Posts Tagged ‘holiness’


We cannot outthink, outsmart or fool the Lord our God so why then do we still continue to try by hiding our sins from Him? or in thinking we have to perfect excuse not to act on His Will for us which often takes us out of our comfort zones. All glory belongs to God, we belong to God, why then can we not strive to give glory to God by the way we live our lives?Peace, love and joy is ours to have, simply by striving to live our lives in holiness according to the will of God our Father. And He wills that we share in the love, peace and joy we receive with all our brothers and sisters, His children. As we await the new heaven and the new earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

2 Peter 3:11-15,17-18 ·
We are waiting for the new heaven and the new earthYou should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace. Think of our Lord’s patience as your opportunity to be saved. You have been warned about this, my friends; be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled people, from the firm ground that you are standing on. Instead, go on growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, in time and in eternity. Amen.

Gospel

Mark 12:13-17
Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to GodThe chief priests and the scribes and the elders sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’ Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him. Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This reply took them completely by surprise.


It is one thing to be disliked, quite another to be hated. What does it mean to be hated? Total rejection! Such that anything spoken or thoughts of what might be spoken causes irritation and disgust. Out of sight! Otherwise out of mind retaliation sets in? But why Lord? Why is there hate in the world and especially for us Christians?The truth as spoken is that we are created in the image and likeness of God our Heavenly Father. And so we are not products or rather children of the world, we belong to God our Father. Therefore there is no room for sin or evil in our hearts, of which such thrives in the world. And so long as we are living in the world, striving to avoid all sin and to be loving after the heart of God, we will be hated. I’m sure some of you might have had this experience, where there was a group of friends you hung out with partying without consequences or care. Then one day when you decided to follow Jesus the same group of ‘friends’ treated you like an outcast and avoided you like the plague! Well this is to be expected says our Lord in today’s Gospel. We can only pray that one day our friends too will experience the joy of the Risen Lord in their lives.For now let us live in the spirit, sharing the joy of the Gospel with all whom will listen and living out the Gospel truths in our very own lives. Amen

First reading

Acts 16:1-10 ·
‘Come across to Macedonia and help us’From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.
So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.

Gospel

John 15:18-21
The world hated me before it hated youJesus said to his disciples:‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you from the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this, because they do not know the one who sent me.’


If we are to grow in our faith and love of the Lord our God then we must turn away from old habits, even people who will lead us to temptation and sin. We cannot hold back or retain a tiny bit fooling ourselves into believing we have the power to resist the lures. How many turn back to gambling, clubs seeking reprieve from stress through alcohol and sexual escapades. Or some other form of sinful habits. How many turn to the cliques that will cheer us on as we spiral downwards? Why look back when we have found the Lord? Or rather He had found us, carried us on His shoulders and had set us free. Why allow ourselves to fall back into slavery?

Obedience to the Lord our God must always be our first and even perhaps our only priority. For His call to purity and Holiness is so that we can live fully alive and free in His love. We have new life in Him! New wine, fresh skins!’

Strengthen me Lord Jesus in Your love, that I may be Holy as You are Holy. Amen

First reading

1 Samuel 15:16-23 ·
Saul disobeys the Lord and the Lord rejects him

Samuel said to Saul, ‘Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.’ Saul said, ‘Tell me.’ Samuel continued, ‘Small as you may be in your own eyes, are you not head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king over Israel. The Lord sent you on a mission and said to you, “Go, put these sinners, the Amalekites, under the ban and make war on them until they are exterminated.” Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you fall on the booty and do what is displeasing to the Lord?’ Saul replied to Samuel, ‘But I did obey the voice of the Lord. I went on the mission which the Lord gave me; I brought back Agag king of the Amalekites; I put the Amalekites under the ban. From the booty the people took the best sheep and oxen of what was under the ban to sacrifice them to the Lord your God in Gilgal.’ But Samuel replied:

‘Is the pleasure of the Lord in holocausts and sacrifices
or in obedience to the voice of the Lord?
Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice,
submissiveness better than the fat of rams.
Rebellion is a sin of sorcery,
presumption a crime of teraphim.

‘Since you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.’

Gospel

Mark 2:18-22
‘Why do your disciples not fast?’

One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’


Every morning as far as I can remember I have awoken praying first for my personal sanctification and holiness. Why? Because the temptation to sin is always before us! And sin with its super stickyness is ever waiting to pounce and prevent us from walking freely in the light of Christ. And so I pray for His grace to be upon me as I start out the day simply to live out my calling to be a child of God so loved by my Heavenly Father. To be Holy as He is Holy. Through and with His grace, I have a fighting chance to win the battle. I say chance even though it is a sure win with God on my side because I must cooperate and want to fight! Because there are times when I am in a state of inertia and often tempted to give in to the distractions.

Jesus the lamb of God my lord and saviour had died to free me from sin, and so the devil and all the evil that prowls about the earth has no hold over me! I can live free and fully in the light of my resurrected Lord and saviour Jesus Christ! Jesus saves; me, you and everyone who calls upon on His name.

By the Holy name of Jesus, I pray for you my dear sisters and brothers. That today and everyday you remain Holy and strive for greater Holiness. So that together we will live out our calling as children of God our Father, one Body In Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:29-3:6
Everyone must try to be as pure as Christ

You know that God is righteous –
then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous has been begotten by him.

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.

Surely everyone who entertains this hope
must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.
Anyone who sins at all breaks the law,
because to sin is to break the law.
Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin;
anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him.

Gospel

John 1:29-34
‘Look: there is the Lamb of God’

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’


Today as we remember the tiny Martyrs who died in place of our Lord Jesus Christ, we reflect on our own call to live out of lives as children of God our Father.

We are all called to holiness, to live in the light of Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore we must make every effort to avoid sin and all temptations that leads to it. If we should fall then we should quickly turn to Jesus whose mercy ave have will heal and restore to its. For to live in sin is to die is to die in sin.

To truly live is to die and rise in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

First reading

1 John 1:5-2:2 ·

The blood of Jesus Christ purifies us all from sin

This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ, and the message that we are announcing to you:

God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.

If we say that we are in union with God while we are living in darkness, we are lying because we are not living the truth. But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves

and refusing to admit the truth; but if we acknowledge our sins, then God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and purify us

from everything that is wrong. To say that we have never sinned is to call God a liar and to show that his word is not in us.

I am writing this, my children, to stop you sinning; but if anyone should sin, we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, who is just; he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours but the whole world’s.

Gospel

Matthew 2:13-18

The massacre of the innocents

After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Ramah,

sobbing and loudly lamenting: it was Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more.


How wonderful it will be to hear Jesus say to us, ”Ah here comes my disciple who had spoke the truth and strived for holiness come dine with your master.” Then we might say, ” ”Lord You know who I am?” and He will reply, ”Yes, how often have I seen and heard you praying to me. I know how you have struggled to do my will always therefore the gates of heaven are opened to you.”

How have we progressed in deepening our relationship with the Lord our God and living our faith in Him from the start of the year? Have we truly been striving to lead our families and one another closer to this heavenly reality? We are already past the halfway mark for the year closing in on Advent have we stayed awake? Ready to greet our Lord when He returns?

My Lord, my God, from my heart; I’ve come to do Your Will. Amen

Saint Bartholomew pray for us…

First reading

Apocalypse 21:9-14 ·
He showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven

The angel came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Gospel

John 1:45-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’


Can there be no quarrel or disagreements within a community? If there are totally zero quarrels or disagreements then it is more than likely you belong to a pseudo community. For every community struggling to grow in holiness and faith know that each and every member is flawed in some way and therefore our community is made up of sinners striving to be more like our Lord and Saviour each and every day. Some members may exhibit stronger feelings and emotions about something while another may be more opinionated. The important thing is that all of us are open to fraternal correction, in the process of growing in faith and love we grow in mercy and love for one another. This can only come about when the community is a praying one and our Lord Jesus is present in the hearts and minds of all gathered together in His name. Without doubt He is truly present amongst us.

We must strive not only for personal holiness but to lead one another into greater holiness. And there must always be joy in our hearts when doing so. For the Holiness of our Lord must be reflected at all times on our faces, hearts and actions. Failing of which we will always fall short of arriving at our destination. In our lifetime we may never enter into the land of milk and honey but through our struggle and faithfulness we will one day walk with our Lord in His Kingdom.

Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom. Amen

St Maximilian Kolbe pray for us….

First reading

Deuteronomy 34:1-12 ·
Moses dies and is buried

Leaving the plains of Moab, Moses went up Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land; Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the stretch of the Valley of Jericho, city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross into it.’ There in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of the Lord died as the Lord decreed; he buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but to this day no one has ever found his grave. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigour unimpaired. The sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end. Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. It was he that the sons of Israel obeyed, carrying out the order that the Lord had given to Moses.
Since then, never has there been such a prophet in Israel as Moses, the man the Lord knew face to face. What signs and wonders the Lord caused him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh and all his servants and his whole land! How mighty the hand and great the fear that Moses wielded in the sight of all Israel!

Gospel

Matthew 18:15-20
If your brother listens to you, you have won back your brother

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector.
‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.
‘I tell you solemnly once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’


By our baptism we have been anointed priest, prophet and king. And our primary duty is to lead one another into greater Holiness. That is to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. We may wear many different hats but all with the same role, to take the lead towards Holiness. Whether you are a spouse, a father or mother, child, student, office manager, employer or employee it makes no difference. For our call is to reflect the Holiness of the Lord our God in all that we say and do.

How is this accomplished then if all that people see is impatience? Dismay on our faces? Sarcasm in speech and anger in our tone? Do we reflect the ingratitude of others by our very own ingratitude? Did we somehow forget that all that we have, gifts, talents and power if any were all given to us by the grace of our loving and merciful God? How are we showing the love and mercy of the Lord our God that we preach about?

Yes indeed our Christian call to take up our cross to follow Jesus is never going to be easy. The cross we bear for Him and on the narrow and winding path will be arduous indeed. But we can gladly bear it with joy in our hearts for we know He is with us and leading us home to Him. We know this when we are in communion with Him, for we share in His thoughts and in His ways. For He has told us that “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways.” Amen

First reading

Numbers 20:1-13 ·
Moses makes water flow from the rock at Meribah

The sons of Israel, the whole community, arrived in the first month at the desert of Zin. The people settled at Kadesh. It was there that Miriam died and was buried.
There was no water for the community, and they were all united against Moses and Aaron. The people challenged Moses: ‘We would rather have died,’ they said ‘as our brothers died before the Lord! Why did you bring the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, only to let us die here, ourselves and our cattle? Why did you lead us out of Egypt, only to bring us to this wretched place? It is a place unfit for sowing, it has no figs, no vines, no pomegranates, and there is not even water to drink!’
Leaving the assembly, Moses and Aaron went to the door of the Tent of Meeting. They threw themselves face downward on the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Take the branch and call the community together, you and your brother Aaron. Then, in full view of them, order this rock to give water. You will make water flow for them out of the rock, and provide drink for the community and their cattle.’
Moses took up the branch from before the Lord, as he had directed him. Then Moses and Aaron called the assembly together in front of the rock and addressed them, ‘Listen now, you rebels. Shall we make water gush from this rock for you?’ And Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the branch; water gushed in abundance, and the community drank and their cattle too.
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe that I could proclaim my holiness in the eyes of the sons of Israel, you shall not lead this assembly into the land I am giving them.’
These are the waters of Meribah, where the sons of Israel challenged the Lord and he proclaimed his holiness.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-23
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said, ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’ Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
From that time Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’