Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keep His Word

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Our Duty As Christians Minute Meditations
Christianity is one religion that places upon us the obligation to care for the least of our sisters and brothers here on earth if we want to share the banquet the Lord of hosts has prepared in Heaven for those who believe.
— from Table of Plenty 

St. Magdalen of Canossa

Wealth and privilege did nothing to prevent today's saint from following her calling to serve Christ in the poor. Nor did the protests of her relatives, concerned that such work was beneath her.

Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it. At age 15 she announced she wished to become a nun. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, she realized her desire was to serve the needy without restriction. For years she worked among the poor and sick in hospitals and in their homes, and also among delinquent and abandoned girls.

In her mid-twenties Magdalen began offering lodging to poor girls in her own home. In time she opened a school, which offered practical training and religious instruction. As other women joined her in the work, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged. Over time, houses were opened throughout Italy.

Members of the new religious congregation focused on the educational and spiritual needs of women. Magdalen also founded a smaller congregation for priests and brothers. Both groups continue to this day.

She died in 1835. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988.

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. 


"Come to me all you who are burdened 
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek Your presence.
I long for your healing power.


Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am.  How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1GN 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
"My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God."

God also said to Abraham:
"On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages."

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations --
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Gospel JN 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death." 
So the Jews said to him,
"Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.'
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? 
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?" 
Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, 'He is our God.'
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word. 
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad." 
So the Jews said to him,
"You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM."
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.


What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.


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.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 8:51-59

View NAB Reading at | 

5th Week of Lent

Before Abraham came to be, I am. (John 8:58)

 Occasionally, someone says something just plain appalling. You catch your breath. You gape momentarily in astonishment. You probably don't pick up stones to throw, although it's possible you begin firing mental missiles: How dare he! What was she thinking! That's something like the Jews' outraged reaction—including actual stones—when Jesus announced, "Before Abraham came to be, I am." Shocking!

Fortunately for us, two thousand years of revelation and teaching have given us an edge in understanding Jesus' claim. So who is this "I am"?

I am your shepherd. I lead you and direct you in the way you should go. I provide for you along the way: rest and restoration, wisdom and understanding, goodness and mercy. I am your strength, both the strength of your life and the One who strengthens you when you feel weak. I deliver you from the bonds of sin, foolishness, and hopelessness. I heal your illnesses, addictions, rage, and bitterness. I have redeemed you, and you are mine. I have saved you, and daily I make you holy and fruitful.

I am love. I love you. I know you better than you know yourself, and still I love you. I am present everywhere you are, with you in your suffering, fear, and loneliness; in your joy, successes, and celebrations. I hear every prayer and every word you whisper.

I am your righteousness. What you could never earn or deserve—an intimate, ever-deepening relationship with me—I have made possible for you. And when your sin injures or breaks that relationship, I am still your righteousness, the way of reparation and restoration.

I am the almighty God, everlasting Father, the One who was and is and is to come. I, the Most High God and sovereign Lord of all creation, come to you. I delight in you. I delight in speaking to you and hearing from you. I confer my power and authority on you. I fill you with my Holy Spirit, who gives you the energy to do the things I call you to do. The whole universe cannot contain me, yet I am dwelling in your heart.

I am Jesus, your Redeemer and Brother.

"Holy God, lift me up, and inspire me to live in the knowledge of who you are."

Genesis 17:3-9; Psalm 105:4-9

What happened in today's Holy Scriptures?  Did God speak to you in any particular way?  If so, what did He say?  In our bible studly, the timeline with Jeff Cavins, we learned that there were 3 promises to Abraham; land, kingdom, and eternal blessing that all would come from God through him.  The land of Canaan was conquered through descendants of Abraham, the Kingdoms came with King David and Solomon, and the eternal blessings through JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.  And when He DID come, the "people of God" didn't believe it.  To them, it was just some regular guy, perhaps even possessed, a nutcase, for "they knew better", they knew all too well who he was and where he came from and who he was to be in the world, and today, don't we feel like "know it alls"?  We just "know better" than everybody else, and it shows by our lifestyle.  God always had a promise from the beginning of time, a covenant, a working relationship between us and Him, and for thousands of years we somehow broke that and couldn't fully trust in God, until a Man came and was able to show us the Way...Jesus.  He came to fulfill the promise(s) and make it anew.  Do you believe?  Abraham trusted God in a way that would bless forever, even to the point of offering his only son Isaac on an altar.  Can you imagine yourself sacrificing your only child to God?  It is an absurdity, totally crazy right?  And it is the same reaction the Jews had with Jesus when He said "whoever keeps My word will never see death" and they said "now we KNOW you are possessed".  Only a psycho would say "you will never die if you keep my word".  Yet this is what God says.  Do you believe?  The timeline ended last night, and the question was "how do you live the life of Christ today?  What difference does the Story make in your life?  Does it make any difference?  Do you believe?  Jesus said he is not like you, a liar.  Do you believe that?  Do you believe the one who is not a liar?  Jesus said Abraham rejoiced to see this day.  Then what did the Jews do?  Went running for stones to stone the truth to death.  How often do we get "offended" by the truth and want to shut up the one speaking the truth?  Probably more often than we know.  Because the truth is alive and we ignore it.  How can I say that?  Because Jesus is the truth.  We got just too many things going on in our lives, absolutely no time for truth and to fulfill the eternal promise of God, that is to say, to do our part in His Kingdom through the bride, the Holy Church.  Because the bible isn't over, it lives and this trusting in Him, it is to choose to the Way of life to live, with Him, for Him, and how He wants.  The whole of the lessons are given and spelled out loud and clear.  Only the devil fuzzes the lines, but the truth has been shown in a way that is unforgettable.  Either we choose to believe and live the truth, or not.  And when you remain silent, you allow the stoning and killing to ensue.  This is the atrocity of a silent Christian.  Last night a question was "how does Christ live on in and with the Chruch" and finally we said that the Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of God's children.  And when that answer hadn't come I said "this guy here even gots the answer tattooed on his chest! LOL"  And I told the tattooed guy to show them, and he pulled down his T-shirt and sure enough, a red dove was printed on his skin over his chest.  And then I poked fun "but he is hiding it".  Could it be that we live in hiding?  Because the day you choose anything over the Lord, it will be the same day the Jews chose to not believe Jesus.  When you do not believe God's commandments and Word, you do not trust.  
The truth has come, is here, and is coming