The BreadCast
Daily Exposition of the Readings of Catholic Mass, from the book 'Our Daily Bread' by James H. Kurt (now with Chanted Verses, and added text of Prayer for the Day). Additional cast - SaintsCast, entries from the book 'Prayers to the Saints' (also by James Kurt). Both books bear imprimatur.

O shepherd thirsty for souls,

whose only desire

was the unity of the Church

under Christ her King

and on the Rock of Peter…

for this cause you gave your life;

for this call from the Lord

you shed your blood –

pray this day all may be one,

that none shall shrink

from fulfilling this desire of Jesus

but by the power of the Holy Spirit

work tirelessly

and with great courage

to slake the thirst of the Lord.

We are all children of one Father;

we have but one Brother in Christ

and one Mother in the Catholic faith.

Pray this truth shall prevail

over the deceptions of the devil,

who would separate and conquer souls

but who is turned back from his evil course

when we are willing to die for one another.

Direct download: Nov._12_Josaphat.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Ws.2:23-3:9;   Ps.34:2-3,16-19;   Lk.17:7-10)

“The souls of the just are in the hands of God,

and no torment shall touch them.”

What does the Lord mean when He instructs us in our gospel to say, “We are useless servants,” than that which David says in our psalm, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves,” and that which the Book of Wisdom states in our first reading: “Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of Himself”?  For though we who serve Christ seem to be dead in the judgment of this world, and the laying down of our lives in service of Christ – who died upon the cross quite freely – seems to be nothing but “utter destruction,” yet we know that it is precisely this death in Christ which brings life… and in His hands we shall be blessed.

“The Lord confronts evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.”  Yet “when the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress He rescues them.”  Yes, “those who trust in Him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with Him in love: because grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.”  And “they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their  king forever.”  For they have given their service to the One who rules the universe, and so in His service they shall remain – death shall have no power over them.  If “God formed man to be imperishable” and made him “the image of His own nature,” what shall touch those who serve Him, who treasure that image of God upon them?  How shall they die?

“We have done no more than our duty.”  This is the bottom line of our time on earth.  And the accomplishment of our duty, the fulfillment of the Lord’s Word at work in our hearts, is all that is needed to bring us to eternal life.  And though it is not His obligation, though certainly no reward is due us who have but carried out the orders of our superior, the Lord will say to us in His grace on that day, “Come and sit down at table.”  And we shall sup with Him eternally, His gracious hand upon us for good.

Brothers and sisters, forget not your call to serve Him, to lay down your lives before Him, and He shall not neglect to hear you now, and to give you life eternal.  Keep your “hope full of immortality” even “as gold in the furnace” your mettle is proven this day, and the day of the Lord shall be yours, when all torment shall have fled away.

*******

O LORD, we are indeed useless servants,

but you greatly bless those who serve you.

YHWH, death is upon us this day, you know.  But we who are joined to the Cross of your Son are not touched by it: from death you save your faithful servants.  Whatever power the devil has to threaten us with our sins and the death that comes from them has been destroyed by the sacrifice of Jesus.  And so, we who humble ourselves with Him will be blessed in your kingdom.

When we cry out to you, dear LORD, you are quick to save us; near indeed you are to the brokenhearted.  Though our spirits be crushed by the travails of this life, you raise them to your presence.  And so, what can we do but glory in your NAME?  What can we do but look forward to that day when we shall sit at your table?

O LORD, let us be purified of all dross by the affliction we suffer in union with your only Son.  Remade in His image, into your peace let us come, dwelling in immortality.

Direct download: BC-110811-Tu_32_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O sacrificial shepherd,

you gave your life for your flock;

a poor and humble man,

you gathered the poor and humble

of the Lord

into the arms of His Church,

where they might be fed with His grace.

Ever with arms upraised

you taught your people ever to pray

and founded many houses of prayer;

peace you brought to your church

that all might serve the one true God –

pray we shall be humble and lowly

as you, dear shepherd,

and so mirror the life of our Lord.

Pray our lives be entrusted to Him,

that whatever we do be in His will;

whether we live or die,

let it not matter to us,

but only let matter the laying down of our lives,

that by such sacrificial offering

God’s Word might go forth

and all souls be welcomed into Abraham’s arms.

Direct download: Nov._11_Martin_of_Tours.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Wis.1:1-7;   Ps.139:1-10,24;   Lk.17:1-6)

“Where can I hide from your spirit?

From your presence, where can I flee?”

Yes, “wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she acquits not the blasphemous of his guilty lips.”  For the spirit of the Lord is everywhere and hears everything, listening closely to a man’s inmost thoughts.  “For the spirit of the Lord fills the world, is all-embracing, and knows what man says.”  And so it is that David sings, “If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there, too.”  How could we escape His encircling Hand and His omnipresent justice if, as David says, “Even before a word is on my tongue, Lord, you know it all”?  And so, in heaven He is present to raise us to glory; but in hell, His presence condemns our sin.

We cannot sin, brothers and sisters.  If we do, we shall not escape His hand.  It cannot but be that the Lord condemns all evil, for “into a soul that plots evil, wisdom enters not,” and what hope have we of life if the spirit of wisdom guides us not?  Indeed, we must “seek Him in integrity of heart.”  Yes, justice must be our love, and wisdom our treasure.  This alone will bring us unto heaven.  If our counsels are perverse and we cause sin to occur, leading others astray by our unjust words and actions, the Lord makes quite clear our fate in our gospel today: “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”  And there is a “little one” in ourselves, whom only the Lord – who probes our heart and mind – knows, and whom we condemn to destruction by our sin.

Rather, we must have faith.  We must forgive others and have an abiding faith in Him, Jesus tells us.  This faith will manifest itself in the great works done in His name, and in our following Him simply day to day.  With such faith we cannot be shaken.  Holding such faith, the light shining upon our souls by Him who sees all will purify us for the coming of His kingdom.

What can we say, brothers and sisters?  The Lord hears us.  Where can we go?  He is with us.  Either for evil because of our turning away, or for our good by our turning to Him, the Lord is ever present.  It must be our desire to come to Him, in wisdom and in justice, in forgiveness and in faith… and hell we shall avoid as gratefully into His glory we fly, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

*******

O LORD, you see us and the sin we commit,  

and so we must turn to you for forgiveness. 

YHWH, your Spirit fills the world; wherever we may go, you are present.  We cannot escape your light, and should we try, we would but find ourselves in hell.  You hear every word we speak: our inmost selves are exposed to your eye.  We must but believe in your love, and Wisdom will be with us as guide. 

But how difficult we make the path to faith.  How ready we are to listen to senseless and perverse counsels and so disbelieve you.  As easily as Eve we fall, O LORD.  May we know your just rebuke of our sins that we might find repentance and taste your forgiveness upon our souls.

O let us not fight against you, dear God! but work always and only for the salvation of all, for the recognition of your eternal glory present in our midst by the Spirit come through your only Son.  And so with you let us dwell.

Direct download: BC-110711-M_32_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O true Pastor of God’s Church,

defender of the faith

from forces without

and within her walls,

you proved that this House

founded by Christ the Lord

shall never succumb

to the powers of hell

but ever stand strong

against all tides of the world

and the evil influence of the devil –

pray though the flesh be weak,

though every member be prone to sin,

that all souls set on the Rock

that is the bark of Peter

shall repel every attack

against the integrity of the faith

and stand with Jesus

as king over the flesh,

as priest offering pure sacrifice,

as prophet speaking His words…

and so until the end of time

may God’s Church be ever blessed.

Direct download: Nov._10_Leo_the_Great.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(2Mac.7:1-2,9-14;   Ps.17:1,5-6,8,15;   2Thes.2:16-3:5;   Lk.20:27-38)

 

“On waking I shall be content in your presence.”

 

Our hope is in the resurrection, brothers and sisters.  It is this which gives us strength, and it is our endurance which brings us to His presence.

Brothers and sisters, indeed, as Paul wishes us, we have “everlasting encouragement and good hope” through the grace of our Lord.  He strengthens our hearts “in every good deed and word” and guards us “from the evil one.”  Thus our hearts should be directed “to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.”

We have as our example today these seven brothers spoken of in the Second Book of Maccabees, who showed the endurance of Christ and their faith in the resurrection to life despite the severity of their torture at the hands of the wicked of this world – and all this before the coming of Christ into the world and the great graces He has since imparted to His Church.  If they could die so for the law alone, to what deeds should we not be able to attain?  If in the presence of their torturers they could state with such confidence, “The King of the world will raise us up to live again forever,” what should we not be able to declare in the name of Him who has now been raised from the dead and ascended to glory?  If they were so well able to regard their suffering “as nothing,” how much easier should be our own sacrifice, we who stand “in the shadow” of His cross and have His wounds in which to take refuge?  Indeed, such greater reason have we to hold to “the hope God gives of being raised up by Him.”

“That the dead will rise” there should be no doubt in our hearts.  The fact that “to Him all are alive” should be firmly fixed as a peg in the deepest recesses of our souls.  Certainly, this is who we are, children of the resurrection, with the calling to come to Christ, He who has been raised to life.  I pray we shall all be “deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead.”  Children of God, may we be like angels in His presence when we rise.  May our minds not be darkened by the night upon this earth, but let our hope be fixed on the coming morning and our faith strengthen us to endure until we stand with Him on that new day.

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

 

Music: "Too Good for This World" from Remove the Mask of Lies, second album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

 

*******

O LORD, give us the courage to believe 

we shall rise with your Son.

YHWH, keep us steadfast in your paths that soon we might come to your heavenly kingdom; let us be ready to die for you, that we might be raised to glory.

If the seven brothers spoken of in Maccabees could so readily give their lives, could so courageously face the cruel torture imposed upon them by the devil, what faith should we not have, dear LORD, we who have your only Son now at our side and your Holy Spirit to open our eyes?  Do we not even now look upon your face; are the glimpses we gain today not so much greater than then?

How strong we should be in walking your way, LORD, we to whom the resurrection has been spoken of so clearly.  We whom your Son has told in no uncertain terms that the just shall rise from the dead and be like the angels of Heaven should have no doubt remaining in our hearts and no fear of proclaiming Jesus as God.  O help us to endure with joy even to the Day of His coming!

Direct download: BC-111013-Su_32_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(Ez.47:1-2,8-9,12;   Ps.46:1-3,5-6,8-9;   1Cor.3:9c-11,16-17;   Jn.2:13-22)

 

“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,

the holy dwelling of the Most High.”

 

On this the feast set aside to commemorate the cathedral of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, himself the founding stone upon which Christ builds His Church, we hear much of temples.  In our first reading Ezekial sees in his vision, “water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple,” water which brings life to the great sea and the fruit that grows upon its banks; the water that gladdens the holy dwelling of the Most High is spoken of in our psalm; Paul tells us we are “the temple of God,” “God’s building”; and zeal for the Father’s house consumes the Lord, and so He purges it with whip in hand in our gospel today.  But perhaps the most revelatory statement is, “He was speaking of the temple of His body,” also from our gospel, and noted as explanation of Jesus’ challenge to the Jews to destroy the temple and He would rebuild it in three days.  This essential truth of the nature of the temple is substantiated by Paul’s teaching of the care needed by those who build within the Church: “No one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.”  Though he then goes on to say that we are the temple of God, wrought in all holiness, and though this is an equal truth, yet neither this truth, nor that which holds Peter as the founding “rock” of this Temple in which we dwell, have any basis without the essential understanding that Jesus is at the very heart of all our worship, of the Church we are.  The Lord has indeed wrought “astounding things… on earth.”  He has made us as those trees along the banks of His river of life, bearing His fruit each month for the benefit of the world.  He has made us His holy dwelling place and placed His Spirit upon us for the building up of His kingdom…  But all of this has its source in the water of life itself, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brothers and sisters, as we celebrate our Church this day and the glorious blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us as His temple, as His children, let us not forget our Savior who has been the cause of and continues to be the cause of our joy.  Let us be washed in the water from His side and be built up in His Body and His Blood.  May we have His same zeal for the Father’s House.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, purify this temple, destroyed by sin;

let us truly be your House, dear God. 

YHWH, you are with us in the midst of your Church, your Son the very foundation of this Temple.  And He is the Temple itself, we His very Body; and so, how holy we should be.  Indeed, we should be as holy as you, our Most High God, as perfect as your only Son.

It is Jesus’ blood and the water flowing from His side that washes us clean and nourishes the growth of His holy Church.  The waters of this River gladden the hearts of all who dwell in your House, O LORD.  Upon the banks of this River let us ever remain, bearing fruit each month, each day, each hour, in your holy NAME.

Beneath the Cross let us make our home, O holy LORD and God.  Here alone in the shadow of Jesus’ arms will we be made whole, will our temple be cleansed and we become your house of prayer.  May the zeal of the Christ chastise our hearts and prepare them for your kingdom.  May we be raised with Him on His Day and remain in your presence forever. 

Direct download: St._John_Lateran_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

(Rm.15:14-21;   Ps.98:1-4;   Lk.16:1-8)

 

“The worldly take more initiative than the otherworldly

when it comes to dealing with their own kind.”

 

What is the Lord teaching His disciples?  What does He wish to tell them of their call?  We need only look at the Apostle Paul, for here is a man, a child of God, who has taken the initiative the Lord would see wrought in us all.

Our first reading indeed speaks clearly of Paul’s mission to the Gentiles.  Not only has he covered a vast measure of the globe (particularly for that time), but his intense initiative is seen most acutely in his never going “to preach in places where Christ’s name was already known”; rather, “they who received no word of Him” became Paul’s audience.  A greater example of taking initiative in the Spirit of Christ to bring His light to the world perhaps will never be known.

But it is required of all of us.  We are not free to revel in complacency because Paul has been so industrious.  It is still true that the Lord must make His salvation known “in the sight of the nations,” and it is still so that we Christians of the Church militant have the responsibility to see that the Lord’s work is accomplished.  Each of us is called to take a measure of initiative, is gifted by God with the responsibility of bringing a portion of His kingdom to light – in our own way, in our own time… but invariably the call is there and must be answered.  All must fulfill their role in salvation history before it can be truly and completely proclaimed: “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.”

The devious employee’s heart was set thoroughly on the business at his hands, and he used his business wisdom, his worldly savvy, to save his skin.  Where is our spiritual savvy?  Where is the employment of our spiritual wisdom and insight to the salvation of others’ souls, and our own?  “I can take glory in Christ Jesus for the work I have done for God,” Paul says quite freely.  Are we able to say the same?  Let us work industriously and with initiative to bring the spiritual kingdom to fulfillment.  By God’s grace, let the Spirit come.

 

********

O LORD, let us do all we can to bring your Word

to the world.

YHWH, you have made your salvation known in the death and resurrection of your Son, but we must carry that truth to the ends of the world, even as the Apostle Paul.

We cannot sit on our hands, dear LORD; we must not dissipate your grace.  Rather, let us readily preach your Gospel in all we think, do, and say.  Then we will be pleasing in your sight, and all souls will be drawn into your presence.

O LORD, to your children you have granted complete knowledge of your ways and made them able to serve your kingdom.  In the power of your Spirit let us go forth to see that all peoples are consecrated to you.

Let all souls sing a new song to your NAME; let all praise your goodness to us, LORD.  From your work let us never turn away until we stand with you on your holy Day.

Direct download: BC-1104-F_31_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.14:7-12;   Ps.27:1,4,13-14;   Lk.15:1-10)

 

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

 

Since “every one of us will have to give an account of himself before God,” who are we to “sit in judgment” or “look down on” a brother?  Why are our eyes set upon others’ sins instead of the Lord’s glory?  Why do we fall into this pit of condemnation?

Yes, Jesus welcomes sinners.  For this has He come.  How blessed are we that He makes such “a diligent search” to retrieve our souls from the grave of sin; how blessed are we when He finds us and puts us “on His shoulders in jubilation.”  In this forgiveness should we glory.  In this grace we should praise the Lord, and seek to help others come to such blessing.  But do we blind ourselves to the grace at work in our souls by setting our sights on the sins of others rather than the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ?  Are we as judgmental as the Pharisees and as those Paul warns today against condemnation of others?

Brothers and sisters, we should rather be with David in his psalm and seek “to dwell in the house of the Lord” forever, and set our “gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate His temple”; we must not let our sights fall from heaven to earth and so lose ourselves in the judgment of others’ sin.  This is the great danger.  This is the devil’s temptation: “Look at him,” he says, “see how evil he is.”  If he cannot get us to believe it about ourselves and so lose hope of redemption for our souls, he attempts to distract us with the sins of others, and so achieve the same ends.  We must realize that “both in life and death we are the Lord’s,” that He loves us and desires our salvation, and that He loves and desires the salvation of all our neighbors.  And so we must come to Him, take refuge in Him and in His love and forgiveness, and then we will “see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living” and not die a miserable death.

Brothers and sisters, let each of us be that “repentant sinner” over whom the angels of God rejoice.  The Lord welcomes us though we are sinners.  Let us not forget His grace.  And let us welcome others.

 

*******

O LORD, let me be that one repentant sinner

you find and place upon your shoulders –

come to me even this day.

YHWH, it is your great joy to see the repentance of the sinner, and so your Son has come among us to invite us to such grace.  And if we are your friends, will we not rejoice with you?  If all of Heaven rejoices at the conversion of the poor lost sinner, we show ourselves not to be of you, not to be of Heaven, if instead we look down upon our brother.  O save us from such a miserable fate!

We all must bend the knee before your Son; we all shall have to appear before your judgment seat and give an account of our lives.  And is any of us without sin, except your Son’s dear Mother?  Then we must know that to dwell in your House, to contemplate your face, we all require your blessed forgiveness, LORD, that without it we will be left standing outside your gates.  And so, let us praise you for your goodness to us, and to others.  Let all souls be found rejoicing in your kingdom.

Direct download: BC-1103-Th_31_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.13:8-10;   Ps.112:1-2,4-5,9;   Lk.14:25-33) 

“Love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Jesus tells us, “None of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions,” turning our backs even on father and mother, even on our very selves.  Our psalm states of the happy man, “Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever.”  And Paul makes clear that we “owe no debt to anyone except the debt that binds us to love one another.  He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

What is this love?  Where is this generous spirit?  How do we renounce all our possessions?  In the cross of Christ we find our call.  The cross of Christ means giving all, means laying down our lives for the Lord and our neighbor – the cross of Christ is love itself at work in this world in the death of self and the finding of the grace and the love of God in heaven.

Jesus wishes that you be sure about this.  He desires that you understand what is required of you – your very life, your absolute love.  Nothing short of total sacrifice will do; we must be entirely whole, utterly holy, to enter His gates, to follow Him into glory.  This is greater and more significant than any war, than any project conceived by the mind of man, for it is our eternal soul that is at stake, whose weight cannot compare to even all the world.  “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”  We all have a cross graciously placed upon our shoulders by our loving Lord to make us one with Him in His redemptive suffering and death, to make us one with Him in such utter love.  How will we find heaven if we do not love?  How do we come to that place which is only of love if we do not give ourselves to love completely?

“How can I do this?” you say.  “The Lord asks too much.”  You must remember that it is only love He asks of you, and that it is His cross you carry – He who is only of love – and so He carries your cross with you, making it ever so sweet and light.  Do you think the saints feared to die in the name of Christ?  Do you think they shrank back even in the face of torture?  None of this has any significance to the soul who is set on Christ; and without Christ a hangnail can seem overwhelming.

Love, brothers and sisters.  It is simple as that.  Love.  Not this world, but His heart, His sacrifice, His cross.  And you will see all brought to life before you; and you will find joy in your soul.

*******

O LORD, what a beautiful invitation to love

is Jesus’ call to carry our cross with Him!

for He is only love,

and what can we find but love if we follow Him –

and who will we then not truly love?

YHWH, teach us of your way of love, embodied so perfectly in your Son, that we might give ourselves as generously as He to all those we find in need.  Help us to give up all things, to renounce our possessions, to turn our backs even on friends and family that we might truly love them and so teach them of your surpassing love.

O how sweet is the Cross your Son would impart to all His followers!  What light it gives to the world.  If with willing heart we lend to others, expecting nothing in return, how blessed are we to thus share in your love!  Love is all that matters; it is the fulfillment of your Law, O LORD.  And we find it in the Cross.

Jesus gives so lavishly to us poor souls, we who are so poor in spirit.  Nothing have we to offer in return, dear God, but the sacrifice of our lives.  May this poor offering be acceptable to you.

Direct download: BC-110211-W_31_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.12:5-16;   Ps.131:1-3;   Lk.14:15-24)

“Come along, everything is ready now.”

Dinner is being served now in the kingdom of God.  But are we prepared to sit down at table?  Or do we turn our hearts to other things?

Jesus sets our place now in the kingdom of heaven.  He has come.  He has died.  He has risen and sends now the Holy Spirit to invite us into His presence.  And His presence is ever with us; He is ever knocking at the door of our hearts – His Spirit is always with us.  But, again, do we hear His call, do we heed His call?  Do we care to come into His presence and sup with Him, and receive His gracious gifts at His precious table, at His holy altar… or do we cling to what is evil, what is worldly?

How do we come to His kingdom?  How do we find ourselves in His presence?  Paul instructs us: we must simply do His will.  Doing His will upon the face of this earth brings us to the kingdom of heaven.  The teaching should be evident to all Christians: “One who is a teacher should use his gift for teaching…  He who gives alms should do so generously…  Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer…”  Do all things as is meet for those things.  It is not complex.  There needs no genius to figure it out, or a scholastic degree to understand it.  One need not travel miles to discover it.  It is truth.  It is Jesus.  It is to suffer and die for Him as called by the Lord.  “Your love must be sincere.  Detest what is evil, cling to what is good.”  What more can be said?  Find peace in the arms of the Lord.  Say with our psalmist, “I have still and quieted my soul… like a weaned child upon its mother’s lap.”  We must do as he proclaims: “I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me.”  We must not complicate God’s simple love for us and our call simply to love Him with all He gives us.  We must, rather, heed His voice, and come into His presence when He calls.

The table is set.  His Word is speaking to us.  In silence we will hear Him; in quiet we will find His voice.  In the vain activity of this world we become deaf.  Only by hearing and doing His Word and will, will we come to sit at His table and partake of His heavenly banquet – only if this is the true desire of our souls.  Even now we taste Him in the Blessed Sacrament; even today we hear His Word proclaimed.  Are we prepared to meet Him?  Do we seek to do His holy will?

*******

O LORD, all are invited your House –

let us find our place in the Body of Christ

and serve Him well.

YHWH, help us to do your will in all things, simply and purely, as your sons.  What you give to us let us share with others, answering you readily when you call.

What need we do, dear God, but share the gifts you give us with others?  What do you expect of us but to use well what you place in our hands?  If we can teach, let us teach; if serve, let us serve.  Whatever we have let us be generous in offering at the service of our brothers.  Let us indeed love freely as you.

Then we will be ready to answer your Son’s call to the kingdom – we will already be answering it in our very actions.  We will not be distracted from coming to you, LORD, if our only desire is to do your will in all things, if we are serving you with all our lives.  Then your Bread will already be before us, and we shall come into your presence this day.  O let your peace reign in our hearts!

Direct download: BC-110111-Tu_31_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O defender of the Catholic faith

in which all the saints

make their home,

O great pastor of souls,

shepherd of Christ’s flock,

who would see all enter fully

into the fold

only the saints know –

pray for the Lord’s Church this day,

that it shall never turn away

from the Truth

which is at its heart,

from the Son of God

who made it,

forming it in His own blood;

pray our souls be set

on prayer to Him,

our minds on meditation

on His life,

that nothing may distract us

from His holy presence

within the walls of Mother Church

and within our own hearts.

Direct download: Nov._4_Charles_Borromeo.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.11:29-36;   Ps.69:14,30-31,33-34,36-37;   Lk.14:12-14)

 

“God has imprisoned all in disobedience

that He might have mercy on all.”

 

I begin to see “how deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God.”  For though I am far from knowing “the mind of the Lord,” yet He does offer me a certain insight this early morning about Him whom Paul says, “From Him and through Him and for Him all things are.”

It is in the complementarity of the readings the insight comes, particularly viewing the gospel in light of the first reading.  Jesus instructs the chief of the Pharisees that when giving a banquet he should “invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind” and to be “pleased that they cannot repay” him for his generosity, assuring him he “will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.”  Now, the Lord does not instruct us to be anything more or less than He and the Father are.  So this instruction reflects God’s own great desire and joy in giving to those who are not able to repay Him: it serves as a reminder that God is love, that He thrives, as it were, on mercy, on compassion.

Paul, in the first reading, states to the Romans, “God wished to show you mercy,” and that for this reason the Jews “have become disobedient,” as well as to fulfill God’s longing that “they too may receive mercy” upon returning to Him who set them apart for Himself.  Again we see the greatness of God’s love, we glimpse His burning desire to show compassion to all creatures.  Now, to the mind lacking wisdom (and love), it might seem as if God is somehow playing with us, causing our falling that He might lift us up again.  But it is necessary to remember that God did not desire us to sin, that this was not His intention… and indeed that He did not need us to sin to show us His mercy and love.  But our disobedience having come, God in His love is not conquered.  This temporary and empty victory by the devil does not tie His hands.  Rather, the Lord takes this opportunity to show in an even greater way the very mercy and love which are His essence – shown to us so clearly in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to forgive men’s sins – to show, really, His greatness, which has its source in this love.

And David’s psalm speaks in the same line: “The Lord hears the poor, and His own who are in bonds He spurns not.”  In our affliction and pain we cry out and He comes with His “saving help”; He is pleased to “rebuild the cities of Judah,” to return us to His side.  It is not sin He desires, but the recognition of our dependence on Him for all things, that He might freely show us His love.  For this love at His heart’s core and which overcomes all – which is the essence of God and His creation – let us praise Him, brothers and sisters.  “To Him be glory forever.  Amen.”

 *******

O LORD, who can repay you

for your mercy toward us,

for your love is without measure?

YHWH, how great is your mercy, and how greatly you desire us to share in that mercy.  And so we have become imprisoned in disobedience, that your love you might freely bestow upon us.  And so you call us to give freely to others, that your blessing of mercy we might know even in our own souls. 

O LORD, how can we poor creatures share so intimately in your merciful love?  How can we who have hardened our hearts so much against you be blessed with the grace of forgiveness and come to the fountain of love you are?  We deserve it not.  We merit only condemnation.  And yet, it is your desire to show us such love, and to have us show it to others. 

How can we thank you, LORD, we poor beggars, we blind souls…?  How can we repay you for giving us, and then giving us back, our very lives?  In your generosity invite us to your table and by your grace let us feast with you.

Direct download: BC-1031-M_31_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O humble and charitable soul

whose healing hands served the poor

and all those the Lord placed

in your care,

with great love you looked upon

Christ on the Cross

and in the Blessed Sacrament,

and so sought to love your neighbor

even as Jesus Himself –

pray we shall somehow learn

to put others before ourselves,

that in this way,

in the way of the Lord,

we will truly love and serve God,

knowing our sins outweigh

those of any other soul,

and yet that the mercy of our Savior

outweighs any human fault.

And so, pray we shall be humble as you,

as kind and as caring,

that we too will lay down our lives

in prayer and in penance,

in the blood and tears of Jesus.

Direct download: Nov._3_Martin_de_Porres.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Wis.11:22-12:2;   Ps.145:1-2,8-11,13-14;   2Thes.1:11-2:2;   Lk.19:1-10)

 

“The Son of Man has come to seek and save what was lost.”

 

How beautifully the readings speak today of our “Lord and lover of souls” whose “imperishable spirit is in all things” and who is “good to all and compassionate to all His works.”  It is indeed “in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ” that we be glorified in Him and He in us, and so we praise Him: “Every day I will bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever.”

The Lord “love[s] all things that are”; all is made by Him, so how could He but love all.  Though to Him “the whole universe is as… a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth,” He loves it all with a most personal affection, shown in the grace-filled coming of His Son among us.  And why has this Son come but to forgive?  Why has He walked the earth but to call men back to their place in the loving heart of the Father?  Why has He come but to show the Father’s loving mercy?

And appropriate is Paul’s warning “not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly” in fear of the Lord’s imminent return in judgment.  Here is remedy against all the false prophets predicting the sudden end of this universe God has created, as if they could move His hand, as if they could know His mind.  Whence does this come but the same grumbling of the people when Jesus moved to go in to sup with Zacchaeus, the famous sinner?  Whence does this come but a failure to understand the Lord’s wisdom and love and manner of working in the world, failing to see that what the Lord does is “rebuke sinners little by little, warn[ing] them and remind[ing] them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in [Him]”?

It is evident that the majority in the crowd would have preferred, in fact, rejoiced in seeing, Zacchaeus’ utter destruction.  They expected the Lord’s punishment on this sinner, and desired it to come immediately.  Why?  Again, they knew not God’s love or the Lord’s purpose.  Why?  Even more to the point: they were sinners themselves who failed to recognize their sin and realize their own need for mercy – and so had neither the Lord’s patience, nor His love.

How well that loving forgiveness is illustrated in our gospel; how like the parable of the Prodigal Son.  As the son returns to the father, Zacchaeus goes ahead and climbs the tree.  As the father sees the son from far off and goes to him, so Jesus spies Zacchaeus in the tree and calls to him.  As the father’s generous love sparks the son’s complete repentance, so Jesus’ acceptance of Zacchaeus brings salvation to his house, shown in his generous penance.  I pray we all seek the Lord who seeks for us and act as Zacchaeus, who “came down quickly and received Him with joy,” as the Lord freely offers His love and forgiveness to our souls.  Praise Him for His kindness!

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

 

Music: "Save the Children" (first half) from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

 

*******

O LORD, our stature before you

 has been diminished by sin,

but your Son comes to raise us to Heaven.

YHWH, how compassionate you are toward all your creatures, desiring the repentance of all in whom your imperishable Spirit dwells that they might not die but turn to you and live.  And so you have sent your Son to seek and save the lost.  And so we should praise you for your greatness. 

You have indeed made all things, and man in your image and likeness.  And so you cannot but look upon us with pity as we distort your blessed image by sin; and so, little by little you rebuke us, LORD, reminding us of our sin that we might abandon our wickedness and believe in you. 

You are our God and King, faithful and holy in all your works, but we are weak and prone to stray from your grace.  So in your kindness you bow down to lift us up, we who are falling, that we might look upon your face, that in glory we might dwell with your only Son… that your salvation might come even to the house of the worst sinner.

Direct download: BC-110313-Su_31_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(Wis.3:1-9;   Ps.23:1-6;   1Cor.15:51-57;   Jn.6:37-40

Note: there are any number of readings possible for this day)

 

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God,

and no torment shall touch them.”

 

Is this not what it means to be a Christian?  To have faith in the resurrection from the dead.  To believe that after our time of trial there shall be peace, that we shall be refined by the hand of God to stand in His presence, to share in His kingship.  “Grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.”  This is our faith.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  And so we have no fear.  The Lord watches over us and guides our path, and in His blessing we take refuge, knowing we shall come to be with Him, knowing He is with us even this day, knowing even death we shall conquer in His Name.  “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”  Nothing shall remove us from His presence.  “We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed.”  Indeed, though all die, all shall come to life.  None can remain as they are; all must be changed.  All that is mortal must take on immortality, and in this immortality, in this incorruptibility we gain, death is swallowed up – it is no more.  “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is an eternal victory.

“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me.”  It cannot be that the Father’s will not be done.  Jesus awaits us with open arms.  He has gone before us, He has prepared a place for us, and we must but come to Him as drawn by the will of the Father.  “Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I shall raise Him up on the last day.”  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Death is not our realm, brothers and sisters.  Though it comes to us all, it is but a passageway into Heaven, it is but the Lord’s means of preparing us for the kingdom.  And so, whether we experience it today or tomorrow or yesterday is of no consequence.  It is there.  It shall come to us all.  But all who believe are preserved from its clutches and drawn into the life the Father offers.  Let us pray this day for all holy souls to come by the Son into the hands of the Father.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, help us find victory over death in Jesus,

your Son, and so come to dwell with you forever. 

YHWH, though we walk through the dark valley, we fear no evil – for you are at our side.  Though death close its mouth upon us, we remain courageous, for your Son has given us victory over sin and death by His sacrifice on the Cross; and as we take refuge in Him, we are raised to dwell with you in eternal life.  Let all souls be raised to your side with Him!

Where in this world can we turn where there is not sin, where there is not darkness, where there is not death?  O LORD, it is so, that this world is clothed with corruption, with mortality.  All is now doomed to die for the sin that besets Creation.  But where does the grace of your Son not penetrate?  To whom would He not bring new life?  And what need we but faith in Him to find that life dwelling in us even this day?

Soon the end will come – the end of sin and the end of death.  Let us not die with death, LORD, but find the victory you desire to impart to all souls through your Son.  May your goodness and kindness follow us all our days and lead us to your eternal kingdom.  May all who have died be at your side.

Direct download: All_Souls_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

O God’s holy ones,

His apostles and martyrs,

His virgins and confessors,

all who have borne witness to Him

with your lives,

who have washed your robes

in His blood,

whose hands are clean

in His sight

and so are clothed in white,

all you who have suffered

under the Cross

in the flesh in this world

and so now stand in His light

in the Spirit

before His throne in Heaven…

O all holy ones of the Lord

from every age,

from every time and place;

from every nation you come,

speaking in every tongue

of His undying love –

please, pray for us, His pilgrim children!

Direct download: Nov._1_All_Saints.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EST

(Rv.7:2-4,9-14;   Ps.24:1-6;   1Jn.3:1-3;   Mt.5:1-12)

 

“Everyone who has this hope based on Him

makes himself pure, as He is pure.”

 

All our readings speak of this purity this holy day.  In the first reading we hear of the saints who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Our psalm tells us it is “one whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,” who stands in God’s presence.  The above quote is from our second reading, and Jesus tells us in our gospel, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.”  Indeed, this purity of heart is the essential characteristic possessed by all the saints in heaven; and so we must strive to achieve it.

I note a striking parallel particularly between our first reading from Revelation and David’s psalm: the reading begins with the image of the four angels (at the four corners of the universe) being prevented from their call “to damage the land and the sea” until the seal of God is placed upon the foreheads of the “one hundred and forty-four thousand [symbolizing absolute fullness in number] marked from every tribe of Israel”; and our psalm begins by proclaiming, “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it.”  The reading continues with John’s “vision of a great multitude” who “stood before the throne and the Lamb” in their white robes; while, as it continues, our psalm tells us that only the pure of heart “can ascend the mountain of the Lord” or “stand in His holy place.”  Then the reading from Revelation cries out, “Salvation comes from our God” and exclaims of the blessings upon the Lord and so His faithful; and David’s psalm concludes that it is he who seeks Him who “shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior.”

What does all this tell us but what John states quite simply in his letter, our second reading: “Beloved, we are God’s children now,” and that when “what we shall be… is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  Yes, we are anointed by Him as His own creation and shall come to stand in His presence with all the angels and saints, proclaiming the blessing He is and the salvation He has provided us.

And in our gospel Jesus climbs the mountain and sits and teaches those who gather around Him.  And how blessed are these eyes that see Him!  How blessed are these ears that hear Him!  And how blessed are we, too, insofar as we hear Him this holy day as He calls to our hearts to have faith in Him and in the kingdom of heaven, to set our hearts on the hope of which He speaks.  And blessed are we most when we suffer insult and persecution for the sake of the Lord, for by this we are purified, and through this “our reward will be great in heaven.”  For we must die in Him before we rise in Him with all the saints in glory.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.

 

Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, let us be made pure as you are pure,

as your saints have been made pure

in the blood of the Lamb. 

YHWH, let us seek you with all our hearts, that we may find you and share in your glory with all the saints in Heaven.  Help us to wash our robes clean, that they may be white, that we may be pure and so able to stand in your light.  Make us your children, O LORD, blessed to dwell in your sight forever.

If we must be purified by persecution in this world, what should that matter to us, LORD; why should that cause us concern?  We should rejoice in this blessing even as we rejoice in the blessing of Heaven, for does not one lead to the other – do we not find Heaven even here, even now, in our suffering with your Son?  But give us your love, LORD, and all shall be cause for celebration for us.

O how we long to worship you in your kingdom, LORD!  How we long to bow before your throne with all your angels and saints.  How we long to sing your praise with them.  Let it be so, LORD.  Let it be so even this day in our souls.

Direct download: All_Saints_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

(Rm.8:31-39;   Ps.109:21-22,26-27,30-31;   Lk.13:31-35)

 

“For your sake we are being slain all the day long.”

 

And yet, “in all this we are more than conquerors because of Him who has loved us.”

We die.  Each day we die, we sacrifice our lives.  We are “as sheep to be slaughtered.”  This is our call, to be as our Lord who was crucified – our King wears a crown of thorns.  And yet in all this apparent weakness, in all those places where violence seems to reign, where death presumes dominion over us… it is void.  It has no power.  For God holds all the world in His creating hand, and He watches over us.  So, indeed, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”  If God fights for us, how shall we be conquered?  We shall not, we cannot.  “Christ Jesus, who died or rather was raised up… intercedes for us.”  And so the death He suffered, which led only to life, becomes our own, and only life is ours in Him.

The Lord would gather all His “children together, as a mother bird collects her young under her wing,” but so many refuse.  So many are disobedient.  So many desire not the love of God.  And so, death comes.  Because of our sin, Jesus must suffer, Jesus must die.  And we must die with Him if we are to follow Him through this world of darkness and sin into the kingdom of light.  For the emptiness of the power of this world must be exposed.  It must be shown for the nothingness it is.  And only by dying does this become clear to our minds.

And so, Jesus does not shy away from death; He does not save Himself from its clutches.  Freely He offers Himself for our sakes, that we might overcome the fear it produces in our fallen souls, that we might then be raised from darkness to light.  The prayer of David is the prayer of Christ, standing in our stead, “I am wretched and poor, and my heart is pierced within me.”  The sword, which has no power over Him, nor over us now, He accepts in His side that new life might flow out from His broken flesh.  The suffering which should be our own He takes and nails to the cross.  And it is dead.  And the power of Satan is nullified.  And in His “generous kindness” the Lord has rescued us.  And so as we suffer now with Him all the temptations of this earthly life, our heavenly king is by our side breathing upon us new life.  Let us have no fear for any presumed power of this universe; the Lord is greater than them all. 

 

*******

O LORD, you will save us

from all trial and persecution –

even death.

YHWH, by the love of Christ we have been saved, and nothing can separate us from that love.  Though Satan persecute us, though the kings of this earth seek to destroy us, yet we shall live in your only Son who, though He died, was raised up and sits now at your right hand interceding for us this day.  And so, what need we fear?

To His death Jesus went, freely and without fear.  In Jerusalem He was slain like all of the prophets.  Yes, the walls of Jerusalem were torn down and the temple abandoned.  But in His resurrection the true Temple is rebuilt, and to the holy City we are now drawn.  Blessed is he who comes in the Name of your Son!  Blessed are you, dear God, who desire so earnestly to justify our poor, broken souls.

And so, now that Jesus has died for our sakes, we shall not be condemned.  We shall conquer all sword and danger in His love.  Praise you for your kindness, LORD!  You have heard our cries.

Direct download: BC-102711-Th_30_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.8:26-30;   Ps.13:4-6;   Lk.13:22-30)

 

“Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?”

 

We question.  We wonder.  With the man who spoke to the Lord as He made His way toward Jerusalem, as He approached His own death, we question Jesus, “Who will be saved?” particularly as we face our own imminent death.  Jesus answers the man, and so He responds to us, too.  His answer is simple: “Come in through the narrow door.”  His answer is wise, and comes with, and itself is, a warning to us not to take for granted the salvation by our God but to be diligent about our striving toward His kingdom, to be purposeful about our dying for Him.  Those who walked with Him may have thought that this alone would be sufficient to ensure their entrance into heaven.  But simply knowing Him, seeing Him, and even eating with Him will not do: He must know us.  He must see us about His work as we see Him about the Father’s work – He must come in and eat with us, nourishing our souls with His daily bread of labor in His Name, of life in His Word.

Brothers and sisters, we may come to His table every day.  We may eat of His Body and drink of His Blood and hear His Word proclaimed to our ears; we may be members of His Church, sitting here in these pews; we may have since birth been graced with the blessings of the sacraments and teaching of our Catholic faith – but this alone does not assure our entering into heaven.  We must live that faith.  We must put flesh and blood to our belief.  There is no other way we can be saved, because this is our life and our life is required of us by God.  It will not magically occur at the moment of death if we have not spent our lives for Him.

O brothers and sisters, we must cry out with David, “Give light to my eyes that I may not sleep in death.”  We must sing to the Lord with him, “Let my heart rejoice in your salvation.”  We must seek Him, seek His life, with all our hearts, that the prophetic words of Paul might become our own, that our predestination “to share the image of His Son” the Father might accomplish in us.  For the Lord does call us, and we must respond.  As we respond, we shall be justified – He shall enter in and cleanse us of our sin.  And remaining on this path of justification we shall soon find glory with God in His eternal kingdom.

Brothers and sisters, let the will of the Lord be accomplished in us.  In our moments of doubt, when we have no words with which to come to God, let us turn to the Spirit who “intercedes for the saints as God Himself wills,” “with groanings which cannot be expressed in speech.”  He truly is our help in weakness.  He truly is our guard on this perilous journey.  Only remaining with Him and in His Church do we find comfort in the knowledge that we are to be saved.

*******

O LORD, call us unto your kingdom

that with your Son we might be glorified –

 let us embrace the Cross as we make our way to you.

 YHWH, send your Spirit to help us in our weakness; hear us as we cry out to you.  In our lives let your will be accomplished, that with your Son we might be glorified.  You lead us forth in your goodness – may we be obedient to the promptings of our heart.

Within us you place your Spirit, LORD; to our ears come the teachings of your Son.  Through the narrow door let us pass, by the groanings you inspire in us.  What can we do but call upon your NAME?  Let us not cry out in vain.

Our enemies surround us, LORD, and seek our downfall.  How they wish to see us sleep in death.  They would bar the door to your House that we might not enter – in your loving kindness defeat their plans.  Let us be made in the image of your Son that on the last day we might join your saints in the kingdom.

Direct download: BC-102611-W_30_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.8:18-25;   Ps.126:1-6;   Lk.13:18-21)

 

“Hoping for what we cannot see

means awaiting it with patient endurance.”

 

We cannot see the coming of the kingdom of heaven.  It comes so gradually; it rises imperceptibly, “like yeast which a woman took to knead into three measures of flour.”  It grows like the tiny mustard seed, which “became a large shrub and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”  A most fruitful reign is the reign of God, and well worth the wait.  As Paul says, “I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us.”  But wait we must.  In hope we take our refuge.  And as we hope, indeed we suffer, for “we ourselves, although we have the Spirit as first fruits, groan inwardly while we await the redemption of our bodies.”  With the rest of creation we groan “in agony” for the futility to which the physical universe has been subject.  Yet hope have we, and it is this which gives us a sense of joy even as we wait so patiently.

“Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.”  Our psalm gives us a picture of the joy that awaits us in the redemption of the just in the kingdom of God as it describes the happiness of the exiles’ return from Babylon: “We were like men dreaming.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.”  The knowledge of the Lord’s hand at work in the lives of these Israelites can only increase our hope, can only stir our faith that we too shall sing, “The Lord has done great things for us,” that we too shall “come back rejoicing” after this time of trial which is our stay here on this earth.  And the fact that we have the Spirit now as the first payment against the day of judgment and against the power of Satan in this dark world causes a sense of joy already in our bones, gives us even now a foretaste of the kingdom to come, and which comes to us indeed each day in every breath we breathe in His presence, and particularly in the food He leaves us to consume at the altar of His holy sacrifice.

Yes, we have His Word at work in us even now, brothers and sisters.  Even as we speak (even as I write), the seed does grow into a tree, the yeast does cause the dough to rise.  Though it take time and we hope most for its fulfillment, yet it is with us even now in this blessed growth we experience in the sight of our God, in the blood of our Lord.  Our hope is not in vain, and the tears we shed now certainly nourish the growth of the kingdom within us and all around us.  Even in these does our hope find fulfillment.  Even in these tears do we taste surpassing joy. 

*******

O LORD, let us hope in you always;

your kingdom is rising in our midst.

YHWH, in patience let us await the coming of your kingdom, for it shall surely come and is even now here within us.  When it shall be revealed to our eyes, our hope will be fulfilled and all our groanings answered.  We shall indeed rejoice in your presence on that holy day.

Your Spirit is now planted in us as a seed of the kingdom, and though we go forth in tears doing your work in this dark world, we ever have the Spirit’s reassurance – the hope He engenders makes any sufferings seem as nothing.  For your glory, O God, shall soon be revealed in its fullness; it shall soon come to full growth and we will take rest in its branches.  O let us rise unto you!

And so, with patient endurance let us wait, O LORD, for the dawn upon the horizon, for on the new day all Creation shall sing your praise, all its sorrow forgotten.

Direct download: BC-102511-Tu_30_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O zealous and loving apostles,

to the ends of the earth

you brought the Word of the Lord;

calling sinners to repentance,

seeking healing for all souls,

you carried the light of Christ

to all the world –

pray we shall match your zeal

for the Gospel;

pray we serve to impart

the mercy of God

unto life everlasting

for all children of the Lord.

May the power and glory

upon you

in the name of Jesus Christ

build up His Temple

in forgiveness and love

this day

that soon all will be one

with Him and with you in Heaven.

Direct download: Oct._28_Simon_and_Jude.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EST

(Eph.2:19-22;   Ps.19:2-5;   Lk.6:12-16)

 

“You are fellow citizens with the saints

and members of the household of God.”

 

And whom is this building founded upon but our Lord Jesus Christ; He is the cornerstone by which the apostles and prophets are set in place, and we are built upon this firm foundation, all integrated as one “holy temple in the Lord.”  This Church is “the dwelling place for God in the Spirit.”  Alleluia!

Oh that blessed night Jesus spent “in communion with God”!  Praise God for the mountain on which He prayed!  For that night, in that place, in these prayers was conceived the foundation stones of His holy temple: in the Spirit that night the essential structure of the Church was given birth in the names of these poor apostles, these simple human beings.

And at daybreak He called them forth by name.  Upon them His favor rested.  And though one “turned traitor” and had to be replaced, yet here are the pillars on which the Church rests.  And to this day their descendants, their blessed successors remain with us, holding up the Church despite their frailties – yes, the power of the Spirit continues to go forth from their call.  “Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge.”  Nothing can stem the passage of this Word to the ends of the earth, for it is founded in the silent communion with God.

Who can touch this silence?  Who can tear down this oneness in the presence of God?  No one can hold the wind in his hands and no one can restrain the power of the Spirit.  It indeed goes forth.  Yes, “the whole structure” continues to be “fitted together” in the Lord’s Name, and no persecution can stop its growth, can prevent its inevitable coming to fullness in the eternity of heaven.  And so, let us thank God for His blessed apostles and prophets and martyrs today.  Let us pray we shall be found worthy to be one with them in the House they build.  And let us come to know the Lord even more, who is at the heart of us all.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, may we be built into your House

with all your holy apostles. 

YHWH, let us become your dwelling place; let us make our home in your Spirit as you make your home in us.  Let us be firmly founded in your apostles with Jesus as our cornerstone.  Then through us, too, your Word will go out to the ends of the earth.  Then we will be one with your apostles.

Into your household let us be built, O LORD, with all your saints in Heaven.  Let Heaven and earth declare your glory – truly let us be your handiwork.  As your Son chose the Twelve by your hand upon Him, so let us be chosen and formed in their image to serve you faithfully in this land, to make this land as your kingdom.

Let our words not be spoken in vain, LORD, our prayers not fall short of your glory; let us rather speak only in the Spirit that your light we might bring to this place.  Though our cause seem hopeless, though darkness beset us, yet let us look to you and find refuge in the prayers of your apostles, of all the holy ones in your Temple.

Direct download: Sts_Simon_and_Jude_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

(Sir.35:12-14,16-18; Ps.34:2-3,7,17-19,23; 2Tm.4:6-8,16-18; Lk.18:9-14)

 

“O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

 

“The one who humbles himself will be exalted,” for it is the lowly the LORD hears.  And in no greater way, and for no greater benefit, do we humble ourselves than to recognize our sinfulness before God.  It is then we prove ourselves His own, for it is then Truth is with us.

We must guard ourselves ever from the sin of pride, brothers and sisters; it is just such presumption that breaks down the spiritual life, for it separates us from our proper place before our Lord and God.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted”; “He hears the cry of the oppressed.”  He does not come to heal those who are well, nor does He respond to the prayer of the oppressor; and our life on this earth is one of continual healing, and whenever we judge another we condemn our souls.

“May it not be held against them!” is Paul’s prayer for his unjust accusers and those who have deserted him.  (How like Christ’s prayer from the cross it is!)  He is crushed before the courts of this world and yet does not judge, and yet does not condemn.  For he is the servant of the Lord and shows himself faithful to such a call.  Even as he is “poured out like a libation,” he remains faithful, unwavering in his hope of standing before and being redeemed by “the just judge.”  He knows fully that “the Lord redeems the lives of His servants” and that “He who serves God willingly is heard,” and so he humbles himself when accused, trusting that “the Lord will rescue [him] from every evil threat and will bring [him] safe to His heavenly kingdom.”

Yes, “the prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds.”  How blessed are they who know their humble place before the Lord, for He hears them and comes quickly to rescue them when they cry out to Him in all their humility.  And of course our greatest rescue must be from sin, that which has made us base before His eyes.  To its recognition and for its overcoming by the Lord’s grace we must dedicate ourselves every day of our lives.  And so we cry out for forgiveness.  And so we return to our homes justified.

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

 

Music: "This World of Sin" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

 

*******

O LORD, you are the just Judge –

hear our cry and save us from oppression. 

YHWH, those who take refuge in you are saved from every evil; those who call out to you are heard and redeemed.  Those who are humble before you, you exalt to the heavens, but those who are proud condemn themselves. 

What hope have we but you, O LORD, we poor sinners who so soon shall die?  What more can we do than spend our lives for you – in this there is great grace through all our days, and a crown of righteousness in the end.  Thus we who are nothing, who would come to nothing without your mercy, may reach even unto your throne, O Most High God.  For you indeed hear the cry of the poor; the just petition of a broken heart you cannot resist. 

As widows and orphans we walk the face of this dark earth; as slaves in bonds we look for freedom.  Come and wed us to yourself, O Father in Heaven, and we shall enter your House justified.

Direct download: BC-102713-Su_30_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(Rm.8:1-11;   Ps.24:1-6;   Lk.13:1-9)

 

“You will all come to the same end unless you reform.”

 

We hear again today in our readings of the distinction between those who are of the flesh, and so of sin, and those who are of the spirit and justice.  And since “the tendency of the flesh is toward death but that of the spirit toward life and peace,” rightly does Jesus warn us that we will die in our sin if we do not repent and turn to Him.  For indeed He and the Father, with the Spirit, are of life and have nothing to do with death, with sin.

Paul continues to make clear the difference, the separation, between those of flesh and those of spirit, and continues to encourage his reader to allow the body to die that the spirit might live: “If Christ is in you, the body is indeed dead because of sin, while the spirit lives because of justice.”  It is in Jesus that our salvation from sin has come, for when “God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, thereby condemning sin in the flesh,” He made it possible for us to live no longer “according to the flesh,” but “according to the spirit,” for we know that “He who raised Christ from the dead will bring [our] mortal bodies to life also through His Spirit.”  Even now His Spirit brings our spirit to life, and on the last day our flesh shall also be joined to Him in heaven.

David’s psalm questions, “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?  Or who can stand in His holy place?”  Only those “whose hands are sinless… shall receive a blessing from the Lord,” and so, again, we must turn to Him, we must be of “the race that seeks for Him.”  “The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it” are of Him.  But how our hearts have turned from Him in sin, and so, how shaken we have become, inviting death into our lives.  And so only those who renounce their sin, who come by the power of the Spirit and the grace of Jesus’ blood, shall attain to His presence.  And only those who bear fruit in His Name will He preserve.

The end of our gospel makes clear that there must be fruit in our lives, brothers and sisters.  This is indeed the sign that we are of the spirit – if we “bear fruit” in the Spirit.  We cannot claim to be of the spirit and bear the fruit of the flesh, which is sin.  Jesus will not fail to recognize the difference, however much we may fool ourselves or others.  We will die in the flesh like any sinner if we do not live according to Christ and His Word.

 

*******

O LORD, let us be dead to the flesh

that we might bear fruit in the Spirit of Christ!

YHWH, let your Spirit dwell in us that we might conquer the flesh and bear fruit in your holy NAME.  How shall we be holy as you are holy, how shall we stand in your holy place, if your Spirit is not with us?  Fulfill our desire to see your face!

Your Son came and walked amongst us for three years, seeking fruit upon this fig tree.  Upon His death and resurrection He sent the Spirit forth to nourish the Church that we might perform works worthy of Heaven.  O LORD, help us to repent of our sin and reform our lives in the image of your Son.

Jesus has indeed condemned sin in the flesh that what is mortal might be redeemed and come to life in the Spirit, that we might be free from the law of sin and death by which all creatures are justly condemned and come to dwell in the peace of your presence.  LORD God, may the Spirit of Christ make us worthy to stand in your sight.

Direct download: BC-102211-Sa_29_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.7:18-25;   Ps.119:66,68,76-77,93,94;   Lk.12:54-59)

 

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is just?”

 

Do we not have the law of God at work in us now?  Must we yet subject ourselves to the judge of this earth, who cannot but condemn us for our sin?  If we cried out with our psalmist for the Lord to teach us His “commands,” His “statutes,” His “law,” and His “precepts,” His “promise” of “compassion” would be with us, His Spirit would come to us and instruct us on all matters.  No longer “the prisoner of the law of sin in [our] members,” we would be freed “from this body under the power of death.”  Not only would our “inner self agree with the law of God,” but our actions would reflect, by the grace of Him who is at work within us, that law now written on our hearts.  The “wisdom and knowledge” the Lord thereby imparts would be sufficient for the resolution of any problem in our lives, for there is nothing beyond the scope of the Spirit.

Both Paul and Jesus Himself encourage us to find the Spirit of Christ at work in our hearts.  We as a community of believers would have no need to turn to the works of the world to resolve our problems if we followed well the teaching of the Lord and His Church.  Should not the Church be our government?  Should not the teaching of God, which transcends all earthly wisdom, be sufficient for our discerning right and wrong in any situation?  Or is sin still at work in our members?  Are we yet subject to this law and the condemnation and death it brings?  Has the devil yet a hold upon us; does he yet cast us into darkness?  Are we therefore too blind to see right from wrong?

Brothers and sisters, we must cast from our souls all vestige of sin; it cannot hold power over us any longer.  We must find the light of Christ in our eyes and so be made able to judge all things in His justice.  With our psalmist we must proclaim to the Lord, “Your law is my delight.”  If we yet take refuge in the law of sin, it will bring but judgment upon our lives.  But if we turn to Him, true wisdom will be ours – and His compassion will save us.

All teaching the Lord puts into the hands of His apostles.  Our Pope and bishops and priests continue, as His servants, to proclaim His truth and impart His grace.  The Church is the home Jesus leaves us; upon it He places His Spirit.  Let us follow the teachings of the Lord and find His power at work in our lives, and all things will be clear to our eyes.  And so, condemnation we shall avoid as by the grace of God we judge all things rightly.

 

*******

O LORD, Jesus has indeed set us free by His power –

let us turn to Him for wisdom.

YHWH, keep us from being imprisoned by sin; only you and your Son have the power to release us from such bondage.  Help us to follow your precepts, help us to walk in His way, that we might find your kindness upon our souls and live in freedom this day.

Why is it we are so blind?  Why so trapped in the flesh?  Our eyes do not look upon the things of the Spirit except with great difficulty, except by the grace that comes to us through your only Son.  O LORD, let our eyes be opened to see Him standing before us, and let us follow your Law by His power.

Here we find a war at work within us.  Without you we have not the wisdom and knowledge to judge well the path to victory over sin.  O LORD, let us not be delivered up to the jailer, for we are not able to pay the price of our transgressions.  Let your compassion be upon us that we might live and do what is right.

Direct download: BC-102111-F_29_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O zealous apostle

who traveled throughout the earth

driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit,

you labored strenuously,

rejoicing in poverty

and welcoming hardships

as you gave your very life

for the flock in your care –

pray the love of Christ

will urge us on to holy zeal

that we might approach your apostolic spirit,

desiring to inflame all men

with the fire of God’s love.

Concerned always and only

for the glory of God

and the salvation of souls,

may we fulfill our call;

as sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

with her same purity and commitment,

pray we give birth to Christ in souls

by the preaching of the Gospel

until all are formed in His image

in the heavenly kingdom.

Direct download: Oct._24_Anthony_Mary_Claret.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.6:19-23;   Ps.1:1-4,6,40:5;   Lk.12:49-53)

 

“The Lord watches over the way of the just,

but the way of the wicked vanishes.”

 

The division is clear.  The Lord Himself has stated, “I have come for division.”  Far from establishing “peace on the earth,” His message makes clear the distinction between the evil and the good, the wicked and the just, drawn so well in our psalm today.  He has “come to light a fire on the earth.”  It shall purify the just for the kingdom of God even as it burns up all the wicked.

Paul also makes clear the division between the evil and the good, between that which is of God and that which is of sin.  “Formerly you enslaved your bodies to impurity and licentiousness for their degradation…  But now that you are freed from sin and have become slaves of God, your benefit is sanctification as you tend toward eternal life.”  The distinction is certain: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Indeed, the just “is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade,” but the wicked “are like chaff which the wind drives away.”  This division is what the Lord’s light and fire reveal; and this revelation is eternal.

It is painful, brothers and sisters.  It is painful to undergo our own transformation to justice and light from the depths of depravity into which we have fallen, and will be painful to witness others destroyed by the hardness of their hearts.  The Lord Himself expresses this pain when He says, “What anguish I feel till it is over!”  He takes no pleasure in bringing the agony of division, which begins with His own agony in the garden and ends with His crucifixion.  He suffers most to witness the sins of the masses so acutely.  They wag their heads at Him even as He cries from the cross.  What is to be done?  Division must come.  For the kingdom must come, the resurrection must take place, and sin cannot stand in its light – and so those who attach themselves to sin, to the works of the father of lies, will not stand in that day either.  And even now the judgment comes, even now we must take sides – even now we choose death, or life. 

*******

O LORD, set us free from our sin –

burn away all evil.

YHWH, the sword of the Spirit your Son brings separates the wicked from the just – it is a fire purging all evil from the earth, destroying those who give themselves over to impurity and licentiousness, yet lighting your servants’ way to Heaven.  He who walks in accord with that light, placing nothing before its demands to holiness, shall enter your presence even as the insolent are consumed.

What can we do, O LORD. to save souls from death?  It shall come inevitably to all slaves of sin.  We can but hope to make ourselves pure, seeking ever eternal life, and pray that men will turn to you.  All is in your hands; let us be sanctified by your touch. 

Who has not sinned?  Who has not degraded the dignity you instilled in our souls?  Yet you would make us fruitful in the Spirit, O God, if we but set our hearts on your Word.

Direct download: BC-102011-Th_29_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O tireless preacher of God’s Word,

how well, how completely,

you called all men,

and especially the priests of the Lord,

to a life of holiness,

to shine the light of Christ;

with patience and sound doctrine

and the example of a blameless life

you sought to save souls

throughout the world

and bring them into the fold

of Holy MotherChurch

pray this day apostles go forth

in the brightness of holiness

as light to the world,

drawing all men to God.

In such wisdom let truth be known,

the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ,

that every heart might call Him Lord

and proclaim the Church as His own.

Pray not a day pass,

not an hour upon this plane,

wherein His Word is not heard.

Direct download: Oct._23_John_of_Capistrano.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.6:12-18;   Ps.124:1-8;   Lk.12:39-48)

 

“Offer yourselves to God

as men who have come back from the dead to life.”

 

If we have come back from the dead to life, should we then offer ourselves up to death again?  As Paul questions, “Are we free to sin?”  How absurd a thought!  If we are sinners, let us give ourselves freely to sin, and find the condemnation which comes from this.  But if we are men of justice, let us give ourselves to “obedience” of the teaching imparted to us, and find life firmly in our souls.

Jesus states quite clearly, “When much has been given a man, much will be required of him.”  Brothers and sisters, much has been given us simply by our release from the sin which once enslaved us.  Indeed, “we were rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare,” as David’s psalm proclaims.  The “raging waters” that “would have overwhelmed us,” the “torrent [that] would have swept over us,” has been calmed…  For this alone we have much to be thankful; simply by this grace much has been entrusted to us.  And what follows only adds to this initial blessing; for each day our souls are required of us, each day He puts in our hands and calls us to the work set aside for our souls to complete.  Each day the gift of grace is increased within us.  So should we then begin “to abuse the housemen and servant girls, to eat and drink and get drunk”?  Should we then return to the slavery of sin which blinds our eyes to His eternal presence?  Certainly not.  Rather, we should “be on guard” at all times, vigilantly prepared for our master’s return, employing the gifts He imparts to us each passing day.

We are no longer dead, brothers and sisters.  We have the grace of our God at work within us, lighting our eyes and filling our souls with His holy food.  We must now be holy as He.  It is not for us to return to the death of sin, to subject ourselves to its chains once again, to have our eyes darkened and our souls destroyed.  The grace, the light within us, must be diligently preserved.  We must come to Him, come to His stewards to whom the most has been entrusted, who hold in their power sacramental grace, and confess our sins in His presence, and come and eat of His Body and Blood.  Let us avail ourselves of these gifts these successors of the apostles hold and thus find the strength to give our own “bodies to God as weapons for justice” and not for sin.

 

*******

O LORD, let us give you all that we have,

all that we are;

then there will be nothing left to give.

YHWH, you have saved us from the raging waters, from the torrent that would have overwhelmed our souls – and should we cast ourselves back into the sea?  Should we once again give ourselves to sin?  No!  We must give ourselves as slaves of your justice and serve you all our days, never turning from the grace at work within us, never again obeying the flesh and its lusts.

For soon your Son shall return for us, O LORD – and should He find us in a drunken state?  Should He find us with violence in our hands and lust in our heart?  If so, then we would prove ourselves unworthy of trust; and what would we be then but beaten for our lack of love?

You yourself are present now in our very spirits, LORD.  Let us treasure this grace upon us and work out our salvation, never giving ourselves again to the teeth of the beast.

Direct download: BC-101911-W_29_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.5:12,15,17-21;   Ps.40:7-10,17;   Lk.12:35-38) 

“To do your will, O my God, is my delight,

and your law is within my heart!”

“May those who love your salvation say ever, ‘The Lord be glorified.’”  May we who love the Lord “exult and be glad” in Him.  May we who take refuge in His grace sing aloud His praise.  What greater gift could we have than Jesus Christ, whose “single righteous act brought all men acquittal and life.  For truly we were dead in our sin,” truly the offense of Adam had infected our souls, truly through this “one man’s disobedience all became sinners” – but more truly “through one man’s obedience all shall become just,” for “His grace has far surpassed” the increase of sin.  And so, what should we do but rejoice with David at the truth of Paul’s instruction.

And what should we do but be ready, truly ready, really waiting, patiently, for the return of our Lord.  “Be like men awaiting their master’s return from a wedding.”  Set your hearts on His coming again, “so that when He knocks, you will open without delay.”  This is yet the greater blessing for us servants, that even in these dark days upon this earth, we stand ready for His return.  Here is His grace at work within us, that our hearts are set on Him, that His presence, the coming of His kingdom, we know even now in anticipation of its arrival.  No greater blessing could we hope for than to be “those servants whom the master finds wide-awake on His return.”  By this we know we have conquered sin; by this we see that we have overcome the darkness which surrounds us – if whether “at midnight or before sunrise” we are found prepared, if even in the darkest times we hold His light, if our eyes are like “lamps… burning ready” and our “belts… fastened around [our] waists”… we have all that we need in this world.

Be ready, my brothers and sisters, for the joy is coming; it will not delay.  That happiness of life in His presence we sense even now, we taste even this day in our mouths, will come soon to fulfillment in the reign of our God.  And so, “those who receive the overflowing grace and gift of justice [will] live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ,” for whom we await, in whom we take our refuge, whose name we praise, His saving word etched upon our souls and bleeding in our hearts.  In all we do we wait for His coming.  He alone is our desire, and we shall not be disappointed.

*******

O LORD, let us be always ready to serve you;

let your grace reign in us

and we shall come to do your will.

YHWH, grace has come to us by the sacrifice of your Son and cleansed us of the disobedience of Adam.  We are thus set free from sin and placed on the path to eternal life.  And so, what should we do now but wait for Jesus’ return, when that grace shall be fulfilled and we shall come to dwell with Him in Heaven?

Truly has Jesus been obedient to your command.  Truly has He achieved the conquering of death and the end of its reign for every man.  Truly has His death brought us acquittal and life.  And truly will He return, O LORD, to reward all His faithful servants; truly will He Himself be their food.

O let us be ready for His coming!  Let our lamps be burning ever and our hearts prepared always to open when He knocks.  Let us offer ourselves with Him as His Body, dear LORD, that to us quickly salvation shall come even in the dark night of this world.

Direct download: BC-101811-Tu_29_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Rm.4:20-25;   Lk.1:68-75;   Lk.12:13-21)

 

“We should serve Him devoutly

and through all our days be holy in His sight.”

 

For “this very night your life shall be required of you.”  Always and forever our faith is required of us, if we are to draw breath.  Always and forever the Lord asks us what fruit we have produced.  Always and forever we must be careful not to toil in vain, but to live according to His Word, believing in His promise.  Else our lives will indeed be empty vessels.

Holiness befits His house.  Adherence to His covenant is our call.  Faith in the One who is “saving strength for us” is our necessity.  We must indeed be as our father Abraham, who was “fully persuaded that God could do whatever He had promised,” whose “faith was credited to him as justice.”  And if we have the same faith as Abraham, we will find the same justice, the same reward as he.  “For our faith will be credited to us also if we believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”  Jesus “was handed over to death for our sins and raised up for our justification” and only faith in Him as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham will give us life.

Why do we turn to the things of this world and in them seek our fulfillment, and in them seek our rest, when they are so vain and when all the while Jesus calls to our souls to come to Him?  Why is it we think that in the goods of this world we can find refuge, we can find strength?  Why are we so blinded to believe that in them we can find our peace?  “Relax!  Eat heartily, drink well.  Enjoy yourself.”  Here is the fruitless mantra of this materialistic world.  Here is the epitome of our blindness to His will.  Here is the belly seeking to take the place of the spirit.

Can we not see that it is only the spirit that gives life, that the flesh is of no avail, that the riches of this earth serve more as a distraction to finding the life and the peace we seek in the depths of our souls than to bringing a fulfillment of this most human of desires?  This desire cannot be satisfied except in Christ.  We must not be as “the man who grows rich for himself instead of growing rich in the sight of God,” or when these passing riches rot away or are taken from us, we will be left terribly empty.  Rather, we should “avoid greed in all its forms” and dedicate ourselves to service of the Lord.  Only in Him is life and peace made known, and only by holiness do we come there.  At all times the Lord is calling to our soul; let us answer Him in faith.  

 

*******

O LORD, Jesus has died and been raised

for our salvation –

may we believe in Him and grow rich in your sight.

YHWH, let us not grow rich to ourselves, setting our hearts on the wealth of this passing world, but rather grow rich in your sight, in your gifts and graces.  Let us have faith, first of all; this blessing let us most treasure.

You have sent your Son as Savior for us – what more could we ask of you?  Here is the fulfillment of all our desires.  And if we put our faith in Him who has died for our sins and been raised for our justification, if we serve Him devoutly all our days, it will indeed be credited to us as righteousness and great reward will be ours in Heaven.  O LORD, let us know your mercy upon our souls!

Only in you our life is found, dearest LORD and God.  Our every breath is in your hands and when we come to the end of our days, what hope shall we have but that you breathe into us new life?  And so, let us store up wealth for you alone, the wealth of a faithful heart.

Direct download: BC-101711-M_29_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O true lover of the Crucified,

always you celebrated

the feast of the Cross

in the temple of your soul,

uniting yourself with the will of God

by taking upon yourself

the torments of the Lord

in a silent joy

and so finding the food

of sacrificial love

which sustains us in this world –

pray we shall be as Christ,

that we shall walk the path

He marks out for us,

and so in embracing the Cross

find true joy in the grief we suffer,

in the blessing of oneness

with our crucified Lord

and so with His Father in Heaven.

You who have been transformed

into your Beloved,

pray we shall join you

through the Passion of Christ.

Direct download: Oct._20_Paul_of_the_Cross.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Ex.17:8-13;   Ps.121:1-8;   2Tm.3:14-4:2;   Lk.18:1-8) 

“Call out to Him day and night.”

How faithful is the Lord.  How true is He.  As our psalmist so well states, “He neither slumbers nor sleeps.”  Indeed, “He is beside [us] at [our] right hand”; always “the Lord will guard [us] from all evil” – “The Lord will guard your coming and your going, both now and forever.”  But are we so faithful to Him, turning to Him for His eternal help?

“Pray always without becoming weary.”  This is our instruction today.  This is the “wisdom for salvation” sacred Scripture brings us.  Do we receive the “correction” and “training for righteousness” it would impart?  Do as Jesus asks: “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.”  Though he “neither fear[s] God nor respect[s] any human being,” yet because of the widow’s persistence, he renders a just decision for her.  And do you think God will not hear and answer us when we call out to Him?  Do you think He is so “slow to answer”?  Rather, “He will see to it that justice is done… speedily,” for ever He waits for us to turn to Him; always He longs to do justice for us – it is His great joy to answer our prayers.

Learn from our reading from the Book of Exodus.  It informs us, “As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight.”  And it was not until Aaron and Hur supported him and “his hands remained steady till sunset” that “Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”  And so the sword of the Spirit shall not truly be our own, we will not truly be victorious in the battle against sin, until we remain always in the presence of the Lord, until we, like Him, no longer slumber or sleep.

Brothers and sisters, “proclaim the Word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient,” as Paul exhorts us.  In sacred Scripture and the power of the Spirit we find our source for right living; by it we become “equipped for every good work.”  And consistently good works are found by us only if our prayer is consistent and good.  Only if we remain steady and persistent in our calling out to Him at all times will He “not suffer [our] foot to slip.”  Let us “lift up [our] eyes toward the mountains,” seeing always whence our help comes.  The Lord prays for us always; let us join Him in prayer.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Over the Stumbling Block" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, may you find faith in our hearts,

and perseverance in doing your will.

YHWH, we must but be persistent, persistent in our prayer and in our work for you, and we shall find your blessing – all our enemies will be conquered and we will dwell forever with you.

We look to you, O LORD, for you alone are our strength and our salvation, you alone guard us from all evil and equip us well for battle.  In you and in your Word we take our refuge, and so we find the wisdom we need to attain to your glory.  Quickly you come to answer our pleas, for your heart is ever set on our salvation.

O may your arms be ever raised to bless us!  May your love for us remain always steady, and we remain steady with you.  Let us not grow weary in the battle of earthly life but continually find our inspiration in you, always ready to do your will.  Hear us as we call upon you this day, O LORD, and justice shall be ours.

Direct download: BC-102013-Su_29_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O heroic witnesses

to the faith,

O loyal followers of Jesus

who took up the cup

of torture and death

willingly,

with desire only to join your Lord,

with delight and joy

at the deadly blows…

your offering of body and blood

is unsurpassed

because it was one

with Christ’s own,

done with love for those

who killed you –

pray we shall so completely

embrace our call,

embrace the cross

provided us by the Lord,

that with your same thirst for truth

we shall lay down our lives for our brothers.

Direct download: Oct._19_Isaac_Jogues_John_de_Brebeuf_and_Companions.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.4:13,16-18;   Ps.105:6-9,42-43;   Lk.12:8-12)

 

“All depends on faith, everything is a grace.”

 

Faith is our father; it brings us to life for it makes us children of “the God who restores the dead to life and calls into being those things which had not been.”  By faith we entrust ourselves into God’s hands and become as Abraham, who is “our father in the sight of God in whom he believed.”  “Hoping against hope, Abraham believed and so became the father of many nations,” and insofar as we believe, we become his children before God.  Indeed, it is through faith alone that we are born into His kingdom.

And having faith, we must acknowledge its presence in our lives by witnessing to the Son of God.  If we are His disciples, as we must be, we will not hide His grace working in us but allow it to bear fruit in the profession of that faith before the world.  And so, as we “come before synagogues, rulers, and authorities,” as we stand before the face of this generation, as we do anything in this world, we must “not worry about how to defend [ourselves] or what to say.”  Jesus tells us, “The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that should be said.”  And so by this trusting in Him we prove ourselves children of faith.

This is the manner in which I produce this writing.  Trusting in Him as entirely as my faith allows, I am not concerned beforehand what I shall speak, what I shall write upon this page.  In the measure that I am a child of grace, I prove it by my allowing Him to speak through me at this moment and in His way.  This is what we must strive to do with all our work, in all our lives.  All our lives are founded upon this faith, and the Lord calls us in an ever greater way to express that faith, to live that faith, by consecrating all we think and do to His will and desire.  It is for us to but come into His presence, to remember He is here with us, and so to find His grace at work in our lives.

We must be prepared and be preparing ourselves always to stand before Him forever.  As we place ourselves in His presence now, it is so that we die to ourselves and begin to live by His grace.  More and more we must trust in that faith which joins us to Him and makes us children of the promise which “holds true for all Abraham’s descendants… for all who have his faith.”  Faith alone will bring us to life, for faith alone brings us into the presence of Him who is life.  Enter His grace, brothers and sisters, and find it working in your life.

 

*******

O LORD, if we believe in you,

you will be with us.

YHWH, you restore the dead to life and call into being those things which had not been.  And so, should we not put our faith in you?  And so, should we not proclaim your glory before men?  With a God such as you, what need we fear?  O let us live in faith and so be blessed!

All indeed depends on faith, O LORD; it is our very life breath.  Everything is a grace from you who bring all things into being, and we must acknowledge that grace at work in our lives in order to join ourselves to you and that grace, and so find life itself.  Separated from you we shall but die, but as children of Abraham, as children of faith who believe in you and in your Son, we shall live forever.

You are faithful and true to your Covenant with your chosen ones.  Let us trust in you, LORD,  and in your Spirit’s movement in our lives.

Direct download: BC-101511-Sa_28_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O bringer of the Good News,

the light of the Gospel,

to many nations…

a thorough account you have given us

of all Jesus did and taught

and of the Holy Spirit’s work

among His disciples;

and so the Lord’s peace

may enter our homes,

and we embrace Him with Mary –

pray, dear physician,

that the Word of the Lord

may indeed come to our hearts

through the words you declare,

and we be healed by His grace

and illumined by His Spirit;

the glory of the kingdom pray we know.

Though He has been taken from our sight,

let us proclaim His presence

with great joy,

for He yet speaks to all our souls

in the words you have recorded,

in the fire of God that guided your hand.

Direct download: Oct._18_Luke.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EST

(2Tm.4:9-17;   Ps.145:10-13,17-18;   Lk.10:1-9)

 

“The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength,

so that through me the preaching task might be completed

and all the nations might hear the Gospel.”

 

As I read of Jesus’ instruction to the disciples as He “sent them in pairs before Him to every town and place He intended to visit,” and particularly His words to them to “eat what they set before you,” I am reminded of the command given Peter in his dream to “take and eat” of the unclean animals (Acts 10:13), this just before the first Gentile converts came to him seeking the Word of God.  And, of course, similar terminology is present in Jesus’ sending his workers as if into a harvest: in this case, the Lord shall eat of the feast the disciples are sent forth to prepare.

We know our work is our food, that the labor the Lord imparts to us serves as our daily bread.  And we know that the wheat that becomes His precious Body and the Word that is cultivated by His apostles, by His preachers and prophets, is the food that sustains us, that strengthens us for our daily tasks.  All we do must be blessed by Him and be, as it were, a “discourse of the glory of [His] kingdom,” and His kingdom, which is “a kingdom for all ages,” and His dominion, which “endures through all generations,” shall become known in our midst.

It is not easy to eat of this food, to drink of this cup.  We see how alone Paul finds himself in our first reading.  “Everyone abandoned me,” he declares in reference to his trial before the courts of this world.  He pleads with Timothy to join him soon, for many have left his side: “I have no one with me but Luke.”  Indeed, he has nothing but the Word of God.  And most apparent in the Lord’s instruction to His disciples is the utter reliance on God we must find.  Impoverished He sends them forth, dependent only on their preaching and healing to feed themselves.  Yes, He sends them forth “as lambs in the midst of wolves.”  Not a happy prospect.  But they have the Word of the Lord to make them strong and protect them from all evil of this world, and nothing could be more sure than this.

Into so many homes Luke’s gospel has come, bringing its peace to all who abide in the Lord.  The proclamation by this great evangelist that “the reign of God is at hand” comes to our hearts even this day.  Let us make room for this Word within ourselves and it shall feed us on our journey to the kingdom, and by its grace we shall complete our work on this earth.  May the word of the Lord go ever forth.

 

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.

 

Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.

 

*******

O LORD, send forth your laborers

to declare the glory of your kingdom to all nations. 

YHWH, send forth workers into your harvest, that all might hear your Word preached to their souls and find your peace in their hearts.  Your reign be upon us this day.

O LORD, your kingdom endures through all generations; to your glory there is no end.  O let us share in your holiness, let us share in your glory! and let us share your glory with all souls on the face of this earth.  Though we must stand alone as has Paul, though we might be rejected by those to whom we come, yet let us be faithful to your Word and with great strength and confidence accomplish your will.

You are our strength, O LORD, and you are our peace; send us forth in your Name to preach and to heal.  Let your kingdom come into our midst through your blessed disciples, who speak only of your glory, who find refuge in your might.  Nothing do we need if we have you, LORD.  Please stand at our side.

Direct download: St._Luke_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

O wheat of Christ

ground by the teeth of wild beasts

and so made His bread,

His leaven unto Heaven…

by such heroic witness

you became one with the Lord,

joining Him in death

and so in eternal life –

pray we shall find the strength and faith

to follow in your sacrificial footsteps,

that it will also be our sole desire

to die in Jesus’ name,

to be remade in His glory.

Teach us the way,

for it seems so dimmed

by the material things

the devil presents to our vision;

pray for us, blessed victim,

that our thirst for life in Him

will overcome any obstacle

and so our journey to His kingdom

be made straight by His grace.

His flesh and blood be our own this day.

Direct download: Oct._17_Ignatius_of_Antioch.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.3:21-30;   Ps.130:1-7;   Lk.11:47-54)

 

“This generation will have to account for the blood of all the prophets

shed since the foundation of the world.”

 

And so shall it be with Christ’s own blood, the fulfillment of all the martyrs’ sacrifice; for these same scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus proclaims guilty of the prophets’ murders will indeed devise the murder of the Son of God.  And they prove the truth of His words immediately by their manifestation of “fierce hostility to Him” and their thus giving birth to the plot to crucify Him.

Perhaps most appropriate for today, with regard to Paul’s epistle to the Romans, is the Lord’s admonishment of the lawyers: “You have taken away the key of knowledge.  You yourselves have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wish to enter!”  It is essentially the same message the Apostle teaches: “The justice of God has been manifested apart from the law… that justice of God which works through faith in Jesus Christ.”  It is not through “observance of the law” that justification comes; the works of the law – circumcision, animal sacrifice, dietary rules – which address the body, are useless in this regard.  God is Spirit and it is spiritual means He uses to redeem us – we must come in faith to Him.  And those who would restrict faith by the imposition of these laws serve only to impede the working of the Spirit and His grace.  Paul states the question succinctly: “Does God belong to the Jews alone?  Is He not also the God of the Gentiles?”  If He is God of all nations, it is not meet to impose Jewish religious practice upon those apart from Jewish tradition.  But these protectors, or rather “possessors” and defilers of the law – defiling it by their greed in seizing it, their pride in assuming it as their own and not God’s – cannot accept that “it is the same God,” that the Gentiles are equal in grace with the Jews… and so to them this teaching is blasphemy.

At the root of the problem is the fact that these leaders are not as the psalmist in our readings today, who sings: “My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.”  Nor do they cry “in supplication” “out of the depths” of their iniquity for God’s forgiveness.  If they had been so disposed, they would have seen who stood before them, they would have recognized His coming, and they would have fallen to their knees and found His grace.

Let us not be so hardhearted, for indeed the blood of Jesus is upon the hands of all who sin, just as His salvation is upon all who repent and believe in Him.  Water alone will not wash us clean; we must recognize the lack of love we have, and find His Spirit working in us.

*******

O LORD, your justice is shown in your mercy,

which you offer to every faithful soul.

YHWH, we have all sinned and fallen short of your glory, and cannot by our own strength find our way back to you.  We cannot justify ourselves but need the grace that comes to us through the blood of your Son to justify our souls, to set us right with you.

But what of those who fail to see they need your forgiveness, who fail to recognize that they, too, are sinners, that they have the blood of Jesus upon their hands?  O LORD, how can these be justified?  How can they come to faith in you if they do not listen to the One you have sent to draw us back to your presence?  They shall but continue in the way of sinning, mounting up the blood of the prophets for judgment day.

Your Son offers His life for our sakes; freely He sacrifices Himself upon the Cross that we might be saved.  Help us to turn to Him, O LORD, to see what we have done, repent, and be redeemed.  You are the God of us all, and to all souls Jesus’ blood does call.

Direct download: BC-101311-Th_28_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O apostle of Christ’s Sacred Heart,

in mystic wonder you beheld Him

and let Him wash you clean

in the streams that flow

from His Heart divine –

pray indeed we shall unite ourselves

to Jesus and His love,

that we shall submerge

our needs and sorrows

in the abyss of His mercy

and seek perfection

in union with His Sacred Heart.

There let us find salvation,

reparation for all our sins;

there let us find heavenly joy,

the peace that surpasses understanding.

With you let us enter His presence,

let us be bathed in His light,

ever progressing toward His kingdom

till we are devoted entirely

to advancing His eternal glory.

Pray His will and His way be known in us

as we entrust ourselves to His love.

Direct download: Oct._16_Margaret_Mary_Alacoque.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:05pm EST

O mother of the unfortunate

and model of prayer and penance,

completely you gave yourself

to service of the Lord

and neighbor,

chastising your flesh

by constant fast and abstinence

and generously offering

your goods and your time

to all those in need –

pray we shall at least desire

to imitate your thorough devotion,

that our lives will be spent

not on things of this world

but for the reign of Heaven.

All we can do for others

let us do,

and let all be done for God,

that He alone

will rule our hearts and lives

and we will worship

Him alone,

dying to ourselves all the while.

Direct download: Oct._16_Hedwig.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.2:1-11;   Ps.62:2-3,6-7,9,13;   Lk.11:42-46)

 

“Your hard and impenitent heart

is storing up retribution for that day of wrath

when the just judgment of God will be revealed.”

 

“He will repay every man for what he has done…  Yes, affliction and anguish will come upon every man who has done evil…  But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who has done good.”  This is the just judgment, and it comes only from God, not from sinful man.

And so we are chastised in preparation for that day, that of His wrath we may be spared.  We should all wish to be “insult”ed by Jesus as are the Pharisees and lawyers in today’s gospel, here, today, while there is still time.  We should all desire His difficult words of instruction which would serve, if heeded humbly, to separate us from the sins of the world, the attachments of this life that cling to our soul and prevent our coming into His presence.  Under His mighty hand we should all subject ourselves, that He might lighten our “impossible burdens,” that He might take from us all that is not holy, all that is not true – that we might be freed from the judgment upon our souls and walk with Him in immortality.  We must be ready for His day.  But as it is the darkness is with us.

“Only in God is my soul at rest.”  With David we must sing this truth from our hearts.  The emptiness of the flesh and its imagination must not possess us; vain pride must take no place in our lives…  All our lusts must be set aside and we must know with certainty that only in God do we find our peace: He is our refuge and our strength.  “He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold,” we must cry, and “trust in Him at all times,” or wandering from the truth we will find ourselves in the way of destruction.

“God’s kindness is an invitation to you to repent.”  In His patience He gives you time to turn from sin and find His grace and mercy.  Pray He will convict you of your sin in this time and you will not convict yourself by your judgment of others.  Seek His redeeming hand at work in your life and do the good before Him.  Then you “shall not be disturbed,” when His Word has taken root in your soul, when you have left behind all the vanity of this world.  Then the glory of God will be your own, and nothing shall remove it from you.  Soften your heart to His blessed chastisement; it shall work for you against the day of judgment.

 

*******

O LORD, we will be judged by what we do,

and by what we fail to do –

let us set our hearts on you alone.

YHWH, let us not fall into judgment of others but treasure rather your Son’s chastisement of our souls, that we might find freedom from our sins and take our refuge in you alone.  Soon your just judgment will be revealed; let us benefit from your kindness and take this time to repent, lest we be condemned on your day of wrath.

Your love, O God, is shown in the call to repentance you make to all your children, the Jew first, then the Gentile.  You indeed chastise every son whom you love.  And so Jesus proclaims great woe upon the Pharisees, hoping to turn them from their wicked ways; and so St. Paul makes known to us our hard and impenitent hearts, that from the punishment they invite we might be spared.

While there is time, O LORD, while your grace and mercy are yet being offered forth, let us place our trust in you alone, and so find rest for our souls in your eternal glory.

Direct download: BC-101211-W_28_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O teacher and Mother

who served to reform your sisters

and the lives of all Christians,

you led all souls

along the way of perfection,

which is Christ Himself –

pray his love may fill our hearts

that union with the Father

we indeed may find;

inspire us by your teaching

to seek Him

who makes His home in us…

and pray we shall have your courage,

your faith in the face of trials,

as we work to bring Him to others

and so suffer under His Cross.

Pray we shall know as you

the joy of such persecution,

which brings us only closer to God,

our spirits wed to His surpassing peace.

O pray, dear Mother,

we shall be entirely forgetful of ourselves

as we remember His presence in our lives.

Direct download: Oct._15_Teresa.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.1:16-25;   Ps.19:2-5;   Lk.11:37-41)

 

“They stultified themselves through speculating to no purpose,

and their senseless hearts were darkened.”

 

If these words do not refer to modern man most poignantly, then I imagine nothing can be said of anything.  In ancient times, “they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images representing mortal man, birds, beasts, and snakes” and bowed down to statues as if they were gods.  The images man worships today are also the creations of his own hands, sometimes as physical as the idols worshiped before the time of Christ – who does not long to see his own image on one of our television sets, and who is held in greater esteem than those movie stars whom we have never met but know only of their image on a screen? – but perhaps most particularly they are the vain ideas, which reveal their utter absurdity to any mind with a modicum of common sense, but which are propounded as sacred by the elite thinkers of our day.  Their numbers seem endless, and one wonders if man will rationalize himself out of existence, as perhaps he already has philosophically in the declaration that God is dead, and so often done in reality through movements such as Communism and Nazism.

Indeed, how relevant are all Paul’s words today: “They certainly had knowledge of God, yet they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks”; “they claimed to be wise, but turned into fools instead”; “they engaged in the mutual degradation of their bodies.”  But “the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the irreligious and perverse spirit of men who… hinder the truth.”  “These men who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” cannot but come to naught, for “day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge” – the Gospel goes forth “to the ends of the world” and Truth overwhelms all lies.  As Jesus overturned the Pharisees who “cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but within… are filled with rapaciousness,” so shall the mind of modern man be shown for all its absurdity in the clear light of day.

Time.  There is but time to wait.  Time for the Word to go forth and to pray for the conversion of the nations, of all peoples.  And there is hope, hope that men shall turn from their absurdity and their perversity to embrace the light of the Gospel and the true teaching of love it brings.  We pray the senseless will find faith and be led thereby to salvation. 

 

*******

O LORD, openly your Word speaks to all men’s hearts,

calling them to salvation.

YHWH, how shall the senseless mind of man be redeemed?  If it turns from you, the Creator of all, to give praise to senseless creatures, will it not be ever as blind as they?  Trapped in its own contrivances, it shall never see the light of day or hear the Word of Truth.  And so, to these faithless souls the Gospel will be so much foolishness, as in foolishness they die.

Your Word goes forth to the ends of the earth and is revealed in all Creation.  But men who cannot see beyond the flesh quench the Spirit even as they engage in the destruction of their bodies.  For the purity of your Creation they pervert, and so fail to stand in your holy light.  O LORD, let us cleanse the inside of our cup that we might come to your glory!

Your eternal power and divinity help us to recognize, that filled with knowledge of you, O God, we may keep our hearts from being darkened by the false worship of this corrupted age.

Direct download: BC-101111-Tu_28_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O slave become Shepherd

of the universal Church,

firmly you defended her teaching

and recognized that all sins

may be forgiven

by the Lord through her;

then after serving faithfully

at the helm of Peter’s bark,

you died and were buried

with your martyr brothers,

whose grave you so treasured –

pray we, too, remain firm

through all the difficult trials

and temptations of this world,

that our death may be as blessed

as your own

and we come to rest safely

in God’s arms.

O that by such incorrupt faith

and unshaken courage

we too shall be raised from the dust,

from our humble origins,

to sit with our Lord in His kingdom.

Direct download: Oct._14_Callistus_I.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Rm.1:1-7;   Ps.98:1-4;   Lk.11:29-32)

 

“You have a greater than Jonah here.”

 

Greater than any prophet is He.  Wiser than Solomon is the Lord who is the source of all wisdom.  For it is He of whom the prophets speak; it is His promised coming “the Holy Scriptures record.”  The fulfillment of prophets and kings is in our midst.  Our high priest is with us offering the sacrifice of Himself.  Let us thirst for Him as the Ninevites did for Jonah’s preaching and seek Him as the queen of the South for Solomon’s wisdom.  Let us listen to His servant and apostle Paul as he proclaims the Gospel of God and come to “obedient faith” with all the Gentiles “who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ.”  Salvation is upon us as it is all nations.

If Jonah’s preaching was great, the Lord’s is the greater.  If he converted thousands, Jesus turns millions to the love of God.  If Solomon was wise, our Lord is so much the wiser.  For though this great king spoke well of all things of the earth by the grace of God, the Christ comes now with the wisdom of the richness of heaven.  And so now we are all “called to holiness, grace and peace.”  It is these gifts which are imparted to us “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  And by these blessings we become His children, greater indeed than any prophet or king of old.

Yes, the fulfillment has come.  “The Lord has made His salvation known.”  “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.”  His Word is brought forth even now, even this day to our hearts in the preaching of the Gospel that is Christ Jesus – “His resurrection from the dead” signals the redemption of all mankind.  And so we celebrate.  And so we “sing to the Lord a new song” as we, too, participate in His death and resurrection with the beloved apostle Paul, even as we come to the table set before us by His grace and holiness.

May that same “Spirit of holiness” which made Jesus “Son of God in power” now touch our souls and separate us from all that is unholy.  May we respond in kind with the Ninevites to Jonah’s preaching, that they might not condemn us on the last day for our lack of faith.  May the wisdom which comes to us now by the grace poured forth from His lips sink into our hearts and find a place in our lives.  For no greater than He shall we find; let us not be blind to this sign.

 

*******

O LORD, how blessed are we to hear the Gospel! –

let us repent and reform our lives.

YHWH, you have made your salvation known in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, your Son.  He indeed is our salvation, the very life of those who follow Him, who listen to His preaching and reform their lives – who join themselves to Him and to His Church.  May we not be condemned for our deafness to His call but set our hearts on the wisdom that comes to us through Him and through His apostles, that indeed we might be saved and rejoice in your presence on the day of judgment.  With Him let us be raised from the dead.

May the Name of Jesus be proclaimed to the ends of the earth that His Gospel might be the source of salvation for all souls.  Let peoples come from the furthest corners of the world to hear that your promise has been fulfilled in your Son and the Spirit of holiness is now upon all who are obedient to His call.  For this grace let us sing your praise, O LORD!

Direct download: BC-101011-M_28_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(2Kgs.5:14-17;   Ps.98:1-4;   2Tm.2:8-13;   Lk.17:11-19)

 

“All the ends of the earth have seen

the salvation by our God.”

 

“The word of God is not chained.”  It cannot be imprisoned.  It is free.  And it cannot be limited by national boundaries; it is for everyone.  The universal call of salvation is made most clear in our readings today: in our first reading, Naaman the Syrian is healed of his leprosy, and in our gospel a Samaritan is healed of the same.  Both are foreigners and essentially enemies to Israel, but it is these two we hear of today to make clear that the Word of God and His power are unbounded.

And when these foreigners are healed, they return praising God; they make clear their faith in the Holy One, much to the shame of those who are native to His House, who may often lack such recognition of the Lord and His work in their lives.  This is perhaps the greatest message of today’s readings, that we must be as the Samaritan who, “realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice, and… fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him.”  For this is what the Lord desires of us, thanksgiving, a sacrifice of praise.  How clearly this is shown in Naaman as well, whose offerings of gifts are repelled by Elisha, the man of God, “despite Naaman’s urging,” but who will not leave without earth from the land of Israel, declaring, “I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except the Lord.”  The Lord desires of us our praise and worship of Him only, and when we come bearing this gift of ourselves, He says to us, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

And it is unto the end we must remain faithful, praising God for the graces He gives, if we hope to “obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory.”  We should hear in Paul’s teaching in our second reading of the means to salvation and the means to condemnation.  The Lord “remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”  He is God; He holds salvation and glory.  If we persevere with Him, dying with Him, giving all our selves always to His service, “we shall also reign with Him.”  It cannot be otherwise because the Lord indeed blesses those who come to Him.  But “if we deny Him, He will deny us,” and this cannot but be, too, for He cannot dwell with untruth.

The Lord’s Truth extends to the ends of the earth now; His Word goes forth to all, and in all salvation may be known through Jesus Christ.  But who will trust in Him and fall at His feet in praise of Him as they find healing for their sin?  Let it be so with us all.

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

 

Music: "The Numeric Truth" from All One, sixth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt. 

*******

O LORD, let us give you thanks and praise you

for your healing mercy.

 YHWH, it is by faith alone we are saved, and all souls are called to faith in you; and any soul with faith you will accept into your fold.  To all the ends of the earth your salvation is revealed – may men come from every land and every tongue to worship you alone.

O LORD, let us not be weak in faith; let us not be put to shame by the great devotion shown to you by those who have been foreigners to your Word.  Let us join them at the feet of your Son and give thanks for the grace and healing you shower upon us by His presence.

There is so much of which we need to be healed.  How shall we lose our blindness to your glory shining all around us?  When will we cease taking you for granted, and so hardening our hearts in a vain pride?  Your wondrous deeds are upon us, LORD; your Word is preached to all mankind.  O let us respond in faith and humbly worship you! 

Direct download: BC-101313-Su_28_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(Jl.4:12-21;   Ps.97:1-2,5-6,11-12;   Lk.11:27-28)

 

“Near is the day of the Lord in the valley of decision.”

 

And so, “blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”  For though “sun and moon are darkened and the stars withhold their brightness,” though “mountains melt like wax before the Lord,” “light dawns for the just,” and for them “the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk.”  Yes, “the heavens and the earth quake, but the Lord is a refuge to His people.”

Are we His people?  Are our hearts set upon Him?  Are we blest as our Mother with keeping the word of God, of putting it into practice, of giving our yes to all His words, and His commands?  Are these commands sweet as honey, are they the new wine we drink each day?  From Him do we find our daily bread?  Though we are in His Church and have the blessed breasts of this great Mother to nurse us, though we are here where the hills of the Lord “flow with [His] milk” – though we have at our hands the Body and Blood of the Lord and the true teaching, the Word of God, in our ears by His grace upon this House of God, do we truly appreciate these gifts He provides: do we eat and drink unto our salvation and keep His word as an ever flowing stream of life in our souls, at the heart of our beings?  “The channels of Judah shall flow with water,” as now they do.  Do we wash ourselves clean in that water that “issue[s] from the house of the Lord”?  Are we prepared for the day of decision?

Let us rejoice in Him, brothers and sisters.  “Be glad in the Lord, you just, and give thanks to His holy name.”  With the psalmist let us raise our song and proclaim His justice to all the peoples.  For what should we have but joy as we take refuge in His promise, as we come to the table of the New Covenant each day and share even now in the life He offers forth through His holy sacrifice.  And let us pray to our Mother, Mary, that we shall be as she is, that we shall be so true to the Lord and serve as His handmaidens amongst the world.  May she keep us close to the nourishing food the Church holds for all her children; and may our decision be as firm as hers as we give our unfailing yes to the Lord and so know His grace and blessing.

*******

O LORD, if we but keep your Word,

we shall be blessed on the Day Jesus comes.

YHWH, you dwell on Zion, your holy mountain; may we dwell there with our Blessed Mother.

The mountains melt like wax before you, O LORD.  The heavens and the earth quake, but you are a refuge to your people.  Truly blessed are all who make their home in you, who do your will in this world.  And so, as sun and moon are darkened, as this world you reduce to dust, may we be gathered into your arms, to the breast of our Mother.

Let the heavens proclaim your justice, LORD; let all holy souls give thanks to your NAME.  For light dawns through the darkness for the upright of heart, and your children abide forever in your presence even as their enemies are destroyed.

Blessed let us be, O Holy LORD, to follow where your Son does lead, for He leads us only unto you.  O may we hear and keep your Word!  Blessed Mother, pray for us.

Direct download: BC-100811-Sa_27_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Jl.1:13-15,2:1-2;   Ps.9:2-3,6,8-9,16;   Lk.11:15-26)

 

“It is near, a day of darkness and of gloom,

a day of clouds and somberness!”

 

And we must be prepared.  We must rend our hearts and not our garments.  We must “spend the night in sackcloth,” repentant of our sins.  We must “proclaim a fast” and “cry to the Lord,” “for near is the day of the Lord.” 

The prophet Joel sounds this alarm several hundred years before Christ, and in truth it proclaims the coming of Christ.  For it is His coming that separates the wicked from the just; it is He who “judges the world with justice” – it is by Him the names of the wicked are “blotted out forever and ever” and those who “declare all [His] wondrous deeds” find their salvation.

The day is coming and is already here, for the Lord declares in our gospel, “The man who is not with me is against me, and the man who does not gather with me scatters.”  He makes clear the works of Satan, which do not bring healing but only sickness and death, and the works of “the finger of God,” which overpower and “cast out devils.”  Here the judgment is come; here it begins.  In the end it shall be fulfilled and the great divide between evil and good will be set for all eternity, but here and in this time the Word of Truth goes forth, calling all souls to leave behind all sin.

But, brothers and sisters, our fasting must be complete; our weeping, our repentance, must be genuine.  We must turn entirely from our sins and make place only for the Lord Jesus Christ to live in the houses of our souls.  If the Lord lives in us, there is no place for darkness.  If the Lord is within us, no devil can dwell there.  But if in hypocrisy we pretend a conversion, we expand the space for the devil’s dwelling in our homes.  For the two are indeed mutually exclusive: the Lord has nothing to do with the devil, and the devil nothing to do with the Lord.  And so if we hope to stand on the day when darkness covers the earth, “spreading over the mountains, like a people numerous and mighty”; if we hope to remain when the Lord returns with His myriad of angels to judge the earth and the thoughts of men’s hearts… we must enter His grace this day – we must now call upon His Name.  There is no other way, my brothers and sisters.  You must be with Him or against Him.  The choice between life and death is presented before you; for the day of darkness is nigh.  Choose His eternal light!

 

*******

O LORD, your Day is at hand –

let us make room in our hearts only for you.

YHWH, your throne is set up for judgment; near is your Day.  Soon you will come to destroy all the wicked, that in your presence the just might shine.  Your Son you have sent to redeem the world, to call every soul from its sin, but failing repentance what shall happen to us on the great and terrible Day of His return?

Forever you are enthroned on high, O LORD, and who can approach your glory?  What hope have we of uniting with you, of looking upon your face, we who have been so sinful?  How shall we come into your House and there find eternal rest if we do not wholeheartedly accept the cleansing Word of your Son?

If there is any pretense in us, we shall not stand with Him.  And so, O LORD, let us fast and pray for all devils to be cast from us that we might forever sing your praise.

Direct download: BC-100711-F_27_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Mal.3:13-20;   Ps.1:1-4,6,40:5;   Lk.11:5-13)

 

“For you who fear my name,

there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”

 

Both our psalm and first reading make clear the distinction between the blessed and the condemned: “The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes,” our psalmist declares.  The wicked are “like chaff which the wind drives away,” while the just are “like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade.”  Malachi proclaims the same.  Where the Lord is healing rays of warmth to the just, for the wicked He comes “blazing like an oven… leaving them neither root nor branch.”  For one, His fire is holy and life-giving; for the other, it destroys.

And what is the sign that we “fear the Lord and trust in His name”?  Malachi speaks of “going about in penitential dress” and states, “They who fear the Lord spoke with one another, and the Lord listened attentively.”  Our psalmist tells us the just “delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates on His law day and night.”  We must be repentant of our sins and come humbly before Him.  We must recognize, as Jesus tells us, that we indeed are ones “with all [our] sins.”  This is first.  But most importantly we must trust in Him and turn to Him, and pray in His Name.  For “the heavenly Father give[s] the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”  He is not remiss in making them His own.  He wishes all to be blessed and come before Him whole.  But we must not fail to seek His will, to seek His way, to beg it of our God.  We cannot be remiss in asking and seeking and knocking, for this persistence proves our love of Him and of His way, and by it we will find Him.

Brothers and sisters, there is nothing more important or more powerful than prayer.  It is our way of coming to Him and becoming one with Him.  It is at the heart of the distinction “between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him.”  For all that we do will come to naught if not done in His presence, and it is only by prayer we enter the presence of His holy light.  First and always we must have faith, yes.  First and always we must believe.  But now and ever we must seek Him; forever we must ask His grace to come into our lives.  And He will hear.  He will “give [His] children good things.”  So neglect not to remain in the presence of God and your reward will be assured, and you will know the blessed light of His face.

*******

O LORD, give to us the Holy Spirit,

that in all things we might follow along the way

of your Son.

YHWH, we ask for your grace and mercy, your compassion upon our souls, that we might not be burned up with the wicked on your holy Day but stand blessed in the light of your face.  Let us be healed of all sin and come to serve you with all our hearts, leaving behind all doubt of your glory and trusting in your goodness toward us.  For you have made us and we are your own if we but have faith in you and come humbly before you with our petitions.

Yes, let us ask you for what we need, for all good things, those in accord with your will.  If our hearts are set on serving you and others, what will you not give us?  For then we will truly be your sons.  But, O LORD, if we should turn our sights upon the advancement of our own name, seeking to prosper by doing evil, the wind shall indeed drive us away, and we shall perish in unholy fire.

Direct download: BC-100611-Th_27_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O caretaker of souls

who sought so diligently

and with wisdom and love

to reform the Church

and all her members,

beginning with those in higher office,

and so were persecuted

by men who would not be healed

of their disease –

pray that all will be taught

the true doctrine of the faith,

from early childhood

to adult vocation;

may all know to what they are called

as Christians in this world.

And may that Word go forth

to the ends of the earth,

that the faith will be propagated

in all lands and in all hearts

and the Lord’s holy discipline

serve as treasured guide

for all who would come

to the kingdom of Heaven.

Direct download: Oct._9_John_Leonardi.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:05pm EST

O shepherd of a faithful people,

you shed your blood

with your brothers

as a holy offering unto the Lord

after drawing many souls

into His fold;

beheaded for your success

as Christ’s evangelist,

still you lead faithful souls

to God –

pray we shall be so ready

to lay down our own lives

for the propagation

of the Word of God,

and that on our journey

we shall be protected

from all the snares of the devil,

that nothing shall prevent

our standing at Jesus’ side

both in this world

and the next.

Direct download: Oct._9_Denis_and_Companions.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Jon.4:1-11;   Ps.86:3-6,9-10,15;   Lk.11:1-4)

 

“Your kingdom come.”

 

“You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish.”  How beautifully Jonah speaks of God’s blessed compassion on His people.  And how poorly he is able to accept and live that grace.  The Lord’s forgiveness extends now to the ends of the earth; let us not be loathe to offer it unto all.

In our first reading, Jonah is angry with God for His mercy in forgiving Ninevah, the pagan empire and enemy of Israel.  But the Lord teaches Jonah that He watches over these, too, not only Israel, signaling His universal call to salvation (which shall be fulfilled in the teaching of Christ).  By comparing the city of Ninevah to the plant “that grew up over Jonah’s head, giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort,” the Lord instructs us that not only does He care for all nations, but indeed that all nations have a holy call, a blessed purpose, in which God Himself takes pleasure and comfort.  He has raised all the nations and each is called as a member of His kingdom.

This word should give us great understanding of the graciousness of our God, and great joy in knowing that we are called by Him: “You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.”  We can join with David in his prayer, knowing that God will “attend to the sound of [our] pleading” even as He does this blessed king of Israel; even as He listens to His chosen people, so He listens now to us, for the walls of division have been cast asunder and His love now extends to all.

But we must not be as Jonah shows himself to be today.  We must “forgive all who do us wrong” or the Lord will not hear our prayer to “subject us not to the trial.”  If we harbor anger, it will mean our death; and the Lord will send “a burning east wind” and a sun to beat down upon us, too, to draw us from the hardness of our hearts and the condemnation we breathe in our souls.  Our vision must be that of God, who sees that sinners “cannot distinguish their right hand from their left,” or as Jesus says from the cross, “They know not what they do.”  And so we, too, must forgive.

Let us join in prayer today, brothers and sisters, that the Lord’s kingdom may come to earth.  Let us rejoice that His reign extends to all.  For it is the Lord’s desire to “forgive us our sins,” and it is His will that all find refuge in the shade of His presence.  And so we partake of “our daily bread” here in His Word and in His Sacrament; and so we live the kingdom of God.

 

*******

O LORD, let our prayer rise up to you, the Most High,

who are merciful and kind and forgiving toward all

and hear us when we cry out to you.

YHWH, you are abounding in kindness toward all, a gracious and merciful God desiring to show clemency to sinners, to lead them from the death upon their souls to a holy life in you.  For this what can we do but praise you?  What can we do but say: let thy will be done!

But how often we keep your mercy from others, dear God; how often we expect it for ourselves yet refuse to share it with those who seek it from us.  This is not your will.  In this your kingdom does not come.  For where forgiveness is withheld, your love does not exist; and where your love does not exist, you are not present.

Let us not die in desolation, O LORD, beneath a scorching wind and a burning sun.  Open our hearts to share your compassion and we shall find relief from all the trials we bring upon ourselves by our lack of pity, by our condemnation of others.

Direct download: BC-100511-W_27_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Jon.3:1-10;   Ps.130:1-4,7-8;   Lk.10:38-42)

 

“He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do them;

He did not carry it out.”

 

Ninevah is spared.  Because “they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth,” because they repented of their sin and called “loudly to God,” He did not punish them for their iniquity but forgave them and withheld “His blazing wrath.”  And so this pagan city finds God’s mercy through the preaching of Jonah. 

We are all called to repent.  We are all called to turn to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and grace to overcome and be spared of punishment for our falling short of His glory.  Our psalm declares, “Let Israel wait for the Lord, for with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption.”  And so to find His mercy we must have faith and we must be patient.  We must be as Mary in our gospel today, seated at His feet, listening to His words.  We cannot remove ourselves from this place and hope to find salvation for our souls any more than the Ninevites could have taken a break from their sitting in sackcloth and ashes to have a snack and yet hoped to find the forgiveness they so desperately needed.  Our fast must be total, our obedience complete.  Do you think Mary had a mind to rise as she listened to her Lord?  Do you think she was distracted by anything?  Certainly not.  And we in our prayer and in our work and in our lives must find the commitment she embodies if we hope to know the grace of God truly working in our hearts.

Indeed, the Lord “will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.”  Indeed, He hears the voice of all who cry to Him “out of the depths” of their sin.  He will come and wash us clean; He will come and make us new.  If we choose “the better portion,” we “shall not be deprived of it” and its reward.  But it must be our whole hearts that turn to the Lord, that are set on His word… that heed His preaching as it comes with its grace to our ears.

If we are short of prophets today, listen more closely, brothers and sisters.  If it is difficult to find the Word preached with the power and blessing of Jonah, open your Bibles and turn to your hearts.  Sit still before Him in silence and He will fill your soul with His light.  And fail not to come into His presence where the people gather for Mass.  The Word shall indeed fill you; His Bread shall indeed nourish you.  And your soul shall be saved according to your commitment to Christ. 

*******

O LORD, let our hearts be set on you

and your presence;

may our ears be open to hear your voice.

YHWH, let us turn to you with all our heart that we might find forgiveness of our sins and peace in your presence.  If in sackcloth and ashes we cry out to you in repentance, you will look kindly upon our souls; if in silence we sit at your feet, what shall we not be taught?  All is ours if we make ourselves your own.

O LORD, all nations you call to yourself.  There is no one for whom you do not care, whom you would not save in your mercy.  And so you send your prophets forth even to the ends of the earth, and so your Word goes out to all places and times – and so all who listen to your voice find redemption for their souls and enter your holy Temple.

Your ears listen for our voice calling out to you; your heart longs for us to set aside all things and worship you.  O LORD, let your gracious will be done in all our lives that none shall perish in separation from you.

Direct download: BC-100411-Tu_27_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O Mother of prayer

and of this prayer

in which we meditate on the life

of our Lord and Savior

through your blessed intercession,

it is through you

we gain victory in Christ;

His life, death, and resurrection

become fruitful in you,

and united with you,

and so with Jesus,

we repel our enemies.

O dear Lady,

our saving Lord comes not to us

except through you:

He is born in you,

He dies with you at His side,

and He raises you to life

but to draw us all unto Himself,

that we might walk in light with Him

even in this world –

pray, yes, pray for us!

you through whom all Christians come.

Direct download: Oct._7_Our_Lady_of_the_Rosary.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Jon.1:1-2:1,11;   Jon.2:2-5,7-8;   Lk.10:25-37)

 

“A Samaritan who was journeying along came on him

and was moved to pity at the sight.”

 

First let me note that the book of Jonah is not a parable, not an imaginary story, as popular scholarship would have us believe.  How do I know this?  I have faith, yes, which those who would explain away any miracle of God so sorely lack; but I know it, too, by Scripture itself.  For elsewhere the Lord compares Himself to Jonah, and states explicitly that the people of Ninevah – who had the faith to repent at the preaching of Jonah – will rise on the day of judgment and condemn those of Jesus’ time, and us, for our failure to repent at the words of the Son of God.  It is not possible that imaginary people could condemn others’ souls (the very idea is absurd, of course, but such are our minds in this “enlightened” age), and this comparison would suggest that Jesus Himself is but imaginary, which seems not against the belief of the vain prophets of our day.

In today’s gospel we have a parable: The Good Samaritan.  It begins as the universal story all parables are – “There was a man…” (“a man,” any man, every man), and its express purpose is to impart a lesson.  And the lesson today is God’s universal love.  The dreaded “Samaritan” represents nothing but faithlessness and sin to the Jewish mind, but Jesus demonstrates that it is sinners He calls – and that those thought of as sinners indeed often show the greatest faith.  We see this not only in our gospel, but also in our reading from Jonah, for notice how quickly the pagan mariners turned to their gods, who are no-gods, to seek deliverance from the “breakers” and “billows” which pass over them.  Indeed, it is they who arouse Jonah, who has fallen asleep in the despair of his separation from the will of God, to pray to his Lord.  And what horror overwhelms them when they hear how he has disobeyed the Lord’s command – “How could you do such a thing!”  Who has the faith here?  Who convicts whom of sin?

Though Jonah is clearly different from Jesus in this his sin, he is like Him in a crucial way – he sacrifices his life for those in danger of death.  Notice his words: “Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you.”  And so it does when he is finally cast forth (after remarkable, faith-filled prayer by these pagans); and so also these men “offered sacrifice and made vows” to the Lord, coming it seems to faith in God following Jonah’s laying down of his life.  And, of course, as Jesus will spend three days in the belly of the earth, so Jonah spends three days in the belly of the whale; and as the Lord will rise on the third day, so Jonah is “spewed upon the shore.”

Brothers and sisters, the Lord heard Jonah’s prayer from “the midst of the netherworld,” “from the belly of the fish.”  Do not doubt and test the Lord as the lawyer who seeks “to justify himself” in his pride.  In your moments of darkness, come to the Lord as the humble servant He calls you to be, and He shall assuage your doubts, He shall be moved with pity looking upon you, and teach you of the love and compassion only He knows.

 

*******

O LORD, how shall we be saved from the pit

into which we cast ourselves

if we do not have compassion for the plight of others?

YHWH, we have fallen into the pit, beaten and left for dead by robbers, by the demons, for our sin.  The breakers and billows pass over us and we are doomed to drown in the dark of the deep.

But you are merciful, LORD, truly compassionate to all in need.  And so you look upon our troubled state and send us help when we cry out to you – our prayer, even from the midst of the nether world, reaches your holy Temple, and you have pity on our poor souls.  For this let us ever praise you!

And to what do you call us but to be compassionate as you, to love you and to show that love by loving our neighbor as ourselves.  For we are all one in you and so if we are in you we will see that helping others we indeed help ourselves, and please you greatly by our love, by such awareness of our oneness in you.  May all our being worship you, O LORD!  Let us live your will of love and compassion.

Direct download: BC-100311-M_27_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O crown of contemplation

whom none excels

in solitude,

in knowing the presence of the Lord

alone in a cell,

apart from the world –

a simple chapel pray we find

in the chambers of our heart

that we might chant His praises

all the time

in the quiet,

in His sight.

Let us ever work

to discover

His breathing in our souls,

that one with Him

and with our brothers

ever we might remain.

Obedience is all we need

and He will lead us there;

then no questions will persist

as we dwell in perfect peace.

Pray such grace upon all souls.

Direct download: Oct._6_Bruno.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Hb.1:2-3,2:2-4;   Ps.95:1-2,6-9;   2Tm.1:6-8,13-14;   Lk.17:5-10)

 

“The vision still has its time,

presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”

 

And we are servants of this Gospel.

And so, with faith and in patience we must accomplish “what we [are] obliged to do.”  We must serve the Word of God.  Never hardening our hearts against the voice we hear, rather, we should “stir into flame the gift of God” we are blessed with as Christians, as Catholics; “the Holy Spirit that dwells within us” should be our refuge and our guide – it should be our stronghold despite any “destruction and violence” we witness before us.  For we know that if we endure till the end, till the fulfillment of the vision of the Gospel, though we deserve it not, the Lord will call to us when we “come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field and say, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table.’”  Indeed, He has promised in His mercy and His glorious benevolence to put on His apron and serve us, His “unprofitable servants,” at table in the eternal kingdom.  But have we the faith to believe?  Have we the patience to endure?  Listen to His assuring words: “Wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.”  His Word is certainly true and the vision written “clearly upon the tablets” of our hearts, if we believe.

And we show our faith when we “sing joyfully to the Lord,” when we “bow down in worship” before Him in spite of any “clamorous discord” that surrounds us in this world.  In such praise in the face of the darkness of evil we bear “hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.”  Yes, He alone is our strength; it is from Him alone that we find the faith and patience to endure and produce fruit upon this earth.  So, “let us kneel before the Lord who made us.  For He is our God, and we are the people He shepherds.”  Though we cry out, “How long, O Lord?” with the prophet Habbakuk, we know that if we listen to the instructions of the Apostle Paul to “take as [our] norm the sound words [we] heard from [him],” “in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” we shall endure, and we shall find answer to our prayer.

The vision is coming to fulfillment.  The Lord of all is with us now.  Let us “not be ashamed of [our] testimony to our Lord,” but proclaim with courage the word the Spirit prompts in our hearts – Jesus is Lord!  Let us say it.  Let us not be afraid of it or its consequences.  Let the truth of God cross our lips even as it stirs the faith within us.  Jesus is Lord, and His Kingdom comes.  Do not delay your service of Him.

 

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

 

Music: "Duty" from Loving Spirit, third album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

 

*******

O LORD, help us bear the hardship of the Gospel

that we might look upon your face.

YHWH, you call us each day to love and to serve you that we might know your love in our hearts even this day.  It is our great grace and blessing to do your will, for then we share in your glory, in your presence among us today.

If we had but faith, O LORD, what is there we could not do in your Name?  If with patience we waited for your coming, we would know how near you are.  Help us to fan into flame the gift of your Spirit that makes us strong in holiness.  O let us accomplish all you command, never turning our faces away!

We have seen your works; we have done your works.  We have spoken the Word you have placed in our hearts and on our lips.  Let us not now doubt that you are God or think that any power of this earth holds any sway in our lives.  Let us trust only in you, dear God, for your promise is on the horizon and you do not disappoint. 

Direct download: BC-100613-Su_27_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O apostle of mercy,

the mercy of Christ

poured freely upon all souls

for the salvation of the whole world,

especially the worst of sinners…

you suffered with our divine Lord

that souls might indeed be saved;

with His Passion you were intimate,

blessed with fellowship with Jesus

and His Mother

and vision of their presence –

pray a measure of your penitential devotion,

a drop of our Savior’s holy blood,

might fall upon our hearts

and make us fruitful as you in His cause;

pray we shall be blessed

with deeper awareness of our wretchedness,

our misery,

that we might know

the infinite majesty of the Lord

and immerse ourselves and all souls

in His measureless mercy.

Let all sins be atoned for in Him!

Direct download: Oct._5_Maria_Faustina.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Bar.4:5-12,27-29;   Ps.69:33-37;   Lk.10:17-24)

 

“He who has brought disaster upon you will,

in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”

 

That enduring joy which comes to us after this time of trial is our theme today.  Not only does Baruch come to it in his exhortation for the people to “fear not” anymore but to turn to God and be glad, but it is David’s song as well: “You who seek God, may your hearts be merry!” he exclaims as he assures us that “God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah,” which were once “left desolate” “for the sins of [her] children.”  Yes, as Baruch encourages Israel, “Fear not, my children; call out to God!” so David confirms that “the Lord hears the poor.”  And from all their sins He shall save them.

And does not our gospel tell us the same.  In it we are told that “Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit” and gave the Father “grateful praise,” saying, “What you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.”  To His children, to the humble, to the poor, He reveals Himself.  And what can those who are blessed so, to see “what many prophets and kings wished to see” – what can we do but rejoice in His Spirit?  For He has given us “power to tread on snakes and scorpions and all the forces of the enemy, and nothing shall ever injure” us.  For sin no longer holds sway in our lives as it once did when we turned in the hardness of our hearts from the face of God and so were “handed over” to our foes.  Though once we “forsook the Eternal God,” we now return to Him; and so the “mourning and lament” suffered because of our sin now become joy in His eternal presence.

“Nevertheless, do not rejoice so much in the fact that the devils are subject to you as that your names are inscribed in heaven.”  We should rejoice not so much in the gift as in the giver, not so much in the power we have as in Him who gives the power.  For great and wonderful as the overcoming of evil in this life certainly is, its entire purpose is to bring us into communion with the Lord in the New Jerusalem, in His heavenly kingdom.  “Those who love His name shall inhabit it,” so let us join with Jesus in the Holy Spirit to praise the Name of the Father and the great blessing of life He imparts to us.  And we shall find redemption from the punishment of our sins and rejoice as children in His presence forever.  Amen. 

*******

O LORD, the Son has made you known,

and we may see Him, and we may hear Him –

let us turn from our sins!

YHWH, great mourning has come upon us because of our sins, but great hope we have in you who desire our salvation.  Great joy is ours as we turn now from our sins and seek you ten times the more.  You are ours as we come before you on our knees, and the joy you bring us will last forever.

O God, you are eternal, dwelling in unending light.  And as that light comes to our eyes, what can we do but rejoice with your Son that your poor ones you bring to glory?  In Heaven our names are written by your loving hand, in the blood of your merciful Son; all He has He has given to us, revealing even your presence, dear Father.

What power has Satan over your faithful ones, those whom you bless with your power and love?  The Spirit has set us free from all bonds that we might walk with you, eternal LORD.

Direct download: BC-100111-Sa_26_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O image of Christ,

simple, humble, and pure,

indeed you bore the marks of Jesus

in your own body

and in your own soul;

wed to lady poverty,

you embraced loving chastity

and boasted of nothing

but the Lord alone –

pray, dear brother,

for all children of God,

for all your wayward brothers

distracted by the wealth of this world,

that we may be so blessed by the Spirit

to serve the Lord and our neighbor

as completely as you have done.

May our lives, too, be prayers

rising as a fragrant offering

unto the Lord our God

as we reflect His image in this world.

Pray our hearts be set upon Jesus

that we might follow

in His blood-soaked footsteps in joy.

Direct download: Oct._4_Francis_of_Assisi.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Bar.1:15-22;   Ps.79:1-5,8-9;   Lk.10:13-16)

 

“We have been disobedient to the Lord, our God,

and only too ready to disregard His voice.”

 

Woe is upon us for our sin.  We “have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed Him,” and so “the evils and the curse which the Lord enjoined upon Moses… cling to us even today.”  And if we do not recognize our sin, as Baruch does so beautifully in our first reading today, if we do not admit our failure to “heed the voice of the Lord,” realizing and repenting of our going “after the devices of our own heart” rather than following in His holy way – if we do not accuse ourselves of “evil in the sight of the Lord,” He will accuse us on the day of the judgment, as He does with Chorazin and Bethsaida in our gospel… and the woe upon us then shall be interminable, as we are “hurled down to the realm of death” with the cursed Capernaum.  But if we turn to Him, if we cry out to Him as does Baruch, as does our psalm this day, declaring the evil and destruction that has come upon us for our sin, that same “reproach of our neighbors” which has “laid Jerusalem in ruins” will be removed from us – the Lord will “remember not against us the iniquities of the past,” and we shall preserve our souls on the day of judgment.

“They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem”: great is the suffering which has come upon the Lord’s wayward children.  It seems at times the Lord will be angry forever for the sins committed by the perverse heart of man.  But we know that His “compassion [will] quickly come to us,” that His anger lasts but a moment, it is only for a time, and that He shall indeed “deliver us and pardon our sins.”  This has He done in Jesus, in His sacrifice, and word of it now is preached to the nations.  If we accept it, we save our souls from destruction, from eternal damnation; if we reject the word of the Gospel, we reject Jesus, and we reject Him who holds the world in His creating hand – and so what hope of life have we, who have cast Life aside so wantonly… and so “burn like fire” forever only can the wrath of the Lord, our God.

Let us reject sin while there is time.  As His Word is still in our hearing, let us come to it and bare our souls before its truth “in sackcloth and ashes.”  The condition of this world of sin does not change, and it mounts up its punishment for judgment day.  Let us come out of the world, humbly professing our sin, and listen now to the voice that leads us to forgiveness and grace, to exaltation “to the skies,” standing at His side forever.

 *******

O LORD, let us not reject you!

but come rather on our knees seeking forgiveness.

YHWH, the gravity of our sin overwhelms us: our blood is poured out like water, our corpses given as food to the beasts of the earth.  How shall we make amends for our wicked deeds if even the presence of your Son and His sacrifice do not move us to repentance?  O save us from being hurled down to the realm of death!  Let us not reject the Word come from Jesus.

O LORD, let us heed your voice.  Though we have been disobedient, though the evils that fall upon us are but just punishment for turning our hearts from you, help us, please, to avoid the grave, to be preserved from the fire that is coming upon the earth.  Remember not our iniquities; let them be of the past.  Let your compassion come quickly to us to raise us from our lowly state.  In sackcloth and ashes let us bow humbly before you that we might find pardon for your NAME’s sake.

Direct download: BC-093011-F_26_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Neh.8:1-12;   Ps.19:8-11;   Lk.10:1-12) 

“They understood the words that had been expounded to them.”

What a blessed day we hear of in our first reading.  And what a blessed reception the Word of God finds in the hearing of the people!  For “the whole people gathered as one man” and “listened attentively to the book of the law” of Moses as “Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion” and “read out of the book from daybreak until midday.”  And we know that all the people indeed understood the wonder of what was read to their humble, obedient hearts, “for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.”  They wept for the truth of these words, and for the fact that they as a people were so long without their instruction.  The truth of God’s Word brought repentance to their hearts, as it should to all.

But ultimately the Word of God caused them, as all, “to celebrate with great joy.”  Certainly this is its ultimate goal.  For as David sings so well of in our psalm today: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.”  And the rightness of this wisdom brings “rejoicing [to] the heart.”  For as rich as the food and sweet the drinks the people were encouraged to consume that day as celebration of the glory of God, none could compare with the commands of the Lord, which “are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb.”  This bread of life is that which sustains us.

And it is this bread of peace and life the Lord sends the disciples to bring to the cities before Him in our gospel today.  He tells them that as they declare peace to any house or town along the way, “If there is a peaceable man there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will come back to you.”  And woe to those who do not welcome the reign of God these disciples bring in Jesus’ name.  Indeed, we hear that “the fate of Sodom will be less severe than that of such a town.”  If the Israelites were so open and welcoming to the Word of God read in their midst from the book of the law by Ezra the scribe, how much more welcoming should these people who have the emissaries of Christ Himself, sent to “cure the sick,” be to receive the reign of God at hand.  And how much more should we be open to receive His Word, who now know of the Lord’s resurrection to glory and have the Holy Spirit in our midst by the authority given to His Church on earth.  Brothers and sisters, we must hear and understand as well as they of Nehemiah’s time, else what hope have we for celebration in Christ’s glory?  May His sweet words be in our ears and in our mouths, and so may we bleed with Him unto glory.

*******

O LORD, your Word brings the sweetest tears

of blessed repentance.

 YHWH, how sweet your Word should be to our ears, to our hearts – O how we should welcome it!  Though it bring knowledge of our sin, that knowledge is sweet, for that knowledge brings us to repentance and refreshes our souls.  Though we weep, though we cry for our transgressions, how sweet are our tears!  For it is these tears, this turning from our sins, that brings us into your presence, that brings your reign into our midst.

O how we should welcome your Word, LORD!  Once it came only through words in a book; once it had to be read aloud and interpreted for our simple hearts to understand.  But now it comes in flesh and blood in your only Son and in the apostles He sends out to proclaim your glory among men.

Indeed, your reign, O God, is at hand.  Your grace has come to us as a Man.  And so let us rejoice this day, for it is thus made most holy.

Direct download: BC-092911-Th_26_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O messengers of God

sent to protect and guide

we poor humans

on our way to the heavenly kingdom,

you whom He in His grace and wisdom

has appointed to carry us home,

lest we dash our foot against a stone –

keep us ever in the way of the Lord;

stay close to us,

remaining always at our side,

for we are but weak and sinful men

so prone to be led astray.

We entrust ourselves into your hands:

bring us to look upon the Father’s face.

For you behold Him always,

you stand loyally in His light,

and we, how shall we gaze upon Him

without your hand to guide?

Cover us with your wings,

protect us from the heat of day

and temptation’s sway

till we stand with you

in the Lord’s eternal reign.

Direct download: Oct._2_The_Guardian_Angels.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Neh.2:1-8;   Ps.137:1-6;   Lk.9:57-62)

 

“How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?”

 

Our home is in heaven.  “The foxes have lairs, the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,” the Lord tells him who would follow His way in our gospel today.  Our home is in heaven, and only there do we find joy.  And only finding our place there should possess our hearts.

We have a sign of the devotion we must have for the Lord and His Kingdom in our psalm and first reading.  Even as the psalmist hangs up his harp and weeps “by the streams of Babylon” for his exile from Jerusalem – “May my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not, if I place not Jerusalem ahead of my joy” – so, too, Nehemiah is most “sad at heart” for his separation from and the ruination of “the city where [his] ancestors are buried.”  And as the king takes pity on his servant and sends Nehemiah to help rebuild Jerusalem, so, too, does the Lord look upon those who seek in ardent desire their true home with Him in heaven.  He knows we are sad at our separation from the kingdom of God; He knows only there we shall find peace in our hearts, and so He calls us along the way He walks.

But also He warns that all else must be set aside if we are to discover that which our hearts desire.  “Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.”  Does love for the New Jerusalem truly possess us as did love of the old for these exiles in Babylon?  Do we, too, recognize our own exile, our own homelessness, and seek with all our souls only the song that is sung in the kingdom of God?  Are we prepared to leave this land of exile, this foreign land in which we find ourselves, to come to Him to build with the wood He provides the new walls which will be our shelter and our place of worship even in this life?  Or do we look back to this world of sin and find ourselves drawn into its sad state?

The Lord awaits the turning of all toward Him and His kingdom.  He desires greatly our returning to His side.  The thought of our heart to give up all for Him He confirms with His blessing and love.  But we must be clear that this commitment is total, that nowhere else we shall find our joy but at His side in heaven. 

*******

O LORD, let us not be separated from you

but give all our lives to following in your way,

even to the Cross.

YHWH, let us set our hearts on you alone and our coming into your kingdom.  Why should anything else possess our souls?  Of what else should we sing?  Should we not proclaim your glory with full voice and so find your reign upon us?  We cannot make our home in any place but Heaven; help us to overcome the sadness of dwelling in this dark place, in this land of exile.  Bring us quickly into your presence.

Your House let us rebuild, O LORD, your House and your City.  Let your favoring hand be upon us this day as we seek to accomplish your will.  All else let us be ready to leave behind in order to do your work upon this plane.  For only in you will we find our joy – hear us as we pray to you.

Let us not be dead, O LORD, dead to your presence in our midst.  Let our hearts burn with love for you!  Let us remember your NAME forever.

Direct download: BC-092811-W_26_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O little flower of Jesus,

with great innocence and humility

you loved the Lord

and prayed for His Church

and especially His priests;

in all the little things of your day

you gave yourself to God’s service,

and so your work reached

to the ends of the earth –

shower roses upon us from above,

where you now sit with Jesus;

teach us to walk your little way

that we might join you

with our Savior.

Pray we too might find His love

and live in His heart

as deeply as you;

pray all souls shall indeed be saved

by the blood He shed for our sake.

And pray that families

will be blessed as your own

with children who heed so well

the call of the Lord.

Direct download: Oct._1_Theresa_of_the_Child_Jesus.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Zec.8:20-23;   Ps.87:1-7,Zec.8:23;   Lk.9:51-56)

 

“Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

 

God is with us, brothers and sisters.  And though all upon earth turn their faces from Him now, though in ignorance they reject Him and our preaching of His Word – there shall come a day when all nations find their home in Him.  In that day the Lord shall reign.

As Jesus sets His face toward Jerusalem and His coming death at the hands of His own people, He passes through many towns and sends harbingers of His drawing nigh.  In today’s gospel we read of the Samaritans’, the dreaded “half-breed” of Israelites, rejection of His presence among them: “The Samaritans would not welcome Him because He was on the way to Jerusalem.”  And for this should they not be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah? request the sons of thunder, James and John.  But it is “only to reprimand them” that Jesus makes answer to such an idea.  Indeed, they reject the Son of God, but in this moment they certainly know not what they do.  Should they be any different than the Jews who will offer Him up for crucifixion or the apostles who will abandon Him?

From the gospel we must take solace, brothers and sisters, when our words fall on deaf ears, when the Word of God seems not to take root in souls.  We are only emissaries of His Word, and that Word will bear fruit only in His time.  But, of course, at the same moment we mourn rejection, we must be buoyed by the vision delivered by Zechariah in our first reading and confirmed so wonderfully in our psalm, for in it is the Truth of the resurrection that follows the Lord’s crucifixion.  We are told that “the inhabitants of one city shall approach those of another and say, “Come!  Let us go to implore the favor of the Lord,” and that “in those days ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”  Not only will they hear the Word of God, they will beg its presence in their lives!  For the Lord shall draw them inextricably to His mountain.  “And of Zion they shall say: ‘One and all were born in her; and He who has established her is the Most High God.’”

Brothers and sisters, we dwell now in Zion; Holy Church is the New Jerusalem.  And hearts shall turn to her with longing – she shall find her treasured place here at the end of the age.  We need not fear or be anxious, for the day of the Lord shall come, when “all shall sing, in their festive dance: ‘My home is within you.’”  Continue on to every town, bearing His love.

 

*******

O LORD, all who desire the salvation wrought by Jesus

 will be welcomed into your House.

 

 YHWH, in Jerusalem let us make our home, in your holy Church.  To this House all nations shall come, for it is here you dwell on earth.  Heaven is indeed in our midst: you are with us.  And it is for you the heart of every man longs – O let us be born into your kingdom!

Toward Jerusalem the face of your Son is set; it is always to this place He comes.  Here He dies and here He is raised, and here He dwells unto eternity….  In His blood let us be reborn.  In Him your glory is known among us, O LORD, for you have established Him forever as our Home. 

Let us all come to Jesus in the New Jerusalem to implore your favor, O Most High God.  And let us bring all souls to these gates, that in glory they might enter in and find their place in Him.  His messengers let us be until the end of the age.

Direct download: BC-092711-Tu_26_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O great interpreter of holy Scripture,

seeking the wisdom and power of God

you listened

to what the Lord says

in His Word

and so served to dispel

ignorance of Christ;

from your hermitage you came

to serve the Church just so,

to enlighten the minds of the faithful –

pray the Lord shall send forth today

the light of His wisdom and grace

upon those who turn to the pages

of the Word of God in prayer,

that He may be understood in truth,

that Jesus may walk amongst us again…

that knowing the Christ

we may become more like Him

and live according to His instruction,

as a lamp burning brightly in this world

to draw all men to the Lord

and the salvation of their souls,

which He so deeply desires.

Direct download: Sept._30__Jerome.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Zec.8:1-8;   Ps.102:16-23,29;   Lk.9:46-50)

 

“The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in her streets.”

 

“Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also, says the Lord of hosts.”  Sometimes we lose sight of the kingdom of heaven.  Sometimes our faith fails because of the difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves.  Or sometimes our pride can be the obstruction, blinding our eyes to the presence of the Lord in our midst, speaking to us in the children who play all around us, who sit at His side… whose angels behold His face always.  Sometimes we lose hope and the promise of eternal life escapes us.

But why?  Do we not know that the Lord “has regarded the prayer of the destitute, and not despised their prayer”?  Have we not experienced His redeeming grace many times in our lives?  Do we not believe Him when He tells His chosen ones: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice”?  Why are we so forgetful of His love for us and distracted by our situation?  For the Lord does “hear the groaning of the prisoners”; He does “release those doomed to die”; He does look down “from His holy height” and hear the prayers of us His lowly ones, if we but call out to Him.

“I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun.”  At the center of the universe shall we dwell, “within Jerusalem,” with the Lord.  This is our promise.  And this is our call – to bring others within those gates, to invite all His children to enter His holy presence.  Not to look past them in blind ambition, but to set our hearts on serving Him by striving always and only to build up His kingdom even here on earth.

Jesus knows our thoughts, brothers and sisters.  He knows how vain we can be in our ways.  And so He sets a child before us.  He shows us the lowliness we must know to enter the kingdom of heaven.  And He presents us with a challenge to gather His children there.  Indeed, heaven shall be filled with the laughter of children, but will we hear it – and will we find true reward by increasing it always in His Name?  Let your heart not fail or despair of any circumstances, for “the children of [His] servants shall abide, and their posterity continue in [His] presence.”  Ever maintain hope for the glory of Zion and see it rising in your midst. 

*******

O LORD, may we be as children before you

in your heavenly kingdom.

YHWH, gather your children together as one in your holy City of Jerusalem.  In the peace of your presence let us dwell all our days.  We are greatly troubled here upon this earth.  Help us to turn and become as children that in innocence and humility before you we might remain.  Hear us as we cry out and look down with pity upon our poor souls.

O LORD, let us be on your side; faithful and just make us, we pray.  O let us serve you in holiness that when you appear in glory we may enter your company and not be kept from you by our foolish pride.  You are our God; let us not be made blind to your presence.

O LORD, let us hear the sound of children playing in your streets, and let us be among them.  If we could but humble ourselves, in your eyes we would find our place secure.  Release those who are doomed to die; with you let us dwell forever.

Direct download: BC-092611-M_26_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O mighty messengers of the Lord,

ministers of His will,

bringing His word and His power

to all poor souls on earth,

you serve to lead us unto Heaven…

you who do the bidding of God,

you who are first among those

who stand around His throne

and sing His praise,

you who are so faithful

in defending His Kingship

and keeping us from harm –

cast the devil from our midst,

instill the word of Jesus’ coming

in our hearts,

bring His healing to the lost sheep,

and see that we join you

on His holy mountain on high;

carry us in your arms

to the place the Savior prepares for us

with you and all your army in His presence.

Direct download: Sept._29_Michael_Gabriel__Raphael.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EST

(Amos 6:1,4-7;   Ps.146:2,5-10;   1Tm.6:11-16;   Lk.16:19-31)

 

“Keep the commandment without stain or reproach

until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

The Lord is coming.  First of all, know this.  “The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see” will reveal Himself “at the proper time.”  Shall come the end of this world and the birth of the new in the presence of our all-holy God.  Do not doubt this.  Do not question it in your hearts.  But believe.

Second, know the nature of our God.  This our psalm makes abundantly clear: “The Lord gives sight to the blind” and “protects strangers…  The fatherless and the widow He sustains, but the way of the wicked He thwarts.”  And since “the Lord raises up those who were bowed down,” we must bow down and serve Him, bringing His love to this world; keeping “faith forever” we must give “food to the hungry,” showing His unending compassion to all those in need.

Third, know the fate which awaits those who fail to adhere to His command of love, those who stain themselves with comfort and riches in a vain existence and have no heart for those who suffer now by their lack.  As He prepares a place of refuge in Abraham’s bosom for those who “pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness,” so a place is set for those “who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day” but who were “not made ill by the collapse of Joseph,” who have no regard for the destruction of God’s people – who step over and upon the poor lying at their doors as they pursue the fatting of their bellies.  “A great chasm is established” between the redeemed and the condemned; as Lazarus had no way to enter the door of the house of the rich man, so he cannot pass now into the arms of God… only now that darkness without is eternal – his torment shall not end.

It is popular to believe that Jesus somehow did away with punishment, that in His all-embracing love there is no longer need for justice, and so hell is no longer a factor.  The “God of the Old Testament” is presented as the one of punishment with Him of the New conversely being of love.  Brothers and sisters, they are one and the same God.  And as in the time before Christ, the Lord forever showed compassion for the humble of the earth, so now Jesus shows condemnation to the wicked who refuse to turn from their ways.  Only now the love and justice, which are also one, are made eternal by the coming of the end of the age in the Person of Jesus Christ.  Continue to keep yourselves pure and serve the Lord – His Day is at hand.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "The Child and the Beast" from Remove the Mask of Lies, second album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let us make the poor man our brother, 

and we will know Jesus and so be with you. 

YHWH, you secure justice for the oppressed; the poor and the downtrodden you raise up even as you cast their oppressors into the bowels of the earth.  The path of the righteous you indeed bless, but the way of the wicked you thwart.  You confuse those who do not listen to Moses and the prophets, those who reject your only Son, for you are just and no man can own what he readily spurns. 

If it is the belly upon which we set our hearts, it shall grow fat and keep us from entering the narrow gate.  If upon our own needs and wants alone we look, failing to see the longings of others or help them in their plight… we shall fail the test you place before us, and be unworthy to be called your sons, dear God. 

For you are kind and loving, O LORD, and care always for the hungry and those in captivity.  Though you dwell in unapproachable light, to us you come with great mercy to raise us to Heaven with your only Son.

Direct download: BC-092913-Su_26_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O simple and devout layman,

husband and father and clerk,

suddenly you were forced to flee

your homeland and family

with your missionary companions,

but death for the faith

each one of you met

without wavering

upon disembarking in a foreign land –

pray, O blessed martyrs,

our faith shall be strong as your own,

that should we be called

to witness even with our lives

to the faith which gives us life,

we will be ready

to enter eternity

with Christ our Lord and Savior.

If tortures threaten our bodies, too,

intercede for us for grace,

that the face of Jesus alone

we shall look upon that day.

Direct download: Sept._28_Lawrence_Ruiz_and_Companions.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:05pm EST

O faithful ruler

whose devotion served

to bring your death,

though you loved all your subjects,

caring especially for the poor,

and loved God and His Church above all,

your care and your faith

caused you to be killed

by those so jealous and selfish –

pray for us, good king,

and for the rulers in our midst,

that they will be inspired as you

with a self-effacing humility

and a desire for the truth of God’s way,

giving their lives in service

of the Lord and His people,

not seeking their own gain.

Pray the Mother of God

guide all leaders

and they turn to her in obedience,

that the will of the Father shall be done

and to this world His kingdom come

by the blood of His only Son.

Direct download: Sept._28_Wencelaus.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Zec.2:5-9,14-15;   Jer.31:10-13;   Lk.9:43-45)

 

“They shall come streaming to the Lord’s blessings.”

 

The Kingdom is being prepared.  And as bleak as things may seem upon this earth, the glory of the Lord awaits us all.  This is the message of Jeremiah in our psalm and the message given Zechariah by the angel in our first reading.  “I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows,” is the word which sustains us.

Zechariah prophesies at the time the Israelites have returned from exile few in number to a rather desolate, broken-down Jerusalem.  But in his vision presented today he sees an angel measuring the great city of peace, apparently for its restoration.  And to this prophet at this difficult time in which hope is hard to hold on to is delivered this reassurance: “People will live in Jerusalem as though in an open country, because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.”  The Lord promises to be “the glory in her midst” and an “encircling wall of fire”: “Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day.”

Jeremiah’s message is the same.  “He who scattered Israel now gathers them together, He guards them as a shepherd His flock.”  Yes, even in the darkest moments of our exile here on this fallen earth, there is hope.  For ultimately the Lord’s love will conquer all; in the end we shall “mount the heights of Zion” – our salvation will be fulfilled.

Jesus tries to convey to the apostles the same message.  By telling them, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men,” He seeks to have them understand – even “in the midst of the disciples’ amazement at all that Jesus was doing” in teaching and healing the people – that when the time of mourning is brought to bear in their lives, when they see Him offered up for crucifixion… when darkness falls upon the land, then they should be assured that the glorious works they find wrought in their midst by the glorious hand of God shall not be dead at all, but only coming to fulfillment.

Our solace is in our sorrow.  Happy are we who mourn.  For the passing things we are robbed of here, we know will become eternal blessings in heaven.  Taste the pain, my brothers and sisters, the blood at the corners of your mouth, and lift your head to see the nations come streaming to His eternal kingdom. 

 

*******

O LORD, into the hands of men Jesus must be delivered

that He might gather them from far-off lands

into the kingdom of Heaven.

YHWH, your people have been scattered to the four corners of the earth, but from there you gather them together as one in your holy City.  From mourning you deliver your children that they might come in joy into your eternal presence.  O may the nations indeed come streaming to your blessings!  May all be surrounded by your wall of protection, with you at our very center.

The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men.  This sacrifice is necessary to fulfill man’s redemption.  O LORD, we could not be saved except by His suffering, for blind we were even to our sin until He mounted the wood of the Cross.

But now, dear LORD, what was so concealed from us has been revealed by His blood.  Let us follow closely His message and His way, that we might be found celebrating within the length and breadth of your kingdom.

Direct download: BC-092411-Sa_25_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O blessed help of the poor,

slave to widows and orphans

and all those most outcast

and in need,

the least of Christ’s brothers

you indeed gave your life to serve,

completely spending yourself

in their assistance

and leading your own brother priests

to do the same…

and so Christ Himself you waited upon

day in and day out

upon this earth –

pray that we, too, shall be like Jesus,

filled with compassion

for the needs of our neighbors,

sharing their poverty

as we empty ourselves as the Lord has done.

May all our prayers and desires

lead to such charity for the plight of others,

that we might fulfill with you

our Savior’s call to the Cross

and come, therefore, to the riches of Heaven.

Direct download: Sept._27_Vincent_de_Paul.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Hg.1:15-2:9;   Ps.43:1-5;   Lk.9:18-22)

 

“Greater will be the future glory of this house

than the former, says the Lord of hosts.”

 

“Take courage… and work!  For I am with you,” the Lord says through the prophet Haggai to the remnant of the people returned from exile as they prepare to rebuild the temple.  “My spirit continues in your midst; do not fear!”  Of course, we know these words of encouragement are eternal, even as we know that “the future glory” of the temple prophesied by Haggai refers ultimately to the Kingdom Christ now builds for us with His Father in heaven, and in whose construction we participate to this day.  For Jesus is the Temple not made by human hands, and we are His Body here on earth, raising the walls of this holy place.

“And in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts!”  In the former temple, that which relied upon human hands for its construction and could thus be destroyed also by human hands, the peace was necessarily passing.  Though the Lord remained present to His people, the temple in which they dwelt, in which they worshiped, was only temporary.  The future Temple which holds the glory of God come to fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ, to which He leads us and which is, in fact, the Lord Himself – to this Temple there is no end, and its peace is everlasting.  There we shall worship eternally.

And this Temple is present to us now; Jesus is in our midst this day, in His Church, in His Sacraments, with His Spirit, in the Word.  And we learn from the Lord in our gospel today the way that leads to its realization.  Yes, the apostles, in the person of Peter, recognize that Jesus is “the Messiah of God”; but not yet is it to be declared.  There are first “many sufferings” He must endure.  Indeed, He must “be put to death” before being “raised up on the third day.”  In the same manner we have much to endure in this world, filling up what is lacking of His suffering, before we come into the eternal glory of His resurrection.  We shall “go in to the altar of God” and give Him “thanks upon the harp.”  He shall receive our song of joy, as in measure He does this day.  In fullness we shall know Him.  And so, here as we travel toward Him, as we pass through our time of mourning, let us pray with our psalmist:

 

“Send forth your light and your fidelity;

they shall lead me on

And bring me to your holy mountain,

to your dwelling place…”

(where His glory shall be great).

 

                           *******

O LORD, you are the Most High God –

let us enter your House with praise!

 YHWH, you are with us, always with us, dearest LORD, and you call us to be with you; you promise us peace in your holy Temple.  And your Temple has come into our midst.  He has suffered and died for our sakes and been raised on the third day.  Now we must suffer with Him, we must do His work in this world, the work of building up His Temple… and soon we will come to dwell with Him in your eternal presence in your dwelling place.

O LORD, take away our mourning for what we do not have, for the lack of your glory among us.  Let us remember that Jesus is the Messiah, that though we be surrounded by darkness this day, His light is with us leading us forth to your kingdom, which even now is indeed being built up in your Church, in all those who work in His Name.  To greater glory bring us each day till your promise is fulfilled and we dwell in your presence forever.

Direct download: BC-092311-F_25_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O highly honored martyrs

whose tomb drew many pilgrims

and brought about many miracles,

you laid down your lives as one in the Lord,

taking up His bitter and saving cup

of suffering

all for your faith in Him and His Church,

and so, precious in His sight

was your death in His name –

from beyond the grave

pray for us this day,

that the healing blood of Christ our Savior

be poured upon our souls,

that we too might be raised by His sacrifice,

redeemed by the death He endured;

for He has overcome the world,

and you with Him in His blood.

Pray that we who are so weak of faith

may by the Lord’s grace and your intercession

bear witness to Jesus by our own deaths

upon the Cross with Him.

Direct download: Sept._26_Cosmas_and_Damian.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Hg.1:1-8;   Ps.149:1-6,9;   Lk.9:7-9)

 

“He who earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it.”

 

“Bring timber, and build the house that I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory.”  Rebuild the house of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit you are.  Shore up the breaches in its walls and solidify its foundation, that you might “sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful,” that you might be as those who are “glad in their maker…  For the Lord loves His people, and He adorns the lowly with victory.”  Humble yourself before Him, take care to observe the words of His mouth – turn from your selfish ways and your blindness to His presence, and you shall again sing with delight in a house of blessings.

Are you, too, like Herod, perplexed at the identity of Jesus?  Do you, too, question: “Who is this man about whom I hear all these reports?”  Be more than “curious to see Him,” my brothers and sisters; lay down your lives before Him and His teaching and His redemptive sacrifice, and you shall come to know that He is the Son of God – you shall find Him who is the salvation of your soul, which wanders now far from the safety of the walls of His temple.  In His flesh alone will you find your home.  Your vain curiosity is not enough to bring you there.  Your doubts about His glory must be faced and seen for the emptiness they hold – or you risk beheading yourself in the refusal to bow to Him who is Truth and holds all that matters in His redeeming hands.

“Let the high praises of God be in their throats,” our psalmist sings.  To such blessing of fulfillment he exhorts our souls.  This indeed is “the glory of all His faithful”; for to have our souls filled to overflowing with the praises of our Lord and our God, who loves us to overflowing and desires only for us to know His love in its being lived out in all our days and with all our being… in this we find our home in His blessed hands.

All else but God is vain, and its emptiness will rise to your eyes in a time you do not anticipate.  See now that you repair the holes in your very soul, that you might become a temple of His Spirit and find the grace to praise His Name worthily in the assembly of all His chosen ones.

 

*******

O LORD, in your House let us make our home

and to us you will be known.

YHWH, may you receive due glory from all souls, we pray.  May all bless your holy NAME with songs of praise in your Temple.  May all recognize that you are the God of all and that Jesus is your only Son, and so may all rebuild their broken souls by the grace that comes through Him.  O let us all put you first in our lives! as you deserve.

It is our joy to praise you, LORD, to recognize your glory in our midst and so join in that glory you offer through your Christ.  Without you, what are our lives worth?  We remain hungry despite the food on our tables; we remain naked despite the clothing on our backs – we remain empty and poor despite the riches we gather if we remain apart from you in our paneled houses.

O let us set our hearts on serving you, on humbly coming before you as your sons, dear God, and we shall exult in glory.

Direct download: BC-092211-Th_25_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Ezra 9:5-9;   Tb.13:1-4,6-8;   Lk.9:1-6) 

“Turn back, you sinners! do the right before Him:

perhaps He may look with favor upon you, and show you mercy.”

As the Word of the Lord comes to our villages and enters our houses, we must treasure it and heed its warning to turn from our sins.  If we harden our hearts against its grace and mercy, if we fail to recognize our sin in the blessed light it brings, the Word shall leave, shaking the dust from its feet, and we shall be left alone in despair.  But if we turn toward the light it brings and turn from our sins, we shall be saved – we shall be healed of all our afflictions.

How wonderfully Ezra humbles himself before the Lord our God, pouring out his soul and the sins of the people of Israel: “Our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guilt reaches up to heaven.”  For so often have the people sinned, so often have they turned from Him who chose them as His own… and even here, now that they have been returned from exile by the miraculous grace of God working through Persian kings, now that the Lord has given them “new life to raise again the house of [their] God and restore its ruins,” even now they have sinned again.

It is only the love of Jesus, brothers and sisters, and the grace that pours forth through His apostles, which will bring us to the “reign of God.”  Only He can heal our souls and only He can lift us from the mire of this world – only in His kingdom will we find perfection with God our Father.  This alone must we seek.  This certainly we must accept with open arms when it comes to us by the grace of our Lord.  For, indeed, we know that though we have fallen into “the great abyss,” though He may have cast us “down to the depths of the netherworld” for our sins, “He has shown [us] His greatness” and lifted our heads up to look upon His face – He has redeemed our race.

So let us rejoice this day “in the King of heaven” and “speak of His majesty,” for in our guilt the Lord visits us, He sends forth His Word to heal us.  He has given the Twelve and their successors “power and authority to overcome all demons and to cure diseases,” so let us welcome their touch and turn from our sins to receive the favor upon us, to find His mercy at work in our midst.

*******

O LORD, lead me forth in the peace of your presence –

restore our ruined house;

heal all our disease.

YHWH, you grant mercy to our souls.  Though we be cast down to the nether world for all our sins, you send forth your apostles to overcome all demons and cure us of our diseases; you raise our heads to look upon your face.  And so, what should we do but praise you with full voice?

Continually we falter, LORD; repeatedly your people fall back into sin.  But ever you call us to turn from our wickedness that we might find your favor again.  In your Son you make this mercy complete, and we find it now at work in your Church.  Let us receive well the Word that comes to us and so approach your kingdom.

What have you not done for us, O LORD.  Even the hearts of the kings of this earth you have turned to our cause to assist us in rebuilding your Temple.  All is in your hands, Almighty God!  Redeem us from captivity to walk in freedom with you at our side.

Direct download: BC-092111-W_25_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Ezra 6:7-8,12,14-20;   Ps.122:1-5;   Lk.8:19-21)

 

“The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building,

supported by the message of the prophets.”

 

And so, returning from exile and with the permission and indeed the financial support of the Gentile king, Darius, the Jews completed the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem.  And so, the prophecy of the return to the Lord from their sins is in a measure fulfilled here in this act and in the worship which once again transpires in “that house of God.”  But we know that this is not the fulfillment of the new covenant; this is not the realization of God’s promise through Isaiah to write His Name upon the hearts of His people and to be with them forever.  Though a sign of its coming, we know that such blessing cannot be fulfilled in buildings and on an earth so corrupted by sin – it can only be realized in heaven.

And so in our gospel His mother and kinsmen come to the Lord, who is the new Temple, the New Jerusalem Himself.  They come but do not find easy access for the crowd that has gathered to Jesus to worship at His feet.  And this is to show that it is not in our bloodline that we find salvation, but by faith in Him who is the ultimate sacrifice.  Indeed, all may come now to this holy sacrifice, all may enter the gates of this Temple… all may rejoice as they set foot within the gates of this New Jerusalem, if all but follow the Word of Truth which issues from His lips.  Returning to Jerusalem and having rebuilt the temple, the Levites offered sacrifice “for the rest of the exiles, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves”; but Jesus’ one sacrifice is offered daily now for all who would come to the altar, to all who would sup at His table.

“I rejoiced because they said to me, ‘We will go up to the house of the Lord.’”  How blessed are these words to the ears of the Jew returning from exile, and how blessed now to the peoples of every nation are their fulfillment in our hearing.  Brothers and sisters of the Lord, let us hasten our steps toward His presence.  Let us long to worship before Him.  And let us continue to make progress in the upbuilding of the Church, His Temple, by our daily labor for the God who blesses all our endeavors with His providential care.  May His Word be fulfilled in us and in all His people.

*******

O LORD, the temple of our souls we must rebuild,

according to your Word,

that we might be His brothers and sisters,

that we might enter His House.

YHWH, let us go up to your House; let us enter its gates in joy, giving thanks to you who have made us as your Temple, built into the Body of your Son, as His brothers and sisters who do your will in this world.  He is the New Jerusalem and we desire to come to Him and make our home in Him.  Bless our efforts in building ourselves into your holy Temple, the Church.

Help us as we return from exile, as from sin we turn away and come back to you, O LORD our God.  We shall need your assistance in rebuilding lives which have gone so astray, in restoring the walls that keep us from harm, from the dangers all about our souls, and that found us in you and in the Word of your Son.

O let us hear your Word calling us into your presence! and let us act upon that Word and give glory to you, LORD, with our every breath, with every sacrifice we make in your NAME.

Direct download: BC-092011-Tu_25_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O holy priest

who bore the wounds of Christ

in your hands

and in your ministry,

who served the Lord so greatly

in casting out many demons

in your confessional,

and whom He thus blessed

with miracles of the Spirit –

pray for us of lukewarm faith

who falter day to day

in following our dear Jesus’ path.

So close to Him you were

in His suffering and His love;

so far are we

from His Cross and so His grace.

Pray we shall be strengthened to approach Him

and find healing for our weakness,

the frailty of our souls

which keeps us from knowing the Christ

and laying down our lives for Him

as He calls, as you have done…

O pray His blood be upon us!

Direct download: Sept._23_Pio_of_Pietrelcina.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Ezra 1:1-6;   Ps.126:1-6;   Lk.8:16-18)

 

“Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.”

 

The Israelites toiled in tears for four hundred years under the yoke of the Egyptians, then rejoiced to finally enter the Promised Land (after wandering forty years in the desert).  For seventy years Judah had been exiled to Babylon, but rejoiced when, remarkably, the king of Persia called them to return to Jerusalem and, with his blessing, to rebuild the temple of the Lord.  And now we wait in exile for our Lord to return.  But sadness should not overwhelm us in this land of exile.  Indeed our lights must shine; for in the shining of these lamps of holiness is the coming of our Lord to this earth.  And the more we shine forth His light to this earth, the more we grow in that light, and so the closer the Lord comes to both us and the universe.

Tears do tend to be our lot here in this world; such is the way of the cross.  We cannot help but mourn the lack of His love and the failure of hearts to come to His peace.  Here where hatred and violence so often enter in by the ignorance of man’s soul to the Word of God and His presence in our midst, what can we do but cry?  But we are not without hope; and it is this hope our readings speak of this day.  For if the Gentiles could return the chosen people to their land of promise with such rich and generous gifts, how can we not take hope that the Lord shall “restore our fortunes” as well?  And so as we ascend the steps to the temple of our Lord in the highest heaven, may the nations say of us, too, “The Lord has done great things for them,” as they look upon our wisdom and grace even in this land where darkness reigns.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed, nothing concealed that will not be known and brought to light.”  And so we take promise in the fact that that which we cherish now in our souls, the Word and the Bread of the Lord which nourishes us on this journey, shall come to their fulfillment in the joy of the kingdom of heaven.  But do not hide that light growing within you, brothers and sisters; shine it forth unashamedly for all to see, and the tears you sow in hope for the salvation of the world shall serve to cleanse your vision to behold the Lord in all His glory. 

*******

O LORD, you will repay the faithful soul;

you will repay him to the full – 

the lamp you light in us will never dim. 

YHWH, bring us into the New Jerusalem; return us to our true home with you.  In Heaven let us dwell this day, blessed with all the gifts and graces come from your hands.  Then we shall rejoice.  Then we shall laugh and sing.  Then our tears will be washed away as we join ourselves to you. 

How impossible it seems as we sit here in this dark world, and yet how very likely.  For even here you are present to us as we speak your NAME.  Even now we know your light shining in our minds and hearts.  Yes, LORD, even now we come to Heaven. 

You are with your people even in their exile, and you call even those who are strangers to help them along their way to you.  All the nations know your greatness and shall enter your Church, O LORD.  Let us build your Temple this day.

Direct download: BC-091911-M_25_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Amos 8:4-7;   Ps.113:1-2,4-8;   1Tm.2:1-8;   Lk.16:1-13)

 

“If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,

who will give you what is yours?”

 

This world and the things of it are not our own; we are children of heaven.  Yet we are here amongst these things which are foreign to us.  And so, what should we do?  With all the Lord puts in our hands as we pass through this generation we must honor God.  Though in the world of mammon, we must use it to serve our God in heaven.  Thus  we shall prove ourselves worthy to enter into that kingdom which is above, which is our true home.  This call is stated simply in the Lord’s Prayer when we say, “On earth as it is in heaven” – we must bring the kingdom of God to bear in this place we find ourselves.

In our first reading, Amos makes clear what our attitude should not be with regard to the riches or power we may find at our disposal.  We must never “trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land.”  We must never reflect the greed of these merchants who cannot wait for the sabbath, the Lord’s Day, to end, that they might satiate their thirst for wealth, and this by dishonest means.  The Lord will condemn such pride and avarice.

In our second reading, Paul gives a clearer idea the manner in which power should be employed in his exhortation to prayer for those in position of authority.  God “wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth,” and if our kings seek to maintain peace in the world, they will save not only themselves, but provide ground for others to come to God.  Again, all that is given us, be it riches, power, wisdom or strength, must be given over to service of the Lord.  We must be as He “who gave Himself as ransom for all” in His teaching, in His healing, indeed, in the laying down of His very life.  And so, if we ourselves are teachers, we must be as Paul and do so “in faith and truth,” without any deceit.  And when we offer prayers, we must always lift up “holy hands, without anger or argument.”  In our prayer should always be forgiveness of others.

In our gospel parable Jesus illustrates and commends not deceitful dealings with others’ wealth, but to be wise in what is given us, to turn the riches of this world against the prince of this world (Satan), and use them for the good of the kingdom.  Even in these things which are the devil’s we must work to serve our Master in heaven. And so we feed the hungry, we clothe the naked, we pray for those in power, that the Lord who is “high above all nations” and whose glory is “above the heavens” might stoop down to us and through us fulfill the mission of Christ; for “He raises the lowly from the dust, from the dunghill He lifts the poor.”  And we must do the same to find our place with Him in heaven.

Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.

Music: "Asylum Paradox" from Thoroughfare, seventh album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, let us serve you alone  

with all that is at our hands. 

YHWH, help us to be trustworthy in the very small matters of this dishonest world, with the wealth that passes so quickly away.  This is not our world, but your world we must reveal to this place; if we do not reflect your glory now, how can we be called children of your light? 

And so we pray for all souls, that they will turn from the oppression wrought by their greedy hands and acknowledge you as God Most High and your Son as their Redeemer.  We desire no man to be trampled underfoot but for everyone to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth; and so with hands held aloft we call down your mercy, dear LORD. 

With the things you place in our hands here upon this dying earth, let us be faithful, let us be true – let us produce fruit unto the kingdom of Heaven.  Heaven is our only home, and so with all our strength let us seek to raise souls to dwell there with all your angels and saints.

Direct download: BC-092213-Su_25_OT_C.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

O faithful apostle

who so readily answered

the call of the Lord,

leaving your station in this world

to follow in His footsteps

and so find your place in Heaven,

who even with these first steps

brought others to the Christ

as you opened your heart

as well as your home

to Him and to the least of His brothers –

pray, dear brother through whom the Spirit has spoken,

that we too shall follow Jesus

and so find His grace and mercy,

and so find our way to the Father.

Pray our hearts will ever be

so open to hear His voice

and invite Him in to our table,

where He may eat and speak with us,

feeding us with His presence.

And pray we may be blessed as you

in drawing others to the Word, our God,

till all are one in His Body.

Direct download: Sept._21_Matthew.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 9:00am EST

(Eph.4:1-7,11-13;   Ps.19:2-5;   Mt.9:9-13)

 

“Through all the earth their voice resounds,

and to the ends of the world, their message.”

 

“Till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature,” the Word of the Lord shall be carried forth by all His “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers”; indeed, “each of us has received God’s favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it,” and each of us plays a role in bringing to fulfillment the Gospel of our “one Lord.”

“Matthew got up and followed Him.”  He was called, he was chosen, and he answered the Lord’s call without hesitation.  And he brought the Lord in immediately to dine with Him, welcoming Him fully at his table.  And because of his openness to God and His Word, and because of his generous response, we see that it is Jesus who in fact feeds him, that he in turn might feed others with the true teaching, “the one faith” in the “one God and Father of all, who is over all, and works through all, and is in all,” from the least of sinners to the greatest of apostles.  We are all thus called to follow Jesus Christ, to find the mercy He so greatly desires to impart to our sinful lives, that we might be whole and able to serve Him well.

One day we shall come to perfection in Him; in Him it is already fulfilled.  And now insofar as we share His love, insofar as we “live a life worthy of the calling [we] have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience,” the Spirit who is indeed the origin of our unity in Him works through us and we, even with the twelve apostles, serve to bring His blessed peace, His divine life of salvation, to the world.  Yes, “day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge,” and soon that Word will reach to the ends of the earth; and soon it will come to fulfillment in our sight.

Brothers and sisters, we are called to a great hope, and to a great mission to bring it to light.  Let us keep our hearts set on the Gospel and the promise it contains, and “build up the Body of Christ” until we stand with Him, as Him, in His eternal kingdom which stands in our midst even today through the words of His apostle and evangelist, in the breath of the Spirit upon us and in its message.

Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.

Music by Roger Fortney; used by permission.

*******

O LORD, let us all be drawn as one

into the Body of your Son,

that we poor sinners may become His saints. 

YHWH, you are over all and work through all and in all, and your Gospel message goes out to all the world through your apostles and evangelists.  O let us listen to your voice as it comes to us in the words of Scripture and through your prophets’ preaching!  Let us be quick as Matthew to answer your call, that the Body of your Son might be built up on this earth and soon come to fulfillment in Heaven.

We are all sinners, O LORD; you see this and you know this.  Help us to see this as you do and so come readily to the table Jesus spreads before us, a table of mercy and grace in answer to our repentance.  Let us recognize that only in Him will we find our place with you in the kingdom.  And help us to proclaim your love and your peace with your apostles, that in the one faith all might be baptized and come as your children to praise your Name.

You are our hope, O LORD; let your Spirit go forth.

Direct download: St._Matthew_2010.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 3:00am EST

O blessed, holy martyrs

who won for yourselves

the crown of salvation

by your undying faith in God,

who cherished well

the prize of persecution

the Lord offered your souls,

who stood fast despite the death

that raged around you –

pray we shall know as you

that all the hairs of our head

are numbered by God

and in His all-embracing providence

He has care over us all,

that we might stand as strong

in our little trials

and sufferings

as you did before the face

of the executioner.

To all people be a witness to the faith

that reaches ever unto Heaven.

Direct download: Sept._20_Andrew_Kim_Paul_Hasang_and_Companions.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(1Tm.6:2-12;   Ps.49:6-10,17-20,Mt.5:3;   Lk.8:1-3)

 

“Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation, and a trap.”

 

Today we hear Paul’s famous words: “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  They are oft-quoted, but how well are they understood and practiced in the avoidance of excessive possessions and inflated bank accounts.  Paul tells us, verifiably so, that men “have come to grief amid great pain” because of their passion for money.  And the pain is so much the greater if they had been men of faith, which stands so much in opposition to the things of this world.

One must be “content with a sufficiency,” Paul teaches us.  “If we have food and clothing we have all that we need.”  But how many are satisfied, grateful to God, for having their needs met?  And how many rather thirst for ever-increasing wealth, in which they foolishly believe they shall find peace and comfort?  Indeed, it is as an addiction, and blinds us to the providential hand of God and the humility we should have in His presence.  Our psalm speaks pointedly and graphically of the vanity of those for whom “the abundance of their riches is their boast,” but who, when they die, “shall take none of it”: “He shall join the circle of his forebears, who shall never more see light.”  Indeed, such trust in wealth leads invariably to hell.

“Then what should we do?” you may well ask.  Let us turn to our gospel.  It is brief and seemingly of little significance, but gives a concise picture of the life of the Lord and those who followed him.  In it we hear that Jesus and the Twelve did what Paul exhorts his disciple Timothy to do (in his letter): “Preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.”  This must be our concern.  This must be our desire – to fulfill the will and the word of God in our lives.  We must “fight the good fight of faith,” setting aside all preoccupation with the riches of this earth.  And we shall be cared for even as the women who accompanied Jesus and His apostles “were assisting them out of their means.”  They saw that the Lord and His disciples were clothed and fed.  They cared out of love for their basic needs.  And God will provide such as these to care for the needs of all who devote themselves to His work.

Let us never fall into the devil’s trap and temptation, as he attempts to distract us from the spiritual necessities God demands.  Such a fall is mighty indeed.  Trust in God’s hand and be satisfied with His call.

 

*******

O LORD, you are the Most High God –

let us enter your House with praise!

YHWH, you are with us, always with us, dearest LORD, and you call us to be with you; you promise us peace in your holy Temple.  And your Temple has come into our midst.  He has suffered and died for our sakes and been raised on the third day.  Now we must suffer with Him, we must do His work in this world, the work of building up His Temple… and soon we will come to dwell with Him in your eternal presence in your dwelling place.

O LORD, take away our mourning for what we do not have, for the lack of your glory among us.  Let us remember that Jesus is the Messiah, that though we be surrounded by darkness this day, His light is with us leading us forth to your kingdom, which even now is indeed being built up in your Church, in all those who work in His Name.  To greater glory bring us each day till your promise is fulfilled and we dwell in your presence forever.

Direct download: BC-091611-F_24_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O protector of your sheep,

you laid down your life

for them,

giving your blood

for the service of souls

that all might witness

the surpassing love of the Lord

and the glory that awaits

those who die in Him –

pray for shepherds

who feed their sheep,

not lording it over them

or seeking what gain they might find

for themselves,

taking the milk and wool

of their flock

and leaving them naked and lifeless…

but living the call of Christ

as you, dear shepherd, have done.

Pray those who govern God’s Church

will be ready even to die for Him

and the people they serve.

Let all be protected by the blood of the Lamb.

Direct download: Sept._19_Januarius.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(1Tm.4:12-16;   Ps.111:2,7-10;   Lk.7:36-50)

 

“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

prudent are all who live by it.”

 

If “the works of His hands are faithful and just,” as His children living in His Word and as His image, we must “be a continuing example of love, faith, and purity.”  If we do not attend to this duty, “so that everyone may see [our] progress,” how shall we “bring to salvation [ourselves] and all who hear [us]”?  Our love of Him must shine forth in all we do.

And what is the fear of the Lord spoken of in our psalm but the love shown by the woman in our gospel?  As she stands behind Jesus, what is she but fearful, what is she but filled with love?  This passage teaches us what fear of the Lord truly is, and what it isn’t.  Certainly she is struck to the heart.  Certainly in the presence of such purity she is convicted of her lust; certainly in the presence of such faith she is convicted of her lack thereof.  But if she were fearful as the world understands the word, would she presume to touch Him?  If she thought He might strike her to the ground, would she wipe His feet “with her hair, kissing them and perfuming them with oil”?  No, she would die where she stands.  But as it is her tears are sweet, for she knows the forgiveness He holds for her in His sacred hands.

This is the fear of the Lord we all must have; it is this which is the beginning of wisdom.  We must be convicted of our sins, yes; but at the same moment we must be filled with the overwhelming love of our God.  The two go hand in hand, and it is the practice of this fear of God in love of Him and neighbor that is the fulfillment of our duty before Him, that will keep us as a holy example of His presence in the world.  The Pharisee in our gospel lacks this holy fear.  First of all, he does not see his sin, and so he is not moved to love.  Failing to view himself in the light of the One present before him, he fails to find the grace that is the knowledge of our sins – and so he is not moved to love, and so he does not find forgiveness.

Let us not love little, brothers and sisters, for this would not be wise.  Failing to live in holy fear of the Lord, we shorten His hand’s working in our lives.  May we ever, by His grace, be convicted of our sins, and so turn to Him in love to find forgiveness.  We will do this only if we remain ever in His presence, bowed at His sacred feet.  Amen. 

*******

O LORD, in your House let us make our home

and to us you will be known.

YHWH, may you receive due glory from all souls, we pray.  May all bless your holy NAME with songs of praise in your Temple.  May all recognize that you are the God of all and that Jesus is your only Son, and so may all rebuild their broken souls by the grace that comes through Him.  O let us all put you first in our lives! as you deserve.

It is our joy to praise you, LORD, to recognize your glory in our midst and so join in that glory you offer through your Christ.  Without you, what are our lives worth?  We remain hungry despite the food on our tables; we remain naked despite the clothing on our backs – we remain empty and poor despite the riches we gather if we remain apart from you in our paneled houses.

O let us set our hearts on serving you, on humbly coming before you as your sons, dear God, and we shall exult in glory.

Direct download: BC-091511-Th_24_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Tm.3:14-16;   Ps.111:1-6;   Lk.7:31-35) 

“God’s wisdom is vindicated by all who accept it.”

“The Church of the living God” is the “pillar and bulwark of truth,” as Paul tells us.  And it is those who live the faith, “professing it” with all their beings, who prove its truth.  “Wonderful, indeed, is the mystery of our faith”; no greater grace or wisdom could we hope to attain.

“He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory…”  “Great are the works of the Lord, exquisite in all their delights…”  How our first reading and psalm sing of the glory of our God!  And how blessed are we to know “the power of His works,” to be recipients of His gift of “majesty and glory,” to be the children of so great a God.  We should indeed praise Him unceasingly for being “mindful of His covenant” with us, for shedding His blood for our salvation, for drawing us into the Father’s presence.  “He has given food to those who fear Him,” and we partake of His glorious meal each day in the Holy Eucharist.

Forget not the blessings the Lord imparts to us, brothers and sisters.  “Know what kind of conduct befits a member of God’s household.”  We must not be as the men of Jesus’ day who like spoiled children sought to form the Lord in the image they desired of Him, refusing to accept Him and His wisdom as it came to them, as it stood before them in the flesh.  How can we presume upon the will of our God and His wisdom?  How can we fail to accept the light and grace of the Gospel?  What folly it is to judge Him who judges the universe.  We must be open to His Word, open to His grace, open to His teaching and the marvelous works known only in adherence to His covenant of absolute truth and love.  He is the foundation upon which the Church is set, and a Church living His wisdom and grace is the vindication, the proof, of its eternal efficacy for the good of all. 

Rejoice in the Lord always, brothers and sisters, that He has blessed you with knowledge of His glory and fed you with His own body and blood.  Eat and drink this food He gives, do all He commands in His eternal wisdom, and with the angels you will behold His face as children of the Most High God.

*******

O LORD, lead me forth in the peace of your presence –

restore our ruined house;

heal all our disease.

YHWH, you grant mercy to our souls.  Though we be cast down to the nether world for all our sins, you send forth your apostles to overcome all demons and cure us of our diseases; you raise our heads to look upon your face.  And so, what should we do but praise you with full voice?

Continually we falter, LORD; repeatedly your people fall back into sin.  But ever you call us to turn from our wickedness that we might find your favor again.  In your Son you make this mercy complete, and we find it now at work in your Church.  Let us receive well the Word that comes to us and so approach your kingdom.

What have you not done for us, O LORD.  Even the hearts of the kings of this earth you have turned to our cause to assist us in rebuilding your Temple.  All is in your hands, Almighty God!  Redeem us from captivity to walk in freedom with you at our side.

Direct download: BC-091411-W_24_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O wise doctor

whose intellect served well

in defense of the Church

and her teachings,

who bore well the light yoke of Christ

that leads to eternal life

and shepherded your flock

in following you

along this path of our Lord –

speak to us this day

your words of grace

that the souls of all

within the Church’s gates

might be founded well

on the truths of the faith

and on the love of God.

Pray we shall be wise as you

in knowing the way

the Lord marks out for His sons;

pray we shall have shepherds

so blessed with His light

that all shall be saved from the wolves about

and remain secure in the Father’s arms.

Direct download: Sept._17_Robert_Bellarmine.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(1Tm.3:1-13;   Ps.101:1-3,5-6;   Lk.7:11-17)

 

“He who walks in the way of integrity

shall be in my service.”

 

“God has visited His people.”  What the people said when Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead should be said of us all as we pass through this world.  That same love that moved Jesus to pity upon seeing the tears of this poor mother should move us all.  To all we should say, “Do not cry.”  To all we should step forward with the love of Christ fixed firmly in our hearts and bring the same grace and healing.

In our first reading Paul outlines the qualities necessary to be a servant of the Lord.  At whatever level we find ourselves, to whatever role we are called, we must walk in integrity of heart.  All “must be serious”; all “should be temperate”; all should be of peace and never of greed; and all must keep their homes in order.  “The man of haughty eyes and puffed-up heart I will not endure,” the Lord warns us in David’s psalm.  And we must heed that warning and walk humbly with our God, seeking to serve Him and our neighbor well, that we might ever be built up in “faith in Christ Jesus.”

His servants are blessed.  “My eyes are upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me,” of the Lord’s kindness and judgment David sings.  Indeed, those who follow in His ways will do things as great as He – even to the raising of the dead – and shall find themselves raised up on the last day.  But as we go through this world we cannot have cold hearts for our neighbors: we cannot allow the faith to die within ourselves.  That which has been nurtured within us must be shared with others; then we will “gain a worthy place” at the Lord’s side.

All are called to their stations in life; all have a part in the Body of Christ.  Let us not set before our eyes “any base thing” but look always to fulfill that call in a trustworthy manner, holding “fast to the divinely revealed faith with a clear conscience.”  If our conscience becomes clouded, we will be unable to serve Him, and our reward will be placed in jeopardy.  Therefore, let us ever maintain His goodness within us and let our actions always reflect the great love of God.  The Lord wishes us to be forever in His service.

 

*******

O LORD, the temple of our souls we must rebuild,

according to your Word,

that we might be His brothers and sisters,

that we might enter His House.

YHWH, let us go up to your House; let us enter its gates in joy, giving thanks to you who have made us as your Temple, built into the Body of your Son, as His brothers and sisters who do your will in this world.  He is the New Jerusalem and we desire to come to Him and make our home in Him.  Bless our efforts in building ourselves into your holy Temple, the Church.

Help us as we return from exile, as from sin we turn away and come back to you, O LORD our God.  We shall need your assistance in rebuilding lives which have gone so astray, in restoring the walls that keep us from harm, from the dangers all about our souls, and that found us in you and in the Word of your Son.

O let us hear your Word calling us into your presence! and let us act upon that Word and give glory to you, LORD, with our every breath, with every sacrifice we make in your NAME.

Direct download: BC-091311-Tu_24_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O brothers in Christ,

in death and in life

you gave yourselves as one

for the sake of the flock;

for the cause of the faith

readily you shed your blood

to serve the growth of God’s Church –

pray we today will be zealous as you

in defending the faith with our lives;

by fasting and by prayer,

by standing courageously

before the courts of the world

and offering our flesh in sacrifice,

may we imitate you who imitated Christ

and so come with all our brothers

to His resurrection and life.

Shepherd us well even this day

from where you now stand at the Lord’s side,

that we might be unafraid to speak

and to live the truth in undying love.

O let us lay down our lives with you!

Direct download: Sept._16_Cornelius_and_Cyprian.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(1Tm.2:1-8;   Ps.28:2,6-9;   Lk.7:1-10)

 

“Offer prayers with blameless hands held aloft.”

 

We must pray.  We must petition the Lord for the good of the world, that the good of our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ, might be known to all.  If we do not intercede, if we do not seek the healing of a people sick with sin, who shall do so?  The Lord desires “all men to be saved and come to know the truth.”  It is our responsibility, it is our call, to bring the love and forgiveness and healing of our Lord forth.

“Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you, lifting up my hands to your holy shrine.”  Our eyes and our hands must be continually lifted up to the temple of the Lord and to His holy presence.  The Lord listens to our prayers, brothers and sisters.  The world depends upon our prayers.  Those for whom the Lord is “strength” and “the saving refuge” are near to Him, and He waits to hear from them.  He longs to hear the petitions of their hearts and is eternally prepared to respond to their pleas.  Should not we who are blessed to be within the walls of the Church, who partake of His Word and His sacraments, who have His teaching upon our hearts and His presence in our midst, be concerned for the good of all; should we not long to see the Lord’s will done on this earth?  Then pray.

And our gospel teaches us that those who disparage the faithful for depending on the intercessions of others, those who think they must always come directly to Jesus to find answer to their petition – those who fail to see the family of God and our connection here on earth with the saints who have preceded us to heaven – are in danger of a vain pride.  Learn from the centurion, who says to the Lord, “I did not presume to come to you myself.”  And why?  “For I am not worthy to have you enter my house.”  And so, first “he sent some Jewish elders to him” (are these not so much like our beloved saints?), and then “sent friends” to deliver the above message of humility.  And for his humility, and for his faith in the intercession of others… and for his realization that the Lord hears petitions offered for others and that He Himself has ministering angels who perform His work at His Word – the Lord holds this centurion in “amazement” and raises him up as a model of faith.

Do we believe?  Do we truly believe in the Lord and in His angels and His saints?  Do we believe His heavenly kingdom is near to us, and His will is for our good?  Then we should not hesitate to lift our hearts and our hands to the Lord in faithful prayer.

Blessed Mother, intercede for us before your Son, Jesus, that we who are not worthy to receive Him into our mortal bodies may be made immortal by His presence within us.  May He bring peace to the world.

 

*******

O LORD, you will repay the faithful soul;

 you will repay him to the full –

the lamp you light in us will never dim.

YHWH, bring us into the New Jerusalem; return us to our true home with you.  In Heaven let us dwell this day, blessed with all the gifts and graces come from your hands.  Then we shall rejoice.  Then we shall laugh and sing.  Then our tears will be washed away as we join ourselves to you. 

How impossible it seems as we sit here in this dark world, and yet how very likely.  For even here you are present to us as we speak your NAME.  Even now we know your light shining in our minds and hearts.  Yes, LORD, even now we come to Heaven. 

You are with your people even in their exile, and you call even those who are strangers to help them along their way to you.  All the nations know your greatness and shall enter your Church, O LORD.  Let us build your Temple this day.

Direct download: BC-091211-M_24_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

O sorrowful Mother

whose heart was pierced by a sword,

who stood at the foot of the Cross

dying in spirit

as your Son died in the flesh…

Jesus was sent to suffer

and die for our sins,

and how intimately you shared

in the profound pain

He carried about all His life;

how preeminently you filled up

what was lacking in His suffering,

suffering the whole Church must share

with our crucified Lord –

pray we shall indeed enter into

the sacrifice of Christ your Son,

following in your wake,

O Mother of God;

pray we shall meet Him

along His Way of Sorrow

that His blood upon our souls

will carry us to Heaven,

where you stand at His side.

Direct download: Sept_15_Our_Lady_of_Sorrows.mp3
Category:Saints -- posted at: 3:00pm EST

(Ex.32:7-11,13-14;   Ps.51:3-4,12-13,17,19,Lk.15:18;   1Tm.1:12-17;   Lk.15:1-32) 

“The Lord relented in the punishment

He had threatened to inflict on His people.”

Redemption is ours, brothers and sisters.  Though we are great sinners, the Lord has mercy on us when we turn to Him; for, as Moses interceded for the Israelites in the desert, so Christ Jesus intercedes for us now before the throne of His Father.  Indeed, He “came into the world to save sinners,” sinners like you and me.

What examples of sinners we have throughout our readings today – what examples of great sinners and the greatness, the abundance of God’s grace.  Where shall we begin?  In our first reading the people of Israel had fallen into the depths of depravity as they passed through the desert.  While Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments, they were far below, “making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it.”  To it they sacrificed, and in drunken revelry proclaimed it God.  Yet because of Moses’ intercession the Lord held back His blazing wrath against them.  He did not destroy them.

In our second reading we find “the foremost” of sinners, the apostle Paul, recognizing his own great guilt as arrogant persecutor of the Church and, in the same breath, witnessing to the manner in which he was “mercifully treated” by the Lord, that he might indeed be “an example for those who would come to believe in [Jesus] for everlasting life.”  If the Lord can turn him who was the primary persecutor of Himself and His people into a leading apostle of His Word, how might He not convert our own