Thursday, August 25, 2016

THE BEGINNING OF CALAMITIES

Matthew 24:3-14
Image result for THE BEGINNING OF CALAMITIES
The Beginning of Calamities.


As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives,* the disciples approached him privately and said, “Tell us, when will this happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age?”4* Jesus said to them in reply, “See that no one deceives you.5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many.6b You will hear of wars* and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.7c Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place.8* All these are the beginning of the labor pains.9* d Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name.10And then many will be led into sin; they will betray and hate one another.11Many false prophets will arise and deceive many;12and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold.13e But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.14f And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations,* and then the end will come.

~*~
Jesus is near. And he will continue to grow ever closer to those who share a belief in Him, a love for Him, and a desire to be in heaven with Him. Not much more can be added to the scripture and the notes below.

We have been experiencing natural disasters and loss of life therefrom for some years now. Earthquakes have become more frequent and have moved all over the world, the latest in Italy near the Holy City. Tsunami have occurred causing much death and destruction. The flooding in the southern United States has brought much loss of dwelling places, pieces of memories that cannot be replaced, and loss of life. The wildfires in the west continue to move and move, and they have yet to be contained despite the extreme efforts of those brave people fighting the fires. People have stood and watched their homes and everything they had burn to the ground. The tsunami that hit Japan a few years ago was absolutely devastating. I have never witnessed anything as horrible as that. 

Terrorism and just plain crazies are shooting innocent people. There is a great divide between law enforcement and the African American inner cities in the northeastern part of the United States. There have been lone gunmen who have gone into stores, theatres and the like where they knew there would be many people and shot and killed many. Remember the devastation of the terrorism in Paris? We have "sleeper cells" of wanna-be terrorists living in America and there is no way to identify them. I'm sure our Homeland Security is doing all that they can.

We have a very contentious election year that will peak on November 8, 2016. Personally, I will be glad when it is all over. But I do fear that the crazy one might win. Great cause for concern.

There are two storms in the Atlantic that are being watched carefully to see if they turn into hurricanes. These type storms have done much damage to the southern and eastern areas of the coastline and cities near there.

Beware that Christians must be ready for Jesus to come at any time! And we much continue the fight to convert more Christians to return to their churches and to God.

I am ready; are you?

Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

Sunday, August 21, 2016

TODAY'S GOSPEL

 Luke 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him,“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them,  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate,for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us. ’He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets. ’Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

~*~

Reading the first few lines of the Gospel according to Luke gives me the visual image of a huge crowd in the wee hours of the morning waiting for Wal-Mart to open it's doors for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. They push and shove, people fall down and people step on or over them. The rush is like herding a bunch of hungry cattle into the feed lot. Everyone wants to get there "first".

When Jesus comes for his flock before the Tribulation, it will be much the same. Those who have not given any thought to him, or the very least thought, will run over those who have remained faithful to Jesus in the daily lives. They will be squeezed out by those who know they do not belong, but are hungry to be allowed into heaven.

But those who are first are going to be the last. Because Jesus is going to push them aside until he gets to the last, the people who have loved and worshipped him, those who attained their salvation and therefore, deserve to be among the first to enter heaven. Afterward, the ones who trampled over the righteous will be judged one by one and the great multitude will be thrown back to endure the promise of Armageddon.

If you will examine your heart and conscience, and if you find that you have been a "slacker" in your faith, right now is the perfect time for you to turn your eyes and hearts heavenward. If you do not, woe be unto you!I look for Jesus every day. 

I don't know when he is coming, but I feel it is sooner than later. I want to be conscious of his coming, and I want to be in the last, because then I will be in the first.

Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SEPARATION OF SHEEP

Ezekiel 34:17-24
Separation of the Sheep.
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.18Was it not enough for you to graze on the best pasture, that you had to trample the rest of your pastures with your hooves? Or to drink the clearest water, that you had to pollute the rest with your hooves?19Thus my flock had to graze on what your hooves had trampled and drink what your hooves had polluted.20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will judge between the fat and the lean.21Because you push with flank and shoulder, and butt all the weak sheep with your horns until you drive them off,22I will save my flock so they can no longer be plundered; I will judge between one sheep and another.23I will appoint one shepherd over them to pasture them, my servant David; he shall pasture them and be their shepherd.24I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David will be prince in their midst. I, the LORD, have spoken.

As I prepare to speak about more of God's promises, I checked my Catholic Bible and it is exactly 1,000 pages long. Within the thin papered pages lies so many promises from God that relate to man eternally.  They have withstood the test of time, and it is the single book that holds the highest number of purchases ever, and continues to reign there. 

The Book of Ezekiel contains more promises from God, written in parable, but has deep meaning if you know how to decipher it's words.
Shepherds: the leaders of the people. A frequent title for kings and deities in the ancient Near East; the ideal ruler took care of his subjects and anticipated their needs. Ezekiel’s oracle broadens the reference to include the whole class of Jerusalem’s leaders (v. 17). The prophet assures his audience, the exiles in Babylon, that God holds these leaders responsible for what has happened to Jerusalem and will give Israel a new shepherd worthy of the title.
One shepherd: a future king to rule over a unified, restored Israel, in the image of the idealized David present in the Book of Kings (cf., e.g., 1 Kgs 3:311:382 Kgs 14:3;22:2). 
My servant David: a common characterization of David.
The above explains things more succinctly than I.  My view on the scripture passage is that the kings of the East who lorded over the people did not take care of their people. They were suppressed, poor, taxed way beyond what any of them could pay, and more.

But God saw that the Shepherds were living lavishly and eating the finest food, drinking the finest wine, where their people (the sheep) wandered here and there just trying to survive. God interceded and held the leaders responsible to Jerusalem and it's people, and promised to send a new king ("David") to care for his people. David was a devoted servant of God, even in his Kingship, he put God above all others. God having such faith in his servant, David, is something that we all should seek.

In our spiritual lives, we should seek, to be pleasing and loving to God. We should work hard to obey his laws, which is much more easily done than leading a life in the gutters of the world, doing bad deeds that bring temporary pleasure, etc. Leading a Godly life exhibits your love for Him, and that is all that He is asking of you. It costs nothing to be a Christian. So why are there so many leading such sinful lives? I was one of those people, and I thank God every day that he saved me from myself and turned my eyes upward. He helped me to see that I could be a better person: Become a Christian, and the rest all fell into place.

I am protected by God from the lures that satan plants in my path. I can see them, where before I was blind. Like the words of "Amazing Grace", "I was blind but now I see!"

I believe we are many, many sheep and millions upon millions have strayed from the flock. I am looking to God, having Faith, that whatever happens with this election in America, He has a plan that He has already put into motion. I cannot stress out over the election, because really, its in God's hands. And as such, He allows evil to continue on its path, which may be to doom. But you do not lose your Faith and Hope! Without it, we are lost sheep as well.

I have read the recently published book "Crisis of Character" about the Clinton's regime and written by a former Secret Service Agent. We are on the edge of the cliff. If she is elected, it is, to me, just one more prophecy fulfilled in the End Times. I am ready; she never will be. She is not a Christian. But I have digressed.

Turn your eyes, mind, heart and soul upward to Jesus Christ as your Savior and seize your Salvation! Please, I am asking you to take that step that may be fearful to you who do not know anything about Christianity, and God as MY witness, you will see Heaven, God's Kingdom. What a bright, bright future! It's like "I'm going on an eternal vacation in the future, I don't know when, but it's going to be the best I could ever imagine!"

God be with each of you,
ABBEY

Monday, August 15, 2016

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY



MARY'S ASSUMPTION REMINDS US THAT OUR TRUE DWELLING PLACE IS IN HEAVEN
Pope John Paul II
Angelus 15 August 19961. "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen" (Rv 11:19). Today, the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption into heaven, my prayer is united with that of believers all over the world in praising the Mother of the Lord.
We turn to her with faith, as the Second Vatican Council suggests, so "that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above all the angels and saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether they are honoured with the title of Christian or whether they still do not know the Saviour, may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into one People of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity" (Lumen gentium, n. 69).

2. We greet you, glorious Mother of the Redeemer, Ark of the Covenant, in whom the mystery of Redemption was fulfilled: in you the promise of Emmanuel, God-with-us, became a reality, and God was made our brother.

We greet you, humble Handmaid of the Lord, who gave the Son of God to mankind, and, as the obedient Woman, by your fiat you taught us to accept with docility all that he asks of us.

We greet you Blessed Virgin, who accompanied and followed your divine Son, suffering and crucified, to his death, and at the foot of the Cross became "our Mother", Mother of the Church and of all humanity.

We greet you, Virgin who prayed with the Apostles in the Upper Room: by your intercession for us you obtained the gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews heaven and earth.

We greet you, glorious Virgin, in the mystery of your Assumption into heaven: in you God the Father anticipated what he intends to accomplish at the end of time for all those who die in communion with Jesus Christ, his Son and your Son.
We greet you, Queen of Angels and Saints; you intercede for us from heaven and sustain us on our earthly pilgrimage to the promised land: Keep our faith alive, our hope firm and our love fervent for God and for our brothers and sisters.

3. In contemplating the mystery of your Assumption O Mary, let us learn to evaluate earthly affairs in the proper light. Help us never to forget that our true and definitive dwelling place is heaven, and support us in our effort to live together here below in ever greater brotherhood and solidarity. Make us workers of justice and peacemakers in the name of Christ, our true peace.

Blessed Virgin, as you guide us like a bright star towards the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, grant that every man and every woman may recognize Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb, as their own Saviour.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
21 August 1996

L'Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of the Holy See.

From the Book of Revelations, end of Chapter 11:
And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child. ... [S]he brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.

Friday, August 12, 2016

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-10

2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.

As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

~*~


Dear Ones,

This is a passage that I had never read, but it contains such promise! How could one who reads it and believes turn away from its lesson.

I feel certain that everyone has heard the saying "you reap what you sow."

A few thoughts come to mind with the first line of this passage above. This just doesn't apply to "farming", it is intended to speak about God's people on earth. I you sow sparingly, you are sowing in your home, with your family, your friends and your church. If you do no reach out and sow bountifully in your heart and soul everyday, what can you expect in return.  A friend calls to you that they need your help in some way. Does a Christian turn his back on that friend? They should not, but many do. God has given you many of his Graces so that you can take them into your heart and do what is right in the eyes of God. He gives this with great delight. But, if you ignore God's Graces and act on your own to be selfish and ungiving, you may not endure forever.  In these Graces, God has given you all that you need, so why do you constantly feel you are entitled to MORE?

He [you] scatters abroad [in all areas of your life] ..... your righteousness will endure forever. It will endure forever first, here on earth, and "forever" in the Kingdom of God.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

It is in giving with a cheerful heart that you will reap all that heaven has to offer. God will always see that you get what you need, and not just what you want. In a cheerful giving to others of yourself and your talents that brings the greatest harvest of your soul - which is eternal Righteousness.

If you are infirmed and are unable to go out and help others, perhaps you can help within your own family and circle of friends. Profess the word of our God and the Son, Jesus. 

It isn't difficult to find your "niche" in giving in the name of God. God loves you, and He has given you the Graces you need to help others wherever you go.

How about:
- the cashier at the grocery store. They are serving you by ringing up your purchases;
- the young man or woman who takes your groceries to your car even in rain and unloads them;
- the Priest who has given his life to live modestly and  to always be there at Mass time to serve you;
- the strangers you meet in all kinds of places, where you interact with them, do you say "Have a blessed Day";
- your children and husband. God has brought you all together, and it is here that you can so easily sow and reap your righteousness; after all, God gave you these things;
- the person who delivers your mail, are you spreading your righteousness to them when you see them? 
 - the police force and firemen that keep your neighborhood safe, and that means you, your family, and your neighbors;
- are there activities in your Church where you could be giving of yourself for your church and your Pastor,
- Last but not the least, our American Armed forces who fight for the freedom in this country for you to worship openly, and to keep you and your country safe.
These are just a few examples for you when you are thinking "I don't know what else I can do." In my life, whether it is a friend, neighbor, store clerk, whatever - as I depart you will always hear me say "Have a Blessed Day!"  Sometimes saying this appears to stun people because there is not enough love in the world and it is the last thing they expected. They will more times than not thank you and repeat "You have a blessed day, too."

It is  up to you to seek out many times those subtle suggestions that God has put before you. Perhaps you are in denial???? There's always a place or person that needs a righteous Christian to be there and advise or help them in whatever way is needed. If there is a special need, one that you cannot perform, ask your Christian Brothers and Sisters to help, even if it is to ask for prayers.

I feel I have written enough that you SHOULD understand this passage. Read it over every few minutes and see what comes to mind. I have a few suggestions that came to me to be righteous in many ways. I rise to the challenge!

Remember: It is doing with a GLAD heart that shows God how much you love him.

Lovingly in Jesus,
ABBEY