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, 26 January 2017

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister


Who do you love and cherish the most? God did not intend for us to be alone, but to be with others. He gives us many opportunities for developing relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Why did Jesus, on this occasion, seem to ignore his own relatives when they pressed to see him? His love and respect for his mother and his relatives was unquestionable. Jesus never lost an opportunity to teach his disciples a spiritual lesson and truth about the kingdom of God. On this occasion when many gathered to hear Jesus he pointed to another higher reality of relationships, namely our relationship with God and with those who belong to God.

What is the essence of being a Christian? It is certainly more than doctrine, precepts, and commandments. It is first and foremost a relationship - a relationship of trust, affection, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, mercy, helpfulness, encouragement, support, strength, protection, and so many other qualities that bind people together in mutual love and unity. God offers us the greatest of relationships - union of heart, mind, and spirit with himself, the very author and source of love (1 John 4:8,16).

God's love never fails, never forgets, never compromises, never lies, never lets us down nor disappoints us. His love is consistent, unwavering, unconditional, and unstoppable. We may choose to separate ourselves from him, but nothing will make him ignore us, leave us, or treat us unkindly. He will pursue us, love us, and call us to return to him no matter what might stand in the way. It is his nature to love. That is why he created us - to be united with him and to share in his love and unity of persons (1 John 3:1). God is a trinity of persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and a community of love. That is why Jesus challenged his followers and even his own earthly relatives to recognize that God is the true source of all relationships. God wants all of our relationships to be rooted in his love.

Jesus is God's love incarnate - God's love made visible in human flesh (1 John 4:9-10). That is why Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep and the shepherd who seeks out the sheep who have strayed and lost their way. God is like the father who yearns for his prodigal son to return home and then throws a great party for his son when he has a change of heart and comes back (Luke 15:11-32). Jesus offered up his life on the cross for our sake, so that we could be forgiven and restored to unity and friendship with God. It is through Jesus that we become the adopted children of God - his own sons and daughters. That is why Jesus told his disciples that they would have many new friends and family relationships in his kingdom. Whoever does the will of God is a friend of God and a member of his family - his sons and daughters who have been ransomed by the precious blood of Christ.

An early Christian martyr once said that "a Christian's only relatives are the saints" - namely those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and adopted as sons and daughters of God. Those who have been baptized into Jesus Christ and who live as his disciples enter into a new family, a family of "saints" here on earth and in heaven. Jesus changes the order of relationships and shows that true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood. Our adoption as sons and daughters of God transforms all of our relationships and requires a new order of loyalty to God first and to his kingdom of righteousness and peace. Do you want to grow in love and friendship? Allow God's Holy Spirit to transform your heart, mind, and will to enable you to love freely and generously as he loves.

Heavenly Father, you are the source of all true friendship and love. In all my relationships, may your love be my constant guide for choosing what is good and for rejecting what is contrary to your will.

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

Love God with all your Heart


"If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, 
and my Father will love him, and we will come to him 
and make our home with him."
John 14:23




Our faith calls us to reflect on and renew our commitments to God. This process of continuous conversion affirms the strength of our faith, as it also challenges us to keep growing in faith.

We are well aware that our daily lives are often filled with many blessings. Our spiritual lives are also filled with blessings—including the promise God makes to us for eternal life with Him, the promise we make to God to live as He asks us, and the promise of hope we receive through our devotion to St. Jude. Every promise requires work to stay true to it, even as our lives require flexibility and openness. In our spiritual life, that work is in part about humbling ourselves to keep Christ’s way embedded in how we approach our challenges as well as our gifts.

One of God’s gifts is our free will, which gives us both profound freedom and profound responsibility. We have choices to make every day about when and how our faith is going to guide our decisions. Our hope is that we will remain strong in our faith, so that our commitments to God are never far from our thoughts and actions.

The more we draw on our faith in God as we make decisions that take into account what He asks of us—the more we feel, and in turn know—the reality of His presence. When we know God is a part of us, we are better able to understand His grace and what that means for our lives day-to-day, as well as on a spiritual level.


source: www.shrineofstjude.org/

St.Expedite, I thank you for prayers answered, I will make your sainthood known, continue to help me as I still need your urgent help

Dearest St. Expedite, you are the patron saint for causes that need urgent and speedy help, I am currently facing difficulties where I am really in urgent desperate need and hopeless as time is running out, therefore I seek and in need your urgent and speedy miraculous help by your intercession and prayer to Jesus. Many who needed urgent help have felt and received your speedy and fast miraculous power through Jesus having their petitions answered. Therefore, I who is currently going through storms in my life, and in need of your power intercession and prayer in overcoming the difficulties that I have been facing for several months which have become beyond my means and require urgent help. I have been diagnosed to be suffering from severe OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) whereby my sleep at night is disrupted over 600 times/8hours caused by obstruction of the upper airway (windpipe) when the throat muscles intermittently relax (repetitive pauses) and block my airway during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. And now I need to buy CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) which cost RM5600~RM5800 to use every night to ensure my airways is always open for breathing. I am also have financial difficulties where I have backlogs with the banks and some people, and also bills unpaid for almost 3 months which I unable solve by myself due to the sum is huge and these people are chasing me each and every day, sending legal notices making me even more worried as things are beyond me. I have tried my very best to pay but I am not able pay all as I don’t have enough resource to all or the minimum. Therefore, I put all my trust, hope and believe in the hands of God and Jesus, I know I am a sinner and may they show their mercy upon me, and do not left me be put to shame or disgrace but saved and restore me. Only miracle from Jesus by the will of the Father in Heaven can heal and provide for my solution to the above mess that I have caused in my life. I want and vow to change my ways and character for the better, by the help from Jesus and the Father through your intercession and prayer, dearest St. Expedite. I feel so hopeless, impossible, desperate and worried, I urgently need your speedy miraculous intercession and prayer, which I truly believe will be answered, and the help needed soon come from Jesus with the will of Father. Dear St. Expedite, granting me your favor and help, I promise that I will make you known and spread the you miraculous prayer to all that need your help and those who don’t still know you, whatever the outcome of my petition above may be. Dear St. Expedite, I am truly confident in you and I know my petition and cry is being heard by you and you are already working on my urgent request and they will surely be answered soon and in time, Amen.



Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 ~ 

THIS IS NOT A SCAM
I am really going through hard times.
If you have the Heart and Willing to Help, 
you may send me a email at
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HELP through...
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From darkness and death to light and life


Do you know the joy and freedom of the c (Gospel) of the kingdom of God? John the Baptist’s enemies had sought to silence him, but the good news of God's kingdom of salvation cannot be silenced. As soon as John had finished his testimony Jesus began his in Galilee. Galilee was at the crossroads of the world and much traffic passed through this little region. It had been assigned to the tribes of Asher, Naptali and Zebulum when the Israelites first came into the land (see Joshua 9). For a long time it had been under Gentile occupation (non-Jewish nations).


Jesus brings the light and truth of salvation to the world 

The prophet Isaiah foretold that the good news of salvation would reach Jews and Gentiles in the "land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations" (Isaiah 9:1). Jesus begins the proclamation of the Gospel here to fulfill the word of God. The Old Testament prophets spoke of God’s promise to send a Redeemer who would establish God's rule. That time is now fulfilled in Jesus who brings the light and truth of the Gospel to the world.


The "good news" brings peace, hope, truth, promise, immortality, and salvation

Jesus takes up John's message of repentance and calls his hearers to believe in the good news he has come to deliver. What is the good news which Jesus brings? It is the good news of peace - the Lord comes to reconcile and restore us to friendship with God. The good news of hope - the Lord comes to dwell with us and to give us a home with him in his heavenly kingdom. The good news of truth - the Lord Jesus sets us free from the lies and deception of Satan and opens our mind to understand the truth and revelation of God's word (John 8:32). The good news of promise - Jesus fulfills the promise of God to reward those who seek him with the treasure of heaven. The good news of immortality - Jesus overcomes sin and death for us in order to raise our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body which will never die again. And the good news of salvation - the Lord Jesus delivers us from every fear, every sin, and every obstacle that would keep us from entering his everlasting kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy.

The Gospel is the power and the wisdom of God - both power to change and transform our lives and wisdom to show us how to live as sons and daughters of our Father in heaven. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord makes it possible for us to receive his word with faith and to act upon it with trust and obedience.


The Gospel demands a response of faith and obedience to God's gift of salvation

In announcing the good news, Jesus makes two demands: repent and believe! Repentance requires a change of course - a turning away from sin and disobedience and a turning towards the Lord with faith and submission to his word of truth and righteousness (right living according to God's truth and moral goodness). The Holy Spirit gives us a repentant heart, a true sorrow and hatred for sin and its bad consequences ( the wages of sin is death - Romans 6:23), and a firm resolution to avoid whatever would lead us into sin. The Holy Spirit gives us grace to see our sin for what it is - rebellion and a rejection of the love of God. God's grace helps us to turn away from all that would keep us from his love.


We believe, hope, and love Him because He loved us first and drew us to Himself

Faith or belief is an entirely free gift which God makes to us. Believing is only possible by grace and the help of the Holy Spirit who moves the heart and converts it to God. The Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the mind and makes it possible for us to accept and to grow in our understanding of the truth. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit we can know God personally and the truth he reveals to us through his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. To believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior is to accept God's revelation of his Son as the eternal Word of God and the Redeemer who delivers us from the tyranny of sin, Satan, and death. Out of his great love for us God the Father made the supreme sacrifice of his Son on the cross to atone for our sins and to bring us back to himself.

Do you want to grow in the knowledge of God's love and truth? Ask the Holy Spirit to renew in you the gift of faith, the love of wisdom, and the heart of a disciple who desires to follow the Lord Jesus and his will for your life.

Lord Jesus, your ways are life and light! Let your word penetrate my heart and transform my mind that I may see your power and glory. Help me to choose your ways and to do what is pleasing to you.

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

Friday, 20 January 2017

All pressed upon Jesus to touch him


Is there anything holding you back from giving yourself to God without fear or reservation? Jesus offered freedom to everyone who sought him out. Wherever Jesus went the people came to him because they had heard about all the wonderful deeds and miracles which he performed. They were hungry for God and desired healing from their afflictions. In faith they pressed upon Jesus to touch him. As they did so power came from Jesus and they were healed. Do you seek to lay hold of Jesus' presence in your life that he may touch and heal you?

Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) remarked:

"It is by faith that we touch Jesus. And far better to touch him by faith than to touch or handle him with the hands only and not by faith. It was no great thing to merely touch him manually. Even his oppressors doubtless touched him when they apprehended him, bound him, and crucified him, but by their ill-motivated touch they lost precisely what they were laying hold of. O worldwide church! It is by touching him faithfully that your 'faith has made you whole' (Isaiah 1:10-18; Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34; Mark 10:52; Luke 8:48; John 20:29)." (excerpt from SERMONS, ON EASTER 148)

Why did Jesus perform so many countless miracles and signs during his earthly ministry? Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD) wrote that these signs and miracles showed that Jesus was truly God - the eternal Word who was made flesh for our salvation:

[Jesus] performed very many wonderful miracles, rebuking demons, delivering from incurable diseases whoever drew near to him, and displaying his own most divine power. He did these works so that both the Jews, who had run together to him, and those from the country of the Greeks might know that Christ was not some ordinary man of those in our degree but, on the contrary, God. He honored these chosen disciples with the dignity of the apostolate. He was the Word that was made man but retained nevertheless his own glory. "For power went forth from him and healed all." Christ did not borrow strength from some other person, but being himself God by nature, even though he had become flesh, he healed them all, by the demonstration of power over the sick. ( COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 25)

Why did the demons tremble in the presence of Jesus (Mark 3:11)? They recognized that his power and authority came from heaven and not from earth. But while they confessed Christ and trembled in his presence, they did not respond in love.

When you read God's word and consider all that Jesus said and did, how do you respond? With indifference, hesitation, or skepticism, or with expectant faith, love, and willing obedience? Ask the Lord Jesus to draw you to himself with increasing faith, fervent love, and eager readiness to do his will.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Inflame my heart with a burning love for you and with an expectant faith in your saving power. Set me free from all that hinders me from drawing closer to you

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

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Lord Jesus can make me clean


Do you seek the Lord Jesus with expectant faith? No one who sought Jesus out was refused his help. Even the untouchables and the outcasts of Jewish society found help in him. Unlike the people of Jesus' time who fled at the sight of a leper, Jesus touched the leper who approached him and he made him whole and clean. Why was this so remarkable? Lepers were outcasts of society. They were driven from their homes and communities and left to fend for themselves. Their physical condition was terrible as they slowly lost the use of their limbs and withered away. They were not only shunned but regarded as "already dead" even by their relatives. The Jewish law forbade anyone from touching or approaching a leper, lest ritual defilement occur.

This leper did something quite remarkable. He approached Jesus confidently and humbly, expecting that Jesus could and would heal him. Normally a leper would be stoned or at least warded off if he tried to come near a rabbi. Jesus not only grants the man his request, but he demonstrates the personal love, compassion, and tenderness of God in his physical touch. The medical knowledge of his day would have regarded such contact as grave risk for incurring infection. Jesus met the man's misery with compassion and tender kindness. He communicated the love and mercy of God in a sign that spoke more eloquently than words. He touched the man and made him clean - not only physically but spiritually as well.

How do you approach those who are difficult to love, or who are shunned by others because they are deformed or have some defect? Do you show them kindness and offer them mercy and help as Jesus did? The Lord is always ready to show us his mercy and to free us from whatever makes us unclean, unapproachable, or unloving towards others.

Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love and make me clean and whole in body, mind, and spirit. May I never doubt your love nor cease to tell others of your mercy and compassion.

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

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Prayer that appeals to St. Expedite to specifically petition Mother Mary in the form of Our Lady of Sorrows on our behalf


My Lord Jesus Christ ...
O Glorious Martyr, Saint Expedite, who was so much loved by the Queen of Heaven, that to you nothing was denied, ask her, please my advocate, that through the sufferings of her Divine Son and her own sorrows, I may receive this day the grace I ask of you; but above all the grace to die first before I commit any mortal sin. Amen. (Note this is a prayer that appeals to St. Expedite to specifically petition Mother Mary in the form of Our Lady of Sorrows on our behalf.)







Followed by:
  • Three Our Fathers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity.
  • One Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • One Hail Mary in Honor of Our Lady of Sorrows.

When we make the sign of the Cross - why left to right?



Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) stated we "make the sign of the cross from the left to the right, because from misery (left) we must cross over to glory (right), just as Christ crossed over from death to life, and from Hades to Paradise."


Jesus healed many who were sick


Who do you take your troubles to? Jesus' disciples freely brought their troubles to him because they found him ready and able to deal with any difficulty, affliction, or sickness which they encountered. When Simon brought Jesus to his home, his mother-in-law was instantly healed because Jesus heard Simon's prayer. Jerome, an early church bible scholar and translator (c. 347-420), reflects on this passage:

"Can you imagine Jesus standing before your bed and you continue sleeping? It is absurd that you would remain in bed in his presence. Where is Jesus? He is already here offering himself to us. 'In the middle,' he says, 'among you he stands, whom you do not recognize' (Cf. John 1:26) 'The kingdom of God is in your midst' (Mark 1:15). Faith beholds Jesus among us. If we are unable to seize his hand, let us prostrate ourselves at his feet. If we are unable to reach his head, let us wash his feet with our tears. Our repentance is the perfume of the Savior. See how costly is the compassion of the Savior."

Do you allow Jesus to be the Lord and healer in your personal life, family, and community? Approach the Lord with expectant faith. God's healing power restores us not only to health but to active service and care of others. There is no trouble he does not want to help us with and there is no bondage he can't set us free from. Do you take your troubles to him with expectant faith that he will help you? 

Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver from harm. There is no trouble nor bondage you cannot overcome. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service.

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

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Jesus manifested his glory at Cana


John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, tells us that Jesus did many signs in the presence of his disciples. John recorded seven of these signs to strengthen our belief that 'Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name' (John 20:30-31). Jesus' first sign took place at a wedding reception in the town of Cana, which was very close to Nazareth in Galilee where Jesus grew up. What does this sign tell us about about Jesus? And what is its significance for us?

From skepticism to belief 
John locates his account of Jesus' first sign by telling us that it occurred on the third day (John 2:1-2). What is the significance of the third day? This is three days after skeptical Nathaniel’s first encounter with Jesus. Philip had encouraged Nathaniel to “come and see” for himself who this Jesus was. When Nathaniel met Jesus, Jesus did something out of the ordinary. He revealed something personal about Nathaniel that only Nathaniel would have known. And then Jesus made a claim: 'You shall see greater things than these.' And he said to Nathaniel, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:50-51). Jesus in so many words told Nathaniel, '“You don't just have to believe my words, what I am saying here. I am going to perform signs that will back up the truth of what I’m saying and prove that I am who I claim to be.' If someone makes that kind of claim to you, you are going to closely watch whatever he does to see if he can make good on the claim. You want to find out if he is genuine or just an imposter or maybe deluded and crazy. 

Turning failure into blessing
Three days later Jesus takes his disciples to a wedding reception and there he does something quite out of the ordinary, right in the middle of the celebration - and during a very embarrassing moment for the bride and groom. When Jesus' mother presses Jesus to do something about the situation, Jesus seems to put her off. But she knows her son very well and understands that Jesus will handle the situation that way he thinks best. 

Why did the wedding party run out of wine in the middle of the feast? Perhaps Jesus contributed to this embarrassing failure by bringing a group of his disciples to the feast at the last minute. But Jesus had a purpose in turning a wedding feast fiasco into a blessing beyond reckoning. He wanted to bless a newly-wed couple and all those at the wedding banquet as well. Everyone received in abundance the best of wine. John describes Jesus' first public miracle as a sign. It is more than simply a demonstration of his power to change nature. It is a sign of what he has come to do - to transform the lives of all who will believe in him. 

Bridegroom of the new Israel 
Why did Jesus pick an ordinary wedding feast in a little out-of-the-way town to perform his first sign and to launch his public ministry? A wedding feast in nearly every culture is a very big event, often the biggest celebration that people experience, because it brings families, neighbors, and sometimes the whole town together. For many people it is the happiest and most memorable occasion in their life. 
For the people of Israel, the wedding feast had a special spiritual significance as well. It came to symbolize God’s special relationship and covenant with the people of Israel. The Old Testament describes God as the Bridegroom of Israel and presents his covenant relationship with the people of God as a spiritual marriage (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:16, 19-20). One of the most powerful images of heaven is the wedding banquet (Revelations 19:7-9). The Bible ends with the invitation to this marriage feast. "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come'" (Revelations 21:17). 

So when Jesus chooses a wedding feast for his first sign, he is giving us a hint about something that will become more explicit when John the Baptist describes Jesus as the betrothed bridegroom of his people (John 3:29). In the other Gospels Jesus also alludes to his role as the bridegroom of the new people of Israel (see Mark 2:18-20; Matthew 9:14-15; Matthew 22:1-14; Matthew 25:6) when he invites both Jews and Gentiles to share in his heavenly banquet at the end of the age (Luke 13:29). 

Changing water into wine
What is so special about Jesus changing water into wine? Any good winemaker knows how to take a watery substance such as grape juice and turn it into wine. First you wait for the grapes to grow and mature. Then you pick the choicest grapes for the best wine you want to make. You crush the grapes into a mush. Then you add some water, yeast, and sugar. You allow this mixture to ferment over a period of several weeks. During that time you skim off the solid material until you are left with pure liquid - wine. Wine must be slightly aged to be drinkable - white wine must sit for half a year, and red wine for a full year. Some of the most famous wines are aged for many years. 

Jesus didn't turn the water into a fruity grape juice, or into ordinary table wine. He instantly produced the finest and most expensive of wines - a fine vintage wine that would normally take years to age. He didn’t produce just enough wine to satisfy the embarrassed bride and groom and guests. He produced 120 gallons! Abundance indeed. The instantaneous turning of water into wine shows Jesus' supernatural power to transform natural things - what is physical and material - into something of a higher order. He has the same power which God possesses - to create, transform, and change creation itself. 

The gift of abundant life
If Jesus can change water into wine for an embarrassed wedding couple, how much more can he change us through the transforming power of his Holy Spirit. John tells us that 'all who received him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God' (John 1:12,13). Jesus gives us abundant life. This sign at Cana points to his power not simply to improve the quality of our lives but to change and transform us to be like him - people of joy, peace, and love who do not fear death, but who know and experience even now the taste of eternal life - the life of God’s kingdom. He gives us everything we need to live as his disciples - as sons and daughters of God.Jesus blessed a nameless couple in Cana, not only with his presence, but with his power. He will bless us as well, not only with his presence, but with his healing love and life-changing power. 

Let go of pride and fear
What might hold us back from allowing Jesus to change and transform us? Perhaps you feel that your faith is weak, or that you are unworthy to receive God's favor and gifts. Perhaps you struggle with anxiety or despair because your life feels hopelessly out of control. Jesus knows our struggles and weaknesses better than we do. And that doesn't stop him from offering us freedom and transformation through the gift and working of his Holy Spirit. 

Paul the Apostle reminds us that God chooses to work in and through fragile and cracked vessels, such as us, to reveal the power of his glory and love. 'We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us' (2 Corinthians 4:7). 

If there is anything holding you back from trusting in Jesus, let it go - give it to Jesus. Let go of fear - fear of losing your life. Let go of pride - wanting to always be in control and get things to go your way. And let go of unbelief - the stubborn refusal to accept Jesus on his own terms and to deny that he has the words of eternal life. Be like Nathaniel and choose to follow the master - to the wedding banquet and beyond, to even greater things. 

Heavenly Father, you have revealed your glory in our Lord Jesus Christ. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may bring you glory in all that I do and say.

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



Jesus taught with authority


Do you believe that God's word has power to set you free and to transform your life? When Jesus taught he spoke with authority. He spoke the word of God as no one had spoken it before. When the Rabbis taught they supported their statements with quotes from other authorities. The prophets spoke with delegated authority - "Thus says the Lord ." When Jesus spoke he needed no authorities to back his statements. He was authority incarnate - the Word of God made flesh. When he spoke, God spoke. When he commanded even the demons obeyed.

Faith works through love and abounds in hope 
Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) remarked that "faith is mighty, but without love it profits nothing. The devils confessed Christ, but lacking charity it availed nothing. They said, 'What have we to do with you' (Mark 1:24)? They confessed a sort of faith, but without love. Hence they were devils."

Faith is powerful, but without love it profits nothing (1 Corinthians 13). Scripture tells us that true faith works through love (Galatians 5:6) and abounds in hope (Romans 15:13). Our faith is made perfect in love because love orients us to the supreme good which is God himself as well as the good of our neighbor who is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26,27).

Hope anchors our faith in the promises of God and purifies our desires for the things which will last for eternity. That is why the word of Christ has power to set us free from all that would keep us bound up in sin, deception, and despair. Bede the venerable abbot of an English monastery (672-735) contrasted the power and authority of Jesus' word with the word of the devil: "The devil, because he had deceived Eve with his tongue, is punished by the tongue, that he might not speak" [ Homilies on the Gospels 1.8].

Faith must be nourished with the Word of God
Faith is both a free gift of God and the free assent of our will to the whole truth that God has revealed. To live, grow, and persevere in the faith to the end, we must nourish it with the word of God. The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds that we may grow in his truth and in the knowledge of his great love for each of us. If we approach God's word with trust and submission, and with an eagerness to do what the Lord desires for us, then we are in a much better position to learn what God wants to teach us through his word. Are you eager to be taught by the Lord and to conform your mind, heart, attitude, and intentions according to his word of truth, goodness, and love?

Lord Jesus, your word is power and life. May I never doubt your love and mercy, and the power of your word that sets us free, and brings healing and restoration to body, mind, heart, and spirit.

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

Friday, 6 January 2017

Saint Expedite ~ patron for rapid solution, emergency and urgent needs

Saint Expedite is the patron saint of those who hope for rapid solutions to problems, who wish to avoid or put an end to delays, and who want general or immediate financial success.Not much info is available on St. Expedite. The most popular and accepted one is about him being a Roman soldier (Expeditus) back in the days of the Christian persecution. During his service, he witnessed the martyrdom of several Christians at the hands of their persecutors, and was so taken by their humility, faith, and their requests that their persecutors be forgiven even as their persecutors tortured and killed them, that he chose to convert to Christianity - a choice that caused him to be imprisoned and ultimately killed for his beliefs. He is generally depicted as a Roman soldier stepping on a raven who is saying "Cras" (tomorrow) while holding a cross that says "Hodie" (today.) This comes from before St Expedite was martyred, Satan came to him in the form of a raven saying "Convert tomorrow, convert tomorrow," and St Expedite refused, insisting he be baptized a Christian that very same day and crushed the raven under his feet. The day after, he was martyred for his Christian faith. St.Expedite is the patron of emergencies, expeditious solutions, and against procrastination.


Prayer to St.Expedite for urgent Petitions and Request 
(fast and rapid solutions & speedy help)

*** This prayer is to be said daily until your request is granted, Be sure to publish this prayer thanking Saint Expedite, so that his name and glory will grow.

Saint Expedite, you lay in rest. I come to you and ask that this wish be granted.

(Mention you urgent request) 

Saint Expedite now what I ask of you. Saint Expedite now what I want of you, this very second. Don't waste another day. Grant me what I ask for. I know your power, I know you because of your work. I know you can help me. Do this for me and I will spread your name with love and honor so that it will be invoked again and again. Expedite this wish with speed, love, honor, and goodness. Glory to you, Saint Expedite! Amen.

Say One Our Father and One Hail Mary and make the sign of the cross.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Come and see


How can we know with certainty that Jesus is truly who he claims to be - the Son of God and Savior of the world? Philip was eager to tell his friend Nathaniel (who is also known as Bartholomew in Matthew 10:3 and Luke 6:14) about his decision to be a disciple of Jesus. Philip tried to convince his friend that Jesus was the Messiah, whom Moses and the prophets had foretold would come. Nathanael was very skeptical because he didn't think it was possible for the Messiah to come from Nazareth, a town in Galilee. Nathanael not only disliked the town of Nazareth, he despised its residents as unworthy Jews. "How could anything good come from such a place?"

Nazareth was at the crossroads of the ancient world where people from different cultures and religions would pass through. Perhaps Nathaniel thought its religious teachers were not orthodox enough in their understanding and interpretation of the law of Moses. Besides, how could the Messiah come from Galilee when the prophets said he would come from Bethlehem of Judaea? Aren't we all a bit like Nathaniel? We are skeptical when someone tries to convince us of the truth until we can comprehend it for ourselves.

A skeptical but earnest search for God's truth 
So what kind of proof did Philip offer to Nathanael? Rather than argue with his friend, Philip took the wiser strategy of inviting Nathanael to "come and see" for himself who this Jesus claimed to be. Clever arguments rarely win people to the Gospel - but an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ can change one's life forever. When people are receptive to the word of Christ and when they see his love in action, the Lord Jesus himself, through the power of the Holy Spirit, touches their hearts and opens their minds to recognize that he truly is the Son of God who reveals the Father's love and truth to us.

When Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, Jesus did something which only God could do! He opened Nathanael's heart and his innermost thoughts and desires to God's revelation. Jesus called Nathanael a true "Israelite in whom there is no guile." God had chosen Jacob, who was given the name Israel, over his twin brother Essau, because Jacob was a man of faith, without guile or cunning like Essau (Genesis 25:27). Nathanael, like Jacob, hungered for God and believed in God's promises. Nathanael knew the Scriptures. He had read the law and the prophets. And like Jacob he was waiting for the fulfillment of God's promises to his people Israel. Nathanael was an earnest seeker of God. He not only sought to grow in understanding of God's word, but he sought an intimate personal relationship with God as well. That is why he was willing to meet Jesus, to see if perhaps this miracle worker from Galilee might be the long-awaited Messiah and Savior.

God's word brings blessing and refreshment for those who receive it
What is the significance of Jesus' revelation of seeing Nathanael "under the fig tree"? For the people of Israel, the fig tree was a symbol of God's peace and blessing (1 Kings 4:24b-25, Micah 4:4). It provided shade from the midday sun and a cool refreshing place to retreat, pray, and reflect on God's word. Rabbis often gathered their disciples under the shade of the fig tree to teach them the wisdom and revelation of God's word in the Scriptures. The rabbis had an expression for comparing the fig tree to being nourished with God's word in Scripture, "He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit."

Jesus offers the greatest gift possible - peace and friendship with God 
It is very likely that Nathanael had been thinking about God's word while sitting "under his fig tree" and reflecting on God's promise to send a Messiah King who would free his people from sin and oppression and usher in God's kingdom of righteousness and peace for the whole world. Perhaps Nathanael dozed off for a midday nap and dreamt of God's kingdom like Jacob had dreamt when God gave him a vision of a great ladder which united earth with heaven (see Genesis 28:12-17). Through the gift of revelation Nathanael recognized that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the everlasting "Son of God and King of Israel" (John 1:49). The Lord Jesus offered Nathanael the greatest gift of all - the gift of friendship with God and the offer of free access to God's throne in heaven.

Jesus promises that we will dwell with the living God
What does Jesus mean when he says "you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man"? One of the most remarkable revelations recorded in the Bible is the dream of Jacob (Genesis 28:12-17). God had opened a door for Jacob that brought him and his people into a new relationship with the living God. In Jacob's dream God revealed his angelic host and showed him the very throne of heaven and promised Jacob that he and his descendants would dwell with the living God.

Jesus, the Son of God, unites earth and heaven in himself 
Jesus' response to Nathanael's new faith in accepting Jesus as the Messiah is the promise that Jesus himself will open the way for free access to the very throne of God in heaven. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise to Jacob and his descendants - he is the way to the Father in heaven and the true "ladder (or stairway) which unites earth with heaven." In Jesus' incarnation, the divine Son of God taking on human flesh for our sake, we see the union of heaven and earth - God making his dwelling with us and bringing us into the heavenly reality of his kingdom through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus gives us free access to God's presence
Jesus' death on the cross, where he defeated sin and won new life for us through his resurrection, opens the way for each of us to come into a new relationship with God as his adopted sons and daughters. The Lord Jesus opens the way for each one of us to "ascend to heaven" and to bring "heaven to earth" in the daily circumstances of our lives. God's kingdom is present in those who seek him and who strive to do his will. Through the gift of faith God opens a door for each one of us to the heavenly reality of his kingdom. Do you see with the "eyes of faith" what the Lord Jesus has done for us?
Heavenly Father, through your Son Jesus Christ, you have opened the way to heaven for each one of us. As you personally revealed yourself to your beloved patriarchs and apostles, so reveal yourself to me that I may recognize your presence with me and know the power of your kingdom at work in my life. May I always find joy and peace in your presence and never lose sight of your everlasting kingdom.

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


Pope Francis Prayer Intentions ~ 2017

Beginning 2017, there will only be one monthly prayer intention (12 monthly prayer intentions in 2017) , not two like in previous years. Pope Francis will announce his urgent intention (a second urgent monthly prayer intention each month related to current events or urgent needs) during his first Sunday Angelus address of each month which will help mobilize prayer and action related to the urgent situation.

Pope Francis’ intentions for 2017 also focus on topics he has frequently spoken out about, such as support for persecuted Christians, youth, Christians in Africa and Asia, workers and the unemployed, and the elderly.

JANUARY
Christian Unity. 
That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.

FEBRUARY
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

MARCH
Support for Persecuted Christians.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.

APRIL
Young People. 
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

MAY
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

JUNE
National Leaders.
That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.

JULY
Lapsed Christians.
That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.

AUGUST
Artists.
That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.

SEPTEMBER
Parishes.
That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

OCTOBER
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

NOVEMBER
Christians in Asia.
That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.

DECEMBER
The Elderly.
That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.

source: apostleshipofprayer.org

Spiritual orphans ~ corrosive disease ~ Pope Francis (1 January 2017)



Just like all mothers of the world, Mary, Mother of God, “protects us from the corrosive disease of being ‘spiritual orphans,'” that is when the soul feels “motherless and lacking the tenderness of God, when the sense of belonging to a family, a people, a land, to our God, grows dim.” “This attitude of spiritual orphanhood is a cancer that silently eats away at and debases the soul,” which soon “forgets that life is a gift we have received and owe to others a gift we are called to share in this common home,” said the holy Father. ...... Remembering that Jesus handed his Mother over to us “makes us smile once more as we realise that we are a people, that we belong” and can grow, that we are not just mere objects to “consume and be consumed”, that we are not “merchandise” to be exchanged or inert receptacles for information. “We are children, we are family, we are God’s people.”

We have found the Messiah!


Who is Jesus for you? John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus' mission as the One who redeems us from our sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) delivered the Israelites from their oppression in Egypt and from the plague of death. The Lord Jesus freely offered up his life for us on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 Corinthians 5:7). The blood which he poured out for us on the cross cleanses, heals, and frees us from our slavery to sin, and from the "wages of sin which is death" (Romans 6:23) and the "destruction of both body and soul in hell" (Matthew 10:28).

It is significant that John was the son of the priest, Zachariah, who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29). In Jesus John saw the true and only sacrifice which could deliver us from bondage to sin, death, and the powers of hell. How did John know the true identity of Jesus, as the Son of God and Savior of the world (John 1:29)? The Holy Spirit revealed to John Jesus' true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God? The Holy Spirit makes the Lord Jesus Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us freely of his Spirit that we may comprehend - with enlightened minds and eyes of faith - the great mystery and plan of God to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

"What do you seek?" 
John in his characteristic humility was eager to point beyond himself to the Christ (means Anointed One and Messiah). He did not hesitate to direct his own disciples to the Lord Jesus. When two of John's disciples began to seek Jesus out, Jesus took the initiative to invite them into his company. He did not wait for them to get his attention. Instead he met them halfway. He asked them one of the most fundamental questions of life: "What are you looking for?" Jesus asks each one of us the same question:"What are you searching for? Do you know the meaning and purpose for your life?" Only God, the Father and Author of life, can answer that question and make our purpose fully known to us. That is why the Lord Jesus invites each one of us to draw near to himself. He wants us to know him personally - to know what he came to do for us and what he wants to offer us.

"Come and see"
"Come and see" is the Lord's invitation for each one of us to discover the joy of friendship and communion with the One who made us in love for love. Saint Augustine of Hippo reminds us that it is God, our Creator and Redeemer, who seeks us out, even when we are not looking for him: "If you hadn't been called by God, what could you have done to turn back? Didn’t the very One who called you when you were opposed to Him make it possible for you to turn back?" It is God who initiates and who draws us to himself. Without his mercy and help we could not find him on our own.

When we find something of great value it's natural to want to share the good news of our discovery with our family, friends, and neighbors. When Andrew met Jesus and discovered that he was truly the Messiah, he immediately went to his brother Simon and told him the good news. Andrew brought his brother to meet Jesus so he could "come and see" for himself. When Jesus saw Simon approaching he immediately reached out to Simon in the same way he had done for Andrew earlier. Jesus looked at Simon and revealed that he knew who Simon was and where he came from even before Simon had set his eyes on Jesus. Jesus gave Simon a new name which signified that God had a personal call and mission for him. Jesus gave Simon the name "Cephas" which is the Aramaic word for "rock". Cephas is translated as Peter ( Petros in Greek and Petrus in Latin) which also literally means "rock".

To call someone a "rock" was one of the greatest compliments in the ancient world. The rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: "I have discovered a rock to found the world upon." Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was - the Anointed One ( Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God. The New Testament describes the church as a spiritual house or temple with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks or spiritual stones. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know the Lord Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness the truth and joy of the Gospel to others. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to draw us to himself. Do you seek to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Lord Jesus Christ, fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth. Let your Spirit be aflame in my heart that I may joyfully seek to do your will in all things.

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