As people of faith, we wake up with a purpose. We have a sense of mission, and this gives our lives enduring meaning. We can share with confidence the Word of God, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. There are no chance encounters!
Born in Lucera (southeast Italy), Francesco entered the Conventual Franciscans in 1695. After his ordination 10 years later, he taught philosophy to younger friars, served as guardian of his friary and later became provincial. When his term of office ended, Francesco became master of novices and finally pastor in his hometown. In his various ministries, he was loving, devout and penitential. He was a sought-after confessor and preacher. One witness at the canonical hearings regarding Francesco's holiness testified, "In his preaching he spoke in a familiar way, filled as he was with the love of God and neighbor; fired by the Spirit, he made use of the words and deed of Holy Scripture, stirring his listeners and moving them to do penance." Francesco showed himself a loyal friend of the poor, never hesitating to seek from benefactors what was needed.
At his death in Lucera, children ran through the streets and cried out, "The saint is dead! The saint is dead!" Francesco was canonized in 1986.
Eventually we become what we choose. If we choose stinginess, we become stingy. If we choose compassion, we become compassionate. The holiness of Francesco Antonio Fasani resulted from his many small decisions to cooperate with God's grace.
During his homily at the canonization of Francesco, Pope John Paul II reflected on John 21:15 in which Jesus asks Peter if he loves Jesus more than the other apostles and then tells Peter, "Feed my lambs." The pope observed that in the final analysis human holiness is decided by love. "He made the love taught us by Christ the fundamental characteristic of his existence, the basic criterion of his thought and activity, the supreme summit of his aspirations" (L'Osservatore Romano, vol. 16, number 3, 1986).
Saint of the Day Lives, Lessons and Feast By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth became illumined by his splendor. He cried out in a mighty voice:
"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a haunt for demons. She is a cage for every unclean spirit, a cage for every unclean bird, a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast."
A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone and threw it into the sea and said:
"With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down, and will never be found again. No melodies of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters, will ever be heard in you again. No craftsmen in any trade will ever be found in you again. No sound of the millstone will ever be heard in you again. No light from a lamp will ever be seen in you again. No voices of bride and groom will ever be heard in you again. Because your merchants were the great ones of the world, all nations were led astray by your magic potion."
After this I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:
"Alleluia! Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."
They said a second time:
"Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever."
Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb."
R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; Give thanks to him; bless his name. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. For he is good: the LORD, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Jesus said to his disciples: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?
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.
Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. (Luke 21:28)
Jesus chose to end a short discourse on the end of the world with the command to stand up straight. In essence, he tells us not to bow in fear over what might come: desolation, punishment, "terrible calamity," or "wrathful judgment." Don't be afraid of these, he tells us, but stand erect, unbowed by anxiety, mistrust, alarm, or misgivings. Why? Because your redemption is at hand. Yes, you can stand erect in the midst of calamity, if it visits you, because God is always near to you. You can stand because you are created in his image and likeness. You reflect the glory of the Lord, and no matter what you think about how you look or how well you follow Jesus, that reflection remains. He breathed his life into you in the beginning, and he has not withdrawn it! So you never have to stand alone. What's more, you are more than just an ordinary person. You radiate the life of God in you! When trouble strikes, remember that almighty God loves you and treasures you immensely. He loves you so deeply that he gave his only Son to save you from sin and bring you into his presence. Nothing pleases him more than to spend time with you and to speak to you. So stand erect, knowing that you are worth more to him than all the riches of the universe. But don't just stand. Move! You have a vital role to play in the unfolding of God's plan. You are not an accident or a random occurrence. People depend on you. The Church needs you. The lost and unbelieving rely on you. Your witness, your words, your intercession, your service—it all makes a huge difference in this world. Even if you can't see how, you matter! So don't let troubles or difficulties keep you down. You're too important, too beloved, and too dignified to let them get the upper hand. Instead, stand up straight, look to your Father, and see what he is doing today. Then move forward, helping prepare for the day when the Son of Man comes "with power and great glory" (Luke 21:27).
"Jesus, I believe in your love for me. I will stand erect and raise my head today, ready to advance your kingdom in this world."
my2cents: Today we read about a harlot and how she was condemned. This was a harlot of a nation, a prostitute that means giving of self to any one for money but mostly means...unholy, sinful. Then, the Revelation speaks of a wedding feast as so does the Psalm "Blessed are they who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb", the Lamb of God, of Jesus. Now we are speaking about purity, because purity is that joined and comes from Christ. LOL, I feel like when I'm talking to the co-workers, it seems I keep exhorting them to become faithful, come to Mass, to no avail. But maybe it's God talking. Maybe He keeps asking us to please be faithful. Because at the wedding feast, the Holy Mass, the bride meets the groom, Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Stay with me, because it is all about ThanksGIVING. At the end of today's Gospel, our Lord Jesus talks about how terrible things will happen, and some will even die of fright at what is going on. And He tells us to stand up, with hands risen and open, for He is coming, Redemption is coming, Salvation is coming. Now back to the feast. Back to the groom waiting at the Altar. Should we not join ourselves and run to Him with open arms? Because there He is offering His body, His Purity, and we join in thanksgiving, and the Eucharist means ThanksGiving. Thanks be to God, and He says thank you too. Thank you for joining me. Thank you for being there with me, through the good times and the bad, through sickness and in health, wealth and poverty. Thank you for CHOOSING to love, because it will not be a feeling, but a choice to love life to the end and then beyond. Thank you for loving. Thank you for letting yourself be loved. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for standing up for me. Thank you for raising your arms to welcome Me in your heart. Thank you for being you. Thank you for believing in Me. Thank you and I Love You. Thank you for living that love that you proclaim. Thank you for being the light in the darkness. Thank you for not being ashamed of Me. Thank you, you are my bride, my pure Holy Bride whom I have chosen. Thank you for giving your life for Me