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.

 (Ez.18:25-28;   Ps.25:4-9;   Phil.2:1-11;   Mt.21:28-32)

 

“Tax collectors and prostitutes

are entering the kingdom of God before you.”

 

Why?  How can it be that such sinners gain such privilege, such grace?  Is it for their sins?  Shall we all become as they?  We should be like them, but not in sin – in repentance.  For it is because they have “turned away from all [the] sins that [they] committed” that they are saved; it is because they are “tax collectors and prostitutes” no more.  And so we are all called to turn away from the sin which each of us surely has.

David sings beautifully of this in our psalm: “The sins of my youth and my frailty remember not,” as he begs the Lord for His kindness.  For all that we have done in our ignorance and our weakness we should seek the Lord’s mercy, for He assures us throughout our readings that “He shows sinners the way” when they come humbly before Him.

When the first son in Jesus’ parable responds to his father’s request for him to work in the vineyard, “I will not,” what does this son do but sin against his father? – just as each of us sins against our heavenly Father when we turn from His will to blindly follow our own.  But what did the son show when he “afterwards changed his mind and went” but his contrition and repentance at his insubordination, thus illustrating the manner in which our consciences should lead us from our own disobedience?  And as Jesus makes clear, it was this son who “did his father’s will” and so will be blessed by him.

Our reading from Ezekiel makes this theme of turning from sin and finding blessing even clearer.  It states in certain terms of the wicked man that “if he turns from the wickedness he has committed, and does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life.”  With such assurance, why should we delay our own conversion, which must be effected day to day?

St. Paul presents the attitude we must have before others and God in order to find the Lord’s grace.  He states: “Humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,” and then gives the clear example of the most humble of all, the Lord Jesus Christ, who “emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness.”  He so “humbled Himself” that He became “obedient even unto death, death on a cross.”  And so should we be proud?  Should we harden ourselves in our sin, or rather turn and empty ourselves of all that is not of Him?  The salvation repentance finds is indicated also in the fact that, because of Jesus’ humility, “God exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every other name.”  So let us not hesitate to join the tax collectors and prostitutes among us who bend the knee before Him; let our “tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,” and we shall know His reward.

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

Music: "Where's My Brother?" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, turning away from all our sins

and humbling ourselves before you,

let us but do your holy will. 

YHWH, help us to turn from our sins and do your holy will.  May we be obedient as your Son, who gave His life to save others.  Let all souls repent of their wickedness and walk in His way, that all might find salvation in His Name.

If we could but be humble before you, LORD; if we could but admit our failings, our selfishness and pride, our blindness to your call for our lives… then we would be blessed by you and become your faithful sons.  Break our hardened hearts that we might love, that we might look upon you who are love itself.

O let us be empty, LORD, of all we would possess, of all that we would grasp with our own hands.  Let us indeed be blessed to recognize our sinfulness and find your mercy and forgiveness.  You but want for us to turn to you that you might embrace us as your own.  May your compassion be known in our hearts this day.

Direct download: BC-092511-Su_26_OT_A.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am 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

(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

(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

 (Is.55:6-9;   Ps.145:2-3,8-9,17-18;   Phil.1:20-24,27;   Mt.20:1-16)

 

“You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.”

 

Our readings today reveal that the Lord is near, merciful, and just, and that these three qualities are one in God.  For the Lord’s justice is shown in His mercy, and His mercy in His nearness to us.  And so we should “praise [His] name forever.”

Isaiah conveys to us that the Lord’s thoughts and ways are “as high as the heavens are above the earth” with respect to our own thoughts and our own ways.  As David proclaims, “His greatness is unsearchable.”  But the prophet also encourages the faithful to “seek the Lord while He may be found, [to] call Him while He is near”; and the king declares, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”  And is not the closeness of our great God – made most evident in the presence of Jesus among us – illustrated in the Lord’s parable?  Does not the landowner go out at all times of day to draw laborers into his vineyard?  Even to the final hour He invites us into His kingdom, coming to us always with the hope of making us fruitful workers upon His land.

And why does the Lord remain so near?  Why does He call to us so incessantly?  Is it not because He is so “generous and merciful,” because He is “good to all and compassionate toward all His works”?  Is it not that we should turn from our idleness and the wickedness of our thoughts and ways that He ventures into the marketplace to find us?  Does Jesus not come to redeem us from this world of sin?  And should we not therefore “turn to the Lord for mercy, to our God who is generous in forgiving,” whose calling us to work in His vineyard is more that He should be able to give us all we need than that we might labor for Him? 

And is His mercy not proven by His form of justice?  For does He not give all a full day’s pay, even those with Him but an hour?  Do not all who come to His kingdom know the blessings He pours forth?  This is His way, this is His justice – the way of mercy and love.  And it is by this love He remains so near us who may now proclaim with Paul: “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death,” for His love is inseparable from us who believe, who have entered into His vineyard and share in His blood.

And should we not be merciful as He?  Should His justice not become our own?  We should not be as those servants who “grumbled against the landowner” for His generosity, courting envy in our hearts, but allow the Lord to be “free to do as [He] wish[es] with [His] own money.”  Should we not wish the same joy upon all souls as we ourselves have been blessed to know?  Though we may have had to bear “the day’s burden and the heat,” should this limit our generosity to others who have come late?  We should rather with our Lord desire all to enter His vineyard, to be close to us, that all might receive the benefit of His merciful justice.  We should thank Him that His ways are not our own, for then never would He have come near to us, and empty and idle we would be standing still.

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

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

*******

O LORD, how our envy would kill us –

let us rejoice in your mercy toward all,

counting ourselves blessed to do your will. 

YHWH, truly you are generous in forgiving, gracious and merciful to all, coming even at the eleventh hour to save us from our sin and share with us all the blessings of your kingdom.  Let us set to work for you this day, this hour, rejoicing always that we might labor for you.

O LORD, we thank you that your ways are far above our ways, for where we would condemn, you would forgive, and so we would ourselves be condemned without your mercy.  It is indeed your desire to save all souls and we need but turn our desire to you to find you present to us.  Help us to leave the ways of this world behind and follow in the way of your Son, embracing the Cross as though it held all treasure for us, as if it is the greatest gift you give… as if it were the way to Heaven, which it is.

O LORD, why should we complain against your generosity, your mercy?  Should we not rather seek to be like you?  Then we would share in all the riches of your kingdom with nothing to keep us from praising your Name.

Direct download: BC-091811-Su_25_OT_A.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(1Tm.6:13-16;   Ps.100:2-5;   Lk.8:4-15)

 

“Keep God’s command without blame or reproach

until our Lord Jesus shall appear.”

 

The Lord’s “kindness endures forever, and His faithfulness, to all generations,” and we must endure with Him, ever showing forth His kindness and faithfulness to the world, until we come to dwell with Him eternally “in inapproachable light.”

When God brings His appearance “to pass at His chosen time” will we stand ready?  Will we persevere in service of truth until that day of which we know not?  Brothers and sisters, “Let everyone who has ears attend to what he has heard.”  Let us not “fall away in time of temptation.”  Let us not have our progress “stifled by the cares and riches and pleasures of life.”  Let us mature.  Let us remain faithful in all adversity.  Let us always grow in His Word.  Let us “hear the word in a spirit of openness, retain it, and bear fruit through perseverance.”  Then we shall “yield grain a hundredfold”; then we shall know the “joyful song” that reverberates eternally in His “everlasting rule.”

Patience.  We must have patience.  And wisdom.  We must know and remember that “the Lord is God; He made us, His we are, His people, the flock He tends.”  Always we must take refuge in Him, living the “noble profession” to which He calls us as His blessed children to whom “the mysteries of the reign of God have been confided.”  And knowing this, knowing Him, how can we turn to anything else?  What can distract or destroy the heart set on God?  It is not possible that anything can overcome us if we stand fast as seed planted by the hand of God and allow His Spirit to perpetually nourish our growth.  We must be as plants which bend ever to His light; the cleansing water of His Word must be cherished and preserved by holy souls.  And we shall grow.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise.”  This is our destiny; and this is the blessing we find even now as we make continual progress in His Name and rejoice at the gifts and graces He bears us as we struggle ever to bear witness to His glory working in our lives.  Stand fast, brothers and sisters, and persevere till the end.  May His Word remain in you, His Bread nourish you daily, and you will be kept beyond reproach.

 

*******

O LORD, let us keep well your Word

and grow in Jesus’ light,

until He returns and gathers us into His arms.

YHWH, you dwell in unapproachable light; no one has seen you or can see you.  Yet you call us into your presence, you desire us to enter your gates singing praise.  Let us not be deaf to your blessed call but cherish the Word your Son brings us, the Word and Bread He is for us, and so grow always unto your kingdom, until He appears and unites us with you forever.

How empty our hearts can be, O LORD, empty of you and distracted by the world.  There are so many things which take our attention from the glory of your presence here among us this day.  And so, how easily we die, how easily we wither for want of your Word.  Why should we concern ourselves with the passing things of this vain world when your Son stands before us and calls us into your kingdom?  Let us rather give thanks to Him for such kindness; let us rather bless your holy NAME, that we might endure until His coming and bear fruit worthy of Heaven.

Direct download: BC-091711-Sa_24_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm 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

(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

(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

(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

 (Sir.27:30-28:9;   Ps.103:1-4,8-12;   Rom.14:7-9;   Mt.18:21-35)

 

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,

as I had pity on you?”

 

How like the Lord’s own wisdom is that of Sirach; how like His teaching.  For have we not heard the Master say, “Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven,” in His instruction to His disciples on how to pray?  And does He not impart this same lesson by parable today?

“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.”  Oh the woe of the unforgiving heart!  “Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord?”  How can we “refuse mercy to another” and “seek pardon for [our] own sins”?  Do we not know that anger is itself a deadly sin, mortally wounding our anxious souls?  Do we who sit in judgment think in our hearts that we are without sin, that we are perfect as He who is Most High?  If indeed “we are the Lord’s” then we will act as the Lord and look with “kindness and compassion” upon others.  Instead of condemnation we would practice divine forgiveness, for indeed mercy is the Father’s defining trait in His relationship with His children.

But no, rather than putting “wrath” and “enmity” and “hate” as far from our hearts as the Lord has “put our transgressions from us,” we cherish these abominations, setting them as trophies in our corrupted souls.  Again, what woe there is for the unforgiving soul!  For the same torture we would inflict upon others for their sins against us shall be the torture we ourselves shall face – then we will know what justice is!  Then we will know the wrath of God!  Then He who alone has power and wisdom and love to judge rightly shall inflict His punishment on all His wicked servants.

My brothers and sisters, fellow servants of the Lord in both life and in death, the Lord cannot emphasize enough to us the need for forgiveness.  We must first and always recognize and remember the sinners we have been and the grace we have received at our Lord’s hands.  And with this ever in mind and heart we must come to others with that same mercy.  It is this He desires of us, and He will accept nothing less.

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

Music: "It Takes One To Know One" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

  *******

O LORD, surpassing is your kindness toward us;

help us to transcend our vengeful hearts

and forgive as you have done.

     YHWH, have mercy on our souls by helping us to show mercy toward others; even your own mercy let us share. Then how blessed we shall be to be like you, O compassionate God! Then your mercy shall pour forth like a refreshing stream and become an overflowing torrent.

     But your kindness and compassion are far from us, LORD, so long as our sins remain near. So long as we cherish anger, we choke our souls and so cannot breathe in the light of your glory. If only we would turn and forgive, freely and without limit, then we would fully know the great blessing of your forgiveness, and find our sins put far from us.

     Why should we wish to live or die except in you? Why would we separate ourselves from your loving presence? O let us rather die to the wrath we hold! Let us set all vengeance aside. Then we shall rise to where you are, LORD, to where your Son would lead us.

Direct download: BC-091111-Su_24_OT_A.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(1Tm.1:15-17;   Ps.113:1-7;   Lk.6:43-49)

“Any man who desires to come to me

will hear my words and put them into practice.”

Our psalm today declares that God is “enthroned on high” – “High above all the nations is the Lord; above the heavens is His glory.”  And why is the Lord so glorious, so worthy of our praise…?  Because “He raises the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill He lifts up the poor.”  And Paul tells us the same: he glorifies God as “King of the ages, the immortal, the invisible, the only God” – and why?  Because though he is “the worst” of sinners, the Lord has dealt mercifully with him and made him an example of His great love.

The Lord indeed is great and worthy of all praise.  Though seated far above us, He reaches down to lift us up to Him.  In a word: “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”  Humbling Himself to walk and die among us, He calls us to eternal life.  But we must answer that call, we must follow His way.  We cannot simply call Him “Lord, Lord”; we must indeed “put into practice” His words.  If we do not, we cannot find the fruit of His sacrifice for us.  Mere words, simple verbal assent, is not sufficient to bring us to the blood of Christ and the redemption it holds.  It is by our actions we are judged and not our words.  Jesus makes this very clear: “Each tree is known by its yield.”  If we do not produce good fruit, how can we claim to be a good tree?  And doesn’t the Lord cut down every tree that fails to bear fruit in His name?

All shall hear His words, all shall know of the glory He offers forth.  But shall all be as the apostle Paul and put His words into practice, suffering for the faith He proclaimed?  Will all make real the teaching of Christ in their lives?  Those who do will find themselves set on a firm foundation – His word will be in their flesh and blood.  They will receive Him into their very beings and find Him at the center of all they think and do.  Without His presence so firmly fixed within themselves by their living it in their actions, salvation will be far away, and their houses shall crumble.  Brothers and sisters, let us not fail to realize the salvation He offers us sinners.  In His goodness, let us produce good from our hearts.

*******

O LORD, it is your mercy

that sets us on a solid foundation

from which we may praise you for your goodness.

YHWH, you are far above all nations, above the heavens and the earth, and yet in your Son you stoop down to us, and raise us from this dunghill.  We are but dust in your sight – we could be no better in relation to you.  And yet you show great patience with us poor creatures; you have mercy on our sinful souls.

Jesus you send to walk among us and show us the way we should walk.  Help us to put into practice what He teaches, in His words and in all He does, and we shall be set solidly in your goodness, LORD, and bear fruit worthy of your NAME.

But if we should be so foolish as to ignore the great gift of the Christ in our midst, if we should fail to listen to Him and act according to His teaching – what hope will there be for us?  For then the great work of saving sinners He has come to accomplish in your glorious NAME, we shall receive in vain, and in our sin ever remain.  Save us from such an evil fate, O Most High God!

Direct download: BC-091011-Sa_23_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Tm.1:1-2,12-14;   Ps.16:1-2,5,7-8,11;   Lk.6:39-42)

 

“Remove the plank from your own eye first;

then you will see clearly enough

to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

 

The answer to Jesus’ question to His disciples: “Can a blind man act as guide to a blind man?” is obvious.  No.  It must be a man of sight, of vision, who leads those who are blind, who are without understanding.  Paul has become a prime example of one who is well able to lead others.  In our first reading he speaks to Timothy, his “true child in faith,” whom he has taught and led and who now stands as a bishop of the early Church.  But how did Paul come to be such a profitable apostle?  We see in our reading that he has taken the instruction of the Lord, his teacher, to heart, and first recognized and then removed the plank which once rested firmly in his own eye: “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance.”  Indeed, this great Apostle of the Lord was once an egregious persecutor of the Church; and indeed we all have or have had great sins in our lives which have set us in opposition to God – but Paul has faced his sin, found “the grace of our Lord… in overflowing measure,” and served to remove innumerable specks from others’ eyes.  What of us?  Do we see our sins?  Have we removed them?  Do we see clearly enough to “remove the speck from [our] brother’s eye?”

“Every student when he has finished his studies will be on a par with his teacher.”  Paul has humbled himself before Jesus and absorbed the lessons the Lord imparts by the Spirit.  Timothy has proven himself a true student and son of Paul.  Who is our teacher?  Where do we get our knowledge?  Whom do we imitate?  And whom do we lead?  Are we falling into ditches following blind men’s leads?  Are we leading others astray with any false philosophy?  Or is it the Lord who “counsels” us as He does David in our psalm?  Do we say with him, “O Lord, my allotted portion and cup, you it is who hold fast my lot,” and, “I set the Lord ever before me”?  Is it His “grace, mercy, and peace” we seek always; or in arrogance do we set about doing the business we think fit? 

The teaching of the Lord would lead us to set aside any sin within ourselves, to cleanse our hearts and purify our souls in order to have clear vision.  For it is by this holy vision His Church is led forth, and we must be part of this procession.

 

*******

O LORD, in Christ Jesus let us grow in faith and love

by the forgiveness of our sins.

YHWH, remove the sin from our lives that we might be filled with your vision and serve to help you call others to faith.  On our own we remain blind, but we can bring light to others with you at our side.

O Jesus, teach us of the ways of God, and open our hearts and minds to listen to your voice and act upon your words.  We are worth nothing apart from you, but if we follow in your way we may become like you who see and know all things by love and lead all souls to salvation.

Have mercy on us, dear LORD, for without your grace upon our souls we shall die in our unbelief.  Who can come to you unless you call him?  And apart from you, indeed we die in sin.

Open our eyes to your glory; let us set you ever before us.  Let your counsel sink deeply into our hearts that we might live at your right hand and lead others to your glory.

Direct download: BC-090911-F_23_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Col.3:1-11;   Ps.145:2-3,9-13;   Lk.6:20-26)

 

“Set your heart on what pertains to higher realms

where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.”

 

Is this not the central message of the Lord’s beatitudes: “Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth.”  For how could we be blest in poverty, hunger, and weeping if our hearts are set on this earth?  And how could riches and fullness and laughter be curses except that they do not find their origin in heaven?  Paul makes it explicit: “You have died!” he declares, and leaves no question but that our “life is hidden now with Christ in God.”  There must our hearts be.

“Put to death whatever in your nature is rooted in earth,” the Apostle continues.  Lust and anger and deceit have no place in the life of a follower of Christ, for these indeed are sins of this earth which stand in contradiction to the grace of heaven.  Therefore, we must set them all aside to become “a new man, one who grows in knowledge as he is formed anew in the image of his Creator.”  It cannot be that the Lord’s children have discourse with evil conduct; those who are called to heaven must “discourse of the glory of [His] kingdom,” their souls must “speak of [His] might” and their lives must be lived in His light.

And so the Lord “raised His eyes to His disciples.”  And so He spoke to them of heaven.  And so the blessing of persecution in this world was made known to them, that their hearts might begin to understand.  God’s world is not this world; His kingdom is not of darkness but of light.  And if in the darkness we take our refuge, and if our hearts are not grieved by its injustice… if we fat ourselves on things of the flesh and turn our eyes from the demands of the Spirit… how shall we ever find justice and light?  How shall we ever come into the Lord’s glorious presence?  What will we do then but weep in our emptiness?

The Lord’s kingdom is coming, brothers and sisters.  Be assured.  What this world holds – its passion and death – is passing quickly, like a cloud in the night.  The rays of morning are not far from us, for the Lord is even now at our side.  And to His side in heaven we shall yet come, if we but accept His blessing.  So let us say with David, “Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations”; and let us enter now into His eternal presence. 

*******

O LORD, let us set our hearts on your kingdom

and let this world and its sin pass away.

YHWH, blessings and woes you hold for all souls, and so help us set our hearts on things above rather than things of earth, on your kingdom which endures forever and not on this dying, deceit-filled place.  Let our mouths bless you and speak of your glory, not be filled with every kind of wickedness.  For then indeed we will be blessed by you, as those who revel in their sin are subject to your wrath.

O let us not take our consolation now in this dark world!  Let us not give ourselves to the passion and lust that characterize this age.  We must die to all of this world and find our life in your Christ, who has died, or when He appears we shall be condemned.  Help us, O LORD, to rejoice in the persecution that is ours in following His way, knowing we are thus joined to Him and, so, destined also for His glory.  All idolatry let us set aside and make your Son our only desire.  O let us be poor souls who hunger ever for you!

Direct download: BC-090711-W_23_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Col.2:6-15;   Ps.145:1-2,8-11;   Lk.6:12-19)

 

“Coming down from the mountain with them,

He stopped at a level stretch where there were many of His disciples.”

 

In our gospel, the Lord has gone “to the mountain to pray, spending the night in communion with God.”  Then at daybreak He chose His twelve apostles.  On His way back down the mountain He comes upon those who have been waiting for Him, and He takes pity on this “large crowd of people” and reaches out His hand to heal them.

Yes, He in whom “the fullness of deity resides in bodily form,” as Paul tells us in our first reading, has come down from on high, from His union with the Father, to walk amongst us, to dwell with us – to “pardon all our sins.”  He “who is head of every principality and power” has bent down to the level of the humble creature dead in sin and circumcised him with the circumcision “which strips off the carnal body completely.”  He has accomplished this by taking the claim against us, our debt for our sins, and “nailing it to the cross.”  And baptized into Him and His cross we are “not only buried with Him but also raised to life with Him.”  The grace that comes from this sacrifice, the healing we find in the touch of His hand and by the power of His word and His blood, we must now treasure.  And so Paul tells us we must “be rooted in Him and built up in Him, growing ever stronger in faith,” lest we make His sacrifice void.

“The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all His works,” sings David in our psalm today; and how can this be greater shown than in His coming down from heaven to teach us and to heal us, and to fulfill this teaching and healing in dying on the cross?  What more could He do for us than to die for us to save us?  What greater love could our God impart?

Do not be deceived, brothers and sisters, by “any empty, seductive  philosophy… based on cosmic powers rather than on Christ.”  Avoid any teaching that does not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, as God Himself “in bodily form.”  Without Jesus there is no salvation, and failing to recognize “the fullness of deity” in Him, we cannot “share of this fullness” to which we are called.  Rather, let us sing with David, “Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever.”  Always in the Lord Jesus let us take our refuge, and in His love; let us ever wait for His coming down from the mountain to touch and heal our hearts.  Alleluia.

 

*******

O LORD, power goes out from your Son

to heal us of all our sins – 

let us come to Him, and remain with Him. 

YHWH, your power resides in Jesus, He who is God in bodily form.  He it is who took our sins and nailed them to the tree that we might have new life in company with Him in your eternal presence.  In the fullness of His power we now share, with all His apostles and disciples; let us ever grow in faith and strength before you. 

How compassionate you are, O LORD!  And how that compassion is revealed in your only Son, He who died for our sins, He who came down from Heaven to heal us of all our ills.  And how He provides for us whom He loves by appointing His apostles, that indeed we might all become His disciples, anointed by His blood. 

Let us join Jesus our Savior in His union with you.  In prayer let us enter your presence and there remain.  O let us praise your NAME forever and ever, never ceasing to bless you for the glory you share with poor creatures such as us.  O LORD, in Jesus let us live and thrive.

Direct download: BC-090611-Tu_23_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Col.1:24-2:3;   Ps.62:6-7,9;   Lk.6:6-11)

 

“We admonish all men and teach them in the full measure of wisdom,

hoping to make every man complete in Christ.”

 

It is Paul’s desire to see the nations “enriched with full assurance by their knowledge of the mystery of God – namely Christ – in whom every treasure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden.”  It is his desire for us all to be filled with this wisdom that is Christ, for it is his call from Christ to bring His Gospel forth to the eyes and ears of the whole world, to “fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His body, the Church.”  And it is our call to join Him in such sufferings in Jesus’ name, that indeed His Word might come to its fullness, that indeed in such suffering we might find with Paul the joy of knowing “the mystery hidden from ages and generations past but now revealed to His holy ones.”  This “glory beyond price” is ours as we listen to His Word, as we follow in His ways.

Jesus shows Himself to be the model teacher, the teacher of teachers, the Word itself, in our gospel today.  “On a sabbath Jesus came to teach in a synagogue where there was a man whose right hand was withered.”  For Jesus the synagogue was hostile territory, for the scribes and Pharisees “were on the watch” to “find a charge against Him,” to catch Him in His teaching.  Jesus does not turn away from the danger before Him but confronts them with the limitations of their interpretation of the teaching perhaps most dear to them – the command to keep the sabbath holy.  He would teach them the full meaning of this command; He would fulfill this wisdom before them, showing them that God does not preclude the doing of good for others on the sabbath, that this day made for rest is thus truly a day made for healing and that this day is therefore the best to come to Him for healing – for what does He wish for us but our healing, our salvation?  But being blind to the love of God and His desire for good and the good of all, they do not perceive His lesson, and make it instead a cause to “destroy” the Son of God.

It is difficult to understand how these leaders of the people could become “frenzied” at the healing of one of their flock – how can this be evil to do on the sabbath?  But we must remember that blindness to the will of God is not the sole possession of these scribes and Pharisees.  It is a foolishness which is part of us all in our all-too-human thoughts and actions.  It is this blindness which the Lord calls us from; it is this wisdom known in Christ to which Paul would direct us all.  Let us join with him, with Jesus, in the “work and struggle” to bring God’s healing word forth to the hands and hearts of all.  “God is our refuge.”  Let us firmly “trust in Him” and in His wisdom, and we shall be made whole. 

*******

O LORD, let us be whole in your sight

by the sacrifice of your Christ.

YHWH, in your Son every treasure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden.  In Him let us take our refuge, that we might be taught in fullness of your goodness, of your love for us, and come to share in that love with all your holy ones.

O LORD, let us not harden our hearts against your work in our midst, against your Son come among us to lead us to you.  Let us not rather stay the path we travel in our blindness but recognize before the great mystery you reveal to us in the presence of your Son that we fall short of His glory because of our limited vision, and embrace the wisdom He holds out to us.

O let us stretch forth our withered hands! that we might be healed of all the wickedness in our hearts and come to serve you and your Church as you call us.  In suffering for the sake of your kingdom may we find our joy with Christ; ever strengthened and united in His love, let us take our refuge in the glory He bears us.

Direct download: BC-090511-M_23_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

 (Ez.33:7-9;   Ps.95:1-2,6-9;   Rom.13:8-10;   Mt.18:15-20)

 

“O wicked one, you shall surely die.”

 

The Lord declares to the prophet Ezekiel: “You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel.”  He is to “speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,” that the sinner might not “die for his guilt” and that the prophet himself might not be “responsible for his death” by his silence.

As the Lord calls Ezekiel, so He requires all the Church to “warn the wicked, trying to turn him from his way.”  We must be diligent with all those in our care, all those we find in need, not in order to deliver condemnation upon souls but to invite all to “bow down in worship” and “kneel before the Lord who made us.”  How can someone know this great glory if there is sin upon his soul?  And how will he know to turn from his sin if those the Lord gives words to speak hold their tongues as the sheep goes astray?  And what shall become of this soul who has not offered the word of loving wisdom, but rather determined in himself that there is no hope for the sinner he sees?

Brothers and sisters, when we are called to declare: “‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be,” it is out of love for the soul we see straying that we speak.  For love is “the fulfillment of the law”; it sums up all its precepts, and so all its precepts are expressed in love.  Do not think the law is opposed to love – love and justice are one in God; and the Lord does not call us to ignorance or acceptance of sin, but to truth and salvation.

“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault’”; do not pretend the fault does not exist, but confront him, for his sake and your own.  For “if he listens to you, you have won over your brother” – you will have brought him back to the fold.  However, “if he doesn’t listen,” the Lord calls us further: “Take one or two others along with you.”  Bring objective witness to sway your loved one from evil.  And “if he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.”  Ah, the Church!  The keeper of the Spirit of Truth and the flame of wisdom which no man can deny.  What teaching the Lord has left with Her!  And what power: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  For here are those “gathered together in [Jesus’] name,” and He indeed is “in the midst of them.”  And if the soul “refuses to listen even to the Church,” what hope has it of finding salvation?  But at least you have done all you can.

All must be done in justice and in love to save the soul straying in this land.  This is why the Lord has left us the Church; this is why He has left His Spirit – and we are called to speak His Truth, that salvation might come to all.

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

Music: "No Paranoia" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, help us to love one another,

to bring one another to repentance

that all might sing your praise.

YHWH, help us to love others as we should, to speak the truth to them; let our concern be the salvation of souls, as it is for your Son.

LORD, you institute the Church to be your representative on earth, and you call each member to reflect your love and your glory; your justice must be the desire of every soul.  And we must show that desire in our relations with others, in our concern for their welfare.  Who could stand by and let his brother perish if he truly loves him?  And will not sin cause the death of any who will not repent?  And so, what should we do but speak out in your Name?

Let our tongues not be silent as we see others fall.  Especially your pastors we pray for this day, that they not be afraid to chastise their flock, to warn them against wayward paths.  And let their words be heeded, LORD – save souls from dying in their sin, that all might praise your holy NAME.

Direct download: BC-090411-Su_23_OT.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(Col.1:21-23;   Ps.54:3-4,6,8;   Lk.6:1-5)

 

“Hold fast to faith, be firmly grounded and steadfast in it.”

 

“The Son of Man is Lord,” Lord of the universe, Lord “even of the sabbath.”  He is the Word through whom all things have come and it is He who has “achieved reconciliation” for all with God, the Father.  We must be presented to God “holy, free of reproach and blame.”  We must bow before His Majesty, trust all things to Him, and He will defend our cause.  But if we continue to nourish hostility in our hearts against the Lord of all, if we refuse to recognize Him as our God and Savior, if we remain stubborn in our blindness and our sins against His glorious presence… what hope have we?  We can only then be shaken in our weakness.

Such is the case so often with the Pharisees, who repeatedly harden their hearts against the Word of God and His presence amongst them.  Repeatedly He tries to teach them of truth and the necessity of holding to it, that their rules alone will not sustain them; but continually it seems their hearts are closed.  They cannot seem to understand because they cannot seem to bow before Him; and so they see only with their eyes and not with the wisdom that comes through fear of God.  And the bedrock foundation, the cornerstone of the Church, they cast aside as they concern themselves with its ornaments.

But we must hold to the faith, to the heart’s core of existence itself and the life that is God: Jesus Christ and His holy Gospel must be that which speaks in the depths of our soul.  Then we will know and sing with David, “The Lord sustains my life,” as we praise His name “for its goodness.”  Then we will be “unshaken in the hope promised… by the Gospel,” for the Gospel will be as the blood coursing through our veins and the food we eat; from it and from the Lord we will draw our life as a man draws water from a fountain.

Such light let us pray we maintain in our lives.  Such wisdom and strength which comes only in truth let us make our own.  He is happy to give us this life – for this He has died – let us not turn in blindness from His face but ground ourselves in Him who is the foundation of eternal life.

 

*******

O LORD, your Son gives His life to save us

and lead us unto Heaven.

YHWH, how your Son has saved us!  He who is Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of the universe, who is One with you and so holds every soul in His all-powerful hand – this same Christ has come amongst us not only to teach us of His glory in you, but to join us to that glory by dying for us.  Reconciliation He has achieved for us in His mortal body by dying, by allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross; and now His blood does redeem us from our sin and offers us the promise of eternal life with you in Heaven.

In our hunger we cried to you, dear God, and you hearkened to the words of our mouth.  You sent us help in Jesus your Son and we were released from all evil in our hearts, all the wicked thoughts that controlled our lives by an empty pride.  Help us now to bow down before your Son, to treasure His Word in us – make us firm in faith and unshaken in the hope of entering your House.  For even now your food is upon our table in the flesh of Christ.

Direct download: BC-090311-Sa_22_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Col.1:9-14;   Ps.98:2-6;   Lk.5:1-11)

 

“You will multiply good works of every sort

and grow in the knowledge of God.”

 

As Simon Peter and the others “caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point,” so shall it be with any Christian who devotes himself to the work and the will of God.  But as the apostles “brought their boats to land, left everything, and became His followers,” so we must dedicate our lives entirely to Him if we are to “attain full knowledge of His will through perfect wisdom and spiritual insight.”   We must leave all else aside and we will become “worthy to share the lot of the saints in light,” becoming ever more fruitful as fishers of men and bringers of that light into the world.

“The Lord has made His salvation known,” and notice from where He chooses “to teach the crowds.”  Looking for a mooring, a place from which to preach, “He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Peter.”  Yes, it is in the barque of Peter and through the barque of Peter that Jesus manifests Himself, that He brings His teaching forth.  In this boat He sits and teaches the nations.  It is this boat He encourages to “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”  For His blessing is upon this boat and him who steers it, as well as the partners he calls “to come and help,” that is, James and John and all the other apostles – the bishops and priests and all the holy people beckoned by the Lord through the office of Peter to fill His boats to bursting.

“He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son,” Paul, another blessed fisher of men, tells us.  And the forgiveness of the Lord necessary for one to be called to “a life worthy of the Lord” is evident in the repentance of our leader, our first of apostles, Simon Peter, as he “fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man,’” in awe at the presence of God before him.  Only by such humility are we drawn from the darkness of sin, only by recognizing our weakness are we made strong – only by bowing down before the Lord and serving others in His name are we made worthy of the kingdom of light.  Only then with our psalmist will we “with trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the Lord.”  Rooted in His Church and its service let us ever grow in knowledge and joy before our God.

 

*******

O LORD, let your salvation be fully known

in the lives of all your disciples –

let us leave all things to follow your Son.

YHWH, make us worthy to share the lot of your saints in light.  Bring your salvation to us, free us from the power of darkness, that we might rejoice in your kingdom and sing your praise forever.  It is through Peter and the Church you bring us salvation – let us be caught in his net and so become your disciples, and so become as your only Son.

How shall we attain full knowledge of your will, how shall we find the grace and wisdom we need, if separated from the bark of Peter, if outside the boat in which Jesus Himself has set His feet?  We shall not be able to please you, LORD, if we do not follow in the way your Son marks out for us, if we do not come to you through Peter and the apostles.

Let your salvation be known to the ends of the earth, O LORD.  Into deep water may Peter’s net be cast, that all sinful men may fall at the feet of Jesus.

Direct download: BC-090111-Th_22_OT.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(Col.1:1-8;   Ps.52:10-11;   Lk.4:38-44)

 

“And He continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.”

 

The Word goes forth, bringing healing to the hearts of the faithful.  The Word goes forth, ever growing among the people.  As “the message of truth, the Gospel… has come to [the Colossians], has borne fruit, and has continued to grow,” so “it has everywhere in the world.”  As Jesus has set out “into the open country” to bring “the good news of the reign of God” to all to whom He was sent; as Paul, as Timothy, as Epaphrus – as all the apostles have gone forward bringing the Word forth and planting it in the hearts of all who have ears open to the healing touch of God and making them “like a green olive tree in the house of God,” so that same Word goes forward today through the apostles the Lord has ordained to carry His message of truth; and so we hear of it in our readings of daily Mass, in our daily bread.

Our “love in the Spirit” must ever grow, brothers and sisters; it must ever move forward.  For the Word of God ever moves forward to the ends of the earth bringing the love of God to all, and we must move with it.  There is no stopping and staying long in any place along this path we tread with the Lord.  As He moved on from town to town doing the will of the Father, so our work must ever travel with Him, until it is accomplished in Him.  Here there is no place to stay, no place to lay our heads; here there is only moving forward in the Lord.

And, yes, we are moved “by the hope held in store for [us] in heaven.”  This is the place to which we travel in all our movements, in all our work and prayer.  We know now and it has been openly stated, plainly revealed, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He makes a place for us in His kingdom.  And by our “faith in Christ Jesus and the love [we] bear all the saints,” we, too, come into that kingdom, into His presence; with Paul, with the Colossians, with all the faithful who “trust in the kindness of God forever and ever,” we find that kingdom being revealed in our very hearts and in our very actions… and so heaven passes through our midst and makes us sons of the Most High.

Let us be healed of all that keeps us from growing to Him, of growing with Him, of moving forward in service of our Lord Jesus Christ.  With our words and in our actions let us preach of the glory of God and so move closer to His kingdom.

*******

O LORD, let all hear the Good News of your reign:

your Son has come into our midst

to heal us of all our sin.

YHWH, may your Word go forth to the ends of the earth, the message of truth everywhere in the world; may it bear fruit and continue to grow in every heart – bless all those who proclaim your NAME to your faithful ones!

As Jesus walked amongst us announcing the Good News of your reign, as He went forth from town to town healing their sick and casting out demons, so today your apostles go out into the open country to bring your love to all peoples, that in your love all may be reborn and grow.  In the way of Jesus let us all walk, dear God, that we might come quickly to you.

In your service let us remain, LORD, ready always to answer your call in bearing your love to all the saints, to all those you send in your NAME.  Let us grow each day into your kingdom until all are cured of their diseases and join your saints in Heaven.

Direct download: BC-083111-W_22_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Thes.5:1-6,9-11;   Ps.27:1,4,13-14;   Lk.4:31-37)

 

“Wait for the Lord with courage;

be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.”

 

The Word of the Lord has all “authority and power.”  The Word of the Lord casts out demons.  The Word of the Lord brings light to the soul who seeks Him.  In Him we have no fear.

He comes, brothers and sisters; yes, He comes…  As He entered the synagogue in Galilee and cast out the evil spirit from the man and from the place, so He will come at the end of the age and cast all evil from the face of the earth.  No longer shall the devil have a place here; all darkness will be banished.  This hope should bring us but joy.  We who are of light should long for the day when the Lord who is “our light and [our] salvation” comes to cleanse the world of evil; if we seek “to dwell in the house of the Lord” we must know that only His authority and power, only His sharp voice speaking truth and shaking the powers of this earth will bring “the loveliness of the Lord” our hearts desire to contemplate forever.  As He came to cast out the devil from the man in the synagogue, as He has come to cast all evil from the temple of our bodies, so He must come at the end of the age to cast all sin into hell, that His light and all His children of light might shine in unadulterated glory.

Do not fear.  Do not fear the coming of His kingdom, the power of His Word.  Though we may be “struck with astonishment” and wonder at “His speech,” though the teaching of the Lord leave us “spellbound,” yet we should welcome it and seek to increase its presence in our lives and in this world.  It is His teaching, it is the power of His Word we are called as children of His light to bring into this world.  For, indeed, the world is a dark place, and many there are who fear as the demon the destruction of the darkness in which they have taken what has seemed to them secure refuge.  It must be known that in darkness there is no “security,” in sin there is no “peace”…  Only in Him is true peace and security. 

Let us not be anguished at the passing of the darkness which comes by the just wrath of God.  Let us not slumber into its clutches and so find refuge there.  We must remain vigilant, seeking with eyes of light the coming of Jesus the Christ.  We are destined for salvation in Him.  In Him let us take comfort and upbuild one another, spreading “His renown” in our hearts and “through the surrounding country.”

 

*******

O LORD, in Jesus’ Name and in His blood

let us be healed, washed clean

and ready for His coming Day.

YHWH, let us not take refuge in the darkness of this world and in its drunkenness take our peace and security.  Rather, let us live in your light and become children of that light, awake in your presence forever.  Your Son comes to cast all demons of darkness from our midst; let us welcome His powerful Word.

O LORD, you are our light and our salvation; you are our life’s refuge.  And so, why should we be afraid of your Son’s coming, He who brings your salvation to man?  Let us rather long for His return, for His cleansing presence before our eyes.  For how else shall we enter your Temple and gaze on your loveliness if all evil is not driven from our souls?

To the land of the living we long to come, so make us stouthearted as we wait for Jesus to return, LORD.  May your light upon us give us courage for that Day.

Direct download: BC-083011-Tu_22_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

(1Thes.4:13-18;   Ps.96:1,3-5,11-13;   Lk.4:16-30)

 

“He comes to rule the earth.”

 

He is coming, and has come.  He set us free from the prison of sin when first He came, and will set us free from death when He comes again and “we shall be with the Lord unceasingly.”

In our gospel we read of His first coming “to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives…”  Fulfilling the words of the prophets, He brought “a year of favor from the Lord,” to heal all those who waited for His coming, who trusted in His word.  And though even as His hometown of Nazareth rejected Him and His truth and led Him to “the brow of the hill” to be cast down, so all would turn their backs on Him and deliver Him up for crucifixion; yet His death was not the end and His life was not fruitless.  In His walking the earth He brought light into the darkness and in His bleeding on the cross provided means for its fulfillment.

And on the day when He comes again, death shall indeed be banished, darkness will be no more, for “God will bring forth with Him from the dead those who have fallen asleep believing in Him” and “we, the living, the survivors, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”  This the apostle Paul makes quite clear.  As Jesus “died and rose,” so will all who believe in Him do the same: what was brought to us in His first coming – the light to the nations – will be made complete in His second coming in a year of favor that has no end.

And of both of these comings our psalm does sing, for both are gloriously triumphant: “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, let the sea and what fills it resound…”  All creation glories in the coming of God; in His holy presence it finds its fulfillment.  Forever it has longed to be joined with Him, and when first He came as man, it rejoiced to see Him; and when He comes “from heaven at the word of command, at the sound of the archangel’s voice and God’s trumpet” as the Son of God in all His glory, its joy and its song will know no bounds.  For then “He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with His constancy”: the world shall never again be moved from His way of truth and light, and neither shall we.  Rejoice at His coming, brothers and sisters, and live in His light.

 

*******

O LORD, you come to save us,

and so we should not be afraid –

through all tribulation you lead us home.

YHWH, let us sing you a new song on the day of your coming, on the day of your Son’s return.  For then His glory will fill the sky and all the dead will rise.  O let us be in the number of those who are with you unceasingly!  From all darkness may we forever be set free.

When Jesus came to walk among us, to speak to us your marvelous words, to proclaim liberty to all held captive by sin, then we should have rejoiced at His presence and entered the glory of His reign.  But we crucified Him instead.  He came to bring glad tidings to poor souls, to open our eyes that we might see once again – but we closed our hearts and fixed Him to a cross.  O LORD, let your favor be upon us now especially, that we might be saved from such sin.

We wish to rejoice with your holy ones, O God, to praise your NAME to the heavens.  Let us listen now to the words of your Son and set our hearts on them.

Direct download: BC-082911-M_22_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

 (Jer.20:7-9;   Ps.63:2-6,8-9;   Rom.12:1-2;   Mt.16:21-27)

 

“Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,

holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.”

 

Paul says the same as Jesus when the Lord calls us to “take up [our] cross,” to lose our lives for His sake.  And as Paul instructs the Romans: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” so Jesus teaches Peter, and all His apostles and disciples, when He insists he think as God and not as man.

Why?  Why is the Lord so harsh with this Rock of the Church (and, as I say, with us all)?  The answer is spoken clearly in our reading from Jeremiah.  In it the prophet declares in near desperation: “The Word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.”  He goes so far as to say the Lord has “duped” him, making evident that he had not expected to become “an object of laughter” upon taking on the mantle of prophecy.  “Everyone mocks me,” he cries; and yet he “must cry out” still the way of the Lord.  Yet he must call the people from their sins and warn them of the “violence and outrage” that is near them.  He cannot remain silent, though he would greatly wish to, because the Word of the Lord is “like fire burning in [his] heart, imprisoned in [his] bones,” and he can do nothing but shout it from the rooftops, though it bring him scorn.

And what has this to do with Peter?  Peter has just declared that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, and it is his voice above all that will cry out this truth to the ends of the earth; thus he and his fellow apostles must know clearly that to which they are called.  As the Lord “must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly… and be killed,” so must they walk the same path of persecution.  This they must see.  The contradiction of the cross they must realize, even as they preach it in this hostile world.  For to it they must give themselves completely.

How?  How can it be that the Christian take up such foolishness in the eyes of the world?  How can it be that we die so freely, that we suffer such mockery, such persecution at the hands of sinners?  Is it not that our “flesh pines and [our] soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless, and without water” for the living God?  And is it not because we know that “as with the riches of a banquet shall [our] soul be satisfied”?  The key is in this gospel quote: “The Son of Man will come with His angels in His Father’s glory.”  The key is believing on the third day He was raised.  If we have this faith it becomes easy to deny the pleasures of the flesh, for even in this we find the eternal life of the Spirit.  Because our “soul clings fast” to God and to the hope that is only in Him, we are able to cling fast to His cross and so “discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”  And so we die with Him to live.

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

Music: "Weightless Crucifixion" from The Whole Whale, eighth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.

*******

O LORD, help us always to take the lowest place,

that you might call us up to you.

YHWH, you give a home to the forsaken and call us to do the same; as you have provided for our needy souls – though we deserved it not – so you call us to care for others, or we shall not find our place with you.

We are truly lowly, dear God, for before you, who could stand?  How can we hope to sit at the same table as your only Son and partake of the food He provides?  Yet to His side He calls us; to be lowly as He is our great gift.  His grace we shall know, and in abundance, if with Him we lay down our lives for those in need.

Then we shall come to your holy mountain, to the heavenly Jerusalem with all your angels and saints.  Washed in the blood of the Lamb you offer for our sakes, emptied of all the vanity of our race, we shall be exalted and chant your praise, dearest LORD, we who have made ourselves humble and lowly before you, we who have thus found our place at your table with Jesus, and been made perfect by His Cross.

Direct download: BC-082811-Su_22_OT_A.mp3
Category:Sunday -- posted at: 12:00am EST

(1Thes.4:9-12;   Ps.98:1,7-9;   Mt.25:14-30)

 

“Those who have, will get more until they grow rich,

while those who have not, will lose even the little they have.”

 

Again, brothers and sisters, we must always grow in the gifts and graces of the Lord, never looking down upon what He gives us as too little (or too much), but ever putting such talents to use that they might produce an abundant yield and bring us to the joys of heaven.

“Well done!  You are an industrious and reliable servant…  Come, share your master’s joy!”  Do we not wish to hear these words from our gospel today spoken to us on the last day?  Do we not wish to be put in charge of greater matters as we enter the joy of the eternal kingdom?  Are these not the riches we seek?  Then, indeed we must be industrious while here; we must put the Lord’s gifts to good use.  We must heed Paul’s exhortation “to remain at peace and attend to [our] own affairs.”  In this way of working quietly for the Lord we will certainly make “even greater progress,” until we find the victory proclaimed in our psalm.  On that day when “the rivers clap their hands” and “the mountains shout with them for joy,” the Lord “will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity”; He will surely give those deserving their reward, while they who have been “worthless, lazy lout(s),” those who have not served Him out of a holy fear, out of love, but have held a judgmental disposition toward Him and withheld a generous attitude toward others, shall be cast into “the darkness outside” where they will ever “wail and grind [their] teeth.”

Take hold of what the Lord gives you today: the breath in your nostrils and the beat of your heart are in His hands, and He calls you to employ your mind and body at His affair of bringing the kingdom of heaven and His love to this earth.  Whatever work He puts in your hands to accomplish, be not slack in its fulfillment.  Go forward with faith and a desire to please Him, and He will ever bless and multiply all you have a mind to do; and this work will bring you to the rich fruits of heaven and keep you from the empty darkness of hell.

 

*******

O LORD, you are generous and give to all,

and we must increase your love in the world.

YHWH, you give us each work to do; into every one of your servant’s hands you place talents we must employ.  We have time upon this earth before your Son’s return to bear fruit in your NAME.  Help us each day to love one another and do your will in all things.  For on the Day when your Son comes again, He shall come as judge; and of what worth will our lives have been if we stand empty-handed before Him?  O let us not be cast from your sight!

On the last day the mountains will shout for joy and the rivers clap their hands at the presence of your Son filling the universe with His love.  And we shall join in that holy song if it has been our desire to see Him come, if we have worked with our lives to bring His love to this place.  O LORD, let us enter into your eternal joy!

Direct download: BC-082711-Sa_21_OT_I.mp3
Category:Daily BreadCasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST