In John's Gospel, before Jesus predicts Peter's denial, Peter says to him, "I will lay down my life for you" (John 13:37). Peter has not yet come face-to-face with his own weakness, his own limitations. He is so sure that his faith will not fail that it never occurs to him to ask the Lord for strength. How often do we do the same?
—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life, by Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi
✞ "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves." — Pope St. John Paul II
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "We live in a fallen world. We must therefore work out our destiny under the conditions created by sin. Did we but realize this truth, we would accept each of life's trying changes in the same spirit in which we accept the penance from the confessor. Were we truly convinced that our hope of pardon, and consequently our salvation, depends upon repentance, we would willingly undergo all the sufferings of life's warfare." — John A. Kane, p. 81 AN EXCERPT FROM How to Make a Good Confession
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
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Saint Denis and Companions
This martyr and patron of France is regarded as the first bishop of Paris. His popularity is due to a series of legends, especially those connecting him with the great abbey church of St. Denis in Paris. He was for a time confused with the writer now called Pseudo-Dionysius.
The best hypothesis contends that Denis was sent to Gaul from Rome in the third century and beheaded in the persecution under Emperor Valerius in 258.
According to one of the legends, after he was martyred on Montmartre–literally, "mountain of martyrs"–in Paris, he carried his head to a village northeast of the city. Saint Genevieve built a basilica over his tomb at the beginning of the sixth century.
Again, we have the case of a saint about whom almost nothing is known, yet one whose cult has been a vigorous part of the Church's history for centuries. We can only conclude that the deep impression the saint made on the people of his day reflected a life of unusual holiness. In all such cases, there are two fundamental facts: A great man gave his life for Christ, and the Church has never forgotten him—a human symbol of God's eternal mindfulness.
Saint Denis is the Patron Saint of:
BLESSED JOHN HENRY NEWMAN Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801–1890) was the eldest of six children born to a nominal Protestant family in London, England. As a child he loved reading the Scriptures, and experienced a conversion to Christianity at the age of 15. He became a brilliant academic, an extremely influential Oxford scholar, and an Anglican priest. He was a leader in what was called the "Oxford movement" which argued for a revival of traditional religious practice in the Church of England. Once anti-Catholic in his religious sentiments, then common in England, John was increasingly impacted by the Church Fathers and other Catholic writers. His theological views gradually aligned with the Catholic Church in opposition to Anglican doctrine. Through his continued study of Church history he became unable to remain a Protestant in good faith. He made the decision to convert to Catholicism in 1845, which exposed him to much ridicule in his academic and religious circles. Two years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome, and was made Cardinal in 1879. John Henry Newman is remembered for his influential writings on theology and philosophy as well as his founding of the famous London Oratory. Newman wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters with themes of profound influence on the Second Vatican Council, making him one of the most important theologians of his day. His most famous work is his Apologia in which he defends his conversion to the truth of the Catholic Church. His feast day is October 9th.
Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Jon 1:1–2:1-2, 11
This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, son of Amittai:
"Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD.
The LORD, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea, and in the furious tempest that arose the ship was on the point of breaking up. Then the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god. To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship, and lay there fast asleep. The captain came to him and said, "What are you doing asleep? Rise up, call upon your God! Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish."
Then they said to one another, "Come, let us cast lots to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune." So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah. "Tell us," they said, "what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country, and to what people do you belong?" Jonah answered them, "I am a Hebrew, I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land."
Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him, "How could you do such a thing!– They knew that he was fleeing from the LORD, because he had told them.– They asked, "What shall we do with you, that the sea may quiet down for us?" For the sea was growing more and more turbulent. Jonah said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you."
Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not, for the sea grew ever more turbulent. Then they cried to the LORD: "We beseech you, O LORD, let us not perish for taking this man's life; do not charge us with shedding innocent blood, for you, LORD, have done as you saw fit." Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea's raging abated. Struck with great fear of the LORD, the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him.
But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD, his God. Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.
Responsorial Psalm Jonah 2:3, 4, 5, 8 R. (cf. 7) You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord. Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice. R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me. R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord. Then I said, "I am banished from your sight! yet would I again look upon your holy temple." R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple. R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
Alleluia Jn 13:34 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 10:25-37
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Meditation: Jonah 1:1–2:2, 11
Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)
Jonah made ready to flee . . . away from the Lord. (Jonah 1:3)
Have you ever been in a store or a crowded park and seen a small child making a beeline away from his parents? More often than not, the parents are right behind, following that child just as stubbornly as he is running away! This is essentially what is happening in the first reading as Jonah makes a beeline away from God and his calling.
The Book of Jonah is a classic example of how stubbornly God sticks by us. He never stops chasing after us, no matter how far from him we wander. Consider Jonah's defiance: he boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction that God wanted him to go. But that didn't bother God. He just found a way to set him back on course.
It would be so much easier for us, as well as for God, if we didn't run away so much. It would be so much easier if we didn't see God as our enemy, but as our protection against our enemies.
God is infinitely creative in the ways he chases after us and provides for us. In Jonah's case, he used a deadly storm and a huge fish to convince him to turn around and take up the call to prophesy. In our case, God will sometimes use "storms" to shake us up and help us see that we have been running in the wrong direction. But how much easier it would be if we were just to stop running and let him "catch" us, like the parent of a fleeing child! Not only would it help him bring us to a place of safety and peace, but it would also help us see that his will is always our best choice.
If you feel as if you're fleeing from God today, stop and remember good old Jonah and his misadventures. Let God catch you and bring you into his protection. If you're not running away, rejoice that God is keeping you safe. Offer a prayer for someone else you know who is running. May the Lord catch them!
"Lord, thank you that you don't give up on me, even when I'm running away. Draw me today into your loving protection."
(Psalm) Jonah 2:3-5, 8 Luke 10:25-37
my2cents: Today's first Holy Word began: "Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me." This whole city, this whole representation, this conglomerate even, it was brought up to the Lord's attention, God's attention in Heaven, so, He decides to send the opportunity for salvation...through Jonah. Now think about Jesus. Was sent, was buried after offering himself to save the sinking ship....the city, the community, even...the entire world. At one of the mysteries of the rosary I led in a vigil service last night, I said for us to repent, and to be what we are called to be...Holy children of God.
We pray today " You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple." They say our Lord Jesus lived out the Psalms and often spoke in Psalms. But in this instant, I am recalling the life of a neighbor. He lived as reclusive as one could be. I asked him to come out and help me, and he would, and the more I got him to speak, he joined in bible study after a few months and experienced a conversion. He said his testimony to me. He was a drug addict, all the drugs you could think of he'd probably done them. He had weapons, he knew weapons. And who provided them? A girlfriend who was a police officer. He was in drugs to cope with life's problems. He couldn't handle the deaths and rape he had experienced. One day, with an IV of morphine and whiskey bottle in one hand sitting in a bathtub, he felt as if he was dying and said in his heart "God Help Me". He passed out and was found hours later by a brother. He woke up in a hospital and was taken to rehab. And so we prayed today "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple."
The Holy Gospel brings us the Good Samaritan. Was Jonah the Good Samaritan? Jews didn't like Samaritans. Why would Jesus use a Samaritan in the story?
Bishop Barren said of today's Gospel: "This reflects a connection that was made by the church fathers. The Good Samaritan is a symbol of Jesus, himself, in his role as savior of the world." Why didn't Jews like Samaritans? They were mixed Jews with pagans. "Impure". And the poor man in the Gospel on the side of the road? He was labeled "impure" as well. So the Jews wanted nothing to do with them, especially a priest who could not be made impure on his way to the temple. He had the perfect excuse in his head. The Levite passed, he was part Jewish, part Samaritan, but still did not help. Some of us see others and "don't want to get involved". Some are OCD in spirit. They don't want the germs, or bad spirits of others to rub off on us, so we stay away. But, it is an excuse. The good Samaritan helps no matter what others say. Even if it would cost his life. And it did cost the life of God on earth. He would have to suffer bitterly and dearly for what He did...compassion. That's how thwarted the world was and still is to a degree that is invisible. Why do I say? Because, there are neighborhoods in this world where there is a clinic where they take human lives as in human sacrifice, and it is called abortion. It is contrary to the message of Jonah and Jesus. You should be on the ground praying and helping to end this atrocity. One life is too much to bear in death, I could see it in the eyes of a mother crying over her son's death last night. But how about millions? Do you not believe the Lord will be brought up this wicked news in Heaven? Why bring this up? It is a travesty! False. It is a tragedy. To fail to recognize those on the sidelines, the marginalized, the poor, the beat up and left to die. Our hearts fail to see what we have made invisible....God Himself. I like that line Lord. Thank you. Our Eyes Have Failed To See What We Have Made Invisible...GOD HIMSELF. How does this happen? Easy. We fall for other things. Fall in love with other things, and make other things more important than God. Too busy. Too anxious. Too sad. Too distracted. Too....Holy. People won't convert because there is no reason to convert. No one preaches repentance to them. No one teaches repentance to them. It is YOU who are your brother's keeper.
Self sacrifice is the underlying common denominator in today's Holy Scriptures. Life is too short to keep it all in. "Let life explode" says a song by the Newsboys in their song "God's Not Dead".
We must experience a resurrection, but there is nothing to resurrect if there has not been death. Let yourself die to the things you love most that are not of God. Sin.
Soon you can experience the Lord's presence. Because without it, life is darkness and its likeness is of hell. I invite you to take to the narrow path. Just because it is narrow, does not mean nobody is taking to life of genuine holiness, self surrender, and total love of Christ....the WAY