Let us be present to the now. It's all we have and it's where God will always speak to us. The now holds everything, rejects nothing and, therefore, can receive God too. Help us, God, to be present to the place we most fear, because it always feels empty, it always feels boring, it always feels like it's not enough. Help us find some space within that we don't try to fill with ideas or opinions. Help us find space so you, loving God, can show yourself in that place where we are hungry and empty. Keep us out of the way, so there is always room enough for you.
—from The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM
†Saint Quote "One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain." — St. Anthony of the Desert
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "That which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did and suffered for all men, He did and suffered for each one in particular; and He would not have thought it too much to do if it had been a question of saving only a single soul. The salvation of a soul is, then, the price of the blood of God, the price of the death of God, the price of the greatest sacrifice that God, clothed in our human nature, could possibly make! This is incomprehensible! ... It proves that the dignity of a soul is beyond understanding—for God to abase Himself, for God to annihilate Himself, for God to sacrifice Himself, only to save that soul and make it happy forever! ... As for us, who believe humbly and firmly all that God has revealed to us, let us learn, by the contemplation of God upon a Cross, what is the value of our souls. Let us not lose our soul; let us not prostitute it to creatures; and to make sure of our eternal salvation, which cost so much to the Son of God, let us beg of Jesus Christ Himself to take charge of it, to lead us in the right way and guide us always. Such an inestimable treasure runs too great a risk in our own hands. Let us trust it to God and our Savior. Let us make Him the Master of our liberty, which we may so easily abuse, and the abuse of which may bring about such terrible consequences. Once abandoned to the safe and infallible guidance of His grace, we have no more to fear. He loves us too much, He takes too much interest in our salvation, ever to lose the price of His blood and His sufferings." — Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 7-9 AN EXCERPT FROM The Spiritual Life
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him." Proverbs 30:5
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St. Sebastian (d. c. 288 A.D.) was born in Gaul, present-day France, to wealthy Italian parents. According to tradition he went to Rome to serve and encourage the Christians who were being persecuted under the Roman Emperor Diocletian. To do so effectively and without suspicion, he enrolled in the Roman army as an officer. In this position he did much to encourage the faith of the Christians in the face of brutal martyrdom, and in the process made many new converts through his gift of healing. Once he was discovered to be a Christian, he was seized by Roman officers, tied to a tree, and shot through with arrows. He survived this, and was healed by St. Irene of Rome. Being fully recovered, he returned to preach to Diocletian himself. Diocletian then had him beaten to death with clubs. St. Sebastian is the patron of many causes, most notably of archers, athletes, police officers, soldiers, and against plague victims and enemies of religion. St. Sebastian's feast day is January 20th.
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 313 Reading I
Heb 7:1-3, 15-17
Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High, met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings and blessed him. And Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything. His name first means righteous king, and he was also "king of Salem," that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. For it is testified:
You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
110:1, 2, 3, 4
R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek. The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool." R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek. The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies." R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek. "Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you." R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek. The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek." R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he said to the Pharisees, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
Daily Meditation: Mark 3:1-6
Looking around at them with anger . . . (Mark 3:5)
All our lives we have been taught that anger is one of the seven deadly sins. But here we see Jesus, who was sinless, getting angry. How can we resolve that contradiction?
The truth is, anger is not always bad. In fact, sometimes it can be good. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that righteous anger is a strong reaction to injustice, and its purpose is to move us to correct whatever wrong we have witnessed. For instance, let's say a neighbor has just said insulting things against a new member of your neighborhood. "Good anger" can move you to defend this newcomer or to gently correct your neighbor.
But anger can easily turn sinful. For example, "sinful anger" at your neighbor's comments might move you to fire off an insult to him that only escalates the situation. When something like this happens, your anger not only harms your neighbor but also eats away at your own peace of mind. Anger like this robs us of joy and breeds distrust—and it can easily lead to other sins.
Jesus should be our model for the kind of anger that can spur us to positive action. In today's Gospel, his anger moved him to take action. He didn't allow his anger to fester, nor did he let it explode into rage. Rather, he controlled it with the grace of the Spirit and channeled it for good.
Notice that Jesus also felt sadness about his enemies' lack of compassion—Mark says he was angry and "grieved" at their hardhearted attitude (3:5). In a way, righteous anger always includes a sense of sadness over whatever injustice we are seeing.
When you are angry at someone, remember Jesus' example. Your anger may not be so intense if you combine it with a sincere desire that the person will change for the good of others and for himself.
Jesus understands how easy it is to let our anger get the best of us. Fortunately, we can lean on him. We can examine our motives and actions and ask Jesus to forgive us if we've done something wrong. Jesus is always ready to soften our hearts so that we have more room to love.
"Forgive me, Jesus, for the times I have given in to sinful anger."
Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17 Psalm 110:1-4
Represent to yourself the prodigal son returning to his father after long wanderings. Ask of Our Lord the grace to imitate the repentance of the prodigal and like him to obtain pardon for the past. — St. Ignatius of Loyola
my2cents: "Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High..." And our Lord becomes this kind of priest...a saving priest, and a warrior priest? This kind of priest goes into the trenches bearing and wearing the red cross. They give their lives. They risk their lives for salvation.
We pray: "The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies."
You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."
"Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
And just like in our prayer he stretches forth from Zion His power.
What does this story tell us today? Hindsight is 20/20 they say. Now we would've said "it IS lawful to save a life on a Sabbath". But wait. Who says what is lawful? That's where the problem is. And do not think about our nation and its over 6,000 laws and their new legislation in the works. It is important. But what is more? God's laws. Speak to a worldly person and they will disagree. They say that their own laws are more important.
So what is important to you? What is the most important? And is your answer true? Think deeper. Think how quick we are to sin. Think about your own anger. Is it righteous, or is it vain? Do you get angry at sin or at sinners? Yesterday I was asked to pray for this guy that is going through much trouble, and from what I've heard, his sinful things he's done, drugs, adultery, and now his family is falling apart, I was somewhat reluctant to pray immediately, to hit my knees, and I'm just being honest. Like pouty Jonah, I thought "let them suffer for their doings". He's lied to me so many times. He's not responded to my calls. And I'm talking about calls to prayer. Calls to come to church. Calls...to repent. But, I relented, and at night I hit my knees.
Lord, deliver them from evil. Deliver us from destruction. Deliver us from temptation. Deliver us from being swindled into stray ways. Stray laws. Stray thoughts. And let us be delivered into Your Sacred abode forever.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse: WOW! The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace
For questions or comments contact Adrian@going4th.com. For more go to www.Going4th.com