God wants us to trust Him. That often involves walking in mystery. It also requires us to recognize the fact that God can always bring good out of evil. The Bible is filled with stories of bad, even evil, decisions, but somehow God's will prevailed, and we ended up with a Savior. -from Faith, Hope & Clarity
"By reason of His immensity, God is present everywhere; but there are two places where He dwells in a particular manner. One is in the highest heavens, where He is present by that glory which He communicates to the blessed; the other is on earth—within the humble soul that loves Him." — St Alphonsus Liguori
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ." — St. Francis of Assisi, p. 333 AN EXCERPT FROM Witness of the Saints
click to read more
February 1. Saint Ansgar was a Benedictine missionary who spent his life trying to convert northern Europe. It seems for every step he took forward, he ended up taking two backward. Yet, he didn't seem to become discouraged. He kept his focus on serving the poor wherever he was. Saint of the Day
Brothers and sisters: In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as his sons. For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a
R. (see 17) The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him, For he knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust. R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him. But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him, And his justice toward children's children among those who keep his covenant. R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Alleluia Jn 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 6:1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God. (Hebrews 12:15)
Imagine yourself as a teenager again. You've asked your father to give you and your friends a ride to the movies, but all he does is look into your eyes in silence. Then a grin flashes across his face. Reaching into his pocket, he hands you the keys to his brand new car. "It's all yours tonight," he tells you. "Be careful." Your emotions swirl as you turn the ignition—elation, awe, and a healthy dose of fear! You have been entrusted with an object of great value.
This illustration is not far from reality, because God has given you something even more precious than a new car. He has entrusted you with his grace. And he has entrusted you with the mission of sharing that grace with everyone around you. "See to it," he says, "that no one be deprived of the grace of God" (Hebrews 12:15).
So how do we spread God's grace? Well, let's consult the owner's manual—the Bible! This verse comes in the middle of a call to live in unity with each other. Relationships are key! As we treat others in the profoundly merciful manner that God treats us, they'll experience God's grace, and that grace will move them closer to him.
Scripture exhorts us: "Strive for peace with everyone . . . that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble" (Hebrews 12:14, 15). Do you have a relationship that isn't at peace? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you extend grace to that person—no matter who is right or wrong. Pray for that person. In your heart, offer forgiveness. It may help to even say it out loud. Or maybe you need to ask for forgiveness. Ask God for the grace to do it, and then go out of your way to serve that person. Don't expect anything in return. Just focus on the privilege of handling God's precious grace.
"Lord, may your grace flow through me to everyone I meet today."
Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18 Mark 6:1-6
The Lord said today "Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord." When you are in the state of grace, one could say you are in the state of peace. Grace being away from sin, having been cleansed from sin, being one with the Lord. It is a gift from the Lord. It is the one thing not sought much, and so people wonder, "where is the Lord?" because He is not first and foremost in their life.
We pray today "But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him, And his justice toward children's children among those who keep his covenant." I heard once of a men's gathering in the coliseum locally, and the men were called "Promise Keepers". They would return home and keep the promise of being a father. Our Father in Heaven is a promise keeper. He promises Heaven and directs our aim to Heaven. If it were not so, you would not be reading this now! Our promise to Him matters. The promise is our life. Are we in unison in our promise in this engagement with the Lord?
In comes the Lord ""A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." He said this after they were amazed at His wisdom but looked around and said, "but we know this guy, and his kinfolk, how can He be who He says He is?" And because they doubted, not much was accomplished. The story is then, about faith. How little faith do you got in the Lord? How little faith have you in on another? How many parishioners have I heard have very little faith or love for their priests!? It is crazy. And so very little progress in spiritual growth happens. Stunted, they bear little fruit. Here we have the God of creation, the Almighty, and you. By yourself, you can't do anything. With God you can do anything....like being free, like living in grace, like living in the promise of forever. With Him you have an inexplicable joy and peace that is only satiated as it is shared. I am happy to be with you Lord. You have given me a cross that hurts. I am a suffering soul, but I know I can offer it for the good of the world, like you did for me on that cross.
Think about your sufferings right now. Some reading this have aching problems. Some suffer the loss of a loved one. Some are struggling to believe. Some see no light. Some live in depression. Some live in anxiety.
Jesus is with you. Like He was with His kinfolk in Nazareth, in His own home. How far are we willing to go to see Him?
It may be a simple matter of opening our eyes...our hearts