Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist ~ 24 June 2018



St. John the Baptist’s birth, like that of Jesus, was heralded by the angel Gabriel. Both their birth were miraculously the work of God, where Jesus was born of a virgin, while John was born to a barren woman of old age. 


Luke 1:24-37
After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

The Gospel of Luke, implies that St. John the Baptist was born six months earlier than Jesus (25 December). John the Baptist knew that he had been called by God to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah: “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:3) When the time came for Christ to start His ministry, John pointed his disciples to Christ and encouraged them to follow Him: The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37)

St. John the Baptist preached about repentance and baptized people in water. St. John the Baptist is known for foretelling of the Messiah, the coming of Jesus in the New Testament, preparing the way for Jesus, announced his presence, and baptised him in the Jordan River. Jesus Christ called him the greatest of men.

Matthew 11:11
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Love your enemies and pray for them


What makes the disciples of Jesus different from others and what makes Christianity distinct from any other religion? It is grace - treating others, not as they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated - with loving-kindness, forbearance, and mercy. God is good to the unjust as well as the just. His love embraces saint and sinner alike. God seeks our highest good and teaches us to seek the greatest good of others, even those who hate and abuse us. 

Overcome evil with good
Our love for others, even those who are ungrateful and selfish towards us, must be marked by the same kindness and mercy which God has shown to us. It is easier to show kindness and mercy when we can expect to benefit from doing so. How much harder when we can expect nothing in return. Our prayer for those who do us ill both breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love to do good in the face of evil.

Christ's redeeming love and mercy frees us from all hatred and malice towards others
How can we possibly love those who cause us harm or ill-will? With God all things are possible. He gives power and grace to those who believe and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. His love conquers all, even our hurts, fears, prejudices and griefs. Only the cross of Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and gives us the courage to return evil with good. Such love and grace has power to heal and to save from destruction. Do you know the power of Christ’s redeeming love and mercy?

Allow the Holy Spirit to change and transform the way you think, judge, and treat others
Was Jesus exaggerating when he said we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? The original meaning of "perfect" in Aramaic is "completeness" or "wholeness - not lacking in what is essential." God gives us every good gift in Jesus Christ so that we may not lack anything we need to do his will and to live as his sons and daughters (2 Peter 1:3). He knows our weakness and sinfulness better than we do. And he assures us of his love, mercy, and grace to follow in his ways. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Ask the Holy Spirit to change and transform you in the image of the Father that you may walk in the joy and freedom of the Gospel.

Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Be reconciled to your brother


Are you ever driven by anger, rage, or revenge? The first person to hate his brother was Cain, the son of Adam and Eve. God warned Cain: Why are you angry? ..Sin is couching at the door; it's desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:6-7). Sin doesn't just happen to us - it first grows as a tiny seed in our heart. Unless it is uprooted by God's grace, it grows like a weed and chokes the vine and all its fruit.

Forbidden anger must be uprooted from our heart
Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples. The scribes and Pharisees equated righteousness with satisfying the outward observance of the law. Jesus showed them how short they had come. Jesus points to the heart as the seat of desire and choice. Unless evil and forbidden desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted. Jesus points to forbidden anger with one's brother. This is a selfish anger that broods and is long-lived, that nurses a grudge and keeps wrath warm, and that refuses to die. Harboring anger in the heart as well as anger in speech and action are equally forbidden by God.

God's love and truth sets us free from anger and malice
What is the antidote to anger and rage? Mercy, kindness, and forbearance spring from a heart full of love and forgiveness. God has forgiven us and he calls us to extend mercy and forgiveness towards those who cause us grief and harm. In the cross of Jesus we see the supreme example of love and forgiveness and the power of goodness for overcoming evil. Only God's love and grace can set our hearts and minds free from the tyranny of wounded pride and spiteful revenge. 

Do you harbor any anger towards another person? And are you quick to be reconciled when a rupture has been caused in your relationships? Ask God to set you free and to fill your heart and mind with his love and goodness. Paul the Apostle reminds us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). Through the grace and help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome malice with good, hatred with kindness, and injury with pardon.

May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

St. Anne Feast and Novena 2018 ~ Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Perai, Penang.

20 July 2018 ~ 29 July 2018






St.Anne Feast and Novena ~ 2018 ~ Church of St.Anne Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Theme: BE DISCIPLES OF HOPE
20 July 2018 ~ 29 July 2018







His mother kept all these things in her heart


Do you know the pain and grief of losing someone close to you? Mary and Joseph must have felt anxious and helpless when the boy Jesus disappeared. Nonetheless they returned to Jerusalem with confident trust that God would guide them in their hour of trial. 

Why did Jesus stay back in Jerusalem when his parents left for home? Just as the prophet Samuel heard the call of the Lord at a very young age, Jesus in his youth recognized that he has been given a call by his heavenly Father. His answer to his mother's anxious inquiry reveals his trusting faith and confident determination to pursue his heavenly Father's will. Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house? Our Heavenly Father calls each of us. With the call God gives grace - grace to say "yes" to his will and grace to persevere through obstacles and trials. Do you recognize God's call on your life and do you trust in his grace?

Lord Jesus, in love you have called me to live for your praise and glory. May I always find joy in your presence and trust in your wise and loving plan for my life.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

What actually happens when we pray to Mary?

Let us begin by saying what does not happen. 

Mary does not, as it were, reach into her pocket, take out our request and give it to us. She lacks the power to grant our requests. She is a creature.She is not the Creator. 

When we pray to Mary, we are really saying to her, "Will you who are so close and dear to your Son speak to Him on my behalf? Will you ask Him to mediate with His Father for me in this need?"

Precisely because Mary is so close and dear to her Son, that her Son listens with the greatest attention.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus ~ 8 June 2018


19 days after Pentecost Sunday, today (the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi) is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Close to the Heart of the Son is the Heart of the Mother whom the Church celebrates the day after the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let it again be the Holy Father who illuminates us with regard to this mystery: “The heart that resembles that of Christ more than any other is without a doubt the Heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and for this very reason the liturgy holds them up together for our veneration. Responding to the Virgin's invitation at Fatima, let us entrust the whole world to her Immaculate Heart, which we contemplated yesterday in a special way, so that it may experience the merciful love of God and know true peace” (Benedict XVI, Angelus 5 June 2005).

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

During Holy Mass, I was given the knowledge of the Heart of Jesus and of the nature of the fire of love with which He burns for us and of how He is an Ocean of Mercy. Then I heard a voice: Apostle of My mercy, proclaim to the whole world My unfathomable mercy. Do not be discouraged by the difficulties you encounter in proclaiming My mercy. These difficulties that affect you so painfully are needed for your sanctification and as evidence that this work is Mine. My daughter, be diligent in writing down every sentence I tell you concerning My mercy, because this is meant for a great number of souls who will profit from it." 
(Saint Faustina's Diary 1142)

In a vision Christ asked St. Margaret Mary to request that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, in reparation for the ingratitude of men for the sacrifice that Christ had made for them. The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not simply His physical heart but His love for all mankind.

"I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment" 
(Jesus to St. Margaret Mary).

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. 
R. Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially to the Word of God.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts.
Heart of Jesus, in whom art all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who call upon Thee.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness.
Heart of Jesus, expiation for our offenses.
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities.
Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which he renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to those who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.
.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

If your hand or eye causes you to sin


Who in their right mind would want to lose their reward and then be deprived of joy in the end? We have been given the greatest of rewards - God himself who is perfect love and source of abundant life and unending happiness. Paul the Apostle tells us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). God's love purifies our hearts and compels us to express kindness and charity towards our neighbor who is created in the image and likeness of God. We were created in love for love. The charity we show to our neighbors in their need expresses the gratitude we have for the abundant goodness and kindness of God towards us. Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not lose its reward. Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples we are called to be kind and generous as he is.

Gregory of Nyssa (330-395 AD), an early church father wrote: 

"God never asks his servants to do what is impossible. The love and goodness of his Godhead is revealed as richly available. It is poured out like water upon all. God furnishes to each person according to his will the ability to do something good. None of those seeking to be saved will be lacking in this ability, given by the one who said: 'whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward'" 
(ON THE CHRISTIAN MODE OF LIFE 8.1) 

Do you allow the love of Christ to transform your heart that you may treat your neighbor with loving-kindness and mercy?

Avoiding evil and the near occasion of sin 
Was Jesus' exaggerating when he urged his followers to use drastic measures to avoid evil and its harmful consequences (Mark 9:42-47? Jesus set before his disciples the one supreme goal in life that is worth any sacrifice, and that goal is God himself and his will for our lives which leads to everlasting peace and happiness. Just as a doctor might remove a limb or some part of the body in order to preserve the life of the whole body, so we must be ready to part with anything that causes us to sin and which leads to spiritual death. 

Jesus warns his disciples of the terrible responsibility that they must set no stumbling block in the way of another, that is, not give offense or bad example that might lead another to sin. The Greek word for temptation ( scandalon) is exactly the same as the English word scandal. The original meaning of scandal is a trap or a stumbling block which causes one to trip and fall. The Jews held that it was an unforgivable sin to teach another to sin. If we teach another to sin, he or she in turn may teach still another, until a train of sin is set in motion with no foreseeable end. The young in faith are especially vulnerable to the bad example of those who should be passing on the faith. Do you set a good example for others to follow, especially the young?

Salt and fire 
What does Jesus mean when he says "have salt in yourselves" (Mark 9:50)? Salt served a very useful purpose in hot climates before the invention of electricity and refrigeration. Salt not only gave food flavor, it also preserved meat from spoiling. Salt was used as a symbol of fellowship and the sharing of a common meal with one's friends. The near-Eastern expression to betray the salt meant to betray one's Lord or Master or one's friends. Leonardo da Vinci in his painting of the Last Supper depicts Judas in the act of tipping over the salt shaker, thus symbolically indentifying himself as the betrayer of his Master the Lord Jesus.

Jesus used the image of salt to describe how his disciples are to live in the world. As salt purifies, preserves, and produces rich flavor for food, so the disciple of Christ must be salt in the world of human society to purify, preserve, and bring the flavor of God's kingdom of righteousness, peace, joy, and mercy. What did Jesus mean by the expression "salted with fire" and "salt losing its saltiness"? Salt in the ancient world was often put in ovens to intensify the heat. When the salt was burned off and no longer useful it was thrown out on the foot path where it would easily get trodden upon (Matthew 5:13) . Perhaps Jesus wanted to contrast useful salt and salt which lost its ability to prevent corruption to encourage his disciples to bring the rich flavor of Christ's love, holiness, and righteousness to a world dominated by greed, selfish ambition, and neglect for the weak, poor, and defenseless.

Paul the Apostle reminds us that we are called to be "the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life" (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ). The Lord Jesus wants the fragrance of his love and righteousness to permeate our lives, thoughts, speech, and actions. Do you allow the fragrance of Christ's love and truth to permeate your relationships and circle of influence, especially among your family, friends, and neighbors?

Lord Jesus, fill me with the fragrance of your love and truth that I may radiate the joy and peace of the Gospel wherever I go and with whomever I meet.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Monday, 21 May 2018

The Names that point to Jesus (Yahshuah) ~ Genesis 5 through the genealogy of Adam to Noah



HEBREW ROOT OF NAMES IN GENESIS

(Genesis 5:3-5) 
Adam = “Man”

(Genesis 5:3, 6-8) 
Seth = “Appointed”

(Genesis 5:6, 9-11) 
Enosh = “Mortal”

(Genesis 5:9, 12-14) 
Kenan (Cainan) = “Sorrow”

(Genesis 5:12, 15-18) 
Mahalalel = “The Blessed God”

(Genesis 5:15, 18-20) 
Jared = “Shall come down”

(Genesis 5:18, 21-24) 
Enoch = “Teaching”

(Genesis 5:21, 25-27) 
Methuselah = “His death shall bring”

(Genesis 5: 25, 28-31) 
Lamech = “The Despairing”

(Genesis 5:28-29) 
Noah = “Rest, Comfort”

Hidden in Genesis 5, the meaning of the names in the genealogy, is a beautiful presentation of the gospel of saving grace. Godhad already laid out His plan of redemption for the predicament of
mankind.
“Man, is appointed mortal sorrow; The Blessed God shall come down, teaching. His death shall bring the despairing Rest ­and Comfort.”


Sunday, 20 May 2018

The immensity of what Jesus has done for us


Why do we often compare ourselves with others? Do we envy those who seem more fortunate than ourselves? Why did Peter question Jesus about John's future? Jesus had predicted that Peter was to suffer and die as a martyr for his faith. What would John's fate be? Jesus seems to indicate that John would live a long life - in fact he outlived all the other apostles.

Jesus says, "Follow me and you will have life in abundance" 
While Peter and John were both called as disciples of Jesus, each was given a particular task and mission to fulfill. When Peter questions John's role, Jesus responds, "What is that to you? Follow me!" Peter's given task was to "shepherd the sheep of Christ," and in the end to die as a martyr for the Lord Jesus. John's role was preeminently to witness to the risen Lord Jesus and to give his testimony to the Gospel account of Jesus' identity as the divine Son of God who became a man to save us from sin, Satan, and death (John 20:31). John lived to long age and wrote the Gospel as his testimony to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus does not cease to do great works of power and love through his people today 
John ends his Gospel with an astonishing remark: "Human books cannot exhaust the person and work of Jesus Christ." His power is inexhaustible, his grace is limitless, his wisdom unfathomable, his triumphs are innumerable, and his love is unquenchable. We can never say enough of the power, majesty and glory which belongs to Jesus Christ alone. Do you witness to others the joy of the Gospel message that Jesus died for us to bring us new life, freedom, love and power to live as his disciples?

May the power of your love, Lord Christ, fiery and sweet as honey, so absorb our hearts as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. Grant that we may be ready to die for love of your love, as you died for love of our love.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 

hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Friday, 18 May 2018

Prayer to Infant Jesus of Prague


DEAREST JESUS, little Infant of Prague, 
how tenderly you love us! 
Your greatest joy is to dwell among us 
and to bestow your blessing upon us. 
Though I am not worthy that you should help me, 
I feel drawn to you by love 
because you are kind and merciful. 
So many who turned to you 
with confidence have received blessings 
and had their petitions granted. 
Behold me as I come before you 
to lay open my heart to you 
with its prayers and hopes. 
I present to you especially this request, 
which I enclose in your loving Heart 
(state your request)
Rule over me, dear Infant Jesus, 
and do with me and mine 
according to your holy will, 
for I know that in your divine wisdom and love 
you will arrange everything for the best. 
Do not withdraw your hand from me, 
but protect and bless me forever. 
I pray you, 
all-powerful and gracious Infant Jesus, 
for the sake of your sacred infancy, 
in the name of your blessed Mother Mary 
who cared for you with such tenderness, 
and by the greatest reverence 
with which St. Joseph carried you in his arms, 
help me in my needs. 
Make me truly happy with you, 
dearest Infant, in time and in eternity, 
and I shall thank you forever 
with all my heart. 
AMEN.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Ask in Jesus' name, that your joy may be full


Do you pray with confidence to your heavenly Father? Jesus often taught his disciples by way of illustration or parable. Here he speaks not in "figures" (the same word used for parables), but in plain speech. Jesus revealed to them the hidden treasure of the heavenly kingdom and he taught them how to pray to the Father in his name. Now Jesus opens his heart and speaks in the plainest of language: "The Father himself loves you!" How can the disciples be certain of this?

The Lord Jesus unites us with the Father through the love and power of the Holy Spirit 
Paul the Apostle states that "All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus makes it possible for his disciples to have a new relationship as sons and daughters of God the Father (Romans 8:14-17). No one would have dared to call God his or her Father before this! Because of what Jesus has done for us in offering his life for our redemption we now can boldly and confidently pray to God as our Father in heaven. 

The presence and action of the Holy Spirit within us is living proof of this new relationship with the Father. Paul the Apostles says that "when we cry, ‘Abba! Father!' it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Romans 8:15-16).

We can boldly approach God as our Father and ask him for the things we need. In love he bids us to draw near to his throne of grace and mercy. Do you approach the Father with confidence in his love and with expectant faith in his promise to hear your prayers?

Heavenly Father, your love knows no bounds and your mercies are new every day. Fill me with gratitude for your countless blessings and draw me near to your throne of grace and mercy. Give me confidence and boldness to pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East