Answering Christ's call to be "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13) requires being in the world. But we have to avoid being of the world; when socializing starts causing our salt to lose its taste, we are doing no one any favors.
†""A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love." — St. Basil the Great
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Scattered about the entire earth, your mother the Church is tormented by the assaults of error. She is also afflicted by the laziness and indifference of so many of the children she carries around in her bosom as well as by the sight of so many of her members growing cold, while she becomes less able to help her little ones. Who then will give her the necessary help she cries for if not her children and other members to whose number you belong?" — Saint Augustine, p. 90 AN EXCERPT FROM Augustine Day by Day
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Saint Francis de Sales | Francisco Bayeu y Subias
Saint Francis De Sales
January 24. Saint Francis de Sales was born into a senatorial family where he was destined to work in government positions of authority. Instead, he felt a call to the priesthood and was ordained for the Diocese of Geneva. Later he became bishop of that diocese and was known for his gentleness and his strong defense against Calvinism. He authored a couple of books and help found the Sisters of the Visitation.
Sacred Space Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Reading 1 Heb 10:1-10
Brothers and sisters: Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins, for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you took no delight. Then I said, As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God.
First he says, Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings, you neither desired nor delighted in. These are offered according to the law. Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. By this "will," we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 10, 11
R. (8a and 9a) Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come." R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly. R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
Alleluia Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 3:31-35
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."
Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. (Psalm 40:7)
Did you know that half of the New Year's resolutions people make don't last past the end of January? Why such a high failure rate? Oftentimes, the problem lies in a gap between the external pledge many people make and their internal commitment to the resolutions.
This is something to consider as we look at today's readings. God makes it clear that he doesn't want us to make flimsy partial sacrifices that vanish with the first sign of difficulty. He wants internal commitments. He wants any changes we make in our lives to flow out of changes that are happening in our hearts. This is why he values "ears open to obedience" (Psalm 40:7).
According to studies, there are three steps we can take to help us internalize our goals and the changes to our lives that we want.
First, be clear about why you are adopting this goal. Write down why you want this change and the benefits you hope will come from it.
Second, give yourself the time to pursue this commitment. Make a concrete change in your schedule, like getting up earlier or cutting down on another activity.
Finally, remember that it takes between three to ten weeks to form a new habit. So it helps if you break your new commitment into shorter periods of time. Try it for just two or three weeks, and then revise your strategy as you need to. Keep on refining it until it has become a part of your life.
If you have set goals for this new year, now may be a good time to evaluate them. If you haven't, set one or two goals for yourself—and maybe focus one on your relationship with the Lord. Remember, every little step in the right direction is pleasing to God. He will reward you with a deeper sense of his presence and the assurance that he is forming you.
Today may not be New Year's Day, but it is the first day of the rest of your life. Take a look at your goals, and keep forging the path that will lead you closer to God and heaven.
"Jesus, give me the wisdom and grace I need to make my relationship with you my highest goal and my deepest desire."
Hebrews 10:1-10 Mark 3:31-35
"Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. By this "will," we have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all. Suddenly, the will becomes everything. And the Lord is always willing. Willing to be one, and even entirely with us. How about your will? Our will?
We prayed the Psalms today "Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me." My will is to avoid pain and suffering. Because most can not understand this God that allows pain, they abandon faith. What it is, is good, to bring one closer to Him, Our Father. His will is that we are one with Him. Intimately united in every aspect of our lives.
Our Lord declares, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." The will of God is obedience to Him. He wills that we journey to encounter Him and be with Him. Most often, we are distracted, and veer from Him. We are not one with Him, we are inadvertently, not doing His will. Sure you're not missing a church meeting, or being nice, but you aren't one with Him in Spirit. In grace. In that willingness to respond to God's love...with Love. And so, He says He desires more than your sacrifices...He desires true love. Love truly True Love. Love...God