Thursday, November 6, 2014

Among The Angels

A World of HopeMinute Meditations
An encounter with God opens a whole world for us. It is a world of hope in the midst of chaos, a universe in which the power of mercy overwhelms guilt and despair. It is an existence in which God is fully alive, and so are we. Such is the grace of an encounter with the living God.
— from Encounter Jesus

St. Nicholas Tavelic and Companions
(d. 1391)

Nicholas and his three companions are among the 158 Franciscans who have been martyred in the Holy Land since the friars became custodians of the shrines in 1335.Nicholas was born in 1340 to a wealthy and noble family in Croatia. He joined the Franciscans and was sent with Deodat of Rodez to preach in Bosnia. In 1384 they volunteered for the Holy Land missions and were sent there. They looked after the holy places, cared for the Christian pilgrims and studied Arabic.
In 1391 Nicholas, Deodat, Peter of Narbonne and Stephen of Cuneo decided to take a direct approach to converting the Muslims. On November 11, 1391, they went to the huge Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem and asked to see the Qadi (Muslim official). Reading from a prepared statement, they said that all people must accept the gospel of Jesus. When they were ordered to retract their statement, they refused. After beatings and imprisonment, they were beheaded before a large crowd.
Nicholas and his companions were canonized in 1970. They are the only Franciscans martyred in the Holy Land to be canonized.


Francis presented two missionary approaches for his friars. Nicholas and his companions followed the first approach (live quietly and give witness to Christ) for several years. Then they felt called to take the second approach of preaching openly. Their Franciscan confreres in the Holy Land are still working by example to make Jesus better known.

In the Rule of 1221, Francis wrote that the friars going to the Saracens (Muslims) "can conduct themselves among them spiritually in two ways. One way is to avoid quarrels or disputes and 'be subject to every human creature for God's sake' (1 Peter 2:13), so bearing witness to the fact that they are Christians. Another way is to proclaim the word of God openly, when they see that is God's will, calling on their hearers to believe in God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, and in the Son, the Redeemer and Savior, that they may be baptized and become true and spiritual Christians" (Ch. 16).

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.

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“Be still and know that I am God” Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from
this busy world.


I will ask God's help,
to be free from my own preoccupations,
to be open to God in this time of prayer,
to come to know, love and serve God more.


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

Reading 1 phil 3:3-8a

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Responsorial Psalm ps 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (3b) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel lk 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

audio    Listen to audio of this reading

video    Watch a video reflection


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Luke 15:1-10

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31st Week in Ordinary Time
Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep. (Luke 15:6)
Imagine that: all of heaven erupts in joy when just one sinner repents!
If you had joined the search party in today’s Gospel, you first would have recovered a lost sheep and then a lost coin. Both occasions were cause for celebration, to be sure. But then you would have regained a lost son as well—and moved to the music of a great feast.
But why did Jesus tell three stories to illustrate this truth, instead of just one? We can speculate that Jesus, a master story teller, wanted to weave together three parallel stories to emphasize his point. With each lost item being of greater value than the last, he drew in his audience so that his message would be heard loud and clear.
Maybe Jesus used repetition as a strategy to ensure that his audience would remember this lesson, which was central to all his teaching. He wanted to show us that a primary mission of the Church is found outside the church walls.
It’s also possible that by using three parables that were similar yet different, Jesus could offer a special insight to be uncovered within each one.
These are all possible, but here’s another explanation. Maybe by telling these three stories Jesus was offering his hearers a very personal glimpse into his own heart and mind. He knew that many of the people gathered around him that day had yet to experience him as someone who was dedicated to seeking them out and bringing them into God’s presence. So as he gazed at all the faces around him, he didn’t stop at just one story describing the joy in heaven when the lost are found. Only one story wasn’t enough to convey the joy he felt over finding and rescuing all who were lost. It wasn’t enough to convey the longing in the heart of a Triune God that remains as long as even one child hasn’t returned home.
Today, join those drawing near to Jesus. See him gaze back at you in love. You were lost, but now you are found! Hear the joy resounding in heaven over you! Then, open your heart to his longing for all of God’s children to return home.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for finding me! Send me out to help you seek and save all who are still lost.”
Psalm 105:2-7; Philippians 3:3-8
Allow me to translate today's 5 minutos:
  "St. Paul gives us a challenge today: that Christ is always worth more, that there is no price that we should ever trade Christ, that we don't sell Him for nothing and that we don't trade Him, and that we don't trade Him for anybody.  And that we are always attentive to discover Him in the sacrament of the brother and the events of every day.  The hermit in prayer clearly heard the voice of God.  He invited him to go a special encounter with Him.  The date was set for the evening on the following day, at the top of the far mountain.  Early he set on the journey, he encountered many peasants busy trying to control and turn out a wild fire in the nearby forest, which threatened their crops and even their own houses and its inhabitants.  They appealed for his help because all the arms were few.  He felt the anxiety of the situation and couldn't hold himself to help them.  He couldn't be late to the appointment, and much less, miss it.  And so with a prayer that the Lord would help them, he hurried his pace now that he'd have to go around the fire.  Through the hard climb, he came to the top of the mountain, panting because of fatigue and emotion.  The sun began its descent; he was on time for which he gave thanks to the heavens in his heart.  Longing he waited, and he looked in all directions.  The Lord would not appear anywhere.  Finally he discovered, visible on a rock, something written: "Excuse me, I am busy helping those who are putting out the fire."  Then he understood where he was to encounter God.   "

OK, Ok, so here we are, in a weird email format, through a different mailing system, through a blog, and still trying to encounter God.   Meet Him where He's at!  Let's go over St. Paul's Holy writing of God.  St. Paul considered everything a loss, and this was His gain, the gain of God.  Keep with me.  Last night in our co-worker bible study, we discussed yesterday's Holy Scriptures.  One co-worker recalled that last year we covered this same scripture that said to hate your father and mother, your loved ones and an older worker was astounded "how can I not love my wife, or leave my wife for God?", then I joked "...and he never came back to bible study again!" LOL.  As if Jesus was crazy to say to love Him above every one and every thing in the entire world!?  Amazing.  Yet here we are searching, just like the Psalms we prayed said "Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord".  In comes the search of Jesus Christ our King.  The search of one lost sheep, the search of one lost treasure.  We are the treasure of God.  They say that in all the religions of the world, Christianity is the only one we have a God that is alive (not dead) and searching.  It is true. Our part is to search too though.  We can't sit on our thumbs and wait.  Search.  There is joy to be had in the search.  Every day of my life I am in search of Christ.  Sometimes He hides in those that are making you mad.  DOH!  How did you treat Him?  Sometimes He hides in the beauty of a flower, or a person, so how did you treat Him?  DOH!   You see, the search is on for lost souls.  You are among them.  Here's the point;  the search involves the return, it's the point of the search.  Return to where you belong.  And you belong in Heaven with God.  Before you were formed in the womb, He knew you.  WHOA!  Isn't that amazing?  Did I exist before I was consumated and conceived?  For what?  To be consecrated?  
Alright, alright, let's think about it, in terms of St. Paul.  St. Paul thought he was right, but realized he was lost.  St. Paul had an encounter though while seeking God, allbeit in the "wrong" way (Saul why are you persecuting me?).  The encounter brought on a repentance.  Now.  Let's bring it to you.  Because truly, scriptures are speaking to YOU.  Not that "lost sheep" that you have in mind that needs Jesus, not your lost children, not your lost brother or sister or friend, NOPE, This is for YOU.  God is asking me and you to consider all a loss, all our ways a loss and only HE is the entire way.  Seek Him, Seek Holiness.  Return to innocence.  There is joy in seeking, because it is never ending.  The surprises never stop when living a life with Jesus.  And you know what's cool?  I can make the heavens rejoice along with the angels of God!  How?  REPENT!  You are a sinner, and so am I, but when we repent, it's PARTY TIME in Heaven.  God loves to give and loves to see us give, especially give those ugly sins to be healed.  Give in your search.  There you will find God.  Mother Teresa gave and searched, that was her life, and that's the life of any saint and you are a saint being unveiled.  Give and search and give to the one you find, whom in the end

WOW!  I can't wait to give

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