The Sacred Word God's plan is to bring everything together under Christ. And each one of us plays a part in that sacred plan. Our faith is a beautif
The Sacred Word
God's plan is to bring everything together under Christ. And each one of us plays a part in that sacred plan. Our faith is a beautiful, developing drama, a beauty whose end we cannot see. Starting with the first day of creation, the Word of God has been slowly emerging down the ages. The Word has become visible in the Incarnation and will reach its full revelation when Jesus returns in glory on the last day. —from the essay "John Duns Scotus: His View of Christ" by Friar Jack Wintz
✞ "When we contemplate the sufferings of Jesus He grants us, according to the measure of our faith, the grace to practice the virtues He revealed during those sacred hours." — St. Angela Merici
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Now, as he was riding one day over the plain of Assisi he met a leper, whose sudden appearance filled him with fear and horror; but forthwith calling to mind the resolution which he had made to follow after perfection, and remembering that if he would be a soldier of Christ he must first overcome himself, he dismounted from his horse and went to meet the leper, that he might embrace him: and when the poor man stretched out his hand to receive an alms, he kissed it and filled it with money. Having again mounted his horse, he looked around him over the wide and open plain, but nowhere could he see the leper; upon which, being filled with wonder and joy, he began devoutly to give thanks to God, purposing within himself to proceed to still greater things than this." — St. Bonaventure, p. 4 AN EXCERPT FROM The Life of St. Francis
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:11-12
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Blessed John Duns Scotus
(c. 1266 – November 8, 1308)
A humble man, John Duns Scotus has been one of the most influential Franciscans through the centuries. Born at Duns in the county of Berwick, Scotland, John was descended from a wealthy farming family. In later years, he was identified as John Duns Scotus to indicate the land of his birth; Scotia is the Latin name for Scotland.
John received the habit of the Friars Minor at Dumfries, where his uncle Elias Duns was superior. After novitiate, John studied at Oxford and Paris and was ordained in 1291. More studies in Paris followed until 1297, when he returned to lecture at Oxford and Cambridge. Four years later, he returned to Paris to teach and complete the requirements for the doctorate.
In an age when many people adopted whole systems of thought without qualification, John pointed out the richness of the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition, appreciated the wisdom of Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Muslim philosophers—and still managed to be an independent thinker. That quality was proven in 1303, when King Philip the Fair tried to enlist the University of Paris on his side in a dispute with Pope Boniface VIII. John Duns Scotus dissented, and was given three days to leave France.
In Scotus's time, some philosophers held that people are basically determined by forces outside themselves. Free will is an illusion, they argued. An ever-practical man, Scotus said that if he started beating someone who denied free will, the person would immediately tell him to stop. But if Scotus didn't really have a free will, how could he stop? John had a knack for finding illustrations his students could remember!
After a short stay in Oxford, Scotus returned to Paris, where he received the doctorate in 1305. He continued teaching there and in 1307 so ably defended the Immaculate Conception of Mary that the university officially adopted his position. That same year the minister general assigned him to the Franciscan school in Cologne where John died in 1308. He is buried in the Franciscan church near the famous Cologne cathedral.
Drawing on the work of John Duns Scotus, Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854. John Duns Scotus, the "Subtle Doctor," was beatified in 1993.
Father Charles Balic, O.F.M., the foremost 20th-century authority on Scotus, has written: "The whole of Scotus's theology is dominated by the notion of love. The characteristic note of this love is its absolute freedom. As love becomes more perfect and intense, freedom becomes more noble and integral both in God and in man" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1105).
Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time Audio Link
Reading 1 Rom 13:8-10
Brothers and sisters: Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 112:1b-2, 4-5, 9 R. ( 5a) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need. or: R. Alleluia. Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands. His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth; the upright generation shall be blessed. R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need. or: R. Alleluia. He dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just. Well for the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice. R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need. or: R. Alleluia. Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia 1 Pt 4:14 R. Alleluia, alleluia. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 14:25-33
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, "If anyone 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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.' Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Romans 13:9)
This command from God, often called the second greatest commandment, can seem impossible, can't it? Love every neighbor? Even the annoying one down the street? How can we find the ability to do something so radical? One way is to recognize how we have been loved. Maybe the following story can help.
A family once experienced a damaging house fire. No one was injured, but their home was destroyed, and they were left with next to nothing. The family was able to recover largely because of all the support they received. One close friend in particular took charge of the situation. He helped them find temporary housing, he recruited their other friends to help provide meals, and he set about finding clothes and other necessities for them. Needless to say, the family was deeply grateful.
A few years later, this same family heard about another family nearby who had suffered a similar tragedy. None of the neighbors seemed to know what to do. Without hesitating, the couple walked right over. "You are not alone in this," the wife told them. "We've been through this before; let us help you get back on your feet." They quickly began organizing, and within hours they had many resources in place. They even invited the family to stay with them until they found a more permanent living situation. This couple was uniquely qualified to help because they had received help in the same way. In short, they loved their neighbors as they themselves had been loved.
How has God loved you? What concrete ways has he used, and what has his love done for you? Sometimes his love flows through other people, as it did for the fire victims in the previous story. Other times it comes as we sit quietly in prayer or as we hear God's word at Mass. No matter how you have experienced it, God's love is meant to flow in you and through you to affect the people around you. So look around today, and see if there is someone whom you can tell, "You are not alone in this; let me help you."
"Father, show me how I have been loved so that I can offer that same love to my neighbor."
Psalm 112:1-2, 4-5, 9 Luke 14:25-33
"Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law". Love is the fulfillment of the law because God is love and Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophecies and to fill our heart's desire of....everlasting life...with Him, not without Him...we'll touch on that in a bit.
We prayed today "Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need." ¤ ¨Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands." Delights and not abhors or hates. Delights then, in the cross. ¤ "He dawns through the darkness, a light for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just." He is then, a Christ Himself, full of grace as Mary, and all powerful in mercy, and just, meaning holy....wholly in love with God our Father! And a thought hit me as I meditated/prayed before writing to you invoking the Holy Spirit: "How can one see the dash of light better? Only in the darkness".
¤ "Lavishly he gives to the poor; his generosity shall endure forever" Like I always say, and I might write a song with these words: don't expect a thank you now, only expect a punch in the gut and a kick in the butt. Our reward is in Heaven, to the measure you give, even a hundredfold will be given in return. Do it for love, and love gives one way, it does not return to you as a favor for a favor. That is wrong. For-giving is to give. The more, the better...not solely for them, but for the soul.
And so our Heavenly Lord and lover speaks to us ""If anyone 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." I remember a couple years ago, I had this thing where I wanted my workers to convert, to repent, and to go to Church. So, for their salvation, I invited them to a worker bible study in which we'd meet after work and discuss scripture. For a while we would meet at one of the worker houses we provide. Today's Gospel was read, and I asked them what they thought, especially about "hating your wife, and children" to follow Christ. An older man that still works here was flabbergasted and said in astonishment "how in the world would I hate my wife? I could never do that". He never came back to bible study again. It was too much. I asked the guys to name our bible group and one guy offered the name "The Disciples of Jesus". I'll tell you when the actual disciples got fed another huge line,and it separates protestants from Catholics to this day: it was when "Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." Jn6:53. People were astonished and our Lord said "Does this shock you?" Does this shock you into life? Does it shock your heart? Does it rock your world? I look into the world and I see people that say they love their family. They say "Family First!" and it is obvious family is not first. Even if they tattoo their family name in pride, it does not mean you actually love them like you say "to death". I always tell these folks "you got to love them to (eternal) life!" Forget death, love for eternity! That's why we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, strength, with everything we got! When Love/God comes first, everything in life is completely different. Everything in light is different. Grace is light. Because there, God is found. Not that hard to see anymore. Our human love is frail and weak. I know it is. So we need an extra-terrestrial love that transcends time and space. We need God's love that is full of giving. How can we repay our Lord for what He has done for us? It is impossible. That is why the story of the man who owed so much money was forgiven an amount that would take millions of years even to pay back. But all was forgiven, and yet...that man couldn't forgive a few dollars to one who owed him. You don't know how much damage you've done with even two words. Yet, you can't forgive one who caused you great damage?
We shall be a people of mercy. Mercy with our hearts and what comes from hearts, blessings or curses. You shall not speak in degrading fashions that encompass curses on one another. You shall though, carry your cross. It is a burden that God gives to those He loves. His commands. His baby on the wooden trough. His Beloved Son nailed to that wood. You must carry it if you want to have it....the food He provides. We are the vessels and channels of His love and grace. Now share what you have received and learn to lavish the poor to light.....