Thursday, November 8, 2018

⛪ There Will Be More....

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The Key to a Joy-filled Life

Joy goes beyond happiness. Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens. It springs from gratefulness. When we begin to take things for granted, we get sucked into boredom. Boredom is deadly. Yet, everything within us longs for "life, life in fullness" (John 10:10). The key to life in fullness is gratefulness.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life



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Blessed John Duns Scotus

(c. 1266 – November 8, 1308)

A humble man, John Duns Scotus has been one of the most influential Franciscans through the centuries. Born at Duns in the county of Berwick, Scotland, John was descended from a wealthy farming family. In later years, he was identified as John Duns Scotus to indicate the land of his birth; Scotia is the Latin name for Scotland.

John received the habit of the Friars Minor at Dumfries, where his uncle Elias Duns was superior. After novitiate, John studied at Oxford and Paris and was ordained in 1291. More studies in Paris followed until 1297, when he returned to lecture at Oxford and Cambridge. Four years later, he returned to Paris to teach and complete the requirements for the doctorate.

In an age when many people adopted whole systems of thought without qualification, John pointed out the richness of the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition, appreciated the wisdom of Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Muslim philosophers—and still managed to be an independent thinker. That quality was proven in 1303, when King Philip the Fair tried to enlist the University of Paris on his side in a dispute with Pope Boniface VIII. John Duns Scotus dissented, and was given three days to leave France.

In Scotus's time, some philosophers held that people are basically determined by forces outside themselves. Free will is an illusion, they argued. An ever-practical man, Scotus said that if he started beating someone who denied free will, the person would immediately tell him to stop. But if Scotus didn't really have a free will, how could he stop? John had a knack for finding illustrations his students could remember!

After a short stay in Oxford, Scotus returned to Paris, where he received the doctorate in 1305. He continued teaching there and in 1307 so ably defended the Immaculate Conception of Mary that the university officially adopted his position. That same year the minister general assigned him to the Franciscan school in Cologne where John died in 1308. He is buried in the Franciscan church near the famous Cologne cathedral.

Drawing on the work of John Duns Scotus, Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854. John Duns Scotus, the "Subtle Doctor," was beatified in 1993.

Father Charles Balic, O.F.M., the foremost 20th-century authority on Scotus, has written: "The whole of Scotus's theology is dominated by the notion of love. The characteristic note of this love is its absolute freedom. As love becomes more perfect and intense, freedom becomes more noble and integral both in God and in man" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1105).


Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 488

Reading 1 PHIL 3:3-8A

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (3b) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia MT 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
"What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

"Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.'
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents."


Meditation: Luke 15:1-10

What man among you . . . would not leave the ninety-nine? (Luke 15:4)

Would you behave like this shepherd? If you were out in the desert with one hundred sheep and one of them wandered off, you wouldn't leave the ninety-nine unprotected and head off on a wild goose chase in search of one sheep. You'd probably cut your losses and head home to get the ninety-nine to safety.

Also, if you were this woman who lost one of ten matching coins, you might indeed light a lamp and sweep the house carefully until you found it. But you certainly wouldn't throw a party to let the neighbors know about your success. You would be too embarrassed about misplacing it in the first place, or you wouldn't want to spend the money you just found on a party.

In telling these stories, Jesus wants us to scratch our heads in wonder. We aren't much like this shepherd or this woman—but he is. His concern for us and for anyone who strays is extravagant. It's almost as extravagant as his rejoicing when he finds us.

What good news! God will go to any lengths to find us. It doesn't matter how far we've wandered or how much dirt we've wallowed in—that's how deeply he wants us to be with him.

So don't be discouraged if you haven't been following the Shepherd as closely as you should. You haven't traveled beyond the reach of his love. Even your realization that something is amiss is cause for God to rejoice. And don't despair if someone you love has wandered off and seems beyond hope. No one is ever beyond the Shepherd's concern.

We will never truly understand the depth of God's mercy and love. That's why Jesus' parables seem so puzzling to us. But if we can only understand one thing, it's this: no matter what we have done or failed to do, God never rejects us. He never rejects anyone. Quite the opposite. Good Shepherd that he is, he is always waiting to hoist us on his shoulders and bring us safely back to the fold. And when he does, what a party there will be!

"Thank you, Jesus, for your extravagant love for me and for those I love!"

Philippians 3:3-8a
Psalm 105:2-7


2 cents :
"More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." They said that St. Thomas Aquinas never completed what is now known as a magnificent compendium of theological literature. He stopped writing one day, and when asked why, He said "Everything that I have written seems like straw to me compared to those things that I have seen and have been revealed to me." The same with St. paul. Everything is a loss, just to have known Jesus the Christ. Jesus invites us to know Him, to Love Him.


Let us pray: "Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds. Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!" Rejoice says our Lord. Indeed, in the Holy Gospel, our Lord speaks about rejoicing in Heaven with angels. Let us go there now.

In the Holy Gospel our Lord says "'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' The story of the prodigal son recalls the time a father who lost his son runs to the son with open arms upon the son's return. Rejoicing. Crying. Showering him with a banquet and gifts. Why? Because the son finally repents, and returns. The repent is the return. Our Lord wants us to rejoice with Him when a lost soul returns to Him. Repent. Go to confession. You can be the cause for great joy in Heaven. Don't you want to make Our Father happy? Don't you want to see Him excited and running to us with open arms? And then you'd ask yourself..."could it be that He loves me that much? So much love experienced in the embrace. He lugs up the lamb on his shoulders, salvation has come and the Shepherd is so happy. From the womb he had already been taking care of you. He's been caring for so long, longer than you have ever been conscious!

"In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
What's the purpose of a retreat? I've assisted in a handful this year. It is the hope of the retreatant, and the retreat team that there will be a connection, a lost and found area. A place where displaced children can find their father. It is in high hopes that there will be true repentance. A true metanoia. A true connection initiated towards our Father. I am on such a retreat. With the lost sheep. Those fatherless in prison. Many there remind me of the abandoned at nursing homes. No real friends. Just the guards, and maybe a distant visit, far and few between. But the Father goes to see if his son is there. Calling his name over and over. "Hello! Are you there!? Can you hear me!?" Our Lord calls through the night, beating the darkness to get to your soul.

His love is relentless. His Mercy is full blown love. Before you can even say a word when you meet Him He tells you to hush, and holds you so tight that you can not talk even if you wanted to blurt out anything. He don't care. He knows. HE KNOWS! What can you even possibly say? All you can feel is love, heart to heart. Some who have experienced death have experienced this and burst in tears when they tell the story. What kind of love is this?
The Kind Jesus wants you to have



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