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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Take It uP

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MINUTE MEDITATIONS 

Welcoming Community Minute Meditations
To be Catholic calls a community to welcome all people, regardless of their human circumstances. It demands that we reach out with love for everyone, neighbors next door and on the far side of the world—to care without borders.
— from Fast, Pray, Give 


St. Hugh of Grenoble
(1052-1132)

Today's saint could be a patron for those of us who feel so overwhelmed by all the problems in the world that we don't know where to begin.

Hugh, who served as a bishop in France for 52 years, had his work cut out for him from the start. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church property, religious indifference and/or ignorance. After serving as bishop for two years, he'd had his fill. He tried disappearing to a monastery, but the pope called him back to continue the work of reform.

Ironically, Hugh was reasonably effective in the role of reformer—surely because of his devotion to the Church but also because of his strong character. In conflicts between Church and state he was an unflinching defender of the Church. He fearlessly supported the papacy. He was eloquent as a preacher. He restored his own cathedral, made civic improvements in the town and weathered a brief exile.

Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order.

Hugh died in 1132. He was canonized only two years later.


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



Presence

I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....

Freedom

Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free 
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in Your Loving eyes.

Consciousness

Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God


Reading 1EZ 47:1-9, 12

The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the fa├žade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water, 
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?"
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
"This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. 
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

Responsorial Psalm PS 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. (8) The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. 
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. 
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. 
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Gospel JN 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat." 
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.

Conversation

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?

Conclusion

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: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12

View NAB Reading at USCCB.org | 

4th Week of Lent

Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live. (Ezekiel 47:9)

 Did you catch the theme flowing through all three of today's readings? It's water! Water is an amazing natural element. It's simple—just two hydrogen atoms paired with one oxygen atom—but it can give rise to the most complicated forms of life imaginable. Water is fun to splash around in during the summer, but under the right conditions, it's incredibly powerful and dangerous. It's so common that we drink it every day, but scuba divers who venture to the ocean floor often feel as if they're visiting another world. It's no wonder that water is often used as a symbol for God. It's vital, gentle, life-giving, exciting, and dangerous—just like him!

Have a little fun with today's readings. Think about how all three of them are inviting you to dive into the living waters of God. Imagine yourself experiencing each unique "aquascape." And think about how you have the chance to explore new depths of God's love and grace.

Ezekiel's river. In his vision, Ezekiel saw a mighty river producing all sorts of life. But he wasn't content to sit on the riverbank, and neither should you be. Wade into the river that is the Spirit, and let him sweep you away. Welcome him into your heart, and let him prepare you for a harvest of spiritual fruit—love, joy, peace, and all the rest.

Joyful streams. "There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God" (Psalm 46:5). Even in tough times, the psalmist knew he could escape into the joyful creeks and brooks of God's presence. God is full of joy, and he invites you to find your sanctuary in him. Roam and splash through his streams, and leave your burdens behind.

The healing pool. The Jewish people believed that the waters of the pool of Bethsaida were gently stirred by an angel who could heal sickness. Imagine taking a dip! See yourself resting in God's healing power. Let him show you new depths in his mercy and forgiveness. Bring your sins to him, and watch them dissolve. Dive into his grace, and receive the healing he offers for your body, for the wounds in your heart, and for any of your relationships that are strained.

"Lord, today I want to explore more of you."

 

John 5:1-16; Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9


my2cents:
How many of us are afraid to do what God wants?  I would honestly like to know, how many of us are really afraid?  We heard of a prophecy in the first Holy Scripture, speaking of waters flowing from the right side and the waters went on to give much fruit and purifying the salty oceans.  We give reverence to the altar in the Catholic Church and we genuflect to the Tabernacle in the Church.  In our church, there is a large crucifix behind the altar, with the crucified body, and on the right side of the ribs you can see (painted) the open wound of Christ.  From His side came forth blood and water, what He gave to purify and give fruit to the entire world.  It would be good that we come to the living waters He offers.  As I meditated on the Holy Scriptures and wondered within the last couple of days, "it sure is dry, not much rain out here and in other parts of the world, we need that water to fill us, our lakes, give life to plants" and I thought "I wonder what the waters of Christ are like in Heaven".  Look no further than the Blood and Body of Christ upon our altar which the altar is there to resemble Christ offering the sacrificial lamb of the passover, Himself.  He offers Himself then, now, and forever.  The Holy Gospel speaks of a man that was sick for how long?  Too long, and nobody would help him to heal.  Did Jesus drag him to the pool?  No, He offered Himself and said to the man "Rise, take your mat, and Walk".  Get up and go.  As I read those words, I could almost hear our Lord say "Rise (in your faith), take up your cross (the truth to be lived), and walk (live the life of Christ).  How crucial is that today?  Very.  Do not be afraid.  Right now, I ask that you take your eyes off the screen and look at a cross, or better yet, a crucifix and gaze and look at the wound on the side of Christ where water and blood came out for you.  Look for a few moments and come back.  (go on don't be afraid, and if you have no crucifix close your eyes and imagine the crucifix and the wound)

After gazing at it, what happened?  If you did it, something had to have happened. If you did not do as you were asked, then nothing happened.  This is what is truth of faith, doing (obedience) and loving (charity), because both mean giving (sacrifice).  As I took my eyes off the screen and gazed into the wound of Christ, I was being pulled into it deeper and deeper, until I said to myself "uh times up", life calls you back as if we were limited on time for Christ...right?  Take your time when it comes to the Lord, giving means sacrifice.  The waters in Heaven are refreshing beyond compare and heal the soul.  This is why there are Holy Sacraments, beginning with Holy Baptism.  There are more things to come into your life, when you are ready to give
adrian
Food For The Poor



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