Our outer world and its inner significance must come together for there to be any wholeness—and holiness. The result is both deep joy and a resounding sense of coherent beauty. What was personified in the body of Jesus was a manifestation of this one universal truth: Matter is, and has always been, the hiding place for Spirit, forever offering itself to be discovered anew.
Francis and Clare carried this mystery to its full and lovely conclusions. Or, more rightly, they were fully carried by it. They somehow knew that the beyond was not really beyond, but in the depths of here.
–from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi
✞ "Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace. It is an optimism that leads us to make demands on ourselves, to struggle to respond at every moment to God's call." — St. Josemaria Escriva
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Many men keep the commandments in the way sick men take medicine: more from fear of dying in damnation than for joy of living according to our Savior's will. Just as some persons dislike taking medicine, no matter how pleasant it is, simply because it is called medicine, so there are some souls who hold in horror things commanded simply because they are commanded . . . On the contrary, a loving heart loves the commandments. The more difficult they are, the sweeter and more agreeable it finds them, since this more perfectly pleases the Beloved and gives Him greater honor." — St. Francis de Sales, p. 20 AN EXCERPT FROM Finding God's Will for You
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11
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St. Veronica (1st c.) is one of the holy women of Jerusalem who accompanied Jesus on the Way of the Cross. Out of her sorrow and compassion she offered Jesus her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from his face as He carried the cross on the way to His crucifixion. In gratitude for her simple yet gracious act, Jesus left an image of His face on the cloth. According to tradition, Veronica afterwards went to Rome and brought the cloth with her. This piece of cloth, known as Veronica's Veil, has been venerated as a holy and miraculous image of Jesus Christ ever since. It has been kept since ancient times in St. Peter's Basilica. On the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) in Jerusalem there is a small chapel called the Chapel of the Holy Face that was built on the site of St. Veronica's home and the location where the miracle took place. St. Veronica's feast day is July 12th.
Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Gn 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a
When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them. When the famine had spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the cities that had grain and rationed it to the Egyptians, since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt. In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain, for famine had gripped the whole world.
The sons of Israel were among those who came to procure rations.
It was Joseph, as governor of the country, who dispensed the rations to all the people. When Joseph's brothers came and knelt down before him with their faces to the ground, he recognized them as soon as he saw them. But Joseph concealed his own identity from them and spoke sternly to them.
With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.
On the third day Joseph said to his brothers: "Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man. If you have been honest, only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison, while the rest of you may go and take home provisions for your starving families. But you must come back to me with your youngest brother. Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die." To this they agreed. To one another, however, they said: "Alas, we are being punished because of our brother. We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us, yet we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has now come upon us." Reuben broke in, "Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy? But you would not listen! Now comes the reckoning for his blood." The brothers did not know, of course, that Joseph understood what they said, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. But turning away from them, he wept.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19 R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. Sing to him a new song; pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness. R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Alleluia Mk 1:15 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 10:1-7
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
Meditation: Matthew 10:1-7
14th Week in Ordinary Time
Do not go into pagan territory. (Matthew 10:5)
It shouldn't surprise us that when Jesus sent his apostles out to preach, he told them to go only to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:6). Although Jesus came for all humankind, he held a deep love for Israel—his own people—because they were God's chosen ones. He knew that every event in Israel's history had led up to his coming, and he wanted to fulfill all God's promises to them.
Jesus likely had another reason for restricting the apostles to their own people at first. What better way to learn the basics of evangelization than to start with their brothers and sisters in faith? They had grown up with the same rituals and traditions, so they knew where to start. It was probably a good thing that they didn't have to deal right away with the complexities of pagan religions and philosophies. They could concentrate on the basics of getting out the gospel.
Just as the apostles had to start somewhere, so do we. And the best place to begin is at our own doorstep, within our families and communities—the people we already know. As Paul reminds us, God wants us to do good to everyone, "especially to those who belong to the family of the faith" (Galatians 6:10). The mission to those in our midst is just as important as missionary work thousands of miles away. In some ways, it's even more important. If we don't bring the gospel into our homes, who will? If our neighbor doesn't discover Christ in us, where will she find him?
You may think it's impossible to witness to people who know you—especially people who know you well. But that's just not the case. Your family loves you, and you just need to speak lovingly to them. You may not have the most persuasive words. You may not give the most consistent witness either. But you don't need to be perfect. You just have to show yourself as someone who cares enough to share God's love with them. And that's something anyone can do. So today, look for the openings the Spirit will give, and just share what's in your heart.
"Jesus, help me to see the opportunities to share your love with those closest to me."
The last verse of today's first Holy Scripture said "But turning away from them, he wept." Joseph was a prefigure of Christ our Lord. His brothers had betrayed him, and soon, they'd have to reckon with him, and they didn't even recognize him. Soon, us too, will have to reckon with Him whom we do not recognize. Jesus weeps at our betrayal. Or do you think He does not truly love? Or do you think He is beyond weeping? A song says on Christian radio "Jesus....break my heart for what breaks yours".
We prayed today " Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine." And to do this, He chooses instruments of faith to resound the gospel, which means "good news".
Our Lord chooses His disciples, did He choose His friends? Did He choose His brothers? And why did He choose one that would betray Him, and then 11 others that would deny Him and flee from the cross? If this is the best the world could offer, it is a message of good news. Good news because it means God came to show something more powerful than could have ever been imagined: mercy. And so, we heard a bout a lady named Veronica, who wiped the bloody face of our Lord. God sent an angel to comfort Him in His affliction. Wiping that blood, wiping that face of God, she must have wiped a tear. And what kind of tear was it? It was a tear that said "thank you my love, my child". And she fell on her knees in shock and disbelief. Who was this man she had just touched that touched her heart so deeply? It was ... her Father in Heaven. And what brutal torture we have made Him endure. Our turning away, just because a little temptation that Judas fell into, now made for a cataclysmic catastrophe...the brutal torture of our Lord.
Joseph turned away and wept. They say that our guardian angel turns away when you are sinning. For how long does the angel have to turn away in your life? And does it cause the face of your angel to stop looking at God?
And so, the turning away makes the lover, Jesus, hurt and cry. Why don't you care?
Why don't I care, when I sin? It's like a possession of a demonic spirit that lies to the soul, "it's no big deal...God knows, He can tough it out".
So why does He cry? Because He loves. Why does He try? Because, mercy knows no boundaries.
And our Lord commands the 12 "Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Silence is deadly. If you do not do as the Lord says, death is to be had for souls. PROCLAIM! There is this false attribution to St. Francis that says "go preach, and if necessary use words". It's not what St. Francis said at all, and it makes for a great line for you to shut up about your faith and never proclaim. PROCLAIM! SHOUT it out from mountain tops, angels proclaim, prophets proclaim, and Jesus says proclaim "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". And this is the truth. "At Hand", right here and now. I've heard people say this is not true, but it is. It is at hand, there for the taking a part of, it is there for participating, sharing, and proclaiming. Heaven is availed now because Christ our Lord has come, Jesus is here now.
A couple years ago, I wrote a song (He Died For Me) that said "don' you cry for me one more tear...you call me friend, I'd rather die than to fail you again"
And the truth remains. Most often, and abandoned, Jesus lives. Whether in the Blessed Sacrament, or lost in an asylum, nursing home, hospitals, jails, and across your street. A little tear drops, and like a sparrow that is counted, Jesus accounts for it, and it is collected, to rain back down on the earth.
Jesus renews the face of the earth. So His precious faith is made known, and only through people, like you and me, will He speak.
God I Love You.
Thank you for the present...the day I can bow down on my knees and praise you for what love you have for us. You are glorious...help us praise you and love you more and more!