Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Come to Me...I will give you rest."

We all have that invitation from Jesus: “Come to me..I will give you rest.” There must be something more to life than meets the eye. Yes. Jesus has something more for you. Go to Jesus...he will give you rest.
Jesus certainly knew all about yokes. As a carpenter he would have been asked from time to time to make a wooden yoke for farmers so that they could get two oxen to pull a plough or other farm implement together. The yoke was the wooden crossbeam that joined the two animals at the neck and that crossbeam dragged the farm implement. Since animals are different sizes it was common to have yoke cut to measure for the animals pulling it. Otherwise it would not fit the animal correctly and cause considerable discomfort. As a carpenter Jesus must have cut many such yokes. The yoke that Jesus cuts for us does not cause discomfort but brings us comfort because the yoke of Jesus is easy and light. The invitation of Jesus to us is not a yoke that weights us down but is easy and light, and how could it not be with Jesus as the other one pulling the yoke with you, Jesus helping you carry your burdens and crosses.
Any difficulty we have in meeting Jesus and taking his yoke upon us is certainly not coming from Jesus. Is the reason we do not know Jesus because we do not open our hearts to him? Jesus praised the childlike in the Gospel because their hearts were open to him, unlike the scribes and Pharisees.

We can probably say the learned and the clever of today include those who do not believe that Jesus is really and truly present in the Eucharist. But those with hearts open to Jesus, the childlike, have Jesus revealed in the Eucharist. Open your heart to Jesus. You have noting to lose and everything to gain. Open your heart to Jesus and live, not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. If we do not go to Jesus when we labor and are burdened with life’s problems, to whom or to what do we go? If we do not look for answers to our problems in Jesus we will not find them elsewhere or else just find partial or deluding answers. The answers of the culture of our time are deluding, because the culture of our time falsely tells us we will find happiness in sin. But sin never brings happiness because sin is against the goodness of God. Therefore the culture of this time wants to lay upon us a yoke that is heavy and painful. Open your heart to him. If you do not spend time with Jesus in prayer every day, how can you find his peace? Come to Jesus in the Eucharist. You do not have Jesus physically present in the Eucharist at your home. Come to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and let Jesus give you peace. Open your heart.  Let us live according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh. Let us walk every day yoked to the Lord in prayer and meet him in the Eucharist.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday

 “My daughter, tell the whole world about my inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all of the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every souls in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy.” Diary 699

These words spoken by Our Lord to St. Faustina, are recorded in her dairy Divine Mercy in my Soul. St. Faustina's private revelations have helped inspire faithful souls to come to God for mercy and to bring others to him through their prayers. By reading St. Faustina's dairy we learn of her powerful intercession, as she pleaded for Jesus' mercy. “Today I was awakened by a great storm. The wind was raging, and it was raining in torrents, thunderbolts striking again and again. I began to pray that the storm would do no harm, when I heard the words:Say the Chaplet I have taught you, and the storm will cease. I began immediately to say the chaplet and hadn't even finished it when the storm suddenly ceased, and I heard the words:Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with my will.” Dairy 1731. There are several other instances recorded in her dairy in which St. Faustina's plea for mercy helped appease the divine anger of God.

The church was at first skeptical of St. Faustina's revelation on Divine Mercy and when it first revealed and nearly condemned her diary. It wasn't until 1965 when the Archbishop of Krakow Karol Wojtyla (now St. John Paul II) asked for a fresh investigation into Faustina's revelations: and found some faulty translations from the original Polish text to French. In 2000 St. John Paul II established the Solemn Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, and while approving the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the image and the Dairy, he canonized St. Faustina Kowalska on April 30, 2000, the first saint to be canonized of the Jubilee year of 2000.

Why is Divine Mercy the Sunday after Easter? Reflect back on the weeks prior to Divine Mercy Sunday. The church celebrates Holy Week, in which the faithful are to relive the last days of Christ leading up to his passion. On Good Friday divine justice and mercy met. Divine justice so longed outraged by the sins of man was atoned for by the Blood of Christ and the gift of mercy was opened up for all sinners who believed and will come to believe in Christ. Christ himself even showed mercy to those who crucified him saying, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).

In celebrating Divine Mercy, we recall the immense love God has for all people and how he is always calling us to himself to dispense his mercy on us. We in turn share in his heavenly life now on earth with others who are in need of mercy. Of course, the best and most complete way we can receive mercy is the Sacrament of Penance where we admit our sins and are washed clean in the mercy of Christ. Once that mercy is received, we are asked to sin no more and to share that mercy with our brothers and sisters by doing either the Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy.
Spiritual Works of Mercy
Counseling the Doubtful
Instructing the Ignorant
Praying for the Living and the Dead
Forgiving Injuries
Admonishing the Sinner
Comforting the Sorrowful
Bearing Wrongs Patiently
Corporal Works of Mercy
Feeding the Hungry
Giving drink to the Thirsty
Clothing the Naked
Sheltering the Homeless
Visiting the Sick or Imprisoned
Burying the Dead

During this Divine Mercy Sunday, reflect on God's mercy in your life. How does God manifest his mercy and how can we as followers of Christ help to manifest that same mercy we have received from God. For mercy is a sign of holiness and we are all called to be holy.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)