Blessed Paul VI
Born near Brescia in northern Italy, Giovanni Battista Montini was the second of three sons. His father, Giorgio, was a lawyer, editor, and eventually a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. His mother, Giuditta, was very involved in Catholic Action.
Paul VI had stunned the world by visiting the Holy Land in January 1964, and meeting Athenagoras, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in person. The pope made eight more international trips, including one in 1965, to visit New York City and speak on behalf of peace before the United Nations General Assembly. He also visited India, Columbia, Uganda, and seven Asian countries during a 10-day visit in 1970.
Blessed Pope Paul's greatest accomplishment was the completion and implementation of Vatican II. Its decisions about liturgy were the first ones noticed by most Catholics, but its other documents—especially the ones about ecumenism, interfaith relations, divine revelation, religious liberty, the Church's self-understanding, and the Church's work with the entire human family—have become the Catholic Church's roadmap since 1965.
His 1975 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, "Announcing the Gospel," completed the work of the previous year's synod on evangelization. In that text, Blessed Paul VI noted that people listen more carefully to witnesses than to teachers— or rather, to teachers who are witnesses.
Daily Prayer - 2015-10-19
At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
I ask for the grace
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Reading 1 Rom 4:20-25
Brothers and sisters:
Responsorial Psalm Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
R. (see 68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Alleluia Mt 5:3
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Dear Lord, stay by my side always.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs (Memorial)
Eat, drink, be merry! (Luke 12:19)
If you've ever piloted a small aircraft, you know that navigation needs to be an essential part of your skill set. You should be able to use visual recognition, comparing your charts to features on the ground such as roads, railroad tracks, and rivers. You should also know your instruments so that you can fly at night or in bad weather or cloud cover. You would never get in your plane, close your eyes, and ask yourself, "Now, what's the best way to get to where I want to go?" You'd be lost within minutes!
That's precisely the mistake that the landowner in this parable makes. He has to decide what to do with all the produce from his harvest. It's more than he can possibly use. You'd think perhaps he would ask other landowners what they would do in his situation. Or you might even hope that he would ask God about it. Or at least he could find some way to share his harvest with people who are struggling. But all he does is consult himself (Luke 12:17). And so, with no input from anyone else, he comes up with the answer that benefits him the most—just keep it all.
So many of our decisions have to do with how to spend our resources—our time, our abilities, our affections, and so much more. It's not just about our money; it's about our hearts. If we don't ask God to help us in these decisions, we risk flying blind. But when we do seek his guidance through the Church, in prayer, and through the people he has placed in our lives, new paths open up. Life stops being just about us. We discover opportunities to help people and to build his kingdom on earth.
God may not give us a precise map to follow into our future, but he does give us plenty of guidance. More than anything, he wants us to acknowledge, along with Pope Francis, that "the gift of the earth with its fruits belongs to everyone" (Laudato Si', 71). We can't do what the selfish landowner in today's parable did and keep all our possessions locked up for ourselves. Every gift we have is meant to be shared!
"Lord, everything belongs to you. Thank you for sharing it with us so generously. By your Spirit, teach us how to be just as generous!"
It would be safe to say that the world is full of greedy and needy people, and that it is safe to say, the world is enough to sustain every human life, but there is starvation, the scales not balanced with the greedy and the needy. The temptation is too great. If there is a large bowl of food for the day, a family might be tempted to hog up the whole thing, to look out for themselves, afterall, everyone else does it...right? What do you do in secret? Because greed manifests itself in secret. Lust is greed for sensual pleasures. Gluttony is greed for self. And richness in wealth, no different, just another form of greed, another form of satisfying self. There are things in my life that I can not have, because something would have to be sacrificed to get, either family time, or family itself, or even more...time with God and God Himself! This is why St. Paul speaks of a faith, of not just one, but one that makes faith for the rest, and in summation, the life of Christ for all of us.
The Psalms pray on "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. He has come to his people and set them free." It is said that Abraham, was well to do, he had no need for going on a crazy journey for God. He had it made in the shade. Yet God called, and yet...He obeyed. Eventually the Lord promises Him a promised land, and so many descendants that you could never count...but first Abraham had obeyed. What we have here is the Lord entering our lives...and taking control. Or else...what has control of your life right now? Your problems? Your infatuations? Your obessessions? Your depression? What has control of your life? Because read the Psalm again and let it sink into your heart "Blessed be the Lord...He has come to His people, He has come to set them free". Freedom? From what? From who? From sin and death. Those things that have you in the clutches, because He is freedom. Living simply is to simply live with Him, in total surrender and love.
So many tragic and divisive family stories I've heard hinge on greed like today's Holy Gospel. Like when my mom's parents died when she was 11 years old. It was a tragedy, to be orphans in a remote village in Mexico. 9 Children, fending for themselves, and the devastation grew as the greed grew "those were my cows!" and "that's my land!". Because the dad was killed on the farm by a tractor crushing him while working alone. And the mom would soon die of a brain tumor, suffering til the end. It was to the point that one brother would threaten another, and one sister get really mad at another. Who could save them now? Only our Lord could...and did. Because the faith had been implemented, because the Lord's presence was among them. I often symbolize that Lord among them as the crippled and mentally retarded uncle "Jilo" they all had to take care of...it was a cross. He was a cross many did not and supposedly "could not" carry. Imagine changing a grown man's pampers every day and washing him and this retarded man would often yell and pinch and bite! Who wants that cross? Not many. Yet, it is the faith and it is what unites. The Lord knew how to keep them together, and He still does, and forever will. The other day I heard of an elderly couple on a show called "American Greed". They had invested all their stock in a lie, and they lost all their retirement, their farm, and their homes thanks to some conniving liar. How can I say mean words like "canniving liar"? Because I'm speaking of the devil. The poor old couple got so bent out of shape that they died within months. This would not be the case in the life of a Christ centered family. Many people lose it all, but why lose your life? And we're speaking a life with Christ. Living simply with Him is now taking on a whole new dimension. I would agree 100% with the pope that the economy is suffering because of greed. Let economists and politicians blame it on the moon and the rain, but we all know the crunch comes from a past that haunts. I've studied micro and macro economics, and mostly I was surprised at how many theories involved in its study. Never though, never was it mentioned the factor of greed. Now, do you have to be a millionaire to be considered possibly greedy? Because I know many poor folks that are very greedy and don't share with the needy. They say "they don't need my help, that loser just needs to get a job". Now, did these words come from a rich or poor person? I've heard it from both. Suddenly, greed is a factor of the heart. Many friends of Jesus were rich in wealth, and poor in health. Money is not a factor until it is the center of your life. LOL. The other day my little neighbor nephew said "my mommy says you are rich". Woops! What could I say? Hmm, I started thinking, "why would she say that about me?" I've pleaded them to pray with us, got to church with us and they don't. The mommy goes alone now after years of prayer, but the rest? Well, I'm still praying. Is it because I have one more car than them? Is it because I have more kids than them? Is it because my house has one more bedroom? Or the type of tile in my house? Is it because I bought my kid a gas four wheeler and they bought theres an electric one (cost same)? Truth is, I am rich. I have running water, whereas where I grew up in Mexico, we had none. I am rich because I have tapped into a source that many will not and can not, and that source of water to make for fertility and abundance is Jesus Christ. Long before we knew, it was worked out. God had a plan. I want you to live that plan out of salvation. Let God have His way with your life, which means...you obey God like Abraham. Not because what's in store for me, for Abraham never got to the promised land, neither did Moses, but it was all about the journey. I like the show's name by Marcus Grodi "The Journey Home". It's a story about how protestants find their way back to the original Christian faith...the Catholic Faith. But the Journey Home is only the beginning. Can you imagine all this life you've lived is only the beginning? And if it is so, we should cherish every moment that is passing. Surrender yourself to God. This is freedom, the Master calls, and we belong to Him. It feels really good to have a Master. He feeds me, He feeds us. He takes care of me, He takes care of us. Surrender, obey, to His way, which is against selfishness and greed, in a caring form of giving, more and more until it hurts...and then still more...
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