If God is not schizophrenic but utterly consistent, why does Jesus come to us so differently from Moses? What does the springtime, pastoral Galilean setting communicate? What emotions play across Jesus's face as he eases his overflowing heart in the company of those wholly devoted to him? Are you amazed at every word, the cadence of each syllable? Why or why not?
Reread the Sermon on the Mount. As you read, think, "Do I believe him?"
What should you do now?
—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before
✞ "You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love." — St. Catherine of Siena
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "We are the holy Church. But I do not say 'we' as though to indicate only we who are here, you who have just been listening to me. I mean all of us who are here and by the grace of God faithful Christians in this church, that is, in this city; all those in this region, in this province, across the sea, all those in the whole world. Such is the Catholic Church, our true mother, the true spouse of so great a husband." — St. Augustine, p. 87 AN EXCERPT FROM Augustine Day by Day
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say. Luke 12:11-12
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Saints Joachim and Anne
Saint of the Day for July 26
(b. 1st century)
Saints Joachim and Anne's Story
In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother's family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.
The heroism and holiness of these people however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary's childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.
The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.
Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith, and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.
This is the "feast of grandparents." It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people's greater perspective, depth of experience, and appreciation of life's profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.
Saints Joachim and Anne are the Patron Saints of:
Saint Anne is the Patron Saint of:
Mothers Women in Labor
Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading 1 Ex 16:1-5, 9-15
The children of Israel set out from Elim, and came into the desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. Here in the desert the whole assembly of the children of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The children of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died at the LORD's hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!"
Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in, let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days."
Then Moses said to Aaron, "Tell the whole congregation of the children of Israel: Present yourselves before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling." When Aaron announced this to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, they turned toward the desert, and lo, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud! The LORD spoke to Moses and said, "I have heard the grumbling of the children of Israel. Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God."
In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the children of Israel asked one another, "What is this?" for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, "This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28 R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven. They tempted God in their hearts by demanding the food they craved. Yes, they spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the desert?" R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven. Yet he commanded the skies above and the doors of heaven he opened; He rained manna upon them for food and gave them heavenly bread. R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven. Man ate the bread of angels, food he sent them in abundance. He stirred up the east wind in the heavens, and by his power brought on the south wind. R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven. And he rained meat upon them like dust, and, like the sand of the sea, winged fowl, Which fell in the midst of their camp round about their tents. R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Alleluia R. Alleluia, alleluia. The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; All who come to him will live for ever. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 13:1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Mass Reading & Meditation for July 26, 2017
Meditation: Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)
I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. (Exodus 16:4)
A gift can reveal a lot about the character of the one giving it. Think, for instance, of the grandmother who picks out the "perfect" birthday gift for you. The gift is wonderful, but even better is the effort your grandmother put into finding it.
Manna, the miracle bread God gave the Israelites during their years in the desert, can tell us a lot about him too. It tells us that . . .
• God is faithful. He provided the manna every morning for the entire forty years the Israelites were in the desert. Each night when they went to bed, they could trust that fresh manna would appear again in the morning. God never tired or missed a day. He never failed to provide for them.
• God is generous. He fed the Israelites even when they were complaining. He fed them even after they had turned from him and worshipped the golden calf. He didn't withdraw from them. He graciously gave them the food they needed regardless of whether they were grateful, even regardless of whether they had obeyed him.
• God is present in everyday things. He sent the manna with the morning dew; it didn't look like anything special. Scripture tells us that it looked "like coriander seed" (Numbers 11:7). Whatever it was, God used what looked like ordinary matter to provide for his people each and every day.
Just as the Israelites received manna from heaven, we receive the Eucharist, the "true bread from heaven" (John 6:32). If manna can teach us about who God is, how much more can the Eucharist, which is God's gift of himself, reveal to us?
In prayer today, consider what the Eucharist shows you about your heavenly Father: he is humble; he makes himself present under the forms of "everyday" bread and wine, without fanfare. He is faithful; he offers himself to you each day at Mass. He is generous; he gives you heavenly food, not as a reward for something you have done, but because he loves you and wants to sustain you.
"Father, thank you for Jesus, the living Bread from heaven."
Psalm 78:18-19, 23-28 Matthew 13:1-9
The Lord said "I have heard the grumbling..." and said ""I will now rain down bread from heaven for you." The people were starving. When Jesus sits and teaches, He sees hungry crowds. He feeds the body...and the soul.
We prayed today "The Lord gave them bread from heaven. They tempted God in their hearts by demanding the food they craved. Yes, they spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the desert?". The people desired the fleshly things they were accustomed to, the food they were used to, they wanted to go back to what they were addicted to. But God said no. You are mine and now you will eat what I will provide. Their grumbling stomaches of their grumbling souls would receive bread from Heaven, and the bird of the sky would feed the soul.
In comes the Lord, the Father, the Holy Spirit, "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on...." For sure it has fallen on you, the Word of God, the manna, the bird of the Holy Spirit is speaking and ingraining itself into a soul accordingly. According to your openness, according to your...availability. As I read reflections, this thought hit me, "what if the seed can be sown in our souls, but not just one, but many, as if a forest, a garden, where not only this big plant can grow, but many?" Regardless, whatever grows must be taken care of. Some say speaking with plants helps them. Well, if you speak to them, it must mean you care about them, and they "seem to respond"....of course...to your love. The greatest sower has spoken words of eternity. The reason you hear His word 2,000 years later is because He desired it to reach you at this moment. Consume it. Let it grow. Let it give fruit. Let the world see how beautiful your faith is. The world needs to see the light. I have no doubt loves every soul in the world, even the "unlovable", even those you could care less about. This is why we need Him, to connect us all. And it happens in Holy Communion. Bread from Heaven is God from Heaven providing, even....flesh...the bird they ate, is flesh, and the flesh we eat in the Holy Eucharist in the Holy Mass is the flesh of Christ our Lord, our Savior. To heal our grumbling. To give us peace and lead us to Him as we become one with Him. This is why I stress the importance of Mass. If possible, go to Daily Mass to receive our Daily bread turned flesh, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus HIMSELF. If you go, know this...it is for a special reason you receive when and where He decides to offer Himself to you...so intimately