We all long for happiness, but we might be settling for merely existing because we have grown comfortable thinking that total autonomy and satisfying our immediate needs and desires are all we can hope for. Scripture and the teachings of the Church tell us that there is so much more for us to do here on earth and eventually in heaven.
See how many Scripture verses you can find about finding true and lasting joy. Spend some time reflecting on how your life compares with what God promises. Get out your journal and write about how your actions and view of the world may be preventing you from having that abundant life.
–from the book Beyond Me, My Selfie & I
✞ "Love your children. In them you can see Baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under Holy Mary's protection." — St. Gianna Molla
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "With regard to evil thoughts, there may be a twofold delusion. God-fearing souls who have little or no gift of discernment, and are inclined to scruples, think that every wicked thought that enters their mind is a sin. This is a mistake, for it is not the wicked thoughts in themselves that are sins, but the yielding or consenting to them. The wickedness of mortal sin consists in the perverse will that deliberately yields to sin with a complete knowledge of its wickedness with full consent. And therefore St. Augustine teaches that when the consent of the will is absent, there is no sin. However much we may be tormented by temptations, the rebellion of the senses, or the inordinate motions of the inferior part of the soul, as long as there is no consent, there is no sin. For the comfort of such anxious souls, let me suggest a good rule of conduct that is taught by all masters in the spiritual life. If a person who fears God and hates sin doubts whether or not he has consented to an evil thought or not, he is not bound to confess it, because it is morally certain that he has not given consent. For had he actually committed a mortal sin, he would have no doubt about it, as mortal sin is such a monster in the eyes of one who fears God that its entrance into the heart could not take place without its being known. Others, on the contrary, whose conscience is lax and not well-informed, think that evil thoughts and desires, though consented to, are not sins provided they are not followed by sinful actions. This error is worse than the one mentioned above. What we may not do, we may not desire. Therefore an evil thought or desire to which we consent comprises in itself all the wickedness of an evil deed." — St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 142-3 AN EXCERPT FROM 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." Ephesians 1:7-10
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Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and Companions
Saint of the Day for July 7
(1804 – 1860)
Not much is known of the early life of Emmanuel Ruiz, but details of his heroic death in defense of the faith have come down to us.
Born of humble parents in Santander, Spain, he became a Franciscan priest and served as a missionary in Damascus. This was at a time when anti-Christian riots shook Syria and thousands lost their lives in just a short time.
Among these were Emmanuel, superior of the Franciscan convent, seven other friars, and three laymen. When a menacing crowd came looking for the men, they refused to renounce their faith and become Muslims. The men were subjected to horrible tortures before their martyrdom.
Emmanuel, his brother Franciscans and the three Maronite laymen were beatified in 1926 by Pope Pius XI.
The Church in Syria has known persecution throughout its history. Yet it has produced saints whose blood was shed for the faith. Let us pray for the Church in Syria.
Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Gn 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
The span of Sarah's life was one hundred and twenty-seven years. She died in Kiriatharba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham performed the customary mourning rites for her. Then he left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites: "Although I am a resident alien among you, sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground, that I may bury my dead wife."
After the transaction, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
Abraham had now reached a ripe old age, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. Abraham said to the senior servant of his household, who had charge of all his possessions: "Put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not procure a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live, but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred to get a wife for my son Isaac." The servant asked him: "What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?" "Never take my son back there for any reason," Abraham told him. "The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and the land of my kin, and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me, 'I will give this land to your descendants'– he will send his messenger before you, and you will obtain a wife for my son there. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be released from this oath. But never take my son back there!"
A long time later, Isaac went to live in the region of the Negeb. One day toward evening he went out . . . in the field, and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching. Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him, she alighted from her camel and asked the servant, "Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?" "That is my master," replied the servant. Then she covered herself with her veil.
The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done. Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent; he married her, and thus she became his wife. In his love for her, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother Sarah.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 106:1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5 R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD, or proclaim all his praises? R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Blessed are they who observe what is right, who do always what is just. Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people. R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Visit me with your saving help, That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, rejoice in the joy of your people, and glory with your inheritance. R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Alleluia Mt 11:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 9:9-13
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" He heard this and said, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Meditation: Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
13th Week in Ordinary Time
Never take my son back there! (Genesis 24:8)
You can be sure that Abraham was thinking about God's promises as he buried his wife, Sarah. They had been through so much together, and now it was time to pass the torch to a new generation. Isaac needed to find a wife, and the continuation of God's covenant depended on who that wife would be. So Abraham gave detailed instructions to his servant on how to find the perfect woman for his son.
Why was Isaac's wife so important? Because this was the next step in the fulfillment of God's covenant. Abraham and Sarah received the promise from God; they left their homeland, and with a common vision, they started a new life in Canaan. But now it was Isaac's turn. He couldn't marry a local Canaanite girl who might not share the vision, and he couldn't return to his ancestral home. God had called his father to leave that land and found a new nation in a new land. No, Isaac had to find someone who was willing to leave her home and join him in the Promised Land. He had to find a woman who would embrace God's unique call for his family.
Isaac found that ideal in Rebekah. Like Sarah before her and Rachel after her, she dedicated herself to God's purposes. She helped her husband stay faithful to God, and she taught her children about the covenant they were called to embrace.
What a beautiful image of the Sacrament of Marriage this reading gives us! It tells us how wonderful it is when a husband and wife work together toward a common goal. It also gives us a glimpse into St. Paul's teaching about how the love between a husband and wife can manifest Jesus' love for his Church.
If you are married, take some time today to celebrate your life together. Thank the Lord for the gift that your spouse is to you. Tell your husband or wife how grateful you are for your life together. And if you are single, pray for marriages everywhere. May the Lord pour extra grace on all married couples today!
"Father, strengthen every husband and wife in unity so that they can manifest your covenant love to the world!"
Psalm 106:1-5 Matthew 9:9-13
my2cents: And so we heard about a servant, of Abraham, that is sent off to find a wife for his son. Mission impossible, but in faith and obedience, he goes, because he had sworn an oath, and that is what Sacrament means. Faith on an impossible mission. God knows we can, that's why we are sent with angels to accompany us on our journey, signaling, the Holy Spirit guides the soul that searches...and finds.
We prayed today "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good", the bible says God is good, and we shout it in retreats, but does the world believe?
In comes our Lord, He gives that special look, the glance of Christ, and the moment stops time "Follow Me". Leave everything else behind, stop what you are doing, and Follow Me. Now, I will dare to ask you, because you are following....what kind of a follower are you? Because right there dining with Matthew and our Lord, were Pharisees that murmured to themselves evil thoughts ""Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Doubting while following. Questioning. Our Lord gives the righteous answer ""Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." This is good news for you, and for me. He came to call me and you! YES! And I will follow. Because the only requirement here apparently, to be called, is to be chosen by God, that's it! What happens to the sinner that follows God? He pulls them through fires of purification. Matthew would burn off things he did to hurt others, taking their money, stealing their livelihood, hurting families, all because of selfish ambition. And you? What are you stealing? What are you willing to return and make right? Because it's one thing to say sorry, and another to make things right. Purification calls for purity. Start unloading. Start shedding some weight of sin. You will walk on clouds when you walk out of your encounter with our Lord, in Confession, in a solid consummation of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, you will, if you...will. There is a Spanish song that I remember growing up that says "una mirada de fe, una mirada de fe, es la que puede salvar al pecador". A look of faith, a look of faith, it's what can save a sinner. Have you ever had a glance of Christ? When Matthew was approached, out of the hundreds, his heart said "Me? Why me? I'm despised among your people! How is it that you wish to come into my home? I don't deserve your attention...your love". And Jesus lifts his chin and heart...you deserve this and much more....and Jesus opens his arms and heart on the cross
adrian It is First Friday, let us Adore Christ our Lord!