Five Minutes with Tony Agnesi
FMWT-131 There’s Power in those Ashes

FMWT-131 There’s Power in those Ashes

February 26, 2020

“What brought you to mass today,” I inquired?  “The ashes,” they responded in unison! In this podcast, Tony recalls an encounter with four Non-Catholic college students at Ash Wednesday mass.  In this podcast, Tony explains the power in those ashes.

ScriptureBehold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  –2 Corinthians 6:2 NAB

Reflection:  How does receiving ashes change the way you approach lent?  Why do you think these students sought out a chance to receive ashes?  What does Ash Wednesday mean to you?  Are you willing to take the challenge that Ash Wednesday presents as Lent begins?

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FMWT-130 I gave it up for Lent

FMWT-130 I gave it up for Lent

February 19, 2020

Last year, at Ash Wednesday mass, during the homily, the priest mentioned that he had received several calls in the past few days asking him about the rules for fasting.
“How old do you have to be to not be required to fast?” was the question.
“Well,” said the priest, “it is 59 which includes 99 percent of you!”

In this podcast, Tony discusses giving things up for lent.

Quote: “Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him.” –Pope Francis

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” — Pope Francis

“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” –Blessed Mother Teresa

Reflections:  What are you giving up for lent?  What can you do differently this year to have your best lent ever? How about doing something different this year?

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FMWT-129 Save it for Easter

FMWT-129 Save it for Easter

February 12, 2020

As a youngster, I remember on my birthday every year (in February, during or near lent), I would always receive some article of clothing as a gift. Whether it was a sweater, a new shirt, pair of pants or a jacket, as I opened the gift, my mother would say, “Save it for Easter!”  In this podcast, Tony discusses the importance of Easter.

Scripture: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching, empty, too, your faith.  …And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:13-14 17

Reflections:  Is Easter just another Sunday to you and your family?  What have you done to make Easter a special day?  Have you explained to your kids the real meaning of Easter?

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FMWT-128 The Quest for Rest

FMWT-128 The Quest for Rest

February 5, 2020

Do you ever feel guilty when you take some time to rest?  That, somehow, society has convinced you that rest is an indulgence you simply can’t afford.  In this go-go society of never ending to do lists, late night text messages from work, and trying to make partner, we are obsessed with the feeling that , “I should be doing something!” In this podcast Tony discusses the importance of rest.

Scripture: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” –Matthew 11:28-30

“On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.  God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.”  –Genesis 2:2-3

“Return, my soul, to your rest; the LORD has been very good to you.” –Psalm 116:7

Reflections: What do you do to insure you get some rest? Do you ever feel guilty for downtime? Are you getting enough sleep?

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FMWT-127 Grace and Gratitude

FMWT-127 Grace and Gratitude

January 29, 2020

Gratitude and grace, they just seem to go together.  Both derived from the Latin word gratis, gratitude is our response to grace.  When someone does something unexpected for us we express our thanks with gratitude, but if we have a grateful attitude, we say thank you even when things are expected. In this podcast Tony discusses Grace and Gratitude.

Scripture: “Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.”   –2 Corinthians 4:15

“All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” — James 1:17

Quote: “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”  –Zig Ziglar

“Celebrate what you want to see more of,” –Tom Peters.

Reflections: Do you see the connection between Grace and Gratitude?  What can you do to have an attitude of gratitude? What are you grateful for?

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FMWT-126 How’s Your Love Life?

FMWT-126 How’s Your Love Life?

January 22, 2020

We all have a concept of love.  From the time we are very young children we have a strong sense of what love is. Our concept of love changes as we get older. But, what is God’s perspective on love?  In this podcast Tony discusses love.

Scripture: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”   –1 John 4:7-10

We love because he first loved us.”  –1  John 4:19

“He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  –Luke 10:27

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.”  –1 John 4:16

Reflections:  How has your perspective of love changed over the years? What do you do to emulate God’s love? How’s your love life?

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FMWT 125-Lord, If You Had Been There

FMWT 125-Lord, If You Had Been There

January 15, 2020

While on vacation in Florida, I had a chance to talk with one of the neighbors, also a vacationer.  We talked briefly about baseball, the beach, and getting away from the winter snow, but then the conversation became serious.  In this podcast Tony discusses the loss of a loved one and the grieving process.

Scripture: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  John 11:20-21

“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:23-26

“When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  John 11:32

“So Jesus said to them, untie him and let him go.”  John 11:44

Reflections: Does that fact that Jesus wept give you consolation that even He felt the great loss of a friend?  Do you need to untie a loved one and let them go free to the arms of Jesus?  What is the tomb of your life that has separated you from God?

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FMWT-124 7 Spiritual Resolutions

FMWT-124 7 Spiritual Resolutions

January 8, 2020

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 2020 that will change your spiritual life for the better?

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FMWT-123 More or Less

FMWT-123 More or Less

January 1, 2020

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to take some time at the end of the year to set goals. Resolutions are great; except we rarely follow through on them and that can make us feel like failures.  Why not try something different this year? Decide what you want to do less, then, find something opposite and positive that you want to do more.  In this podcast, Tony discusses more and less.

Scripture: Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” — Romans 12:2

Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever.” –Jeremiah 7:5-7

Reflections: What do you want to do more and less?  What are a few of your more or less goals? What changes do you want to make in 2020?

FMWT-122 No Nativity, No Eucharist

FMWT-122 No Nativity, No Eucharist

December 25, 2019

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?