Living honestly before God and in relation to all creation lessens our sense about what we "deserve." Gratitude becomes second nature. People are then not seen as competitors for scarce resources but as men and women loved by God as much as we are.
-from Peace and Good
"My prayer is that the good God may establish His absolute reign in your heart and in the hearts of all." — St. Julie Billiart
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Jesus will turn your sorrow into joy. One can only imagine the shock and bewilderment the Apostles felt when the Lord told them he must go away. Though they could not understand it at the time, his departure was for their benefit. The same is true of the unexpected setbacks and tragedies we experience in this life . . . When I consider the times when I have been confounded by events that seemed so contrary to what I thought God wanted for me, I should be mindful that they were permitted by the Lord's inscrutable providence for my own good, as difficult as that might be to fathom." — Patrick Madrid, p. 251 AN EXCERPT FROM A Year with the Bible
click to read more
Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer
March 16. Together Saint Clement Mary and his fellow Redemptorist Thaddeus, preached five sermons per day while working in Warsaw, Poland. But this didn't seem to overtask Saint Clement Mary who eventually faced arrests, imprisonment, and exile. But he kept on going until his death at the age of 68.
Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, But stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds. Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running water, That yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Not so, the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Verse Before the Gospel See Lk 8:15
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.
Gospel Lk 16:19-31
Jesus said to the Pharisees: "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.' Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.' He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.' He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"
Lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus. (Luke 16:20)
Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows us how much God cares for the poor of this world. It's a moving story, but what does it have to do with us?
In its social teachings, the Church tells us that God's covenant with Israel depended on how his people treated the poor and unprotected—the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. They were not to separate their religious practices from their relationship to the least among them. And neither are we.
The United States Bishops' pastoral letter, Economic Justice for All, tells us that "as followers of Christ, we are challenged to make a fundamental 'option for the poor'—to speak for the voiceless, to defend the defenseless, to assess lifestyles, policies, and social institutions in terms of their impact on the poor" (16).
There's no getting around it. God wants us to work together to improve the situation of society's weakest members. In the end, the moral strength of any community will be measured by how we have treated our most vulnerable citizens, not by how we ourselves have fared.
This preferential option for the poor asks us to put the needs of those who struggle ahead of our own. It asks us to guard against growing more comfortable while millions continue to live in grinding poverty. It calls us to ask what we can do to alleviate the suffering of those who lack the basic necessities of food, shelter, education, and health care. But it's not just a series of demands. There is also the confidence that we can help bring justice to the world. We are more powerful than we think!
What might all of this mean for your life? Perhaps you could think about how you spend your money and your free time. Why not make the effort to take your family to serve the poor or the homeless together? Why not give away some of those extra clothes and blankets that have been piling up in your closets? If everyone reading this meditation could do just one small thing to help people who are in need, this world would look a lot more like heaven!
"Jesus, gather the poor and needy into your protective arms. Help me to treat them as I would treat you."
Jeremiah 17:5-10 Psalm 1:1-4, 6
my2cents: Bishop Barren says at the end of his reflection today "The Gospel has an enormously important practical consequence: we are related still to those who have gone before us. They are, in a very real sense, gone. But they have not disappeared. They are connected to God and therefore to everything that God loves. They are not so much somewhere else as somehow else and thus they can relate to us in perhaps very intimate ways."
It becomes a very big lesson on how we relate to one another and to God. Lazarus is around us in our lives...have you seen him? Or is he invisible like to the rich man in the parable?
Have you intended to help him, or have you been too busy? The parable didn't mention when they died...could've been all of a sudden. The time is now. Who is the poor? The one who needs. Needs material needs, physical needs but also...spiritual. I dine sumptuously of the Holy Eucharist and receive God's grace....how could I eat this daily bread and not love my neighbor? Lazarus..I will make no more excuses....the time is now ..I love you Jesus