Do you have two and a half minutes in your day that you can give to God? This is the beauty of the rosary.
If I need a quick pause in my busy life—just a two-and-a-half-minute break—I can pull out my beads and pray a decade in order to regroup with the Lord and be nourished spiritually. That's all a decade takes: one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be. I can do that easily, pausing for a moment in between emails, in the car, in my office, in between meetings, in between errands. I don't even have to stop some things I'm doing: I can pray a decade while cooking dinner, sweeping the floor, holding a baby, or walking to my next appointment.
—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Bever Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth
✞"Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul." — St. Teresa of Avila
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "I realize as never before that the Lord is gentle and merciful; He did not send me this heavy cross until I could bear it. If He had sent it before, I am certain that it would have discouraged me . . . I desire nothing at all now except to love until I die of love. I am free, I am not afraid of anything, not even of what I used to dread most of all . . . a long illness which would make me a burden to the community. I am perfectly content to go on suffering in body and soul for years, if that would please God. I am not in the least afraid of living for a long time; I am ready to go on fighting." — St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 122 AN EXCERPT FROM The Story of a Soul
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death." 1 Corinthians 15:21-26
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Saint Jeanne Jugan
(October 25, 1792 – August 29, 1879)
Born in northern France during the French Revolution—a time when congregations of women and men religious were being suppressed by the national government, Jeanne would eventually be highly praised in the French academy for her community's compassionate care of elderly poor people.
When Jeanne was three and a half years old, her father, a fisherman, was lost at sea. Her widowed mother was hard pressed to raise her eight children alone; four died young. At the age of 15 or 16, Jeanne became a kitchen maid for a family that not only cared for its own members, but also served poor, elderly people nearby. Ten years later, Jeanne became a nurse at the hospital in Le Rosais. Soon thereafter, she joined a third order group founded by Saint John Eudes.
After six years she became a servant and friend of a woman she met through the third order. They prayed, visited the poor, and taught catechism to children. After her friend's death, Jeanne and two other women continued a similar life in the city of Saint-Sevran. In 1839, they brought in their first permanent guest. They began an association, received more members, and more guests. Mère Marie of the Cross, as Jeanne was now known, founded six more houses for the elderly by the end of 1849, all staffed by members of her association—the Little Sisters of the Poor. By 1853, the association numbered 500 and had houses as far away as England.
Abbé Le Pailleur, a chaplain, had prevented Jeanne's reelection as superior in 1843; nine years later, he had her assigned to duties within the congregation, but would not allow her to be recognized as its founder. In 1890, the Holy See removed him from office.
By the time Pope Leo XIII gave her final approval to the community's constitutions in 1879, there were 2,400 Little Sisters of the Poor. Jeanne died later that same year, on August 30. Her cause was introduced in Rome in 1970. She was beatified in 1982, and canonized in 2009.
Jeanne Jugan saw Christ in what Saint Teresa of Calcutta would describe as his "distressing disguises." With great confidence in God's providence and the intercession of Saint Joseph, she begged willingly for the many homes that she opened, relying on the good example of the Sisters and the generosity of benefactors who knew the good that the Sisters were doing. They now work in 30 countries. "With the eye of faith, we must see Jesus in our old people—for they are God's mouthpiece," Jeanne once said. No matter what the difficulties, she was always able to praise God and move ahead.
Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 1 Thes 2:9-13
You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers. As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.
And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:7-8, 9-10, 11-12ab R. (1) You have searched me and you know me, Lord. Where can I go from your spirit? From your presence where can I flee? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I sink to the nether world, you are present there. R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea, Even there your hand shall guide me, and your right hand hold me fast. R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light"– For you darkness itself is not dark, and night shines as the day. R. You have searched me and you know me, Lord.
Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 23:27-32
Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.' Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"
Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
We too give thanks to God unceasingly. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
There's no arguing that we all have good days and bad days. Sometimes we are filled with thanksgiving and joy, and other times, we find life a struggle. Some days we may feel as if we're on top of the world, and other days may find us struggling through a difficult situation. In these challenging times, when it is difficult to be thankful, it can be helpful to remember that other people are thankful for us.
In today's first reading, St. Paul expresses his gratitude for the Thessalonians' faithfulness to Christ amid pressure to abandon their faith. He knows they are struggling, but the fact that they haven't given up fills him with joy.
If St. Paul were talking to you today, he would probably be giving thanks for you as well. He would be telling you how proud he is of the way you are pursuing the Lord. He would remind you that the mere fact that you are meditating on God's word is a sign that you are holding fast to your faith. He might even encourage you to rejoice—even if just a little bit—in God's ability to keep you on the right path.
Paul is not the only one who is thankful for you, either. All of the believers who have gone before you are grateful that you are holding on to the gospel. The saints and martyrs are seeing the fruit of their sacrifice in your faith. They are delighted that you are still following Jesus.
As if that's not enough, there's even more! Your spouse and your family, the people around you at Mass, your pastor, and your fellow believers—they are all grateful for your perseverance. Maybe they don't always say it, but you are a support to them. Just seeing how you try to do your best is an encouragement.
Take today to think about the many people who are grateful for you. It is not prideful to consider how much you matter in the body of Christ. You are precious to the Lord and vital to his Church. You are indispensable to the believers around you. As you pursue the Lord step by step, your life is touching someone else's. So keep on keeping on!
"Lord, thank you for all the people who have gone before me and all those around me. Thank you for their support and their prayers."
Psalm 139:7-12 Matthew 23:27-32
The first Holy Scripture said "You are witnesses, and so is God...". Witnesses to what? What are you witnessing? What can you testify to? What life is your life witnessing? You can give spirit to things, why not to God? I am a living witness, a living testimony. If people see God at work in me, it is because I am witnessing. I am living proof that God exists. Witness then, goes beyond faith. It goes deep into the heart of the matter of reality. A heart transplant has occured when God is allowed to be the donor and I am the patient in great need....of His heart, His love, and His life...
We prayed today " You have searched me and you know me, Lord" and at night in Heaven it is as bright as the day, nowhere to hide, and everything is in the open, in the truth, in the sun of the Son, the light from light, God from God, consubstantial, all in one in the same. And this truth is what Jesus desires, this unity of us with Him, holiness with holiness, a child with its father and not separated, a common union which we call a Holy Communion.
In comes the Lord of life " You ... appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth." What good is it to look good if inside you are disgusting? Most ugliness is from the inside. A proud cynic, that models for the world is as good as a mannequin, to be put on display with nothing inside....dead. This is what angers Jesus, that you prefer to be dead inside...dead to Him. Oh sure, you've probably thought of a few bad leaders and pastors that say one thing and do another, won't even lift a finger to help others...right? Sad. Sad because you should not think of them right now, but look inside of yourself. Jesus is asking each one of us, not just someone else, He is asking each of us to be beautiful on the inside. And how? Get that heart transplant. But how can you if you still have your old heart? Donate it. Be a donor. And Jesus has millions of hearts, so keep giving life to others, breathe life, breathe love, and do not be afraid. What this means is reach out and touch somebody. Jesus spent His life reaching out and touching, and healing, and preaching and being a prophet and we are all baptized priest, prophet, and King, heirs and one with Him and in Him through the Holy Sacraments.
The Gospel is a message of New, Good New, and it's about Him and You, and You and me. If nothing else, get on your knees and pray, and pray with your whole heart. He deserves it.