Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Hearts Burning

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Freely Surrender  
Jesus was equal to the Father but did not feel it was below his dignity to obey. We cannot be free unless we are able to surrender our will freely to the will of God. We must obey with full freedom in a spirit of unity and submission and through wholehearted free service to Christ.
— from Thirsting for God 

St. George
d. c. 303

If Mary Magdalene was the victim of misunderstanding, George is the object of a vast amount of imagination. There is every reason to believe that he was a real martyr who suffered at Lydda in Palestine, probably before the time of Constantine. The Church adheres to his memory, but not to the legends surrounding his life.

That he was willing to pay the supreme price to follow Christ is what the Church believes. And it is enough.

The story of George's slaying the dragon, rescuing the king's daughter and converting Libya is a 12th-century Italian fable. George was a favorite patron saint of crusaders, as well as of Eastern soldiers in earlier times. He is a patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Catalonia, Genoa and Venice.


Human nature seems to crave more than cold historical data. Americans have Washington and Lincoln, but we somehow need Paul Bunyan, too. The life of St. Francis of Assisi is inspiring enough, but for centuries the Italians have found his spirit in the legends of the Fioretti, too. Santa Claus is the popular extension of the spirit of St. Nicholas. The legends about St. George are part of this yearning. Both fact and legend are human ways of illumining the mysterious truth about the One who alone is holy.


"When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the city which is to come" (Vatican II,Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 50).

Patron Saint of:

Boy Scouts

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
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Luke 24:28-31

Reading 1ACTS 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o'clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called "the Beautiful Gate" every day 
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, "Look at us."
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you: 
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk."
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
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. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.
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. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
R. Alleluia.

Gospel LK 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus' disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them, 
"What are you discussing as you walk along?"
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?"
And he replied to them, "What sort of things?"
They said to him, 
"The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning 
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.  I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.  I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.


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: Luke 24:13-35

View NAB Reading at  

Wednesday within the Octave of Easter

Their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. (Luke 24:16)


Let's not be too hard on poor Cleopas and his companion. It had been a devastating several days. As disciples of Jesus, they had invested so much time, energy, and emotion into him and his teaching. But then, the anticipation and excitement they felt a week earlier, when Jesus had entered triumphantly into Jerusalem, was abruptly cut short by his gruesome death. It's no wonder that their thoughts were troubled and that they could see nothing but a bleak future! And so they left the other disciples back in Jerusalem and set out for Emmaus. After all, they were only human!

But that's just the point. They couldn't recognize Jesus when he joined them on the road because their faith, which had suffered a troubling blow, needed to be supplemented with divine revelation. That's exactly what Jesus inserted into their animated conversation. He explained the Scriptures to them from his heavenly perspective. His words stirred something deep in their hearts, and they began to feel a sense of hope again. Then it all came together when Jesus blessed and broke the bread: the word of God, the power of revelation, and hearts newly set on fire. Finally, they saw Jesus!

Isn't this the story of our lives as well? So often, we think about our circumstances, our families, or the world around us—as any normal human being would. Sometimes that leaves us discouraged or believing that Jesus isn't close to us. But nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus is never absent; he's walking with you! He longs to stir your heart through his word and through his presence. He longs to tell you that he has a plan for your life and that you can rely on him.

The disciples in today's Gospel reading had to slow down to listen to Jesus; they had to stop their discussions to hear him. What a great model for us! Slow down and listen today. Stop and let Jesus touch your heart with divine insight. Sit down, pull out your Bible, and ask him to open the Scriptures to you. Gaze on him at Mass. You will see that he was there all along: he's there in God's word; he's there in the bread and wine; he's in your heart!

"Thank you, Jesus, for walking with me. Help me slow down and sense your presence. Lord, I want to see you!"


Acts 3:1-10; Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9

Today's 5minutos from Sonora, Mexico said (allow me to translate):
  "Perhaps it estranges us that it is the apostles to whom Jesus appears to first, recently resurrected. The apostles who were His closest friends, to whom He told at the Last Supper in Luke 22:28-30 ;"It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me,that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."    He manifested Himself first to the faithful group of women and to these disciples of Emmaus; disciples who we didn't even know nor are mentioned again.  It is insinuated that Jesus appears to Peter the same day as the resurrection: "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"" -Luke 24:34.   We can surmise that Jesus postponed His manifestation, once risen, to the apostles...for their infidelity: they all fled the night in Gethsemane.  Jesus had lamented it, a little before: Then Jesus said to them, "This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken" Mathew 26:31.    The disciples of Emmaus did not receive the honor of being the closest and near, but they didn't suffer extraordinary tests either.  They loved the Lord with sincerity: We had the hope...And received the reward.    The measure of responsibility is in the measure  of gifts. "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." Luke12:48    What will be your correspondence? "

 My uncle Hector is a devout Catholic, and I know is devout to the 3 o'clock prayer.  It is a long winded prayer that entails the child Jesus walking on a path and in the prayer Hector prays for all sorts of intentions both general and personal.  Today, we heard of a prayer, and a command.  A man asks for alms and receives more than he bargained for, He receives a blessing no money could buy...a miracle, an act of love that leads Him into the Church to give praise and thanks.  This is key because where we are leading is key; where we give thanks, there the Lord is received and eyes opened.  In the temple we pray, and in the temple we give thanks, and in the temple Jesus offers Himself in a most unique manner to those that are disposed to receive Him in the most Holy Eucharist.   That is why a "closest moment to Christ" can not be ignored unless ignored when taken into the body and soul, the very Body and Soul and Divinity of our Most Beloved Lord Jesus Christ, the Nazorean.  And so, in this very name we are asked to believe and to be healed in the Spirit.  Many times our physical maladies are spiritual maladies.  I told a worker last week after hearing he's taken his wife to the hospital twice in the week to the emergency room for an unknown heart problem "sit down, let me tell you something", keep in mind I feel the Holy Spirit leading me to do and say this, "about your wife, you know what you have to do right?" and he started saying stuff like "yeah, I know, I gotta pray and all that stuff", to which I got exasperated, "what do you man ALL THAT STUFF? This is serious, but what is more serious is what I am about to tell you....the reason your wife is having heart problems is because of you, fix yourself in the spirit and she will be healed, and have her begin praying the rosary".  To that we left off.  Since then I have not heard of any more visits to the ER.  Could it be the same spirit of Saints Peter and John at the 3 o'clock prayer and encountering the crippled man?  Yes it could be, there is no denying.  Difference here is I do not see the healed coming in to the temple to give thanks, the very meaning of the word Eucharist.   And so the eye opener here is not them, no, it is for us reading this today.  It is not for their condemnation, for one day they will have opened their eyes, and so the eye opener is for you and me.  Because we can be such good "deflectors" can't we?  We go to retreats and workshops and hear homilies and think "oh this would be so good for so and so" instead of realizing it is meant for you!  You are reading this because it is for you.  Am I the healer?  Yes you are my child, you are the healer.  Am I the one being healed?  Yes you are my child.  Am I the one that will encounter Jesus even though I did not recognize Him at work first?  YES!  The answer is YES!  So many actions will happen in your life that one day you will realize it was Jesus at work the whole time.  That is something to be grateful for both now and then.  Most often He appears to the faithful, and many times to the faithful He eventually appears.  Let us rejoice and jump for joy in our hearts in the temple exclaiming truly how Good God Is

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