That Your Joy May Be Complete

February 20, 2019

Joy, the second fruit of the spirit from Galatians 5:22, a word used over 100 times in the old and new testaments, but what is it? What is joy?  Ask most people and they will say that it is happiness; but a true Christian understanding of joy goes beyond happiness.  In this Five Minutes with Tony podcast, Tony discusses joy.

Scripture: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-11

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:11

Reflections:  What makes happiness different than joy?  Have you ever felt true joy?  What was the occasion and how did it make you feel?  What can we do to have more joy in our lives?

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Mothers and Sons

February 13, 2019

There is something special about mothers and sons. It is an unexplainable bond that only they share. She gave him birth, nursed him, wiped his slobbered chin, and held the tissue when he blew his nose.  In this podcast, Tony discusses the special bond between mothers and sons.

Scripture: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Quote: There has never been, nor will there ever be anything quite so special as the love between a mother and son. –Anonymous

Reflection:  What is your relationship with your mother?  What is the special bond you share?  What are the things you can share with your mom and no one else?

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Br Not Afraid

February 6, 2019

I read a while back that the Bible has 365 uses of the phrase “fear not” or “be not afraid.” I haven’t been able to verify that, but I can tell you that it is one of the most used themes in the bible.  In this podcast, Tony discusses fear and how it can paralyze our actions.

Quote:  If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin. Even though the result may gladden the whole world, that cannot help the hero; for he knows the result only when the whole thing is over, and that is not how he became a hero, but by virtue of the fact that he began.” — Søren Kierkegaard from Fear and Trembling

Scripture:  The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

The LORD is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me? Psalm 118:6

Reflection: Do you feel your inaction is keeping you from achieving your goals? Do you feel you are moving in the direction of your goals?  What about the idea of baby steps?

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Be Passionate

January 30, 2019

I am a passionate person. I live life passionately. I am passionate about my marriage, my family, friends, my work, my writing and speaking, fishing, golf, and most importantly, I am passionate about my Catholic faith.  In this podcast Tony talks about the importance of passion.

Scripture: He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it:You shall love your neighbor as yourself. –Matthew 22:37-39

Quote: “It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.” – T.S. Elliot

Reflections: What are you passionate about?  Are you passionate about your faith?  What drives your passions?

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Embrace the Ordinary

January 23, 2019

Most people spend their lives in pursuit of the extraordinary. We look at the lives of celebrities, glorify their excesses, and wish that our lives could be more like theirs.  In this podcast, Tony talks about the ordinary moments that represent 99% of our time on earth.

Quote: For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his [or her] happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.        – -Andy Rooney

The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things. – – Veronique Vienne

Reflection:  Do you find yourself missing the ordinary in search of the extraordinary?  What can we do to embrace the ordinary occurrences in life?  Are you comfortable with your ordinary life?

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You Minister

January 16, 2019

“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” ― Francis of Assisi

I’ve always been a fan of this quote from St. Francis. It speaks volumes about ministry. In this podcast, Tony discusses the personal ministries that we do every day.

Scripture: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” ― Francis of Assisi

But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.–1 Peter 2:9

Reflection:  What do you do in your daily life that you would consider ministry? Have you ever considered that the way you treat people is part of your ministry?  How do others minister to you?

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Close Personal Relationship

January 9, 2019

Occasionally, an Evangelical friend or acquaintance will ask the question, “Do you have a close personal relationship with Jesus?”  This question throws many Catholics into a dazed look with no idea of how to answer. In this podcast, Tony examines the question and offers some thoughts.

Scripture: So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:6-7

Quote: There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.  –Blaise Pascal

Reflection:  What about you, do you have a close personal relationship with Jesus?  How do you define a close personal relationship?  What about Tony's suggestions, have you tried any of these?

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Seven Spiritual Resolutions

January 2, 2019

In this podcast, Tony offers seven spiritual resolutions for your new year.  We are either on one of two trajectories, growing in our relationship with God, or frankly, we are growing away from God (toward the devil).  As we are reminded in the book of Romans; we are either moving toward darkness or moving toward the light.

Scripture: And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light.  Romans 13:11-12

Quote: “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. –G.K. Chesterton

Prayer:

O Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.

                                                                                                                               Amen.

Reflections: What are your resolutions for the new year?  Have you included some spiritual goals?  What is the one things that you can resolve for 2019 that will change your spiritual life for the better?

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My Christmas Train

December 28, 2018

Before I could open the box my parents sat me down and told me that a neighbor boy’s father had been laid off and they couldn’t afford presents for my friend. Wouldn’t it be nice if I gave up one of my toys, so that he would have something under his Christmas tree?  In this podcast Tony discusses the tough decision he was forced to make on Christmas morning and the Christmas lesson we can learn from little children.

Scripture: “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”  Matthew 18:3-5

Reflection:  Do you think that the six year old’s in your life would pass the test?  How about your teenagers?  Have you ever given up something that you wanted to help someone in need?  How did that make you feel?

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No Nativity, No Eucharist

December 28, 2018

Our living room is rarely used. It has become a place to go to make a quiet phone call, read or just get away from the noise and activity of the day. It’s our quiet room.  It is also the place where my wife, Diane sets up the nativity scene each year, a place where I enjoy going to pray and reflect on the birth of our Savior.  In this podcast, Tony discusses the nativity and its relationship to the Eucharist.

Scripture: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” –Luke 2:7

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. –John 6:35

ReflectionsHave you ever thought about the nativity and the Eucharist? what do you think of Tony’s comparison?  Can we truly have Christmas every day in the Eucharist?

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Your Presence is Your Present

December 19, 2018

Having Presents at Christmas isn’t quite as important as the people we have around us.  Family and friends become very important at Christmas time.  There is not a parent alive that wouldn’t trade even the biggest present for having their family together at the holidays.  Sons and daughters, grand kids, and friends, who are  living far away are the best Christmas gifts.  In this podcast Tony discusses how their presence in your holiday is the best Christmas present you could receive.

Scripture: And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

Quote: Lord, make me more attentive to the presence of the people around me this Christmas, my wife, children, and friends. Let me not be distracted by the hurried pace of the things of the secular world that are not important.  Help me, Lord, to be more attentive to you as well, in my prayer life and in helping those less fortunate around me.  Help me to spend this Christmas, attentive to the presence of the Holy Family, and my own family, this day.  Their presence will be the best present I receive this Christmas. –Tony Agnesi

Reflection:  Do you agree that receiving a present at Christmas isn’t as important as the people around us?  What can we do to shut out the secular pressure to buy more presents?  Which is most important, the gift, the giver, or the receiver?  How do you relate to Jesus as God’s gift to use at Christmas?  What can you do to keep Christ in Christmas?

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Forgiveness! The Greatest Gift

December 12, 2018

In just a few weeks we will celebrate Christmas, and as we do we begin to experience the anticipation of the holiday. We look forward to being united with family and friends. Could we be forgetting someone that we once loved, someone that hurt us, someone that we may have hurt? Is there someone that you haven’t forgiven or asked to forgive you? In this podcast, Tony discusses Forgiveness during Advent and Christmas.

Scripture: If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” — Matthew 6:14-15

“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” –John 1 4:9-10

“Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13-14

Reflections:  Is there someone missing from your holiday because of a fight or misunderstanding years ago?  Do you have a family member that has been hurtful that needs your forgiveness this Christmas?  Do you see Tony’s point about forgiveness being a gift?

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Where is the Baby?

December 5, 2018

There is a story of two young women having an elaborate lunch together in an upscale downtown restaurant. As they are enjoying their food and conversation, the invited guest asks her friend the reason for the occasion.

She replies, “We are celebrating the baby’s birthday!”

“But, where is the baby?” said her bewildered friend.

“Oh,” said the mother, “You didn’t think I would bring him, did you?” Why he doesn’t know anything about it.”

In this podcast, Tony discusses the birth of Jesus.

Scripture: “Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” –Luke 2:8-11

“You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.” –John R. Rice

Reflections:  What are you doing to bring Jesus to your holiday celebration?  Do you discuss the birth f our Lord with your young children?  Do you have a nativity scene in your home, and how do you use it as a teaching aid?

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