Author: Shirley Aaron

St. Francis Xavier Raises A Dead Man back To Life

St. Francis Xavier Raises A Dead Man back To Life

St. Francis Xavier Raises a Man to Life.

While preaching in Coulan, one of the maritime villages of Travancor near Cape Comorin, Xavier found that the greater part of the people continued to be attached to their ancient superstitions. They listened to him with delight, acknowledged the reasonableness of the Gospel maxims, but did not care to practice them. 

Finding that he spoke to them of God without producing any effect on their hearts, one day he prayed with extra fervor for their conversion. With his eyes raised to Heaven and his countenance inflamed, he implored God to have pity on those infatuated idolaters: 

“All hearts, O Lord, are in Thy hands. Thou canst move the most stubborn and soften the most obdurate as it pleases Thee. Glorify on this day the name and Blood of Thy beloved Son”.

He felt assured that God had heard his prayer. Turning then to the people, with the air of one inspired, he said, “Since you will not believe my words, believe at least my works. What proof do you require of the truths that I have announced to you?”

He, then, recalled that a man had been buried there the preceding day. Resuming his address in the same tone that he had commenced it, he said: 

“Open the sepulcher that you closed up yesterday and bring out the body. Observe first, however, whether he who was buried is really dead”.

The corpse was immediately disinterred and carefully examined. But far from showing any sign of life, putrefaction had already commenced. They took off the shroud, and laid the dead man at the feet of Xavier, who had come to the place of burial. The barbarians beheld the scene with amazement and impatiently waited to see what would happen. St. Francis knelt down and, after a short prayer, addressed himself to the dead body, saying:

“I command you in the holy name of the living God to arise, for the confirmation of the Catholic Religion that I announce”.

At these words, the dead man arose, with all the appearance of vigorous and perfect health. All present cried out with a loud voice that the God of the Christians was omnipotent and that the law which the great Father announced was true. They cast themselves at his feet and earnestly desired baptism, which they accordingly received.

God Desires Mercy Not Sacrifice 

God Desires Mercy Not Sacrifice 

*🎷God desires Mercy; Not Sacrifice🎷*

Friday 19th July, 2019.

*Exodus 11:10-12:14, Psalm 116 and Matthew 12:1-8*

“If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath”.(Matthew 12:7-8).

Every religion has certain rules surrounding offering worship and sacrifices to God. For instance in our first reading this morning, God establishes the feast of Passover for the people of Israel and we can see the rules attached to this feast.

There is an exact day to pick up the lamb, there is an exact day to slaughter the lamb, there is an exact way to prepare it, (not to be boiled or fried but simply roasted), there is an exact way to eat it, there is even a way to dress to eat it and there is a time frame within which it must be totally consumed. And not just that, there is a memorial that must be celebrated every year.

In a similar way, we know that there is a way to make the sign of the cross, there is way to say the Rosary, there is a way to genuflect in church and there is a way to behave before the Blessed Sacrament. Etc. All these are rituals which should help us connect with God!

However, as we see in our Gospel passage, there is an extent to which our worship of God becomes reduced to the mere observation of rules. This was the problem of the Pharisees.

It is like building a mansion and putting a housekeeper in charge of keeping it clean. One day, you travel to a distant place and leave an instruction behind: “Keep this house clean always, don’t even allow a fly perch on the wall”.

Then after some time, you come home and your housekeeper would not allow you to enter your own house because according to your instruction, nothing should enter the house, not even a fly should perch on the wall.

It sounds funny but this is what happens when we observe rules at the detriment of actually worshipping God. No wonder, Jesus says: “I desire mercy not sacrifice”.

*Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, may my worship of you be pure and sincere. Amen*.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.

Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time.

Bible Study: Exodus 11:10-12:14, Psalm 116 and Matthew 12:1-8).

-Fr Evaristus Abu.

God Desires Mercy Not Sacrifice 

God Desires Mercy Not Sacrifice 

*🎷God desires Mercy; Not Sacrifice🎷*

Friday 19th July, 2019.

*Exodus 11:10-12:14, Psalm 116 and Matthew 12:1-8*

“If you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath”.(Matthew 12:7-8).

Every religion has certain rules surrounding offering worship and sacrifices to God. For instance in our first reading this morning, God establishes the feast of Passover for the people of Israel and we can see the rules attached to this feast.

There is an exact day to pick up the lamb, there is an exact day to slaughter the lamb, there is an exact way to prepare it, (not to be boiled or fried but simply roasted), there is an exact way to eat it, there is even a way to dress to eat it and there is a time frame within which it must be totally consumed. And not just that, there is a memorial that must be celebrated every year.

In a similar way, we know that there is a way to make the sign of the cross, there is way to say the Rosary, there is a way to genuflect in church and there is a way to behave before the Blessed Sacrament. Etc. All these are rituals which should help us connect with God!

However, as we see in our Gospel passage, there is an extent to which our worship of God becomes reduced to the mere observation of rules. This was the problem of the Pharisees.

It is like building a mansion and putting a housekeeper in charge of keeping it clean. One day, you travel to a distant place and leave an instruction behind: “Keep this house clean always, don’t even allow a fly perch on the wall”.

Then after some time, you come home and your housekeeper would not allow you to enter your own house because according to your instruction, nothing should enter the house, not even a fly should perch on the wall.

It sounds funny but this is what happens when we observe rules at the detriment of actually worshipping God. No wonder, Jesus says: “I desire mercy not sacrifice”.

*Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, may my worship of you be pure and sincere. Amen*.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.

Friday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time.

Bible Study: Exodus 11:10-12:14, Psalm 116 and Matthew 12:1-8).

-Fr Evaristus Abu.

Innocent As Doves But Wise As Serpents 

Innocent As Doves But Wise As Serpents 

*Innocent as Doves but Wise as Serpents*.

_(Friday 12th July, 2019. Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30, Psalm 37 and Matthew 10:16-23)_

_*“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves”. (Matthew 10:16)*_

In today’s first reading, we saw how Jacob whose name had been changed to Israel finally moved to Egypt along with his entire household and everything he possessed. Even though Joseph sent some chariots from Egypt to fetch him, Jacob waited to hear from God before accepting to move. We are told that God spoke to Israel in visions of the night giving him the green light to go.

We learn from Jacob the need for prayer before taking any major decision in life. Even when everything seems to suggest that a particular decision is the best option to take, there is still a need for us to consult God in prayer. This is why we say that prayer is not one-way traffic, (we do not simply go to God to offload our worries). Prayer is dialogue. While speaking to God, be silent deep within so that you too can hear from God.

Meanwhile, in today’s Gospel passage Jesus continues his instructions to his twelve disciples who were being sent out on a mission. Today, Jesus opens up to them the difficult challenges in spreading the word of God. Jesus told them that they were sheep in the midst of wolves. This analogy perfectly describes Christianity even in our day. Being a child of light is like swimming against the tide. There has never been a time when Christians were loved by the world. We continue to remain the direct object of persecution, hatred, misunderstanding, mockery and all kinds of attack.

Within the last year alone, the number of Christians who have lost their lives in this country for the sake of the faith is alarming. A Pastor went out to preach with a microphone early in the morning in Abuja Nigeria and was brutally murdered. To this day, no investigation or arrest has been made. Two priests and twenty-two parishioners were killed right inside a church, nothing was done. Leah Sharibu remains detained by Boko Haram, just because she refused to denounce her Christian faith. We can go on and on giving examples. The truth is that we have a government in power that supports, encourages and empowers terrorists who persecute Christians.

On the other hand, we must note that there are wolves within the Christian body itself who attack from within; wolves with sheep clothing. These wolves among us are even more dangerous, they cause greater havocs through direct and vicious attacks. This is what Jesus meant by “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child and children will rise against parents and put them to death”. Bad Christians who fill up seats in church daily are worse than non-Christians who openly declare their hatred for the faith. Bad priests and pastors who cause scandals drag more souls to Hell than traditional worshipers or Muslims who have nothing to do with the faith.

Given the external and internal attacks we face as Christians, how then are we to succeed as sheep in the midst of these fierce wolves surrounding us in all sides? Jesus recommends two things: One, the Wisdom of the Snake and Two, the Innocence of the Dove.

Amongst all the animals, the snake can be said to be the most hated but how come it has not gone extinct? The snake is a very wise animal, it knows it is not strong so it hardly engages in physical combat, it tries to win the trust of others (like the case of Eve), as soon as it senses danger, the snake runs very fast in a zig-zag manner. (if they persecute you in one town, flee to the next). However, the snake is not innocent, it carries a poisonous substance within which is called venom. This is why Jesus added we must be innocent as a dove (harmless, sinless, loving). It is interesting to note that the dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is saying we must have the Holy Spirit within us always such that when asked to defend our faith, the Holy Spirit will speak on our behalf.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me courage, wisdom and grace to live a holy and innocent life that I may remain a sheep and not become a wolf. Amen.

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 14th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30, Psalm 37 and Matthew 10:16-23)*.

-Fr. Abu.

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