Thursday, April 17, 2014

To The End

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Open Up Minute Meditations
Today offers limitless possibilities for holiness. Lean into His grace. The only thing keeping us from sainthood is ourselves.
— from Tweet Inspiration 

St. Benedict Joseph Labre
(d. 1783)

Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives.

He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world."

On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint.

He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1883.


In a modern inner city, one local character kneels for hours on the sidewalk and prays. Swathed in his entire wardrobe winter and summer, he greets passersby with a blessing. Where he sleeps no one knows, but he is surely a direct spiritual descendant of Benedict, the ragged man who slept in the ruins of Rome's Colosseum. These days we ascribe such behavior to mental illness; Benedict's contemporaries called him holy. Holiness is always a bit mad by earthly standards.

Patron Saint of:

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, you created me to live in freedom.
Mostly I take this gift for granted.
Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended,
with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.


I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God

Holy Thursday
Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
Lectionary: 39

Reading 1EX 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 
"This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; 
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel: 
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb, 
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one 
and shall share in the lamb 
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, 
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, 
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood 
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel 
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh 
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

"This is how you are to eat it: 
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt, 
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; 
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, 
no destructive blow will come upon you.

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, 
which all your generations shall celebrate 
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution."

Responsorial Psalm PS 116:12-13, 15-16BC, 17-18

R/. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R/. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R/. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R/. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Reading 2 1 COR 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, 
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, 
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, 
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, 
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel JN 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper, 
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power 
and that he had come from God and was returning to God, 
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin 
and began to wash the disciples' feet 
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 
"Master, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later."
Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."
Jesus answered him, 
"Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."
Simon Peter said to him, 
"Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
Jesus said to him, 
"Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over; 
so you are clean, but not all."
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

So when he had washed their feet 
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, 
he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, 
you ought to wash one another's feet.
I have given you a model to follow, 
so that as I have done for you, you should also do."


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


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 13:1-15

View NAB Reading at 

Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper

Not only my feet, but my hands and head as well. (John 13:9)

 Science has shown that if you walk barefoot in public places, you risk picking up all sorts of nasty microorganisms: E. coli, tetanus, and many different types of fungi. These germs seem to consider the human foot a very welcoming environment, and they turn our feet into petri dishes!

Can you imagine how dirty people's feet were during the time of Jesus? The apostles' feet were probably tougher, more calloused, and just plain uglier than anything most of us have seen. No wonder it was the role of a slave to wash the feet of the wealthy—no one else would want to!

So you can understand Peter's shock at the sight of Jesus stooping to wash his feet. Through his time with Jesus, he had come to understand that Jesus was the Messiah. Just to share a meal with him was an honor. So why in the world would this holy, wise man take on such a menial task? Jesus had to explain the importance of this gesture patiently before Peter would relent. And even then, he got it mixed up! Jesus had to wash only Peter's feet because he had already believed. His head and hands were already clean.

The significance of this act of humility is so profound that some have called it the gospel in miniature. Others have likened it to the Eucharist. God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to save us. And he still loves us so much that he bends down at every Mass to teach us, feed us, and refresh us. Both in the Incarnation and at Mass, he sends his only Son as a humble servant—all so that we can be filled with his life and transformed into his image!

On this Holy Thursday, focus on this truth: Jesus loves you so much that he is willing to wash your feet. He cares for you so deeply that he wants to tend to your every need, even to the point of feeding you with his Bread of Life and the cup of his own Blood. How loving and generous is our Savior!

"Lord, thank you for offering me a whole new life with you! Teach me how to love and serve as fully as you have done."


Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

There's blood in the water, or water in the blood and it comes from the heart, the heart of the matter.  I give thanks to the Lord for having allowed us the opportunity to learn about him in our timeline bible study with Jeff Cavins.  It puts things in more perspective, and reading Exodus today, the Psalm, and the Gospel according to John, it all is brought together perfectly.  The passover feast of the Jews, the people of God, the Israel, the people God calls, the sacrifice is a matter of the heart.  When blood is posted over the posts, it is a notice from the heart, the blood of the sacrifice "YOU ARE MINE" says God.  That's what the note says on the post.  It is phenomenal, this love of God.  Can you imagine, just stop for a moment and imagine God washing your feet.  
Imagine it.
Stop Reading about it. just imagine Him, doing what He loves.  I heard  a child of ours calling out in the morning "mommy" and mommy got up immediately to tend to the child.  In my mind, I wanted to tell them to hush and go back to sleep, children are to listen to the daddy and mommy, but mommy goes.  How can a Father love like a mother that washes her children?  It is the Spirit God wants in the heart to live.  And not only did He wash their feet, He also gave us Himself in the Last Supper, the First Eucharistic celebration, tonight in Holy Thursday.  Why people are not obligated to go to Mass on this day passes my thoughts.  Today Our Lord offers Himself before He offers His mortal body.  Once consecrated, the left over bread would have to be adored as the Blessed Sacrament.  From tonight till Saturday, this indeed will occur in our Church.  Adoration will occur from after tonight's Mass to Easter when His Body is taken away.  What we have to realize is the extreme importance of what was accomplished this day we celebrate.  The New Passover, the New Exodus.  The new promise in front of all.  "To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people."  What we have taken on in baptism is a new life of salvation, yet not all, not all take to the life.  I repeat my vows in Holy Mass, my beliefs, and give of myself, my time, talents, and treasures.  That's what lent has been all about, leading up to the sacrifice of the Paschal (passover) Lamb forever.  If you lived Lent right, you have learned something that will now be a part of your life forever, and soon it will be all of your life forever

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