Do you believe in angels? The bible talks about them. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are just three of the angels mentioned in scripture, but there are many, many more. Even Jesus talks about them. I honestly can tell you from my own experiences that I have seen, spoken to and have been touched by them. We even have T.V. shows about them; remember “Touched By An Angel”? So what’s the point? Today’s Psalm is about our Guardian Angels. They are there to protect us, guide us and help as much as possible. I say as much as possible because like God, they will not interfere with free will. Even the fallen angels know that. They can tempt and influence, but they can’t force us to do anything. They need our consent, our yes.
Do we fear God? I mean love Him the way Jesus said, “With our whole mind, heart, soul and being?” For if we do then the angels have our back. Anyone who’s a friend of God is a friend of an angel…the good ones anyway. They are fighting for us (See Daniel), protecting us (See Exodus), helping us in our daily lives (See Tobit) or wreaking havoc (Job). They live to love and serve God. So be careful, they are neutral (See Exodus and Joshua). If you love Jesus and fear God, then your angel will fight to the death for you. But they need your help; they need your faith and they need you prayers. They are not to be worshipped or served and THEY will tell you as much; worship God, He alone is worthy.
By the way, how do you say thank you to your Guardian Angel? By giving God the Glory, alleluia!
Until next time…pray! The angels bring your prayers and petitions before God! Luv ya! Deacon Phil
The Trinity is ever present. Today’s verse is about love and searching. No matter which “one” you’re searching for, you’ll still find the other two. When I was a teenager my mom always told me, “whatever you’re searching for, you’re bound to find it.” This was in reference to looking for trouble, and of course…my mom was right; and so is this proverb. When one is looking, they can also be looking in all the wrong places. Sometimes we can search a lifetime for something or someone staring us right in the face. When we search for God, we find Jesus and the Holy Spirit, when we search for Jesus, we find the other two. All three are one and each one is in all three. Jesus invited us into the Trinity and vice versa. We can’t love God and not love Jesus. We can’t love Jesus and not love the Holy Spirit, and so forth. But that is precisely what some of us try to do, love one…without loving the others. In a search to find God, we will eventually find Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well. Now about this “love” thing; if I hate God, does that mean He hates me? Not exactly. When one loves God, they get a glimpse of a love that is infinite. It is amazing to learn one’s capacity to love and forgive. Jesus gave us a look of this kind of love and forgiveness. When we love God He gives us the same capacity and the same gift He gave His son…the Holy Spirit. When we love Jesus, he gives us the same gift. One who hates God will not realize this because they have themselves cut off from God. In other words, when we love God and He loves us…nothing is hidden.
Until next time…keep your heart on the Trinity and keep praying …luv ya! Deacon Phil
During my stint in the Navy on the USS Connole FF-1056, I had to replace the aircraft warning lights; the red lights that you can see at the highest point of the ship’s mast to prevent aircraft from hitting it. (Also found on towers and buildings, etc.) It was dangerous work and I was the only one willing to do it. But this particular day would be different. As I hung changing the light a terrible storm was coming through. I was ordered to stay up because it was more dangerous for me to climb down. At first I thought my shipmates were out of their minds, but the force of the wind and the pelting rain proved difficult…I could fall, and it was about 14 floors down. I was holding on to the mast top for dear life and my team was afraid it would snap due to the force of the wind. Suddenly I felt a calm peace surround me and heard my chief whisper over my radio to let go. ”Do you trust me?” he asked. “No” I replied, “but I do trust God.” I no longer heard the wind, felt the beating rain…just the calm. I prayed and let go. I had turned my harness into a make shift sling and just hung. I don’t know how long I was up there but it was so peaceful… you guessed it, I fell asleep.
All good sailors check their equipment to make sure it can deliver; but many don’t check their faith to see if God can. We put our trust in people and things that are here today and gone tomorrow, not trustworthy or reliable, and we do the same with our salvation. God alone is secure and will not allow us to fall; God alone saves and is steady as a rock. Until next time…if we put our hope in God, we shall not fall. …luv ya! Deacon Phil
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears turned to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against evildoers.” - 1 Peter 3:12, NAB
I have to admit sometimes I get perturbed and wonder if God is listening. Then I come across a verse like this, and it makes me wonder where I’m at in my life. The last thing I think about is being righteous. So what’s it mean? It means: Just; accordant to the divine law. Applied to persons, it denotes one who is holy in heart, and observant of the divine commands in practice; as a righteous man. Applied to things, it denotes consonant to the divine will or to justice; as a righteous act. It is used chiefly in theology, and applied to God, to his testimonies and to his saints. So there you have it. Hmmmm…. This should really make our minds and our hearts wonder. Sometimes we forget the kind of relationship Jesus asked us to have with God. A father & child relationship is what he alluded to. Sometimes a father will ignore his son or daughter depending on how they are behaving. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love them; it just means that he doesn’t care for their behavior. Well God is like that too. When we’re living in a state of sin we may be ignored. That’s why we have Reconciliation. Note the verse doesn’t say we need to be perfect or the face of the Lord is against sinners. God’s face is against one who is truly evil, and on that one He will exact judgment. So when we’re living with a holy heart and practicing what Jesus taught us, then we are in tune with the Lord. He watches and listens to our prayers.
Until next time…keep your eyes on the Lord and keep praying …luv ya!
I love to read the Psalms, there’s something for everyone and just about every topic. This verse is absolutely beautiful. Those who love to read or listen to scripture, have much peace. Those who follow Jesus’ teaching have much peace too. For those who believe the truth there is nothing that will make us stumble. Isn’t that wonderful? These are not just words to read, but words to live by. The promise is the hope that comes with the Lord. Buried within its pages are not just the teachings of the prophets, but of God himself, and of his Son. Yes, and in those teachings we find not only peace, but comfort and joy as well. Alleluia! Unlike the teachings of false teachers and prophets; Jesus’ teachings are based on truth, living by them will not cause us to stumble and eventually fall. So, let us rejoice in the teachings of the Lord our God and in His Son, and in the Holy Spirit! Alleluia!
Until next time…peace be with you…luv ya! Deacon Phil
Jesus promised not to leave us alone, so he sent the Holy Spirit. It is the one that came down, and it is the one that has a love affair with our souls. It is here you know. You may not see, hear or even feel it, but trust me when I tell you...your soul can. There is so much going on in this crazy world, and it is easy to let it get to us, even at the expense of reaching down into our very souls. So hope has come in the form of the Holy Spirit, the promised Advocate. It is in God’s Spirit that we can find rest, and hope. Why would we want to entrust our souls to rest in anything else? Our souls are constantly running. It is running from “the ruler of this world”, and the “hound of heaven”. It needs to rest, and it needs peace and comfort. I don’t think it would be wise to let it rest in Satan, who ultimately only wants to destroy it. I’d rather take my chances with the Spirit. Why would one want to hope in anything else? It’s all about trust, you know. This whole psalm is all about trust. One can’t rest if one can’t feel safe, feel comfortable; and that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit wants to do. It wants to bring our souls to safety, comfort and hope. So let the “hound of heaven” catch you, I promise it won’t hurt.
Until next time…every LIVING thing needs rest, even a soul. …luv ya!
“Amen, amen I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” John 6:47-48, NAB
These verses are from Jesus’ Bread of life Discourse. The discourse, verses 22-71 signify the revelation of God in Jesus as the source of all life. I have often preached on the reality of the Eucharist as the “body” and “blood” of Christ. There have been miracles that attest to this truth. But in the end, none of this matters if we do not believe that Jesus is the bread from heaven. Just as one must “eat” to live physically; one must eat to live spiritually. Yet, to this day there are many Catholics who do not believe. Though hundreds of thousands have died for this piece of “bread”, yet…many of us still don’t get it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are many who come up to receive, but do we truly understand “what” we are receiving? Do we “recognize” Jesus? Are we in a state of grace to receive Him? The whole idea of Easter is starting fresh and new. All of us are given the opportunity to acknowledge our sinfulness and reconcile ourselves with the Father, before receiving the body of His Son. Why would one want to receive something so holy in a state of guilt and shame? Or worse yet, be defiant in our sinfulness, refusing to acknowledge them and still receive Him. Do we realize when we do this that we desecrate His body and incur judgment? (1 Cor.11: 27-29)
So it all comes down to this…do we really believe in Jesus? Is He truly the bread of our life? And if He is, then are we changing, becoming like Him? Are we loving, forgiving, obedient, joyful in our relationship with Him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit…but most importantly, with each other? Do me a favor, if you truly believe and receive Him, then share Him… I’d love a piece.
Until next time…you are what you eat. …luv ya! Deacon Phil
When I was a boy growing up in the Bronx, I was very much in love with this girl who lived in my aunt’s building. She was very beautiful…but she didn’t want anything to do with me. After several attempts of trying to date her, I gave up. The last time I saw her was before I went into the Navy. I growled at her, “You think you’re just too good for anybody.” She shook her head and cried and ran into her apartment. After a few years in the Navy I ran into her again. She walked right up to me and took my hand and asked me to walk with her. I thought I was about to die. Along the walk, we stopped. She looked into my eyes and told me the reason why she never dated me. Love, she said, is about wanting to be near someone more than you want to be with yourself, and allowing that someone to be near you. If you had been humble and not full of yourself, I would have gladly dated you. But there was no room for me…just you. How could I be with someone like that? She had a point and she was right.
God asks us to do the same. He wants us to be near Him, so He can be near us. But the truth of the matter is we get in the way. This verse is just part of a chapter that covers James’ argument that one must be humble to have the fullness of happiness God wants for us. Many of us pull away from Him, rather than grow closer to Him because we’re just full of ourselves and there’s no room for Him. Others pull away because when God starts getting close they think they have to give up their lives. The only thing we need give up is pride and selfishness. That’s it. The closer we draw to God the more we become sensitive to all the things Jesus did. And the truth is we can’t deal with that. But we need to. If we are to become as Christ than we have to empty ourselves and let God do His thing…LOVE. That’s it, love us. No strings, no gimmicks, no contracts…just love. He can’t force us. Just like no one forced Jesus to give up his life, for love of us. You’re probably thinking he was crazy; well love makes us do crazy things. Let God get close to you, I promise…it doesn’t hurt.
Until next time…there are a lot of four letter words, but only one that can change the world…luv ya! - Deacon Phil
“What then shall we say to this? If God is for us who can be against us?”
It’s the holiday season and we tend to get distracted easily. We’re going full throttle and the LAST thing, should be the FIRST thing on our minds. STOP and think about this question, and then think about this season. This season is all about God being for us. So much so He sends an angel to a young girl and tells her the impossible is going to happen. She accepts, and it creates a world of problems for her. But a baby changes everything. The baby’s shadow is not the form of a human, but of a cross. And it will change everything, especially what we believe God thinks of us. He has ALWAYS been for us, but we have not always been for Him. So He comes down to our lowly level, and takes our lowly form, to tell us…I love you. I want to be with you. And if God is willing to go through all this trouble just for us, why would we even think that He would let anything stand against us? It’s a song you know…”A baby changes everything.” So why a baby? Because a baby represents HOPE. A baby represents LIFE. This baby does change everything. What then shall we say of this? If we believe, then NOTHING can be against us. We just need to become babies. You see, they have to TRUST; they have to depend on someone. That someone has loved us from the beginning of time. And with a love like that…what can stand against it? When you see the manger, remember…a baby changes everything.
Until next time…with God, nothing can be against us…luv ya!
So what’s up? Stewardship Committee...If you haven’t considered it, please think of joining. Just in case you didn’t know, stewardship is at the heart of being a Christian. I can hear the sighs already…”Oh no, he’s going to talk about money.” Stewardship is not just about money…it’s about being good care takers of all that God our father has blessed us with. My friends, this includes Mother Earth and all life on this planet, wild as well as human. I refer you to the book of Genesis, chapter 1. We can’t save the world by ourselves, but we can help try, and I’m sorry, this is one of those things where ACTION is just as important as prayer and faith. Here we go!
Time: Have you ever heard someone say, my time is precious? Time is a blessing. Some of us seem to never have enough, and some of us seem to have too much. You will see this distinction with all things that God blesses us with, especially talent and treasure. It is very rare that one hasn’t been blessed with at least one of these, if not all three. There’s a reason for this. Just as the father, so too can Jesus and the Holy Spirit know and understand what lies in someone’s heart, what and how much we can deal with, what and how much we can be trusted with. Things we don’t even know ourselves. This is where prayer, faith and enlightenment come in, driven by the Holy Spirit. One of its many jobs is discernment and direction. Now you’re probably saying, “Now hold on Deacon, my time is my business not God’s”. Really? Once again I refer you to sacred scripture and to writings of the Saints. God pays attention to time, serious attention. Remember what Jesus said to Peter, James and John in the garden? “Could you not keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37). Hmmm…there’s the question to ask about going to Mass on Sunday! You see, He doesn’t ask for much. Whether it’s at Church, or in prayer He just wants some. When a woman he was advising was apprehensive about the amount of time she had to spend in court as concerning her prayer and spiritual time, St. Francis De Sales said this, “For if you are faithful to God, he will never fail you; even though he has to stop the sun and the moon, he will give you enough time to perform your exercises and all else you must do.” Wow, isn’t this awesome? When are we going to realize that when we give Him something, we get more of it back? Yes, that includes time. So remember, we give Him the best of what we have, He continues to bless us with more of it…including time.
Until next time…may Jesus keep you smiling, may God’s grace shine on you and always take the time to pray for our Pastor.