There's something attractive about being able to reinvent ourselves. It's difficult, though not impossible, to do this if we stay in the same place with the same people all our lives. Perhaps the lesson we can learn from Francis is not to let ourselves be limited by what people might think they know about us.
John Ogilvie's noble Scottish family was partly Catholic and partly Presbyterian. His father raised him as a Calvinist, sending him to the continent to be educated. There John became interested in the popular debates going on between Catholic and Calvinist scholars. Confused by the arguments of Catholic scholars whom he sought out, he turned to Scripture. Two texts particularly struck him: "God wills all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth," and "Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you."
Slowly, John came to see that the Catholic Church could embrace all kinds of people. Among these, he noted, were many martyrs. He decided to become Catholic and was received into the Church at Louvain, Belgium, in 1596 at the age of 17.
John continued his studies, first with the Benedictines, then as a student at the Jesuit College at Olmutz. He joined the Jesuits and for the next 10 years underwent their rigorous intellectual and spiritual training. Ordained a priest in France in 1610, he met two Jesuits who had just returned from Scotland after suffering arrest and imprisonment. They saw little hope for any successful work there in view of the tightening of the penal laws. But a fire had been lit within John. For the next two and a half years he pleaded to be missioned there.
Sent by his superiors, he secretly entered Scotland posing as a horse trader or a soldier returning from the wars in Europe. Unable to do significant work among the relatively few Catholics in Scotland, John made his way back to Paris to consult his superiors. Rebuked for having left his assignment in Scotland, he was sent back. He warmed to the task before him and had some success in making converts and in secretly serving Scottish Catholics. But he was soon betrayed, arrested and brought before the court.
His trial dragged on until he had been without food for 26 hours. He was imprisoned and deprived of sleep. For eight days and nights he was dragged around, prodded with sharp sticks, his hair pulled out. Still, he refused to reveal the names of Catholics or to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the king in spiritual affairs. He underwent a second and third trial but held firm.
At his final trial, he assured his judges: "In all that concerns the king, I will be slavishly obedient; if any attack his temporal power, I will shed my last drop of blood for him. But in the things of spiritual jurisdiction which a king unjustly seizes I cannot and must not obey."
Condemned to death as a traitor, he was faithful to the end, even when on the scaffold he was offered his freedom and a fine living if he would deny his faith. His courage in prison and in his martyrdom was reported throughout Scotland.
John Ogilvie was canonized in 1976, becoming the first Scottish saint since 1250.
John came of age when neither Catholics nor Protestants were willing to tolerate one another. Turning to Scripture, he found words that enlarged his vision. Although he became a Catholic and died for his faith, he understood the meaning of "small-c catholic," the wide range of believers who embrace Christianity. Even now he undoubtedly rejoices in the ecumenical spirit fostered by the Second Vatican Council and joins us in our prayer for unity with all believers.
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....
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord, so that I may have inner freedom. Let your Spirit instil in my heart a desire to know and love you more each day.
How wonderful it is to be able to enter into your presence Lord. No matter what time it is. No matter which land I am in. I need only to speak your name.
The Word of God
Reading 1 Wis 2:1a, 12-22
The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, Because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him." These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls' reward.
Responsorial Psalm PS 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23
R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. When the just cry out, the LORD hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones; not one of them shall be broken. The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Verse Before the Gospel Mt 4:4b
One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Gospel Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee; he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, "Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from." So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, "You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ The festival of Booths (or Tabernacles) commemorates the wandering of the Hebrew people in the desert, part of the first Exodus. Jesus' death and resurrection will constitute the second Exodus.
▪ John often plays with different levels of meaning (or ambiguities). Where is Jesus from? Nazareth, of course! But Jesus is claiming to be "from God", because he is sent. Note the number of times in John's gospel that he refers to God (or more usually his Father) as "the one who sent me".
▪ Is it possible to say that you and I are also "sent" since God is our Father too?
I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. ( Psalm 34:19)
Some of the most popular songs have been songs about heartbreak and loss. "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" and "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Can't Live Without You"—they all tell the story of someone who has been deeply disappointed by a trusted friend or lover. Clearly, many people can relate to these feelings, or the songs wouldn't have been so popular. It seems that heartbreak is a universal experience.
How good to know, then, that there is a remedy for the lovelorn—and for all the other disappointments we face! It's not a pill or a magic potion. It's not a "something" at all, but a "someone." As the psalmist says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves" (Psalm 34:19).
If you have been let down by someone—or just by life in general—you can turn to him. Don't worry that he'll ignore you or won't help you. On the contrary, God is always on the lookout for broken hearts to mend!
This truth is more than just a platitude or a line in a song. God is able to mend our hearts because he knows our hearts. Remember that in Christ he took on our humanity—all of it except for sin. He knows what sorrow, suffering, and pain feel like (Hebrews 4:15). He felt all the hurt we feel, and more. And embracing it instead of running from it, he took it with him to the cross and healed it. The grace he won for us there—the grace of the resurrection—is now available to all of us.
So whenever you feel that your heart is breaking, tell yourself, "Jesus is with me right now." When it feels like your pain will never go away, tell yourself, "I believe in Christ, and I know he is healing me." And when you find yourself worrying about the future, join the psalmist in proclaiming, "Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the Lord delivers him" (Psalm 34:20). Stay close to the Lord, and know that he will be victorious in the end—and you will be too!
"Jesus, I surrender my anxieties, hurts, and fears to you. Thank you for taking them all to the cross."
The First Holy Scripture says today "With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience." I want you to know, that many a time, you will be proved as a Christian. Have you been proven? Are you being proven? Are you going to be proven? Proved by tests, scourging, lacerations and beatings, can you partake of this chalice? True Christians, show CHRIST! Be silent no more. Have you seen the women that regret their abortions? They stand for life with signs that say "Silent no more". The super long group text spanish reflections I get daily (and never asked for LOL!) had an interesting write up towards the end that said:
When You are Silent
Silence can be a sign of wisdom and prudence, but also a sign of fear and complicity. When you are silent, you also talk about yourself. When you shut a secret, I know your faithfulness of a friend. When you shut your pain, I know your strength. When you are silent to the suffering of others, I know your impotence and your respect. When you remain silent against injustice, I know your fear and complicity. When you remain silent before the impossible, I know your maturity and mastery. When you remain silent at the stupidity of others, I know your wisdom. When you remain silent before the strong and powerful, I know your fear and cowardice. When you remain silent at what you ignore, I know your prudence. When you shut your own merits, I know your humility and grandeur.
Silence is the time where the wise meditates, the jail the fool flees from, and the shelter where cowards hide.
The Psalms we pray today say "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." So, once again, are you being proven (tested)? Take courage! The Lord is close! "Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him." What is a "just" man? It is a "Holy" man and by saying man we are speaking of any huMAN. There is a scripture I often read at funeral vigils and several are related to this one from 1Peter1:7 "In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I've recorded myself reading this very scripture in one of the CDs I record at home called "Transformers...Angels In Disguise" in the Holy Spirit. In this world, gold is being made. What we value now makes a difference. So values are taking a challenge in the spiritual realms. And the question is the value of the Word. Now, the Word made flesh speaks ""You know me and also know where I am from." Jesus of Nazareth, of Bethlehem, even all this where He is from, the derivatives of the names of the places He is from speaks of WHO He is. Nazareth, where in Hebrew means "to be consecrated" to be set aside and to be set aside means to be Holy. Then, we have Bethlehem, or better known, as "the house of bread". This Lord of ours is the Holy Bread, the Word we eat, the very God providing a means of salvation, for the world, and you are one world. Be the changer of the world. Be the Holy bread that you are to consume. Jesus came in silence and then spoke. Once He spoke everything was up for grabs, the killers of the light were stirred. Today, who is speaking? Is it the Lord? Is He being silenced? I'm not talking about laws, because we make the laws in our hearts. Governments across the world do not matter as much as the heart matters...the values. In the Holy Sacraments we are being consecrated. Marriage is consecrated and Holy Orders are a consecration, a dedication to God, a setting apart, a life set to live for Him and Him alone. This is a hard pill to swallow because in this world there are many loves and lovers. The value is the pointing of your life, and the world.
"I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." Read this again: I Know Him Because, I Am From Him He Sent Me The Lord wants you to learn these words from the Word. We were born for 3 reasons, to Know Him, to Love Him, and to Serve Him. Don't think this is a calling? I'm making the connection for the Lord as an instrument of His hand. Everything else will follow suit...
adrian remember to fast and abstain be set apart set apart for the Lord our Father