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, 20 July 2017

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary ~ 26 July 2017


The Catholic Church commemorates the memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. After years of childlessness, an angel appeared to announce to Anne and Joachim that their sorrow will end and they would soon have a child. Anne promised that the child would be dedicated to God. It was part of God's great plan for our salvation that all generations would honor their future child, as this child will bear our Saviour Jesus Christ.


O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. 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.


Reading 1
Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
The children of Israel set out from Elim,
and came into the desert of Sin,
which is between Elim and Sinai,
on the fifteenth day of the second month
after their departure from the land of Egypt.
Here in the desert the whole assembly of the children of Israel
grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The children of Israel said to them,
"Would that we had died at the LORD's hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!"

Then the LORD said to Moses,
"I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.
On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in,
let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days."

Then Moses said to Aaron, "Tell the whole congregation
of the children of Israel:
Present yourselves before the LORD,
for he has heard your grumbling."
When Aaron announced this to the whole assembly of the children of Israel,
they turned toward the desert, and lo,
the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud!
The LORD spoke to Moses and said,
"I have heard the grumbling of the children of Israel.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God."

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the children of Israel asked one another, "What is this?"
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
"This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat."



Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
They tempted God in their hearts
by demanding the food they craved.
Yes, they spoke against God, saying,
"Can God spread a table in the desert?"
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Yet he commanded the skies above
and the doors of heaven he opened;
He rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
He stirred up the east wind in the heavens,
and by his power brought on the south wind.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
And he rained meat upon them like dust,
and, like the sand of the sea, winged fowl,
Which fell in the midst of their camp
round about their tents.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.


Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
All who come to him will live for ever.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
Matthew 13:1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
"A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Feast of St. Anne ~ 2017 ~ Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia


Heavenly things revealed to infants


Do you want to know the mind and thoughts of God? Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus' prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time he shows loving care and goodness toward all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15).

Pride and inordinate love of self 
Jesus' prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the things of God? Certainly intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness. Pride is the root of all vice and the strongest influence propelling us to sin. It first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God's truth and wisdom for our lives. What is pride? It is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one's own learning and importance.

Simplicity of heart 
Jesus contrasts intellectual pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like "infants" in the sense that they see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in the one who is greater, wiser, and more trustworthy. They seek one thing - the "summum bonum" or "greatest good," who is God himself. Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards grace and truth. Just as pride is the root of every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him, as God, to do all. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive true wisdom and understanding of God and his ways. Do you submit to God's word with simple trust and humility?

Jesus reveals the Father to us 
Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make - he is the perfect revelation of God. One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like.

In Jesus we see the perfect love of God - a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the perfect revelation of God - a God who loves us completely, unconditionally, and perfectly. Jesus also promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven ..give us this day our daily bread. Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you?

Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.

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

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Prayers for those living with debt


Father, we pray for the many who are trapped by growing burdens of debt, 
who see no way out, and who despair for their future: 
give them courage to tackle the problems they face, 
clarity in taking decisions which will turn their situation around, 
and faith that, as they cry to you in their trouble, 
you will deliver them from their distress; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.



God of power, you are strong to save 
and you never fail those who trust in you. 
Keep under your protection all who suffer as 
a result of debt: 
help them through their time of darkness, 
give wisdom to all who seek to help, 
and bring them to know true freedom 
in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.

In You alone, my Lord, I take refuge and put all my Trust

Psalm 71

1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

7 I have been like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me,
and those who watch for my life consult together.
11 They say, “Pursue and seize that person
whom God has forsaken,
for there is no one to deliver.”

12 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
let those who seek to hurt me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually,
and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all day long,
though their number is past my knowledge.
16 I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.

17 O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
to all the generations to come.
Your power 
19 and your righteousness, O God,
reach the high heavens.

You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my honor,
and comfort me once again.

22 I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have rescued.
24 All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help,
for those who tried to do me harm
have been put to shame, and disgraced.

Prayer to Our Lady of Light / Pragasa Matha Prayer


*    *    *    *    *    *

*    *    *    *    *    *


Oh Lady of Light, Owner of all Graces,
Cover us with Your mantle resplendent,
For You are the Light that Guides us through darkness,
And through Your immense mercy You give us,
Strength and nourishment to follow our path,
That takes us to You, Oh Full of Grace.

Our Lady, illuminated through the Holy Spirit,
Mother of Our Lord, Our Fountain of Light,
You are our strength and our way,
And You protect us among mountains and valleys,
Through deserts and islands, in the suffering and tortures,
In the persecutions and temptations that we suffer.

Oh Our Lady of Light, Our Mother,
Cover us with Your interminable Glory,
And continue to illuminate our way,
With Your interminable and Divine Light,
That nothing else do we want to see,
Only the wonders of Your Presence.

Oh Our Lady of Light, Mother of God,
Help us through Your infinite goodness,
To face all dangers and temptations,
So that with Your precious aid,
We may follow our way with Your Light,
And far from the Shadows of Darkness. 

Amen

Saint Francis of Assisi ~ How to preach?

When one of Saint Francis of Assisi’s followers insisted that he teach him how to preach, he answered thus: “Brother, when we visit the sick, help children, and feed the poor, we are already preaching.”

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The salt of the earth and light of the world


Jesus used ordinary images, such as salt and light, to convey extraordinary truths that transform our minds, hearts, and lives. What does salt and light have to teach us about God and the transforming power of his kingdom? Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. People traded with it, like we trade with valuable goods, such as gold and stock. Salt also served a very useful purpose, especially in warmer climates before the invention of electricity and refrigeration. Salt not only gave rich flavor to food, it also preserved food from going bad and being spoiled.

God's power at work within us purifies and enriches our lives 
Jesus used the image of salt to describe the transforming effect of God's work in our lives - and how the Holy Spirit wants to work in and through us to bring the power and blessing of God's kingdom to others. As salt purifies, preserves, and produces rich flavor for our daily food, we, too, as disciples of Jesus, are "salt" for the world of human society. The Lord wants to work in and through us to purify, preserve, and spread the rich flavor of God's kingdom everywhere - his "kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).

Don't lose your saltiness 
What did Jesus mean by the expression "if salt has lost its taste... it is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot" (Matthew 5:13)? Salt in the ancient world was often put into ovens to intensify the heat. When the salt was burned off and no longer useful it was thrown out on the ground where it would get stepped on and swept away (Matthew 5:13).

How can we lose our "saltiness" - the power of God's rich grace and strength at work in us? If we allow the world (which is opposed to God's truth and moral goodness), and sinful habits, and Satan's lies and deception to corrupt our minds and hearts, then we will lose the rich flavor and strength of God which preserves us from moral and spiritual corruption. The Lord wants us to preserve and enrich our "saltiness" - through Godly living and the rejection of sin - not only for our own sake but also for the sake of others who will be impacted by our witness and behavior.

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 ). Do you allow the fragrance of Christ's love, truth, and holiness to permeate every area of your life, your thoughts, words, actions, and relationships?

Let the light of Christ shine brightly in and through you for all to see
Jesus used the image of light and a lamp to further his illustration of God's transforming work in and through us. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood "light" as symbol or expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God. In his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105). God's grace not only dispels the darkness in our lives, it also fills us with the light of Christ's truth, wisdom, joy, and peace.

Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illuminates the darkness and enables one to see cleary, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God's kingdom (Ephesians 5:13-14). Our mission is to be light-bearers of Jesus Christ so that others may see the truth of the Gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception.

There is great freedom and joy for those who live in the light of God's truth and goodness. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God's light?

Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed.

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

Pope Francis dedicates prayer in July 2017 for those who have distant and strayed from faith


Pope Francis asked Christians to be a witness of joy and faith to all those who have strayed from the faith and are sad because they have distanced themselves from Jesus. “We must not leave them alone!, we should offer them Christian hope with our words, yes, but more with our testimony, with our freedom, with our joy.” “Let us never forget that our joy is Jesus Christ - his faithful and inexhaustible love,” said Pope Francis. Ending Pope Francis said, “let us pray that our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the beauty of the Christian life.”


Friday, 7 July 2017

Take heart - your sins are forgiven


What cripples the mind and heart and stifles the healing power of love? Sin and unforgiveness for certain! Sin cripples us more than any physical ailment can. Sin is the work of the kingdom of darkness and it holds us in eternal bondage. There is only one solution and that is the healing, cleansing power of Jesus' forgiveness.

Power of forgiveness 
Jesus' treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day. When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of the faith of his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable. He first forgave the man his sins. The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because they understood that only God had authority to forgive sins and to unbind a man or woman from their burden of guilt. Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give. Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God's redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well.

Healing body, mind, and soul
The Lord Jesus is ever ready to bring us healing of mind, body, and soul. His grace brings us freedom from the power of sin and from bondage to harmful desires and addictions. Do you allow anything to keep you from Jesus' healing power?

Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, mind, and soul. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life - my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offences and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in your truth and goodness.

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


God is always with us, especially in our lowest times


It's a good feeling
when God shows up
just in time, but
the best feeling 
is when you realise 
He has never 
left you
AMEN.

Nothing is BIGGER than GOD's GRACE



I am a Christian
I am not perfect,
I make mistakes,
I mess up,
But GOD's GRACE is BIGGER
than my sins.
AMEN.

JESUS Alone


JESUS
You alone can forgive my sins
You alone are my Saviour
You alone comfort me
You alone grant me favour
You alone can search my heart
You alone can change my disposition
You alone can heal my body and soul
You alone are the Great Physician
You alone are the Great I AM
You alone are worthy of all
Glory, Honour, and Praise.
AMEN.