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Reaching out to Catholic/Christians Individuals/Families

St Michael the Archangel (let us pray) by Florence D’Costa

We are now living in a world where persecution of Believers is very common.  Everyday, somewhere around the world Believers are being killed and persecuted.  Everyday the blood of these martyrs are calling out to God …….  These days have become very difficult for those who believe in Christ. So, I call out to all Catholics to pray to St Michael the Archangel to defend us in the day of battle against the devil or the evil one.

The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan.[12] After the conflict, Satan is thrown to earth along with the fallen angels, where he (“that ancient serpent called the devil”) still tries to “lead the whole world astray”.[12]

In the Epistle of Jude 1:9, Michael is referred to as an “archangel” when he again confronts Satan.[13]

A reference to an “archangel” also appears in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians 4:16. This archangel who heralds the second coming of Christ is             not named,[13] but is often associated with Michael (among others).[14][15]

ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL –  He is the leader of all the good angels.  He along with the good angels fought against the bad angels and his War Cry was
“Who is like unto God” and He won the battle.  
We are all called to fight against the bad influences in our lives and live for God.  Whenever we fail and fall into the enemies camp, we need to pray to St Michael to defend us.  The prayer is as follows:

Prayer to St Michael the Archangel:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in the day of battle,
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the Power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
Who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.

(The St Michael’s prayer is a very powerful prayer and I think adults should say this prayer on a regular basis).

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March 24, 2019 Posted by | Angels, Be not afraid, Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christianity, St Michael the Archangel, Word of God, Youth | Leave a comment

Lent beginning 6 March, 2019 by Florence D’Costa

The following post on Lent was posted on March 20, 2018.  This year Lent begins on Wednesday, 06 March, 2019. Many parishes in Melbourne,  Australia and the whole world would be having various Lenten programs.  Lent is a time to be inward looking.  It is a time for our conversion – a time for us to draw closer to Jesus Christ and to become more aware of our inquities.  A time to be able to burn the old self and put on Christ Jesus.  A time to pray and ask God to give us the strength to walk away from temptations and to walk into GRACE.  A period of renewal.  A time to contemplate on God’s Love for us and to meditate on how we can respond to God’s Love and Sacrifice.  To put in a nutshell, to BECOME ANOTHER CHRIST, so that we can then reach out to others and help them come closer to Christ and to evenutally become Christlike.  So, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is vital for us to make ourselves available for the Lenten Programs being conducted in our parishes and be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit.

February 10, 2019 Posted by | Blogs, Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, Cross, Jesus Christ, Lent, Lent 2019, Youth | Leave a comment

Reading 1, Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21 – 9 Feb, 2019 Saturday

LET US MEDITATE – WHAT IS GOD TELLING US?

Reading 1, Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21
15 Through him, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, the fruit of the lips of those who acknowledge his name. 16 Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are the kinds of sacrifice that please God. 17 Obey your leaders and give way to them; they watch over your souls because they must give an account of them; make this a joy for them to do, and not a grief — you yourselves would be the losers. 20 I pray that the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant, 21 may prepare you to do his will in every kind of good action; effecting in us all whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, Daily Readings, Word of God, Youth | Leave a comment

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 3, 5, 8b-9abc (Commentary) by Florence D’Costa

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 3, 5, 8b-9abc
1
 The psalm of David before he was anointed. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? 3 If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. If a battle should rise up against me, in this will I be confident. 5 For he hath hidden me in his tabernacle; in the day of evils, he hath protected me in the secret place of his tabernacle. 8 My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek. 9 Turn not away thy face from me; decline not in thy wrath from thy servant. Be thou my helper, forsake me not; do not thou despise me, O God my Saviour.

My Views:
I consider this psalm to be so full of faith and so very deep.  David sees God as his light and salvation and he is not afraid.  He also sees God as the protector of his life.  David is not afraid because he believes that God has hidden him in his tabernacle.  Every single verse has such depth and meaning of blinded faith in God.  Well, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, if we also have the faith of David, God will also be our protector.  He will hide us in His tabernacle where no evil can touch or harm us.  In the days where we experience darkness and trouble, God will be our Light.  He would send his angles to protect us from all terrible danger and evil attacks.  It is important to seek God’s face and to be in His Presence 24 x 7.  To keep our gaze on Christ all the time, would save us from all peril and harm.  When we seek God’s  face all the time, God will be so close to us and He will be our Saviour.  When God is our Saviour, for sure, we will have nothing to fear.  My experience is that God;s love for us is so great that He sent His only Son to save us.  So, when we seek Christ with a sincere heart, Christ will come and dwell within us.  He will bring His Father to dwell in us and we will dwell in Him.  So, we will be safe and secure and no harm, evil or sin can ever touch us.  We when we seek God and when we are in His presence, how can any evil come near God or near His Tent.  Harm, evil and sin can come near us only when we walk away from God’s presence.  But if we stay in God’s Presence and in His Light, we will be safe from harm, evil and sin.  Light, happiness, joy, security and God’s protections will be OURS.
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February 7, 2019 Posted by | Blogs, Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christ's Light, Christianity, Grace, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Presence of God, Trust in God, Word of God, Youth | Leave a comment

Every child is a Gift from God’s hands by Florence D’Costa

Every child is a gift from God – from His hands. We come from God, accomplish our mission on earth and then we go back to God.  Each of us will not and cannot return to God until and unless we accomplish our MISSION on earth.  Have we given this subject some thought.  I guess we should.  God is our Creator.  God has called us to be His Partners.  It is vital for us to co-operate with him.  Each child is a COG is God’s plan.  He has a blue print of what we should do on earth.  God revealed to Jesus Christ that he was the Son of God and that he was to be the suffering messiah when he was baptised by John the Baptist and during the 40 days in the desert.  In like manner when we are baptised, we are told by God that we are on a mission as His child through our parents and God Parents. That is why every Catholic/Christian is called to attend church atleast every Sunday, and for Catholics, sometimes every day if possible.  Well, sadly though, many parents and God Parents are really and truly not enlightened themselves that they are on a MISSION on this earth. We should teach our children that we are on this earth to do God’s Holy Will because he has sent us on a mission.  How many of us think of our mission on earth?  We study catechism in school, we go to church for Mass, listen to sermons and yet many of us grow up thinking only of ourselves and our families.  We go to work, try to make ends meet – stress about paying bills and mortgages etc.  This is only part of the plan.  While we are doing all this, we are to remember that we are Children of God and that our Heavenly Father created us and made us Temples of the Holy Spirit.  When we deeply realise that God is our Father, and that we have to work for Him on this earth, it is only then that we would go about with full zeal to fulfill our mission on earth.

Now, when we look around, we would see God’s people working and doing what they must do to live and at the same time working as God’s children for God’s Kingdom as well.  When we look around we see priests, religious and missionaries who have given their whole lives to Christ and working full time for God’s kingdom on earth.  We then see lay people who work as volunteers and who work part time for God’s kingdom.  So, now, let us sit before the Blessed Sacrament and contemplate. Let us listen to God’s voice and do what we must to bring God’s Kingdom on earth.  Let us mediate on the Our Father and God’s Holy Will, will be revealed to us.   John 13:34-35   34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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February 5, 2019 Posted by | Baptism/Children of God, Blogs, Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christianity, Contemplation, Evangelisation, Kingdom of God, Will of God, Word of God, Youth | Leave a comment

Psalm 23 by Florence D’Costa

Psalm 23   A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

My views:  David was shepherd before he became king.  He knew what is was to be a shepherd.  He would do anything to protect his sheep.  He once killed a lion and a bear, bare handed to protect his sheep. He killed animals that were stronger than him. So, he calls the Lord his shepherd and he knows for sure that God would protect him and that he lacked nothing. He knew that the Lord would take great care of him.  David continues… He says that the Lord would make him lie down in green pastures and lead him near quiet waters. , meaning that he would not be in want for anything and the Lord would refresh his soul.  He knows that a shepherd would guard and protect his sheep, both during the day and night.  For sure David knew that the Lord God would protect him from evil, darkness and from his enemies.  He says that God prepares a table for him in front of his enemies and he wants for nothing.  David was king and his head was annointed and he has everything.  He is assured that God is goodness and mercy and love and would follow him for the rest of his life and that one day he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – meaning heaven.

This is a beautiful psalm and we can apply it to our lives.  If God is our shepherd,. we would enjoy all these things that David enjoyed through his great faith in God.  If we had faith like David, we also would want for nothing.  God would be our protector, our provider, our guide, he would refresh our soul and help us to walk the straight and narrow path.  He would annoint our heads with oil and give us grace to be God’s children.  He would prepare a banquet for us in front of our enemies and our enemies would know that God is our Host.  We can also be assured that God’s goodness, mercy and love and will follow us for the rest of our lives and that one day, we will dwell in the Lord’s House forever.  IT WOULD BE GOOD TO MEDITATE ON THIS PSALM AND SEE WHAT THE LORD IS SAYING TO YOU.

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February 1, 2019 Posted by | Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, God is our Shepherd, God's Love, Goodness, Love, Mercy, Psalms, Word of God, Youth | Leave a comment

Anxious? Why? God Loves You and Me by Florence D’Costa

My dear bothers and sisters in Christ, many of us become anxious when things are not going right for us.  We begin to lose our faith in God and in people.  We lose our peace and we become restless.  St Paul was an executor of Christians and he was then known as Saul.  When he had an experience with Christ, he changed and became Paul, the Greatest Missionary of all time. This man who persecuted and killed Christians, once he had an encounter with Christ, fell in love with Christ and from then on spent all his wisdom and energies to spread the good news of Christ Jesus.

It would do us good to read and meditate on his letters.  He has written very wise and comforting words.  Our faith in Christ would increase through the wise words of St Paul.  God has a plan for every man.  He had a great plan for Saul the persecutor of Christians and I am sure that he has a great and exciting plan for You and Me.  So, do not give up hope in God and let us be faithful and wise like Paul, so that our faith in Christ would be increased and so would our wisdom and we in turn would be able to promote Christ to others in a great way as well. As the saying goes, “little drops of water, make a might ocean.”

May Our Lord Jesus Christ bless us all.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature, text that says 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7'
From persecutor to Christian: The conversion of St. Paul
St. Paul’s conversion began when, with a flash of light, he fell from his horse.

 

January 30, 2019 Posted by | Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, Evangelisation, wisdom, Word of God, Youth | Leave a comment

Faith in God opens the door to Miracles by Florence D’Costa

Many Catholics and Christians of our day, have less faith, even though the stories in the Bible tell us about the love and power of God.  Many of us doubt in God’s care and mercy.  We think, well God can and has done wonderful things in the bible and I know people who have been very blessed by God but I doubt if God can and will do for me.  Why? Because till date I have not received miracles and wonders like the others have.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I would like to assure you that I did think like that many, many years ago and God proved me wrong.  I have studied scripture and I became aware of how much God loves us all, especially me.  By that I mean God loves me in a personal way and He cares for me in a personal way and He knows my every thought, not to punish me but to help me in this life.  He has and was performing miracles in my life right from the moment I was conceived in my mother’s womb because my parents were so happy to have me and they gave me life. I WAS NOT ABORTED like babies who are aborted and killed these days in their mother’s womb.  My God gave me life, love, happiness, joy, fed me through my parents, clothed me and gave me shelter and protection under my parents’ guidance. My parents and the family, relatives and friends around me loved and cared for me.  I was a happy child.  But when trouble strikes, we immediately say, “God does not love me like he loves others and I do not think he will perform miracles in my life.  Well, my brothers and sisters, we are all miracles and Christ is journeying with us and if we look closely, we will find that he does perform many miracles in our ordinary lives, daily.

But, let us now stop and apologise to our God and continue our days as we recognise the miracles in our lives and thank God for every one of them.  LET US HAVE FAITH IN HIM.

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January 30, 2019 Posted by | Blessing, Blogs, Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, Miracles, Youth | Leave a comment

Gospel Mark 3:1-6 23 January 2019 by Florence D’Costa

Gospel Mark 3:1-6    1 And he entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him whether he would heal on the sabbath days; that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand: Stand up in the midst. 4 And he saith to them: Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy? But they held their peace. 5 And looking round about on them with anger, being grieved for the blindness of their hearts, he saith to the man: Stretch forth thy hand. And he stretched it forth: and his hand was restored unto him. 6 And the Pharisees going out, immediately made a consultation with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

My views :
in yesterday’s gospel, we did see that the Pharisees were not pleased with Jesus and his disciples because they picked grain on the Sabbath to eat and Jesus did admonish them by saying that Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath and he also added that he was Lord of the Sabbath.

After saying this he again entered in the synagogue and there was a man who had a withered hand.  Now, Jesus was God and Man and being God, he always felt compassion for man.  When he does notice that something is not right, he would
immediately set out to fix things.  He could not sit back and do nothing, even if he was being watched and knew that he would get into trouble with the Pharisees.   He did see the man with a withered hand and immediately he felt pity and compassion for this human being.  He knew that he simply had to heal this man whether it be the Sabbath or not because he knew that it was the right thing to do and being God, he knew.   Since the Pharisees questioned him earlier regarding picking grain on the Sabbath, Jesus looked at them and asked them if it was lawful to do good on the sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to destroy.  But they did not say anything but Jesus was angry and he was grieved because he could see the blindness of their hearts.  Jesus, being God could see into their hearts and he was greatly distressed and he felt great sorrow.  Pharisees were middle class businessmen and leaders of the synagogue. They were known for their emphasis on personal piety.  Now, being leaders in the synagogue, Jesus expected them to feel pity and compassion for the man with the withered hand but they did not and were following Jesus and waiting for a chance to accuse him.

Jesus knew that he could heal the man’s withered hand and make him whole.  What was the feelings of the man who was healed.  He was first of all shocked that Jesus decided to heal his hand on the Sabbath and yet grateful and joyous.  I am sure words could not describe his joy.  Jesus was bold and courageous and not afraid of man.  His main aim was to do the Will of His Father in heaven. Jesus then asked the man to stretch forth his withered hand and his hand was restored. Jesus gave back to this man – dignity and health so that he could be normal again.

Herodian (in the New Testament) a member of a Jewish sect associated with the Pharisees in opposition to Jesus, and assumed to be supporters of Herod the Great’s dynasty.  So the Pharisees as soon as they saw Jesus healing the man with the withered hand, they went off to meet with the Herodians to plot against Jesus.

Now, we, in this world, who do we choose to be like?   1.  Jesus – full of compassion and mercy   Ready to do good, even though we might get into trouble because of it.   2,  the pharisees who were waiting to accuse Jesus or  3.  like the Herodians full of power, ready to join the Pharisees and do Jesus evil.  or are we like the man with the withered hand in need of healing.  If we are in need of healing, let us go to Jesus Christ and we will be healed.

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January 23, 2019 Posted by | Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, Gospel, Healing, Health, Miracles, Scripture, Will of God, Word of God | Leave a comment

Gospel Mark 2:23-28 January 22, 2019 by Florence D’Costa

Mark 2:23-28 Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

My views :
The Pharisees were always trying to find fault with Jesus.  Every opportunity they got, they would try to set a trap for him.  But Jesus Christ being the Son of God, was God and Man and He knew what was in their hearts and he always had the right answer for them.  In fact, he was teaching them.  The Pharisees made lots and lots of rules and it really became a big burden for the people.  So Jesus Christ was indirectly telling them to make things easy for the people instead of burdening them with so many laws. And that is why he said that Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  People normally eat three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  So, when the disciples were hungry, it was not wrong for them to pick some heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath. Then he further added that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Meaning that he was the Boss of the Sabbath and not the Pharisees who made unnecessary laws just to burden the people.

So my dear people to worship God is definitely not a burden.  All we need is LOVE – to Love God with our whole being and to love our neighbour as ourselves.  The Pharisees made things very complicated for people to worship Yahweh and Jesus was teaching them to Love God and the people in an uncomplicated way.
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January 22, 2019 Posted by | Catechesis, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Christ Jesus, Christianity, Compassion, Gospel, Love for God, Love for neighbour | Leave a comment