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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

⛪Secure Your Lives

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Let the Lord Enter Your Life

Pope Francis has proven to be a trusted guide in dealing with the stress of the Christmas season and the anxiety of daily life in general. In his apostolic exhortation Rejoice and Be Glad, he puts his finger on the dangers of a frenetic quest for happiness: "The presence of constantly new gadgets, the excitement of travel and an endless array of consumer goods at times leave no room for God's voice to be heard. We are overwhelmed by words, by superficial pleasures and by an increasing din, filled not by joy but rather by the discontent of those whose lives have lost meaning. How can we fail to realize the need to stop this rat race and to recover the personal space needed to carry on a heartfelt dialogue with God? Finding that space may prove painful but it is always fruitful. Sooner or later, we have to face our true selves and let the Lord enter."

—from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent

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Quote
"Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a Master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for love of Him."
— St. Dominic Savio

MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"The temporal goods are created by the Most High for the sole purpose of sustaining life; having attained this end, the need of them ceases. And as this need is limited, soon and easily satisfied, there is no reason that the care for the immortal soul should be only fitful and temporary, while the hunger after riches should be so perpetual and unintermitting, as it has come to be among men. It is the height of perverseness for man to mix up the end and the means in an affair so important and urgent, that he devote all his time, all his care, all the exertion of his powers and all the alertness of his mind to the life of the body, of which he knows not the duration nor the end, and that on the other hand, in many years of his existence he spare for his poor soul only one hour, and that very often the last and the worst one of his whole life."
— Venerable Mary of Agreda, p. 85-6
AN EXCERPT FROM
Mystical City of God

VERSE OF THE DAY
"For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Galatians 5:13-14

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Saint James of the Marche

(1394 – November 28, 1476)

Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop!

James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. Saint Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances.

James studied theology with Saint John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people–250,000 at one estimate–and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives, and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence.

With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano, and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching.

To combat extremely high interest rates, James established montes pietatis—literally, mountains of charity—nonprofit credit organizations that lent money on pawned objects at very low rates.

Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476, and was canonized in 1726.

Reflection
James wanted the word of God to take root in the hearts of his listeners. His preaching was directed to preparing the soil, so to speak, by removing any rocks and softening up lives hardened by sin. God's intention is that his word take root in our lives, but for that we need both prayerful preachers and cooperative listeners.

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Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Rv 15:1-4

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring:
seven angels with the seven last plagues,
for through them God's fury is accomplished.

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.
On the sea of glass were standing those
who had won the victory over the beast
and its image and the number that signified its name.
They were holding God's harps,
and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb:

"Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 7-8, 9
R. (Rev. 15: 3b) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia Rv 2:10c
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
"They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."


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Meditation: Revelation 15:1-4

On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory. (Revelation 15:2)

When we read this passage, we might think "winning the victory" means dying as a martyr. But could it be referring to some other type of victory? If we look at the life of St. Catherine LabourĂ© (1806–1876), whose feast is today, the answer would seem to be yes. She is remembered as the saint who started the devotion to the Miraculous Medal in response to a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1830. But we should also honor Catherine for something much more ordinary.

After Catherine's visions, she told only her confessor—and she insisted on secrecy. For forty-six years, no one in her convent knew that she was the one Mary had visited. She continued her duties as a Daughter of Charity while her confessor implemented the Virgin Mary's instructions. It wasn't until just before her death that Catherine told anyone—and that was only her superior!

Humbly and silently watching while the Miraculous Medal devotion spread worldwide, not taking credit for it: that was a victory for Catherine. Although Catherine wasn't killed for her faith, she still "put to death" her own desires for fame or credit. In doing so, she was a witness to God's power, and that's what martyrdom is all about. Remember, the Greek word martyr means just that: witness.

You might feel as if you're not doing anything as victorious as Catherine or any of the saints described in today's first reading. But if you're doing your best to obey the Lord, you are! As Pope Francis said recently, "Martyrdom of blood is not the only way to witness to Jesus Christ. . . . There is everyday martyrdom: the martyrdom of honesty, the martyrdom of patience in raising children; the martyrdom of fidelity to love, when it is easier to take another, more hidden path" (Address, June 18, 2016).

Every time you make a choice for someone else over yourself, you have won a victory. Every time you cooperate with God's grace instead of giving in to temptation, you have won a victory. You may not see it, but God is shaping your character. He is making you a witness to his power. And he is giving you the victory.

"Lord, help me to be humble, simple, and willing to follow you no matter how ordinary life may seem."

Psalm 98:1-3, 7-9
Luke 21:12-19

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ANF
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2 cents :
"...they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb". Who sang this song in Heaven? Those who overcame the world. The "number" and the "image" of the world was overcome. We are called to be victorious because Jesus is victorious and Jesus is with us and even within us. Can't we let Him live? Can't we let the world see Him in action? Oh yes. YES. Yes Lord. When someone asks you for something, consider it the Lord asking. "Hey, would you like to help out at church?" Or "Hey can I borrow that again?". What if they don't return it? You just let them have it! LOL. What if they dont' say thanks or they make fun of you at church? Let them have it! Blessed are the meek, the persecuted. Amen? You have now availed a greater treasure in Heaven. By giving. Testimony; That you love God more. Yesterday, I saw a big 18 wheeler on the side of the road. I saw the driver walking, then I saw his co-driver or wife walking around the truck. I decided to stop since it was close to our shop. It seemed they were looking for something along the side of the road. I think I scared them, they looked nervous. I saw their load of hay, I saw their decals said they were from the other side of the state, probably a good 11 hours away. I asked if they needed help, and then switched to spanish realizing they were like Cuban nationals. I don't think they were expecting help. I think that is what caught them off guard. They were out here alone, "now what do we do?" Long story short: I saw they needed a hose clamp, easy. I told a mechanic at my shop to take them a clamp I found in my tool room. The mechanic calls me "Got them going!". I said "did they at least say thank you?" He said "Yes sir". I said "great, well, our reward is in Heaven". (It was a hired 3rd party mechanic I had called out cuz he was thinking about charging) LOL. But I quickly reflected after hanging up. Do we have to wait for a "thank you"? Not really. It is good to be thankful, but for the giver, it is not good to expect a reward on earth. It is better to be thankful...giving. We are not of this world...remember.

psalms

Let us pray: "Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm." What is your new song? Ahh. The song of the lamb. Remember the lyrics? Revelation just told us!! I'm already thinking of how I can compose a melody and tune to record it! LOL. I still suffer the ear malady, but I can't help but want to sing a new song. My heart doesn't know better. Like when I broke my thumb last year, they asked me "Adrian, how do you play your guitar with your broke thumb?" I said "I don't play with my thumb, I play with my heart!" AMEN? We sing again: "Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name? For you alone are holy." Angels in Heaven right now are singing HOLY HOLY HOLY.

Let us turn to our victorious King: "You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives." Now consider this: The Truth is speaking. You will be hated. Are you hated right now for speaking the name of Jesus? Ehh, maybe, a long shot, maybe you're afraid you'll be made fun of for trying to be a saint. Yeah. But, literally, people hate the Lord in our world. There are people and societies designed to counter the Holy Church. And they infiltrate the church. Bad ideals. Egos and their own agendas. They want to reform the church instead of the Church reforming them! I see it even on a local level. There are some that don't like the priest. Then, there are some that don't like the bishop. Then there are some who don't like the Pope. Why? Because they are not like the way they want them to be! AHH. What is that all about? Just look at all the sex all over TV, the world is obsessed with sex. Notice how much attention they give to the sex abuse in the church? It's crazy! They focus on the one priest that was found on a beach with a woman, and it's on headlines for weeks, but not once they speak on how a priest surrendered his life for the faith! The hundreds and thousands that given their lives to martyrdom like in Mexico when government persecuted the Church. In our day, homosexuality is all the rage now. Why is it an obsession with sex? It is a means. It's like this: it is a direct attack against our Catholic faith. "Either you change, or face the consequences" says the government. And who is the government? People. Right? You see ideals. You see egos. You see kingships at stake and at war. But remember the victorious. Remember our Lord. Remember that standing for the unborn, may cost you your life! I know I feel a weird evil presence when praying in front of abortion clinics. It feels like someone might just do a drive by shooting, evil and darkness abound. Luckily the drivebys were mostly people yelling or cursing at us. So, is Jesus speaking truth about being hated? Yup. We are the church. You are the church, I am the church, and together we are the church. I told my guys at our safety meeting this morning, "look, what you do (like sin), affects all of us". We've had 3 nasty accidents this year. I feel so bad for the hurt guys. But really, what they've done affects the rest of us. As a company, all our insurances will be going up. As a whole, now we are down less people, more stress, more workload, and losing customers potentially. You see? When you sin, it is not personal. You are the Church, I am the CHurch, together WE Are the Body Of Christ, AMEN?
I don't mean to take more time, but I do got one more story. This past weekend, we went to a very low attendance of School of Leaders for Cursillo, just me and couple other guys, whereas it should be about at least 10 or 20. Fine. We're there, that's what matters. That's not the point. It's not about numbers, but boy, more heads make better ideas. Anyways, in our conversations a brother said "I no longer attend the church I've helped for 30 years, they got too many cliques and some leaders insult us and make life miserable for us...at this new church they are more welcoming and we are being accepted". I chimed in with my 2 cents as usual, hey, let the Holy Spirit flow right? LOL, I said "Bro, that church you left was giving you something that the new church isn't, it was giving you an opportunity to be humble". They were getting slapped left and right. They were getting "abused". Hated. Right? At the new church, its the "honeymoon" phase. All pretty at first. Then, you realize who really is there. The infiltrators, the devil. Bad spirits in people. You gonna leave that church too? NO! For the Love of GOD NO! In my miserable aching and learning in life, I've seen people take over ministries, but you gotta just bear it, people are having a tough time being humble, someone has to show them what Jesus really looks like! And He looks pretty beat up on the cross, no? Betrayals, and forgiveness. Who will sing the song of the lamb? Only those who overcome the world...and yourself who is in the world. The number is not 666. The number is all those who negate, deny God the love He deserves.
That is why I write to you, in the Spirit of the victorious one, Jesus, the Truth. We are being persecuted and killed in various parts of the world. And guess what? It ain't gonna stop until the end of the world. I can only pray we have less blood martyrs and more white martyrs. Martyrs are the seed of the Church. You can be good seed. I am praying for you. I am writing to you to encourage you. Life is quickly passing. This is our chance to show God how much we love Him.

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2cents

adrian
A spanish reflection ended today:

Finish your prayer with this prayer that a young woman made from a concentration camp:

My God, take me by the hand,
so that I can accompany you without resisting me.
I will not shy away from anything that comes to me in life,
I will assimilate it with all my strength.
I will go everywhere in your hand
and I want to try not to be afraid.
I will try to radiate something of the true love that is in me.

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