St. Joseph of Leonissa
Joseph avoided the safe compromises by which people sometimes undercut the gospel. Born at Leonissa in the Kingdom of Naples, Joseph joined the Capuchins in his hometown in 1573. Denying himself hearty meals and comfortable quarters, he prepared for ordination and a life of preaching.
In 1587 he went to Constantinople to take care of the Christian galley slaves working under Turkish masters. Imprisoned for this work, he was warned not to resume it on his release. He did and was again imprisoned and then condemned to death. Miraculously freed, he returned to Italy where he preached to the poor and reconciled feuding families as well as warring cities which had been at odds for years. He was canonized in 1746.
Saints often jar us because they challenge our ideas about what we need for "the good life." "I'll be happy when. . . ," we may say, wasting an incredible amount of time on the periphery of life. People like Joseph of Leonissa challenge us to face life courageously and get to the heart of it: life with God. Joseph was a compelling preacher because his life was as convincing as his words.
In one of his sermons, Joseph says: "Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel. This is what St. Paul says to the Corinthians, 'Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh in the heart' (2 Corinthians 3:3). Our heart is the parchment; through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer because 'my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe' (Psalm 45:1)."
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....
Lord, may I never take the gift
Lord, may I never take the gift
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Reading 12 SM 18:9-10, 14B, 24-25A, 30-19:3
Absalom unexpectedly came up against David's servants.
He was mounted on a mule,
and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth,
his hair caught fast in the tree.
He hung between heaven and earth
while the mule he had been riding ran off.
Someone saw this and reported to Joab
that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth.
And taking three pikes in hand,
he thrust for the heart of Absalom,
still hanging from the tree alive.
Now David was sitting between the two gates,
and a lookout went up to the roof of the gate above the city wall,
where he looked about and saw a man running all alone.
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said,
"If he is alone, he has good news to report."
The king said, "Step aside and remain in attendance here."
So he stepped aside and remained there.
When the Cushite messenger came in, he said,
"Let my lord the king receive the good news
that this day the LORD has taken your part,
freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you."
But the king asked the Cushite, "Is young Absalom safe?"
The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king
and all who rebel against you with evil intent
be as that young man!"
The king was shaken,
and went up to the room over the city gate to weep.
He said as he wept,
"My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom!
If only I had died instead of you,
Absalom, my son, my son!"
Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom;
and that day's victory was turned into mourning for the whole army
when they heard that the king was grieving for his son.
Responsorial Psalm PS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. (1a) Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Gospel MK 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
"My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live."
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to him,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
"Do not be afraid; just have faith."
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep."
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Meditation: Mark 5:21-43
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4th Week in Ordinary Time
Please, come. (Mark 5:23)
Our hearts go out to the fathers we see in today's readings because of the pain they must have experienced. In the first reading, David is sent reeling after he gets word that his son Absalom has been killed. And in Mark's Gospel, Jairus throws himself at Jesus' feet, begging him to heal his dying daughter.
Every parent wants the best for his or her children. When the children are doing well, fathers rejoice, and mothers give thanks for God's blessings. But we all know that life is never perfect. Children's lives can get messy, cracked, or just plain broken. And from time to time, every parent experiences heartbreak over their children's suffering. Sometimes it's because of a child's illness or difficult life circumstances, as in Jairus' case. At other times, it's the way a child's choices have exposed him or her to needless heartache and peril, as happened with Absalom. Every parent knows what it's like to turn to the Lord and plead, "Please, come" (Mark 5:23).
The good news is that God always comes. He is our Father, and he knows what it's like for a parent's heart to be broken. If you have children, let Jairus be your model: run to God! Run to Jesus in prayer, and lay your children at his feet every day. Intercede for them. Ask him for wisdom. Ask him to make you strong and loving, patient and compassionate. Reach out and touch him, as the woman did who touched his cloak. Believe that as you do, Jesus' power will be released into you and into your family.
God wants all of you who are parents to know that you don't have to fulfill your role all by yourselves. In fact, he is more invested in your children than you are! His love for them is deep, strong, and everlasting. Imagine how tenderly Jesus took the hand of Jairus' little girl as he raised her from death. He sees you and your family with that same tenderness of heart. So take comfort in the knowledge that you and your children are in his strong, gentle hands.
"Jesus, I bring my family before you right now. Please come, and release your healing love and grace into our lives."
2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30--19:3; Psalm 86:1-6
Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
"The majority of our worries are owed to a lack of confidence in God...A farmer went to the city and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The owner of the restaurant was suprised and wanted to know just how he pretended to get so many frog legs. The farmer responded: Close to my house there is a small lake that is invaded and infested with those vermin. They are thousands and they make an infernal commotion croaking all night. I am going crazy! It was decided then that the man bring five hundred frogs per week, for a while. In the first week, the farmer came to the restaurant a little embarrassed, for he had in his hands two frogs. The merchant asked him: Where is my order? The man responded: I was totally deceived. There were only these two small frogs in the lake! They were the ones making all the commotion... Remember that the anxieties and problems appear greater in the darkness. There is a great possibility that, when tomorrow comes and you think it better, the problem will have diminished in its importance or would have disappeared, leaving in its place a matter with an easy solution. The best is to leave the worries in the hands of God. Trust in Him, leave all that is not in your hands solve, but do what corresponds to you."
Perhaps, just maybe what is said will stick. Most times, most often, we pick and choose what we allow to stick. The would be "betrayal" of another can lead to the death of that other, as was the case of David's son. Why don't we say "praise be to God", and offer up all our sufferings? Last week in our little community rosary, I don't know how, but after kneeling for the rosary, I got up with a sharp pain in my knee. It hurt and I could barely walk on it, I even asked my brother in law to help carry my baby boy and carrier. The pain was sharp and acute, limping along the next day, I began to say "praise be to God", I didn't know how long it would be, maybe a lifetime of pain? Praise be to God. I prayed about it, and I offered it up, and it went away, but saying Praise Be To God in the tough times, well that's tough! I say this just noticing someone has unsubscribed from these emails I send. For a while, to see one spin off used to hurt personally, "what did I say wrong?", then I think "Nothing, because the Holy Spirit tells me what to say, and I BELIEVE". Yesterday we spoke of evil, but we have to realize the message. Jesus prays and Jesus overcomes all evil and sin, and today even DEATH! I told my brother in Christ last night in friendship "it's like we are living the Gospel. Nobody will probably hear about us and all we've done in the future, but our gospels are being written in the Kingdom of Heaven" and that's where it matters. I also remember saying "it's as if bad things happen to me, and I use them as fuel for my fire for our Lord, whether it's my anti-catholic family attacking me, or even temptations". Making lemonade of life's lemons is only possible when living a complete surrender to God. Today, Jesus cured His Daughters. Our children aren't ours forever, they are HIS. This is the atrocity of abortion, that we throw away what HE creates. Jesus feels the faith in power. Try this next time, touch something in faith. That's why we have things in church, like the incense in a funeral we were at yesterday, or a candle, we can see and smell, and touch things in faith. I had a grace filled Mass, and someone sitting right next to me said he was extremely bothered in Mass, really wanted to take the hat off some young kid, a pall bearer, because supposedly the visiting priest made a sign for him to take off the hat, and laughingly he took it off and then put it back on. Distractions can lead us away from grace. I laughed when they told me because I know exactly how he felt, been there done that, don't wanna do it again. I see things, distractions, as an opportunity to pray (you see lemons and lemonade?) only the "ade" in the "lemonade" is our aid...Jesus Christ! He is the glue, because He is the mercy, and Love of the world. As a matter of fact, I just recorded a new song at home for the 2014 CD, (I write and record songs every year for the Lord). The song says in spanish "you're telling me love doesn't exist? You're telling me peace doesn't exist? (and the chorus sings) I will negate you, negate you, I do believe it, I believe in Deo (God)!...this song is for all the naysayers" I sing this particular song in punk rock style, with a hardcore message. Nothing comes easy when it comes to Loving God above all. It's not easy to settle down all my little kids or even myself to pray, or to have them in complete silence for an hour in Mass, but we do our part, we bring them to Jesus, where He is. Pope Francis said the other day "A Christian without the Church is an 'absurd dichotomy,'. The Church needs every body because everybody is a daughter or son of Jesus. When Jesus heals the little girl, He healed His daughter, and after that, He demanded, COMMANDED her to be provided something to eat. Was she starved to death? Not physically, but spiritually we need Jesus and His Flesh, which He provides. This whole notion of His Flesh in Bread is "absurd" to protestants. Catholics are crazy. To them I say...you are right. We are completely crazy, worshiping Jesus Christ in the Flesh. He who has all powers to vanquish and move all men of all nations with the lift of a finger, yes, we are Jesus Freaks. Without Him, my life, everything would be in darkness, everything would be a big deal, But His yoke is light, so light indeed that your problems are made lighter, your spirit and body are made lighter, sort of how it feels after a good confession with a priest, this grace, this gift of God is life. Everything He offers is LIFE, and if you really want life, you must REALLY want Jesus for everybody above all. My only frustration is when nobody listens to the truth. Obedience is key...to Heaven, and only a true love will allow a true obedience in every facet of life, because even death is a part of life
PRAISE YOU OH LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!! LOVE YOU!