"Put your heart aside. Duty comes first. But when fulfilling your duty, put your heart into it. It helps." — St. Josemaria Escriva
VERSE OF THE DAY
"Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
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St. Peter Julian Eymard
Born in La Mure d'Isère in southeastern France, Peter Julian's faith journey drew him from being a priest in the Diocese of Grenoble (1834) to joining the Marists (1839) to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (1856).
In addition to those changes, Peter Julian coped with poverty, his father's initial opposition to Peter's vocation, serious illness, a Jansenistic overemphasis on sin and the difficulties of getting diocesan and later papal approval for his new religious community.
His years as a Marist, including service as a provincial leader, saw the deepening of his eucharistic devotion, especially through his preaching of Forty Hours in many parishes.Inspired at first by the idea of reparation for indifference to the Eucharist, Peter Julian was eventually attracted to a more positive spirituality of Christ-centered love. Members of the men's community, which Peter founded, alternated between an active apostolic life and contemplating Jesus in the Eucharist. He and Marguerite Guillot founded the women's Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
Peter Julian Eymard was beatified in 1925 and canonized in 1962, one day after Vatican II's first session ended.
In every century, sin has been painfully real in the life of the Church. It is easy to give in to despair, to speak so strongly of human failings that people may forget the immense and self-sacrificing love of Jesus, as his death on the cross and his gift of the Eucharist make evident. Peter Julian knew that the Eucharist was key to helping Catholics live out their Baptism and preach by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ.
"The Eucharist is the life of the people. The Eucharist gives them a center of life. All can come together without the barriers of race or language in order to celebrate the feast days of the Church. It gives them a law of life, that of charity, of which it is the source; thus it forges between them a common bond, a Christian kinship" (Peter Julian Eymard).
Sacred Space (stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God) Daily Prayer - 2016-08-03
Dear Jesus, as I call on you today I realise that I often come asking for favours. Today I'd like just to be in your presence. Let my heart respond to Your Love.
Lord, you created me to live in freedom. Mostly I take this gift for granted. Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended, with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations. I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.
At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the LORD: The people that escaped the sword have found favor in the desert. As Israel comes forward to be given his rest, the LORD appears to him from afar: With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin Israel; Carrying your festive tambourines, you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers. Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits. Yes, a day will come when the watchmen will call out on Mount Ephraim: "Rise up, let us go to Zion, to the LORD, our God."
For thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.
Responsorial Psalm Jer 31:10, 11-12ab, 13 R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock. Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant isles, and say: He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock. The LORD shall ransom Jacob, he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror. Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion, they shall come streaming to the LORD's blessings.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock. Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Alleluia Lk 7:16 R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 15: 21-28
At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us." He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me." He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Perhaps this the only example we have in the Gospels of someone who changes Jesus's mind. He appears to exclude the woman from his mission as she was a Canaanite not a "lost sheep of the house of Israel". But she is persistent and creative in her response, using every ounce of her wit. And underneath it is great faith and, after all, that is what Jesus always rewards when asked to heal.
▪ Can you think of other Gospel examples where Jesus is caught out by a straight-talking woman?
▪ Being up front with our desires might not always be the way we choose to be in prayer.
Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you. I can tell you everything that troubles me. I know you care about all the concerns in my life. Teach me to live in the knowledge that you who care for me today, will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
wau.org Catholic Meditations Meditation: Matthew 15:21-28
18th Week in Ordinary Time
O woman, great is your faith! (Matthew 15:28)
Did you know that in the gospels, only two people are commended as having "great faith"? One is the centurion who tells Jesus, "Lord, only say the word and my servant will be healed" (Matthew 8:8). The other is this Canaanite woman, whose persistence with Jesus paid off in healing for her daughter (15:28). What's even more impressive is that both were Gentiles, outsiders who would have been considered unclean by most faithful Jews.
Because she was a woman as well as a Canaanite, this desperate mother had two strikes against her. But that didn't stop her. Out of love for her daughter and with faith in Jesus' power to heal, she didn't let these "handicaps" get in the way. She began by addressing Jesus in Jewish terms of faith—"Lord" and "Son of David." When Jesus made no reply at first, she persisted.
Receiving yet another rebuff, she cleverly and humbly acknowledged Jesus' words but boldly pointed out that even she—an alien to the Jewish covenant—could benefit from Jesus' ministry to the Jews. Finally, Jesus commended her great faith and healed her daughter.
There are two key aspects to this woman's "great faith." First, she was humble. Second, she was persistent. She readily paid Jesus homage—which a Gentile woman would not have considered necessary—and she was quick to acknowledge her lowly position as a non-Jew in God's plan of salvation. As for her persistence, this woman was not put off by Jesus' silence, by the rebukes of the disciples, or even by Jesus' initial response. Instead, these obstacles made her draw closer to Jesus and intensified the earnestness of her request!
If you have a need that calls for intercession, let this woman's humility and persistence teach you how to approach Jesus. Don't worry about how you can best grow in these two virtues. Every day, you will face challenges and trials that will give you plenty of opportunities to learn. Just try to keep your eyes open and your heart pure, and you'll become humble and persistent. You'll learn that Jesus is always with you, strengthening your faith and hearing your prayers.
"Jesus, I want to draw closer to you. Teach me, Lord, always to approach you with humble and persistent faith."
my2cents: We read the Word in the first Holy Scripture "With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you."
We prayed in the Holy Psalms today "The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock." And then " I will turn their mourning into joy. I will console and gladden them after their sorrows." In comes the Lord of our lives, and He is found, this time, by a Canaanite woman, termed a canine by the Lord. The series of events that occur are too great, and it is a revelation of the Lord, of His Sacred and most precious heart. Let us be taken there. She is found in the scene, outside, outside of the Jewish circle, but she could be heard pleading and screaming the words we repeat in Holy Mass when we say "Lord have mercy", and she yells ""Have pity on me! Son of David!" I recall a poem I wrote about a woman named Maribel, crying and yelling across the fence at an abortion mill. She was pleading for her daughter to come out of that place of death, she had been possessed to kill her unborn. She was telling her friend "tell her I'll give her anything, even my house! I've got the papers in my car, just tell her not to go in there, I want my grandbaby!". We prayed with her as her world was turning upside down. The daughter had imploded, where she was told her world was exploding if she did not disarm the bomb, lies of the devil. An implosion on self-center occurs when we focus on only our own lives and problems. We prayed with "Poor Maribel" and asked her to go before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It is the story of the dog woman, where she was set outside and brought inside, where her voice and pleadings could be brought before the Lord our God Himself. This is where faith meets the object of faith, and of our Love, the Lord himself. The Lord says it is not right to give food to the non-believer, in reverse psychology, it is an invitation to repent, to convert, to come to the Lord and become one of the flock. She says, "...even the dogs feed off the scraps off the table". She knows this, and is now referring back to her daughter, caught by a demon, trapped and imploding, she asks for scraps of mercy to take to her daughter, for her conversion as well, her....salvation. The Lord is moved. He sees a tremendous amount of faith that moves mountains, an opportunity to save through the intercession of the faithful, someone full of faith. This is why we ask one another for prayer and as Catholics we are blessed to ask saints for prayers, both here and in Heaven. When no one earth helps, those in Heaven will, and they have, and they do, because Heaven is like the Lord says "On earth as it is in Heaven" bound by Love and God is Love.
I don't mean to take your time, but one more similar instance: I met a guy that needed a ride to get a truck driving test and rented our truck yesterday. I drove him and he started cussing this way and that and I said "you sure do curse alot", then he never cursed again. Eventually, upon seeing his anxiety and stress about the coming test, I said "relax, have faith". And the more I threw that in there in our conversation, he said once "I do have faith!" Eventually he asked me "what religion are you?" and I said I am a Catholic. I guess I took him by surprise. He brought up the story of one of his daughters that was born with a deformity, a condition called gastro-something where the intestines were left out of the body and they were told she would need possibly several surgeries in her life. He said they prayed much, and even said "funny how in times of trouble we remember the Lord". He said a miracle occurred, his daughter was healed with only the first surgery, and has never had a problem since. I said after finding out he too was Catholic "you know, the question then is, how to be grateful...do you say thanks once, or always?...because the Eucharist means to give thanks...in the Body of Christ". It was an unanswered question, because I never seen this guy in church. And I say this, for all those who think they have no relationship with God. We agreed, "God never leaves us". So long as we have breathe in our lives, we have a prayer.
I want you now, to be that prayer. You have the power of intercession as a Holy Child of God. From the moment of faith meeting the Lord, the results are in an instant, to have more faith. Because the Lord is moved when Mercy is involved. Indeed, our world is a place where great mercy is needed but not known to be needed. A new cursillista said "I didn't know I had things to appreciate". Yes, we have much to be desired, and it is more of our Lord. The world is not enough to give Him thanks, but it can start now...until forever
I PRAISE YOU LORD For I am fearfully and awesomely made In Your Holy Image For the world to see Christ in your Child We belong to you and yours we want to be
and our Lord says "you shall be My people, and I shall be your God!"
"Rise up, let us go to Zion, to the LORD, our God."