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A WORD ABOUT THE WORD – 11/12/17

People often ask me “Brother Bob, do you think that these are the “end times”?  Or sometimes they ask ipurgatoryf I think that these are the “last days”?  When I was bouncing from church to church, many of my protestant friends were always looking for “signs” of the end times.  The Catholic Church was different.  They taught that we should not be concerned with these things, but rather focus our attention on today.  No one knows when they are going to die.  If I were to take two steps and drop dead of a massive heart attack (God forbid), then it was the end times for me.  The same is true with all of us, which brings me to this week’s readings which are exactly about these things.  Our first reading from Wisdom is indeed about wisdom.  It is about being wise and longing for wisdom and treating it with respect.  St. Paul talks about this to the Thessalonians who are concerned about their loved ones who died before Christ.  I, as a Jewish convert, also felt this concern for my loved ones who died without accepting Christ.  Were they doomed?  St. Paul tells us that the dead in Christ will rise first as God Himself with the voice of an Archangel will take those to Himself.  God is the judge not us. These words were to comfort those who lost loved ones.  Finally our Lord gives us the story of the ten virgins.  Five were prepared and five were not.  The basic question still remains the same today.  Are we prepared?  If our lives were to end today are we ready for judgment?  Chances are that we are not ready.  This is why I love our Church’s teaching on Purgatory.  This is a part of Heaven where we are to be cleansed of venial sin and prepared to enter into the beatific vision and wedding feast of our Lord.  Like all weddings we need to be cleaned up and so we spend time in purgation of any venial sin still clinging to us.  If we are in Mortal sin then we need the Sacrament of Reconciliation in this life.  This is why I stress this Sacrament so much.  We do not want to die in mortal sin. So fix it now!  This week heed our Lord’s advice.  Prepare your lamp with the oil found in Reconciliation and then you will be ready should the bridegroom return for you this day.  Be wise…Something to think about and may God richly bless you always…


A SPECIAL WORD ABOUT THE WORD – ALL SAINTS DAY AND ALL SOULS DAY  – 11/1/2017

Did you know that when you pray, you never pray alone?  There are angels and Saints who long to pray with you.  This past week we honored and celebrated all of our Saints in Heaven on “ALL Saints Day”, and on Thursday we honored the souls of those who have passed away this year with a commemoration we call “All Souls Day”.  We know that Christ is the Resurrection and the Life, and that the souls of the just are in God’s hands.  One of the things I love about being Catholic is something called the Communion of Saints.  I like to refer to it as the “Circle of Power”. All Saints This circle involves prayer on Earth and even in Heaven.  As we all journey through this life on Earth, we have the opportunity to pray and intercede for others.  We can pray for someone who is in need or is sick or suffering.  We can help our neighbor and the poor or downtrodden, and we can love and serve our God.  This is called the Church Militant.  We are militant because we are fighting in spiritual warfare as we go through our life.  Temptations and sin may arise in our lives.  Poor choices and wrong associations can lead us away from God.  That is why we need to stand strong and uplift each other.  Men who are strong in their Faith should help other men to be strong. Women should help other women to be strong.  Each member of the body of Christ is valuable and important.  Next in our “Circle” is the Church Suffering.  These are the people who are in the process of being purged of their venial sins or imperfections.  Most of us are not prepared to die when it happens.  If we knew when and how we were to die, then we would all be better prepared.  Purgatory is not a place like Tampa Florida is a place; it is rather a process of purgation.  Those in Purgatory will eventually make it into Heaven.  That is why it is important for us to pray for those undergoing the purgation process.  We do not know how long this process takes, but we can pray for those souls.  Now when those souls have been purged of their imperfections, they then become the final segment of the Circle of Power.  They become the Church Triumphant! These are the Saints in Heaven who are praying with us and for us here on Earth.  How cool is that!  We pray for them, they pray for us and the Circle is complete!

It is all designed to bring us to Heaven.  So on this week let us remember we are all called to be Saints, so let’s respond to God’s call also, let us remember those who have died, and let us do our part as the Church Militant, standing together as the Body of Christ as we try our best to get each other to Heaven.  Nothing is more important than that…Something to think about…May God richly bless all of you…

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