All we do—our prayer, our work, our suffering—is for Jesus. Our life has no other reason or motivation. This is a point many people do not understand. I serve Jesus twenty-four hours a day. Whatever I do is for Him. And He gives me strength. I love Him in the poor and the poor in Him, but always the Lord comes first.
—From the book St. Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary, Mother, Mystic
✞ "Mary was the most perfect among the saints only because she was always perfectly united to the will of God." — St. Alphonsus Liguori
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Walking by faith, let us do good works. In these let there be a free love of God for His own sake and an active love for our neighbor. For there is nothing we can do for God. But because we have something we can do for our neighbor, we shall by our good offices to the needy gain the favor of Him Who is the source of all abundance. Let us then do what we can for others; let us freely bestow upon the needy out of our abundance." — St. Augustine, p. 144 AN EXCERPT FROM Augustine Day by Day
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
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Saint Teresa of Calcutta
(August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997)
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the tiny woman recognized throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor, was beatified October 19, 2003. Among those present were hundreds of Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded in 1950, as a diocesan religious community. Today the congregation also includes contemplative sisters and brothers and an order of priests.
Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia, Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu was the youngest of the three children who survived. For a time, the family lived comfortably, and her father's construction business thrived. But life changed overnight following his unexpected death.
During her years in public school, Agnes participated in a Catholic sodality and showed a strong interest in the foreign missions. At age 18, she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. It was 1928 when she said goodbye to her mother for the final time and made her way to a new land and a new life. The following year she was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. There she chose the name Teresa and prepared for a life of service. She was assigned to a high school for girls in Calcutta, where she taught history and geography to the daughters of the wealthy. But she could not escape the realities around her—the poverty, the suffering, the overwhelming numbers of destitute people.
In 1946, while riding a train to Darjeeling to make a retreat, Sister Teresa heard what she later explained as "a call within a call. The message was clear. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them." She also heard a call to give up her life with the Sisters of Loreto and instead, to "follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor."
After receiving permission to leave Loreto, establish a new religious community, and undertake her new work, Sister Teresa took a nursing course for several months. She returned to Calcutta, where she lived in the slums and opened a school for poor children. Dressed in a white sari and sandals–the ordinary dress of an Indian woman–she soon began getting to know her neighbors—especially the poor and sick—and getting to know their needs through visits.
The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Others helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, and the use of buildings. In 1952, the city of Calcutta gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging, and street people.
For the next four decades, Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor. Her love knew no bounds. Nor did her energy, as she crisscrossed the globe pleading for support and inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 5, 1997, God called her home. Blessed Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.
Mother Teresa's beatification, just over six years after her death, was part of an expedited process put into effect by Pope John Paul II. Like so many others around the world, he found her love for the Eucharist, for prayer, and for the poor a model for all to emulate.
Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14 R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid? R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
Alleluia Lk 7:16 R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 4:31-37
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
22nd Week in Ordinary Time
You are children of the light and children of the day. (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
Children of the day! How wonderful to be reassured that we have been rescued from the darkness of sin and can now enjoy the light of Christ! But Paul, ever the apostle, goes beyond the good feelings and immediately shifts our focus to what it means to live in the light. In the very next verse, he tells us, "Let us stay alert and sober" (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
There are so many ways we can stay alert, but let's focus on one that Paul mentions at the end of today's passage: by encouraging each other. Because we are "children of the day," we are all uniquely qualified to bring daylight to the people around us (1 Thessalonians 5:5). In a world that has grown jaded, positive and encouraging people are deeply needed!
"Build one another up," Paul says (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Comment on the good things you see God doing in the lives of other people. Be positive, supportive, and appreciative. Make it a point to strengthen someone who seems weary, to encourage someone who is timid, and to empower someone who feels weak.
When all you can see is a person's faults, ask God to help you see with his eyes of compassion. Try to love that person as God loves them. Remember, God is always at work in every person's life, even if you can't see it. If nothing else, find a way to share your experience of the Lord with them; that may help them recognize God's hand in their life, even as it softens your heart.
While you're at it, don't restrict yourself only to "godly" topics. Complimenting others on a natural level—their looks, their talents, an act of kindness—can be just as inspiring. It may also open the door for further and deeper conversations. Over time, you will find more and more opportunities to talk about God's life and goodness, and you will find people more accepting.
God has made you a child of the light. So let that light shine today!
"Holy Spirit, give me words of affirmation so that I can encourage my loved ones. Show me how to bring your light into this world of shadows."
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 Luke 4:31-37
"...the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night." Stay awake, in the faith, be on the alert, full time. You will never know, so it is better to be ready. Does this talk about death? Perhaps, but also, you never know when Jesus presents Himself to you, unexpectedly. You never know who He chooses to come by and see you through. Sometimes, it is through someone in need, and sometimes not. Sometimes it is through a stranger, and sometimes through a family member. Because if evil spirits can come in a person and talk, so much more can the Lord and He does speak way more, and way louder than evil spirits, so why give attention to that?
We pray today "I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid", Our Lord enters our lives to show us who we are to fear and what we ought to fear. Fear the one who has power over evil spirits and death itself.
In comes the LORD our LIFE's refuge, our hope and salvation: "they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority." The people in fear, in awe, and in wonder, they were amazed at His teachings, and the other side....they didn't like it and said: "..."What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?" These words from darkness spoke out, voicing out the sentiment of the whole of the people that had possessed Israel, God's people. This is why our Lord Jesus was there at that time and here in ours. Because we get captivated, but not by Him.
Today, what captures your attention the most?
What motivates you? Did you know that Jesus presents Himself all the time? This is why today's saint, Mother Teresa went to every poor person she could help...to meet Jesus. We don't live in India, not all of us, but Jesus does, He lives everywhere. Think about that. There are poor people waiting for you, they are everywhere. Many of them are simply poor in spirit. Jesus needs to reach to them, so there are two things needed to have this accomplished. First, ask Him to come into you. I do this at every Holy Eucharist, for His body to be one with mine, for His Spirit to be one with mine, asking to be sanctified, and worthy, and to be one with Him completely. And I also invite Him into gatherings, and I ask Him to come inside. We need Him dearly.
Second, look at number one. LOL. It is the first commandment, to love God above all. Then you will love Him in what is below Heaven....earth. Grace is how, and our Lord sends grace, and with this infusion, we can serve. I think as we grow older, we learn to appreciate time more, and we decide how we want to spend time as time becomes a precious commodity. Why not spend it on the Lord and with the Lord? If it is the most precious thing you got, why not offer it to Him? I've been perplexed at time, and how it works. I often ponder about eternity, and I often ponder on our limited time on earth. I've been working on a camper, so our family can use it when we go out together. Every evening I've been hacking away at it with a group of co-workers and friends. One evening I was so caught up in it that I told my family to go without me to daily Mass "I go without ya'll all the time!" I blurted. But that time I stayed, I can not forget. I could have made time. The next day, I made time. And more was accomplished on the camper, progress seemed to have been made better. Indeed, God makes things better. But we leave Him out, thinking we can make it on our own. I go to daily Mass just about daily. This is the source of faith that I write to you from, my daily bread, my daily nourishment...JESUS HIMSELF. I can rightly say what the devil said in front of everybody "I know who you are–the Holy One of God!" and obey God when He says to do something. What is God asking you to do? If even the devil obeys God, who are we not to obey God? Yet, that is the perplexity of time and God's creation, His children. There are many lost souls wandering the world this day. There are many trying to walk on their own, in the dark. How can we help? The blind can not lead the blind. You must see. You must wake up. You must snap out of this world and live in God's Kingdom, where He is King and we are His servants. What He says goes.
Do not just say ""What is there about his word?" like the people said around Him. Do not sit there amazed as He ascends to Heaven. The angels show up, clearing their throats, "uhmm uhmm, excuse me, but....it's time"