parable where "the one who hears the word and understands it" (Mt 13-23) will bear fruit.

The verse that spoke to me today is "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house." (Mt 13-57). This verse speaks volumes of how we treat our family and friends and we grow complacent with each other. If we can choose to treat each situation with a new way of looking at things, we too will bear fruit to understand and serve the Lord.

"Lord, give be wisdom to understand your teachings so that I do not grow complacent in my understanding. Teach me to learn and accept new things to grow and serve you" - Amen

Meditation: Matthew 13:54-58 (

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aug 1, 2012 - Matthew 13:44-46

Today's first reading, Jer 15:10, 16-21, speaks to us about repentence. One particular verse stood out for me that says "in my presence you shall stand". I've often thought about how life would be in isolation without God. I recall the many times that I have chosen to distance myself from God. But even during those times, God was always trying to reach out to me. It was not until I truly repented that I felt God's presence in my heart.

The Lord goes on to say, "For I am with you to deliver and rescue you".  What a wonderful feeling to know that God is with me to lift me up when I fall. That is why our sacrament of reconiliation is so vital to being closer to God.

"Lord, you life me up when I fall. I accept you as my Savior and only wish to do good. Free me from the shackles of sin, so that you may deliver me and rescue me"  - Amen

Meditation: Matthew 13:44-46 (

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