How will we react when Jesus chooses to exalt the homeless person downtown, giving him immense wisdom that reveals to us that we actually know very little about life? What will we do when that woman we cannot stand, the one who made our life miserable for so long, is waiting for us next to Jesus, glorified in the kingdom of heaven? Being a disciple of Christ means abandoning our desire to choose who sits next to us at church, who is loved and forgiven, who God chooses to entrust with important tasks, and ultimately, who we spend eternity with. If the mission of Christ is like a dinner party in which we wait to respond to our invitation until we ask, "Who else is going to be there?" we might not be ready to follow him. When we place limits on who can enter and who God can use, we place limits on God and make an idol out of our faith.
—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM
†Saint Quote "Trials, tribulation, anguish, anxiety are permitted by the very One Who gives peace." — Archbishop Fulton Sheen
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Our Lord never intended that we should merely learn by heart the Our Father and recite it day and night. No doubt it is very beautiful and very simple, and can be meant quite easily by anyone who cares to use it. But that is not the purpose (although it is one purpose) of His gift of it to us. He evidently desires that we should take it to pieces, study its composition, and make it the model of our conversation with Him and the Father. … I must study it carefully, petition by petition, noting the distinct meaning of the words, the arrangement of the order, and the gradual development of the ideas of fatherhood, and so forth. ... Indeed, this prayer is little else than a series of remarks made by a child to his Father. The very want of connection between each petition, the staccato notes that mark off phrase from phrase, seem to suggest that it should be said very slowly, pausing after each group of notes to let their meaning and harmony echo to the base of the soul." — Fr. Bede Jarrett, p. 300 AN EXCERPT FROM Classic Catholic Meditations
† VERSE OF THE DAY "When I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night; for thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to thee; thy right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:6-8
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ST. APOLLINARIS CLAUDIUS
St. Apollinaris Claudius (2nd c.), also called St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis, was a bishop in what is today Turkey. He became famous for his polemical writings against the heretics of his day, showing that their theological errors were taken from the pagans. His most famous work was an Apologia for the Christians addressed to Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the year 177 A.D. In it he reminded the Emperor of a miracle he received because of the Christians: when his army was nearly defeated in an attempt to conquer the Germanic barbarians, it was the prayers of the Christians among his soldiers which obtained the needed relief and the military victory, even though Christianity was illegal. In light of this miracle, Apollinaris requested the Emperor's protection of Christians from persecution. St. Apollinaris' work earned him the moniker, "Apollinaris the Apologist." His writings are largely lost, and what we know of his work comes to us from other early Christian writers including St. Jerome and Eusebius. His feast day is January 8th.
Friday after Epiphany
Lectionary: 216 Reading I
1 Jn 5:5-13
Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is the one who came through water and Blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and Blood. The Spirit is the one who testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three who testify, the Spirit, the water, and the Blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion. For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you. R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you. He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word! R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia. He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia. R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. or: R. Alleluia.
See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean." And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but "Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
Daily Meditation: Luke 5:12-16
I do will it. Be made clean. (Luke 5:13)
It's understandable to focus on physical healing when we read that Jesus healed everyone who came to him, including the leper in today's Gospel. We ourselves have needed healing at one time or another; we've all known and loved someone who needed it too. It's right and natural to pray for whatever physical healing someone may need, whether it's leprosy, a bad cold, or stage-four lung cancer.
But in addition to physical ailments, every one of us suffers from a spiritual disease: sin. It's like a leprosy of the spirit. It numbs our consciences, it makes us feel isolated from God and from other people, and it can spread like wildfire. Sin produces outward "sores" like angry outbursts or broken relationships as well as inward ones: guilt, shame, fear, and a kind of paralysis that keeps us from turning to the Lord for forgiveness and healing. If leprosy is a wasting disease of the body, sin is like a wasting disease of the spirit.
"Lord, if you wish . . . " (Luke 5:12). Jesus was emphatic. He absolutely, without question, willed that this man be made clean of the disease that filled him. And he always, absolutely and without question, wills healing and cleansing of sin for us. It's why he died on the cross! Every time we come to him and confess our sins, Jesus says, "I do will it. Be made clean" (Luke 5:13). He wants us to be made pure and untainted by habits of sin and the paralysis and isolation sin generates.
Read again what this poor man did: he "fell prostrate"—he humbled himself before Jesus (Luke 5:12). His mind was focused wholly on the power and desires of Jesus. So kneel before Jesus today, whether in prayer or in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and tell him, "Lord, you know my sins. Will you make me clean?" As you do, believe that his answer to you will be the same one he gave the leper. His loving desire for you is holiness and freedom from sin. Jesus says to you today, "I do will your healing. Be made clean."
"Jesus, I believe that you can free me of my sins. Heal and cleanse me just as you healed the leper."
1 John 5:5-13 Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
Peter's name means 'rock,' and it is upon this rock that Christ built His Church. Peter's bones lie beneath all the rock upon which the foundation of St. Peter's Basilica is built. It is literally built on Peter's bones. — Dr. Tim Gray from Peter: Keys to Following Jesus
my2cents: "Beloved: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" You are a believer. You are the victor. You believe in Jesus the son of the living God! We are not of death, we are not of the dying, we are not of the dead, but together with Him, we are of the living!
We pray today: "Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you." Jerusalem on earth betrayed Christ. Jerusalem in Heaven blesses Christ. He has destroyed what is here in Himself to make it anew in Himself through us.
In the Gospel today we heard: "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean."
From Bishop Barron today: " For biblical Jews, leprosy was especially frightening. According to Leviticus the leper was expelled from the community, compelled to shout "Unclean, unclean!" to warn others away from him. The social ostracization was probably more severe than any physical suffering prompted by the disease—especially at a time when one depended so intimately on the support of others in order to survive. Now, without denying for a moment this more "external" reading, I would like to follow the Church Fathers in proposing another sort of interpretation, this one more "interior." What in you has become leprous? What in you is being called back to intimacy with Christ? Notice the dynamics of the cure in this story. The leprous man comes to Jesus and prostrates himself and asks to be healed. There is no example of healing in the New Testament that does not involve some sort of synergy between Jesus and the one to be cured. That in you which needs healing must come and prostrate itself before Christ and ask to be received. And of course he wants to heal. That is why he has come."
Yesterday, I spoke about a blind man, that I don't think has ever asked for healing. I think of a baby boy with a breathing machine through his throat, his parents have never asked me or others for healing. And I think of the countless millions of souls that do not come to ask our Lord for healing.
I count myself among them. I don't ask for spiritual healing. We may ask for physical healing, but what about what's inside? Dr. Scott Hahn said in a conference last night, that we are like walking among dead people. They don't even know it! "I see dead people" he recalled from a movie. But he only saw dead because he himself was dead. If you want to see his talk click here, you'll need to make a log in. What happens to a leper? A leper is ousted. A leper is not allowed into the community. A leper really, removes themselves. And to reverse it, the leper must come for healing. He dared to come to Jesus when he wasn't supposed to. There's much telling of this story....about mercy, and a daring sinner seeking salvation. Do you dare? Will you dare do what most will not? For Christ's sake! And just like the wise men, like Fulton Sheen said, they came one way, and left another having found Christ.
The leper was charged to show himself to the priest. SHOW YOURSELF. It is a commission with Christ. But we make it an omission without Christ. Why did the healed have to show themselves to the priests?
For proof. For thanksgiving. For reentering the community in ecclesial authority. For solidarity. For common-unity. What I see in the world is all opposite. There is no unity. There is no community. There is no people showing themselves to the priests. There is rejection of Church authority. There is no thanksgiving.
And when I say "there is no", it means hardly.
Why are we less thankful? Why are we not desiring community? Why do we not desire harmony and unity? Why are we not showing ourselves to the priest? Why are so many of us not seeking healing? We have been blinded by doom and gloom, the effects of sin lock us away. The narrow gate is narrow for a reason. It is the path less traveled. Had it been more traveled, the gate would widen. But the gate has been enforced by God.
The gate to Heaven is narrow my friend.
And I'm calling you to the Way. I call on you to do what the world is not doing. Come to Christ. Come no matter what others are saying.
Come to Christ for forgiveness. Come to Christ for healing. There is much He desires for your soul. What you have tasted is just that...a mere taste.
Lord, I want more. I want more of Your love! I want out of this depression, I want out of this anxiety, I want out of this blah, this despondence, I want out of the muck and grasps of sin and all its temptations. I want to stop suffering from this dis-ease. "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean."
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse:
AMEN! Colossians 1:15–16 The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by1 him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
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