"It's true then, that I'm sent not only to love God but to make Him loved. It's not enough for me to love God, if my neighbor doesn't love Him." — St. Vincent de Paul
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Even though we know that God's will and commandments apply to everyone, we do not always have the strength to fulfill them. Now, every time we respond faithfully to a motion of the Spirit, out of desire to be docile to what God expects of us, even if it's something almost insignificant of itself, that faithfulness draws grace and strength down on us. That strength can then be applied to other areas and may make us capable of one day practicing the commandments that up until then we had not been capable of fulfilling entirely."
— Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 20 AN EXCERPT FROM In the School of the Holy Spirit
VERSE OF THE DAY
"So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
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Blessed John Francis Burté and Companions
(d. 1792; d. 1794)
These priests were victims of the French Revolution. Though their martyrdom spans a period of several years, they stand together in the Church's memory because they all gave their lives for the same principle. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1791) required all priests to take an oath which amounted to a denial of the faith. Each of these men refused and was executed.
John Francis Burté became a Franciscan at 16 and after ordination taught theology to the young friars. Later he was guardian of the large Conventual friary in Paris until he was arrested and held in the convent of the Carmelites.
Appolinaris of Posat was born in 1739 in Switzerland. He joined the Capuchins and acquired a reputation as an excellent preacher, confessor and instructor of clerics. Sent to the East as a missionary, he was in Paris studying Oriental languages when the French Revolution began. Refusing the oath, he was swiftly arrested and detained in the Carmelite convent.
Severin Girault, a member of the Third Order Regular, was a chaplain for a group of sisters in Paris. Imprisoned with the others, he was the first to die in the slaughter at the convent.
These three plus 182 others—including several bishops and many religious and diocesan priests—were massacred at the Carmelite house in Paris on September 2, 1792. They were beatified in 1926.
John Baptist Triquerie, born in 1737, entered the Conventual Franciscans. He was chaplain and confessor of Poor Clare monasteries in three cities before he was arrested for refusing to take the oath. He and 13 diocesan priests were guillotined in Laval on January 21, 1794. He was beatified in 1955.
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was the motto of the French Revolution. If individuals have "inalienable rights," as the Declaration of Independence states, these must come not from the agreement of society (which can be very fragile) but directly from God. Do we believe that? Do we act on it?
"The upheaval which occurred in France toward the close of the 18th century wrought havoc in all things sacred and profane and vented its fury against the Church and her ministers. Unscrupulous men came to power who concealed their hatred for the Church under the deceptive guise of philosophy.... It seemed that the times of the early persecutions had returned. The Church, spotless bride of Christ, became resplendent with bright new crowns of martyrdom" (Acts of Martyrdom).
"Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest" Here I am, Lord. I come to seek your presence. I long for your healing power.
Lord, may I never take the gift of freedom for granted. You gave me the great blessing of freedom of spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
Brothers and sisters: Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40 R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. Trust in the LORD and do good, that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security. Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. Commit to the LORD your way; trust in him, and he will act. He will make justice dawn for you like the light; bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. Turn from evil and do good, that you may abide forever; For the LORD loves what is right, and forsakes not his faithful ones. Criminals are destroyed and the posterity of the wicked is cut off.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. The salvation of the just is from the LORD; he is their refuge in time of distress. And the LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Alleluia Jn 8:12 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 5:33-39
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink." Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days." And he also told them a parable. "No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, 'The old is good.'"
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Many of us lament that that the Jews and Christians, religious cousins, have had such a poor relationship with such dreadful consequences. The old wineskins of the old Testament did not manage to accommodate the new wine of Jesus's message.
▪ How often do I pray for a reconciliation of the two faiths? Do I take steps to understand and work for greater harmony between them? Do I try to see the situation from the Jewish point of view? Speak to the Lord about this.
Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one 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.
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (1 Corinthians 4:1)
If you have read The Lord of the Rings books or watched the movies, you may remember Denethor, the steward of Gondor. Like his ancestors before him, he governed and protected the realm of Gondor as the people awaited the return of the true king. However, Denethor forgot the example of how the noble kings had ruled in the past. Instead, he grew selfish and greedy for power.
Did you know that you are a steward as well? God has entrusted each of us with a great treasure—the gospel message of salvation—and he wants us to guard and protect it as we await the return of Jesus, our King. He also wants us to take this message out into the world so that more and more people can come to believe in him.
So how can you be an effective steward of the good news? Here are three suggestions:
Celebrate it. You have been entrusted with something much greater than an earthly kingdom. You have been given the mysteries of God: the truth of who he is, his eternal plan of salvation, and the promise of eternal life in him. Let those truths sink into your heart, and give thanks.
Take responsibility for it. A steward cares for his master's house, and for us that means the Church. Whether it's by prayer or active participation, decide how you can help your parish flourish.
Share it. If the gospel were just for an elite group, the Church would never have made it out of Jerusalem. Stewardship means getting that message to as many people as you can. Find some way to share the good news today, whether in word or in deed.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to fill you. This Holy Spirit can empower you to spread the gospel, to serve the Church, and to praise God—the job description of a steward of the mysteries of God! So invite him to help you joyfully take on this mission today.
"Lord, thank you for entrusting me with the gospel. Holy Spirit, help me to be a steward of the good news until the day when Jesus returns in glory."
The Lord said today "Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. " How does it feel when I start with "THE LORD SAYS"? Because this morning, I had a long safety meeting with the crews and I threw my hands in the air saying "I don't know what else to do, we've had 5 accidents in the last couple of weeks, and they are things I keep asking for us to do and we don't do it". A guy I spoke with on why he had an accident blamed the spotters, and the spotters blamed the operator, and the blame game has no end. So how does it feel when I say "The Lord Says"? It must strike a nerve, if you care one way or the other. It must put us on alert to do good, or on the defensive, to attack. Keep this in mind because the Lord is about to speak to the old laws and Pharisees, and the same old way of acting and loving and forgiving, basically, the way of living.
We prayed "The salvation of the just comes from the Lord...Turn from evil and do good, that you may abide forever". What if I told you "hey, your way of living is evil!" AHHGHH! You'd probably get struck to the heart...for the good or the worse. This is how Jesus struck the chords of the hearts. Here we thought we were living and being good, when in reality ...you are not. This truth has to be a stark realizer in our faith, the great divider, and this is why the Lord says in Luke 25: ""If any one comes to me without hating his father* and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.m Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Because the will of God has to be made known and very clear...not our own will, but as He has come to say.
The Lord says in the Holy Gospel ""Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" and then "Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, 'The old is good.'" Was the Lord seeking to be progressive? Only if it meant for men (meaning all mankind) to accept the new blood, because His wine is the new blood. Accept Him, accept His blood, and accept Him with the heart of a just person, for the purity of the Lord is strong and it is good. You can not say the old is good, because only God is good, and what He says goes. I want to ask you about your life right now. How are you? And this should mean "How are you with GOD?". Most people would say "I'm good". Like when I invited a young nephew to go to a church thing "nah, I'm good". Or when I ask a dozen if they want to go to church or confessions, "nah, I'm good". NO YOU ARE NOT Good. Only God is good. Yes, we are Holy. But God is GOOD. I have in my own heart the simple concupiscence, a word meaning born with the natural tendency to sin. For that simple fact I can not say I'm good, for I am not completely Good for I am not completely with GOD until I DIE. For this fact we should say YES to every invitation to a church deal, and ESPECIALLY the Holy Sacraments. "Nah, I just confessed last month". Who says that? Me. I've said it before, as if to say "Nahh, I"M GOOD!" LOL. And here we have the Popes confessing every week and people like Mother Teresa who is about to be acknowledged as a saint. Why do I say acknowledge? Because there are people in the world that do not believe she is a saint. I heard one time a Hollywood movie called their dog in the move "Mother Teresa". And yet, they too believe the are "good" people.
This stark division must exist, that division of Holiness, that division that caused today's saints to be martyred by the French Government, and then 100 years later, the German Government would kill millions, not just hundreds for the stark division of faith. God is Good. And how can you see good in this catastrophe? How can a good God drown all the people in the times of Noah? Noah and believers were saved by the ark of the covenant, by God's promise. Well...THE LORD SAYS. He speaks, and the truth comes to be. This is why we prayed today "The salvation of the just comes from the Lord" and we are speaking of a realization and manifestation of the mortal to the immortal. God saves the just and this means the Holy. The saints had their heads cut off, and we have not even shed blood and yet call ourselves "good". Hebrews 12:14 "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." We can never believe what we believe is good, because only GOD is GOOD, and what He says goes. He's the boss. HE is OUR FATHER. HE is the KING OF LIFE And the wonderful part...He is the KING OF ALL LIFE, and we are speaking about ETERNITY. We get to partake of HIS Goodness, in HIS HOLY BLOOD, the wine made blood in the HOLY Sacrament of the Holy EUCHARIST. We are not worthy, yet He says "I LOVE YOU ANYWAY....FOLLOW ME, Drink of Me, Eat of Me, I have given my life for you...FOREVER!!