St. Isidore of Seville
The 76 years of Isidore's life were a time of conflict and growth for the Church in Spain. The Visigoths had invaded the land a century and a half earlier, and shortly before Isidore's birth they set up their own capital. They were Arians—Christians who said Christ was not God. Thus Spain was split in two: One people (Catholic Romans) struggled with another (Arian Goths).
Isidore reunited Spain, making it a center of culture and learning. The country served as a teacher and guide for other European countries whose culture was also threatened by barbarian invaders.
Born in Cartagena of a family that included three other sibling saints (Leander, Fulgentius and Florentina), he was educated (severely) by his elder brother, whom he succeeded as bishop of Seville.
An amazingly learned man, he was sometimes called "The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages" because the encyclopedia he wrote was used as a textbook for nine centuries. He required seminaries to be built in every diocese, wrote a Rule for religious orders and founded schools that taught every branch of learning. Isidore wrote numerous books, including a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a history of Goths and a history of the world—beginning with creation! He completed the Mozarabic liturgy, which is still in use in Toledo, Spain. For all these reasons, Isidore has been suggested as patron of the Internet. Several others (including Anthony of Paduia) have also been suggested.
He continued his austerities even as he approached 80. During the last six months of his life, he increased his charities so much that his house was crowded from morning till night with the poor of the countryside.
Once, when Isidore was a boy, he ran away from home and from school. His brother Leander, some twenty years older than he, was his teacher, and a very demanding one. While Isidore sat by himself out in the woods, loafing, he watched some drops of water falling on a rock. Then he noticed that the dripping water had worn a hold in the hard rock! The thought came to him that he could do what the little drops of water did. Little by little, by sticking to it, he could learn all his brother demanded, and maybe even more.
Our society can well use Isidore's spirit of combining learning and holiness. Loving, understanding and knowledge can heal and bring a broken people back together. We are not barbarians like the invaders of Isidore's Spain. But people who are swamped by riches and overwhelmed by scientific and technological advances can lose much of their understanding love for one another.
Patron Saint of:
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Dear Jesus, as I call on you today I realise that I often come asking for favours.
Lord, may I never take the gift
I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.
The Word of God
Reading 1WIS 2:1A, 12-22
The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls' reward.
Responsorial Psalm PS 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23
R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Gospel JN 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
"Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
"You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.
What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side, and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Meditation: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Merely to see him is a hardship for us. (Wisdom 2:14)
Have you ever looked in one of those funny, curvy mirrors that distort your image? If you move one way, you look squat and fat. If you move in another direction, you are tall and thin with oversized feet.
Sometimes, you might actually buy a cheap mirror that is distorted just enough to make you look tall and slender. Unfortunately, when you look in a more properly calibrated mirror, the truth can be a little off-putting! Some people might even get angry at the perfected mirror, even though what it shows them is closer to reality.
Today's reading from the Book of Wisdom tells us how Jesus would come as the perfect mirror for all of us. He would do this by showing us his own deep and abiding love for us. Looking at such purity and humility, we can't help but be confronted with our own faults and failings. And at times, that confrontation can cause us to react harshly or defensively.
Throughout the New Testament, you see different people's reactions to the image of themselves they saw in Jesus. Some immediately repented and began to live a more pure life. Others were so disturbed that they tried to destroy him so that they wouldn't have to be confronted with their sins again.
Sadly, the ones who responded this way missed a major part of Jesus' reflection: his mercy. Jesus knows us through and through, and he still loves us. His grace is endless and always available, ready to help us if we ask. He loves us so much that he can watch us sin, still see our potential, and offer to set us on the path that leads us back to him and his heavenly home.
Today, think of how you feel when you come face-to-face with the truth about yourself in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Remember that even though you may sin, you are still God's "very good" creation (Genesis 1:31), filled with the potential to do so much good. Let God's vision for you lift you up and move you to repentance. Let his grace help you look in the mirror with joy, not anger.
"Lord, show me my true reflection, and give me the courage and patience to respond to your love. Come and make me into a mirror of your own goodness."
Psalm 34:17-21, 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
The 5minutos said today:
"Jesus could've made His divine power known to oppose the hatred and aversion that the Jewish leaders had taken against Him; they sought to kill Him. But He preferred to suffer persecution and take simple human measures to not be an object of injustice of his gratuitous enemies: He fled from Judah.
From His birth, Jesus to avoid being reached by the injustice of Herod, fled to Egypt, taken by Joseph, His adoptive father.
With the divine power that Jesus has, His enemies were at a complete disadvantage; however, he lets them act. And when His hour comes, "they will defeat Him" taking Him to death on a cross.
"...This is your hour, the time for the power of darkness." Luke 22:53
He Himself had said: "But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well." Matthew 5:39
"Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good." Romans 12:21
Great lesson! Because we can not judge Jesus as being a coward. It is not cowardice to make peace prevail, avoid destructive confrontation...sacrificing personal rights.
Much more valor, entirety of encouragement and "manliness" are needed to suffocate the personal rush of anger and conserve peace...than to let ourselves be dragged by that very personal onrush and destructively explode, like we are used to doing.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. Matthew 11:29 "
The book of Wisdom was written perhaps centuries before Christ, and already they spoke of one that would be "obnoxious" and always brought up to their face how they were doing wrong. Well, He came and true to their word, they would indeed try to make His life miserable. Doesn't the devil do that with our lives? Try to make it hard and miserable? And funny how the devil makes people think that somehow it is all God's fault. And so the atheist live on. Last night by daughter showed us a video of her presentation in school and among the 7 little girls or so, one was not allowed to make the presentation because her daddy does not believe in God. At first I experienced a rage inside, and then settled, and thought about my rage, "why did I get furious?" Because, who then will show the little girl that there is a God that loves her and wants her to be with Him forever when she dies? Who will show her a life of an absolute moral truth and a friend that saves? Who will provide her a life with the true bread? Because we do our best but God takes care of the rest. That little girl and daddy need prayers more, for their spirits are poor and desolate, alone to travel and only by God's mercy to be found and saved. I wished so hard I knew that "daddy's" name so I could reach out to him and get him to realize how off our thoughts are to say as if an absolute truth that there is no God in Heaven? The lies of the devil offer a nice ride...to hell. That's why many take to the path of least resistance, instead of resisting temptation, give in. Jesus could have won us by force but chose to let us choose on our own. That is the peculiar thing about living in this world. The feast of tabernacles meant a time to give thanks and Jesus was all about being thankful and offering, to the point that He made Himself the food and feast in the tabernacle, hiding only because we fail to recognize Him and what He wants from us...obedience, humility, sacrificing of self to feed the sheep. Funny thing is, He didn't really hide, for He actually said "I Am One with the Father" among all the commotion of the feasts, where this really made him obnoxious, and led them to try to kill Him. Why not us, why not today, why not let us let Him speak and be who He is? Afterall, we are so permissive of everything else, like the nasty sin that has made itself normal in our lives, why not let Him speak to us and become above all our sight forever?
Jesus I need you so.
It is the first Friday of the month, I offer my sacrifice this day for the 3rd day to come, to partake of the lamb of the tabernacle, My Lord and My God