"We are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has worked, we too have but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also."
— St. John Neumann
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"When he was younger, St. Martin of Tours dedicated himself to military service. When he heard the call of Christ, he realized that his call was to fight a spiritual battle. His armor and weapons were vitrue and a life guided by the Spirit of God. Do I consider my spiritual life to be a type of battle against the forces of evil?" — Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p.164 AN EXCERPT FROM Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit
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St. Ferdinand III
Ferdinand III of Castile was the son of Alfonso IX, King of Leon, and Berengaria, daughter of Alfonso III, King of Castile (Spain). He was declared king of Castile at age eighteen. Ferdinand was born near Salamanca; proclaimed king of Palencia, Valladolid, and Burgos; his mother advised and assisted him during his young reign. He married Princess Beatrice, daughter of Philip of Suabia, King of Germany and they had seven sons and three daughters. His father (the king of Leon) turned against him and tried to take over his rule. The two reconciled later, and fought successfully against the Moors. In 1225, he held back Islamic invaders; prayed and fasted to prepare for the war; extremely devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Between 1234-36, Ferdinand conquered the city of Cordoba from the Moors. Queen Beatrice died in 1236, and he overtook Seville shortly thereafter. He founded the Cathedral of Burgos and the University of Salamanca; married Joan of Ponthieu after the death of Beatrice. He died on May 30th after a prolonged illness, and buried in the habit of his secular Franciscan Order. His remains are preserved in the Cathedral of Seville and was canonized by Pope Clement X in 1671. Ferdinand was a great administrator and a man of deep faith. He founded hospitals and bishoprics, monasteries, chuches, and cathedrals during his reign. Her also compiled and reformed a code of laws which were used until the modern era. Ferdinand rebuilt the Cathedral of Burgos and changed the mosque in Seville into a Cathedral. He was a just ruler, frequently pardoning former offenders to his throne. His feast day is May 30th.
Dear Lord, you have called me by my name. You have carved me in the palm of your hand. May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.
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.
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
Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 2 Pt 1:2-7
Beloved: May grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.
Responsorial Psalm PS 91:1-2, 14-15b, 15c-16
R. (see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust. You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, Say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
R. In you, my God, I place my trust. Because he clings to me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in distress.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust. I will deliver him and glorify him; with length of days I will gratify him and will show him my salvation.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Alleluia See Rv 1:5ab R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead; you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture passage:
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?"
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
The parable of the vineyard demonstrates how God gives us everything we need to produce rich fruit; he doesn't stand over us, but trusts us to cultivate our vineyard ourselves. However, the time will come when we have to give a reckoning of the harvest we have gathered. I pray that I will be ready for that day.
Jesus is the stone prophesied by Isaiah, "a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: 'One who trusts will not panic.'" Do I rely on this great strength within me?
Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. (Mark 12:10)
Do you think there is a purpose in the rejection and failure we experience? Some of history's most notable people would say yes. Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections before becoming President. He later said, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." Steve Jobs was fired from his own company yet came back to develop the iPhone and iPad. He believed that getting fired was "the best thing that could have ever happened to me. . . . It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
Certainly this principle applies in Jesus' case. As we see in the parable of the landowner, he was the "stone that the builders rejected" (Mark 12:10). He experienced the ultimate rejection of being crucified. But it was through the cross that Jesus was raised to sit at his Father's right hand.
We have all been rejected at one time or another. We have all been let down by someone, perhaps someone very important to us. The wounds that these times of rejection leave can stay with us for a long time. But if we stay close to Jesus, we'll find him bringing good out of them.
The first step to healing these wounds is forgiveness. Rather than trying to do this on your own, fix your eyes on Jesus. Think about how he forgave the people who crucified him, and ask him to help you forgive the people who have hurt you. Ask for the grace to see them through his eyes so that you can slowly let go of your resentment. Try to give your pain to the Lord, and ask him to make your heart lighter.
Don't stop at forgiveness. Ask Jesus to fill the wounded places in your heart with his love. Imagine him sitting next to you, his arm around your shoulder, speaking words of encouragement to you. Rest in his presence, and let him minister to you. Keep this up over time, and you'll find that whatever has hurt you is bringing you closer to the Lord. He surely can work all things for your good (Romans 8:28)!
"Lord, thank you for your promise to heal my wounds. Give me confidence that you have a perfect, loving plan for my life."
There is a spanish song that is called in english "The Winegrower" el Vinador. A quick google translate makes it go like this:
1. For the thirsty lightpaths rising before the sun to the fields that are far very early the winegrower leaves.
He does not stop on their journey He is not afraid of thirst and heat There is a vineyard that He wants to tend a vineyard that is all His love.
(refrain/chorus) God is your friend, the winegrower who watches over you from sunrise to sunset God is your friend, the winegrower that asks you fruits of love.
1. He protects you with a rampart up in your round removes the evil soul stones and he has chosen the best strain. Cleanses the grooves/rows with all their zeal and watered with blood and sweat tell me if you can do more for his vineyard the vine grower. 2. thirsty lightpaths rising before the sun to the fields that are far very early the winegrower leaves. Only clusters of bitter taste It has been found in your heart Tell me if you can expect more of his vineyard, the vine grower.
It all rhymes and makes for a beautiful song, and it is asking in the end "He is asking for fruits of love" and he finds bitterness and hatred. I'm asking you today, what will God find in your heart today? And let's not lie. Because, as I read the reflection from Word among us, it talked about healing and forgiveness, and I couldn't think of any bitterness or resentment in my heart, but I bet there is hidden and tucked away...and what if God finds it? Because that is what happens in the parable of the vineyard and the owner and the tenants, the ones who were simply renting the place were taking over the place. Isn't that the case for all of us? We think we own our lives and we don't own a thing. Everything is God's. All those cool creations in the world, fancy things, simple things, everything was ultimately created by Him. We are tenants in this world, free to temporarily use and own, and there is the whole hint...how we use it. I like it when I borrow things, that I try to leave it as good or better condition than when borrowed. I don't like it when (Ooops, bitterness coming out! LOL), I just don't like when someone borrows from me and they ruin what I let them borrow, or leave things a mess. Man it gets under my skin, because of their lack of gratitude. HMMMM. Imagine God. Imagine our own gratitude. DOH! Now I feel like a clutz. How sinful I become reveals how ungrateful I really am. You see, the Holy Church teaches about order. Disorder is not good. What becomes disordered is to not follow the order; God's command. This world indeed is temporary. Never forget how temporary things are. People are very precious, especially those that get under your skin! For if they do not know how to appreciate, then it is a poor soul. And how will they ever know? A kind word will lift a soul. A kind gesture, perhaps next time you let them borrow something you can say "can you please bring it back how it was!" LOL. I've had tools disappear, cars borrowed and so forth...but what about the love? Because I loan things out with love, because I love the person, I give them what is mine. How they treat my love...that is the question. Now imagine God. He gives you all things around you, your spouse, kids, job, neighbors (people you run into daily), even temporal things like water, food, how do you treat it all? Abusive? Throwing and wasting away? Every moment is precious and God is amazing. Let us be fruitful tenants, not stingy tenants that are even stingy with our sins and don't want God to handle them for us. Go see the Father, in Holy Reconciliation, and be one with Him in Holy Communion. That what He asks of us is not slavery, but of giving. Freely giving and taking care of what is given. You see, the people of Israel, they wanted no body to be their ruler...except God. Which is fine...but eventually they wanted no ruler...but themselves. Humility was lost, those eyes with which to see God Himself. That is why the Lord and our Mother Mary often reveal themselves to nobodies. Simple kids. A simple and forgotten nun. Or a kind and true priest. Or a lay and forgotten person. To the haughty, nothing, because they are full and need no King. As for me and you, we need a King. That is to say, we need a Love. And our King's name is Love.
God bless you.
adrian For the men and women who gave their lives in service for our country, God bless you. Now let it be so for our GOD FOREVER.