"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation already brings life to all living beings on the earth, how much more will the manifestation of the Father by the Word bring life to those who see God." — St. Irenaeus
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"I will first, dearest daughter, speak to thee of the dignity of priests . . . I, God, have become man, and man has become God by the union of My Divine Nature with your human nature. This greatness is given in general to all rational creatures, but, among these I have especially chosen My ministers for the sake of your salvation, so that, through them, the Blood of the humble and immaculate Lamb, My Only-begotten Son, may be administered to you." — St. Catherine Of Siena, p. 137-38 AN EXCERPT FROM Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena
click to go there
St. Mary MacKillop
If St. Mary MacKillop were alive today, she would be a household name. It's not that she sought the limelight. On the contrary, she simply wanted to serve the poor wherever she found them in her native Australia. But along the way, she managed to arouse the ire of some rather powerful churchmen. One even excommunicated her for a time.
Born in Melbourne in 1842 to parents who had emigrated from Scotland, Mary grew up in a family that faced constant financial struggles. As a young woman she was drawn to religious life but could not find an existing order of Sisters that met her needs. In 1860 she met Father Julian Woods, who became her spiritual director. Together they founded a new community of women—the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, also known as the Josephite Sisters. Its members were to staff schools especially for poor children, as well as orphanages, and do other works of charity.
As the congregation grew, so did Mary MacKillop's problems. Her priest-friend proved unreliable in many ways and his responsibilities for direction of the Sisters were removed. Meanwhile, Mary had the support of some local bishops as she and her Sisters went about their work. But the bishop in South Australia, aging and relying on others for advice, briefly excommunicated Mary—charging her with disobedience—and dispensed 50 of her Sisters from their vows. In truth, the bishop's quarrel was about power and who had authority over whom. He ultimately rescinded his order of excommunication.
Mary insisted that her congregation should be governed by an elected mother general answerable to Rome, not to the local bishop. (There were also disputes about whether or not the congregation could own property.) In the end, Rome proved to be Mary's best source of support. After a long wait, official approval of the congregation—and how it was to be governed—came from Pope Leo XIII.
Despite her struggles with Church authorities, Mary MacKillop and her Sisters were able to offer social services that few, if any, government agencies in Australia could. They served Protestants and Catholics alike. They worked among the aborigines. They taught in schools and orphanages and served unmarried mothers.
Money, actually the lack of it, was a constant worry. But the Sisters, who begged from door to door, were bolstered by faith and by the conviction that their struggles were opportunities to grow closer to God.
By the time Mary was approaching the end of her life, the congregation was thriving. She died in 1909 at the age of 67. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1995. In 2010, when Pope Benedict XVI canonized her, she became Australia's first saint.
" Have courage no matter what your crosses are."--Mother Mary of the Cross (St. Mary MacKillop)
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, That dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old; As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs.
Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins; You will show faithfulness to Jacob, and grace to Abraham, As you have sworn to our fathers from days of old.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8 R. (8a) Lord, show us your mercy and love. You have favored, O LORD, your land; you have brought back the captives of Jacob. You have forgiven the guilt of your people; you have covered all their sins. You have withdrawn all your wrath; you have revoked your burning anger.
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love. Restore us, O God our savior, and abandon your displeasure against us. Will you be ever angry with us, prolonging your anger to all generations?
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love. Will you not instead give us life; and shall not your people rejoice in you? Show us, O LORD, your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Alleluia Jn 14:23 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 12:46-50
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you." But he said in reply to the one who told him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.
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.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Matthew 12:46-50
16th Week in Ordinary Time
Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? (Mathew 12:48)
Doesn't it seem out of character for Jesus to dismiss his family so easily? What do you think Mary and the others thought when they heard him say these words?
Of course Jesus loved his family. Of course Mary held a special place in his heart. But here, as he was preaching and teaching, he decided to make an important point—and he emphasized that point by exaggerating it. Although it sounds extreme to us, Jesus' audience most likely understood that he wasn't really disowning his family. In a culture built on storytelling and oral tradition, exaggeration would have been quite common. Think, for instance, about another one of Jesus' sayings: "If your hand . . . causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away" (Matthew 18:8). Everyone knew he wasn't telling them to maim themselves. He was just telling them how dangerous and serious sin is.
So what does it mean that Jesus considers anyone who follows him to be in his family? Think about what an ideal family looks like. Families stick together in good and bad times. They are quick to forgive and slow to judge. They are loyal to each other and are always looking out for each other's well-being. There is love and acceptance as well as a desire for everyone to succeed.
This is what you can expect from Jesus. He has established a connection with you that is thick as blood. He is more than a confidant or a close friend. He is your brother. If we are willing to go out of our way for our family, imagine how much more Jesus will do for us!
No earthly family is perfect, but Jesus is. He loves you and wants to help you in any way he can. He wants to see you become the man or woman of God that he knows you can be. All he asks is that you try your best to follow him. Remember: he has all the resources in the universe to help you reach your goal. And that's no exaggeration!
"Thank you, Lord, for being so faithful to me. Give me the grace to trust in your love and provision. Jesus, I delight in being part of your family!"
my2cents: We heard the Word say to us today "Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance" in the first Holy Scripture.
In the Holy Psalms we heard "You have forgiven the guilt of your people; you have covered all their sins." and " Lord, show us your mercy and love". And He will, through us.
In comes the Lord of our lives "...whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother." Remember, we heard Him talk about His flock, of His inheritance, this "people" of God has always been those who do His will.
He comes to earth, takes on human flesh, is like us, and made human through Mary. Yet, He says He has other mothers and other brothers (kinfolk) because in the old day, everyone was called brothers.
Right now I keep getting texts from cursillo brothers, this band of brothers putting on a course in Christianity with clergy this weekend. We will be with the Father. He joins Himself to us. He becomes body, through our bodies.
The body of Christ is united and thus...family. And so, is the inverse true? If you are not doing the will of our Father in Heaven, then you are not family with the Lord? There are people who do not know, but they actually think that "Christ" is the last name of Jesus. If that were true, then perhaps all our last name, those doing His will, we would be the "Christ" family. We are Christ. His body, once persecuted to one, is all of Christ persecuted. And I hope we are not persecuting Him within self. And how is persecution begun? Pride. There are separating words, and some use demographics. To Christ, there are no colors, to Him there are no distinguishing lines among us, only that we are with Him or that we are not. When His mother was looking for Him, they were not with Him, and so He called those among Him and with Him, His mothers and brothers. When His blessed Mother lost Him, she had simply lost sight, lost track of Him, and found Him again in the temple. Find Him in Church, be one in the family, Christ. I welcome you, I am here to serve you. I serve you breakfast every morning with these words, to enliven your soul, to be able to serve, to be found "DOING THE WILL OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN". These are the Christ family. We are family. We are to love one another. I took the family out for the weekend, and we went to Holy Mass in another city, and there, that was our family, us found doing what God wills. And what God wills and desires is mercy. If we want to see mercy and receive mercy, then give mercy, and give love. This is the will of our Father. And we will be in Heaven.