"I place trust in God, my creator, in all things; I love Him with all my heart." — St. Joan of Arc
MEDITATION OF THE DAY "In times of spiritual coldness and laziness, imagine in your heart those times in the past when you were full of zeal and solicitude in all things, even the smallest. Remember your past efforts and the energy with which you opposed those who wanted to obstruct your progress. These recollections will reawaken your soul from its deep sleep, will invest it once more with the fire of zeal, will raise it, as it were, from the dead, and will make it engage in an ardent struggle against the Devil and sin, thus being restored to its former height." — St. Isaak of Syria, p. 146 AN EXCERPT FROM Manual for Spiritual Warfare, p. 146
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St. Bede the Venerable
Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.
At an early age Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and, especially, Holy Scripture.
From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30 (he had been ordained deacon at 19) till his death, he was ever occupied with learning, writing and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.
Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery till his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever."
His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede's death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.
Though his History is the greatest legacy Bede has left us, his work in all the sciences (especially in Scripture) should not be overlooked. During his last Lent, he worked on a translation of the Gospel of St. John into English, completing it the day he died. But of this work "to break the word to the poor and unlearned" nothing remains today.
"We have not, it seems to me, amid all our discoveries, invented as yet anything better than the Christian life which Bede lived, and the Christian death which he died" (C. Plummer, editor of Bede's Ecclesiastical History).
Dear Lord, help me to be open to you for this time as I put aside the cares of this world. Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.
It is so easy to get caught up with the trappings of wealth in this life. Grant, O Lord, that I may be free from greed and selfishness. Remind me that the best things in life are free. Love, laughter, caring and sharing.
How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.
The Word of God
Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 1 Pt 1:18-25
Beloved: Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious Blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished Lamb. He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God, for:
"All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts; but the word of the Lord remains forever." This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
Responsorial Psalm PS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20 R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Mk 10:45 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Son of Man came to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 10:32-45
The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise."
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to him, "We can." Jesus said to them, "The chalice that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. Priest and Victim, he is heading for the gruesome altar of Calvary. The disciples by now seem to have grasped the idea that Jesus will rise after three days, but their aspirations remain rooted in a different world. In Jesus' kingship, authority is empowerment, not control, of others. It is won though sacrifice of self. That the disciples finally came to know this is evidenced by the fact that James, one of the questioners in this passage, went on to become the first apostle to be martyred.
▪ How would I answer Jesus if he asked me, "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?"
Dear Lord, stay by my side always. Gain for me a trusting heart. Thank you for loving 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.
Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
Love one another intensely. (1 Peter 1:22)
Think for a minute about anything you've experienced intensely: a thrilling movie, perhaps, or an engrossing discussion. Maybe a hard-fought competition or an emotional situation that left you feeling either completely drained or newly alive. That's how Peter urges us to love one another.
It sounds intimidating, doesn't it? At least until we remember that God's love for us is more intense than any love we could possibly have for other people—and that it's his love in us that enables us to love intensely.
So what does "intense" love look like? Forgiving someone as often as God has forgiven us, even for a repeated offense. Showing someone kindness in spite of his indifference or hard-heartedness. Looking after an ailing family member with the same devotion that God has for you. Showing a special concern for the poor, the marginalized, and the underprivileged. Now that's intense!
If your first inclination is to dismiss this command as unattainable, you're on the right track. But remember, what is impossible for us is more than possible for God. So the best way to start is to ask your heavenly Father to show you his love in a more tangible way. Ask him to help you find glimpses of it during your day: words of encouragement that come to your mind, a sense of wonder at the beauty of nature, a nudge to help a neighbor, anything positive and inspiring. Then, when you find something, thank him right then and there. For that one moment, let his love wash over you and bring you peace.
Receiving God's love like this can soften your heart. It can humble you and move you to treat other people as God has just treated you.
Remember, too, that change occurs over time, so don't think you have to be perfect right away. As God's love increases in you, you will be able to draw from that reservoir to show that love to the people around you. Then, as you stretch yourself to be more loving, God will refill and refresh you. Remember: you can never outdo God in generosity, in love, or in intensity!
"Father, thank you for loving me intensely. Teach me how to be more loving."
my2cents: "Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct ... with the precious Blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished Lamb" Realize what it cost to ransom you and your futile conduct! Saint Peter had amazingly powerful words to say, world changing truth, and it is all about Jesus. He goes on to exclaim (For our own Good): "Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another intensely from a pure heart." We are a people of action, not words. You can't say something like "I'm saved" and not mean it. Salvation is a work of God that we can live out in our daily lives. Love is an action, it is not a past tense, it is in the forever now, and this is how God works. Last night it was just me and one RCIA student. We said that people can be spiritually dead, and I said, "yes, but so long as we breathe, we have a chance". A chance for life. The after life, time ceases, and eternity is beyond comprehension. Brotherly love. At the safety meeting this morning, I told the workers to listen to each other when it comes to safety, help one another keep safe. Towards the end of the meeting, I pointed out that cell phone use while operating is prohibited and pointed to a young guy who I knew was reported to be on the phone alot while on a tractor. He got all flustered up and was trying to defend himself with all sorts of excuses and none of them were good. He would not listen to his co-workers and he wanted to explain himself (excuse himself) and he couldn't. You can't fight the truth. There's only one reaction to take...obedience and humility...keep this in mind as we read the Lord's words in a few moments.
But first, the Holy Psalms we prayed today "Praise the Lord, Jerusalem", huh, sounds simple, but if we divulge into these few words, we can go into all sorts of depths. Jerusalem was the prophet killer place. The people there seemed to thrive by the hand of God, yet...they would kill a prophet throughout the ages. Yet we heard the Lod say "Praise the Lord, Jerusalem". And they sacrificed the perfect lamb on the altar without them even knowing what they had done. I read a quote which I now made my email quote from my going4th emails, it is a quote from C.S. Lewis that says ""For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John." ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain. Indeed Jerusalem...you have failed to realize God within and among you. Israel, take note, the people of God must take note, because the Lord is still here...
Our Lord speaks today ""Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem...they will condemn him to death... put him to death, but after three days he will rise." People that were following Him were amazed and scared. Imagine yourself following the Lord where they kill prophets they don't like? Nowadays, the Word is not being liked in many parts of the world, and you have not to go further than your nose to see in yourself this spirit that does not like what the Lord is up to. And the spirit of pride speaks asking the Lord to be sat on the left and right of the King, and the Lord responds " whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant", so many desire to start at the top, and forget what it means to be at the bottom. The Lord continues "whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all." Back to slavery! AHH, this people do not want to hear nowadays, no, no no! They want to hear about FREEDOM! Free from laws and especially the church laws! They want to live their own "lifestyle". And the church is "out of style". I'd rather be the slave of Truth my brothers and sisters. This is safe harbor and rock and lighthouse. "For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." I don't know what humility is, but if I look at the Lord crucified, I think I get a hint. His life, for a ransom, for many...not all? Many accept the truth. Many do not. Many accept the Lord, and many do not. And it is so easy to become a follower and then a traitor, a backstabber, go from John to Judas. Do not ever feel so confident and boastful of your faith, because pride will take root, and root yourself out of His loving care. Because we are the ones that stray, and He is the one who stays. I pray for us to realize the Lord among us. Because He is always calling and drawing us to Him through thick or thin, to His holiness, apart from sin. The young worker would not listen to co-workers, will he listen to me? I hope so, because all I have is given my word, my command. It's in our hands.