Blessed Luke Belludi
In 1220, St. Anthony was preaching conversion to the inhabitants of Padua when a young nobleman, Luke Belludi, came up to him and humbly asked to receive the habit of the followers of St. Francis. Anthony liked the talented, well-educated Luke and personally recommended him to St. Francis, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.
Luke, then only 20, was to be Anthony's companion in his travels and in his preaching, tending to him in his last days and taking Anthony's place upon his death. He was appointed guardian of the Friars Minor in the city of Padua. In 1239 the city fell into the hands of its enemies. Nobles were put to death, the mayor and council were banished, the great university of Padua gradually closed and the church dedicated to St. Anthony was left unfinished. Luke himself was expelled from the city but secretly returned. At night he and the new guardian would visit the tomb of St. Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night a voice came from the tomb assuring them that the city would soon be delivered from its evil tyrant.
After the fulfillment of the prophetic message, Luke was elected provincial minister and furthered the completion of the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher. He founded many convents of the order and had, as Anthony, the gift of miracles. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish and has had a continual veneration up to the present time.
The epistles refer several times to a man named Luke as Paul's trusted companion on his missionary journeys. Perhaps every great preacher needs a Luke; Anthony surely did. Luke Belludi not only accompanied Anthony on his travels, he also cared for the great saint in his final illness and carried on Anthony's mission after the saint's death. Yes, every preacher needs a Luke, someone to offer support and reassurance—including those who minister to us. We don't even have to change our names!
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Presence My soul longs for your presence, Lord. Freedom Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom. Consciousness In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. The Word of God Tuesday of the First Week of Lent Thus says the LORD: R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just. One does not live on bread alone, Jesus said to his disciples: 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
My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground.
The Word of God
Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Thus says the LORD:
R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
One does not live on bread alone,
Jesus said to his disciples:
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?
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
1st Week of Lent
My word ... shall not return to me void. (Isaiah 55:11)
For thousands of years, politicians and merchants have made claims about what they or their products can do. And some of us have learned, to our chagrin, that more than a few of these claims are wildly exaggerated. Not so with God! He tells us that his word goes out and never fails to accomplish his will—and he's absolutely right! Think about the word that proceeds from God's mouth:
The word is creative. Read the first chapter of Genesis. When God said, "Let there be light," there was light. So too with day and night, earth and sea, plants and animals, and all the rest. All things, St. John says, came to be through that word. When a word goes forth from God's mouth, it brings into being something that never was—life. It establishes in you what is lacking so that his life in you can flourish, so that your faith and your relationships can deepen.
The word is authoritative. That might suggest notions of government, commands, and obedience. But authoritative also means trusted, true, reliable, and dependable. This is who God is! And he is for you. When he commands, he also offers the grace to obey. Your obedience to him brings you life, because in everything, he works for good with us. His authoritative word never changes or varies. It never deceives or manipulates. It just is—solid, true, dependable, and trustworthy.
The word is near to you. This creative word, which you can rely on and trust and which surpasses everything, is as near as your tongue, as close as your heart. You long for life or peace, joy or patience, and the word, which is close to you, can bring them about. Ask God for what you lack: healing, forgiveness, a new start, or a permanent break with old habits. He will speak the word you need, and as you take it up, it will accomplish his desires for you.
Finally, the word is alive! Jesus, the Word of God, became flesh, dwelt among us, and overcame death.
Nothing can conquer the word of God. So rejoice in that word today! Read it. Seek its guidance. Invite it into your life, and watch it bear fruit!
"Father, speak your word to me today. I long to be made alive with you."
Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
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Today's 1st Holy Scripture is from the prophet Isaiah, speaking for the Lord, he says the word from God's mouth will achieve its end. It is right and just, because the Word is Truth and life. Scripture says it is the seed for the sower, and the bread for those who eat. Jesus comes later in history, the Word made flesh, and He says I am the body, eat, this is my flesh, food for the life of the world. Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. " Jn 5:53. (I wrote a song a couple weeks ago using these scriptures with angels voices I heard singing Eternal Love. you can listen to it if you wish) and the next verse after Jn5:53 says "Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. " It goes with today's 1st reading because the word comes down and goes back up, and is sowed and bestowed on His creation, you and me. You see, He is the God of the impossible. The Psalms pray "I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. " and From all their distress God rescues the just."
I want you to imagine for just a moment, some one, or some thing that is causing you great distress in your life right now.
Now, I want you to imagine, just imagine forgiving them, or rectifying that thing in your life causing stress. That's what God can do. He can forgive and He can make paths straight. Yet, that seed, that bread we eat is just that! Forgiveness isn't so much for the other, but for me and you. Let's stop saying the others are the problem, because it begins Here inside my heart and soul with Jesus. And this is where the healing begins. When our Lord teaches us His prayer today, there is a point made at the end "...if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions". Forgiving is for you, not just for them, because you are the one holding them by the throat. Asking God for His bread is phenomenal. How can I eat the Word? How can I consume the Word? I am eating the Lord's prayer, the Lord's promises, the Lord's part in His covenant, and with mine?
What is my part? As an eater of the Word and sower of the Word, my part is HUGE! Our part in the Kingdom is HUGE. Your world is extremely important to Him, because the greatest of things comes from the smallest. A single drop of blood of Jesus is enough for the world to be saved, and the blood is much more now inside of us all. Because if He is the new Adam, we are of a new creation. That is why the Sabbath for a Christian is a Sunday. The resurrection is why we are Christians, followers of Christ. Can the world see you are following Christ? Do they know by what you said? Or by what you done? Because the Word is living and active and forever NOW