|Believe in Miracles |
Let others call my faith a lie, or try to stir up doubt in me: Look at me now! None can deny I once was blind and now I see! —Fred Pratt Green
St. Isidore the Farmer
Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. In particular he is the patron of Madrid, Spain, and of the United States National Rural Life Conference.
When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint—Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child.
Isidore had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long.
He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore's supplying them miraculously with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals.
He died May 15, 1130, and was declared a saint in 1622 with Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as "the five saints."
"God blessed them, saying: 'Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.... See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food'" (Genesis 1:28a, 29--30a).
Saint of the DayLives, Lessons and FeastBy 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.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.
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
From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats.
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
"My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak."
So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
"Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.
From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'"
R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'"
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
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.
Meditation: John 13:16-20
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Whoever receives the one I send receives me. (John 13:20)
Have you ever had a day like this? You wake up determined to make a difference in the world by living for Christ. You spring out of bed, eager to be a messenger of his love. By evening, though, you are left wondering what has happened. The spring in your step is gone. You tried hard to live as an ambassador for Christ. You really wanted people to know that Jesus is the source of your joy. Yet looking back, you sense that something was missing. It was as if all your efforts were inadequate—not sufficiently persuasive, faithful, or even loving.
Days like this are bound to come, but when they do, try to look at them as gifts from God. It's on these days that he can remind you that on their own, your human efforts are inadequate. Peter and the other apostles had to let Jesus wash their feet, and so do you (John 13:3-12). It's only by allowing Jesus to minister to you that you will find the grace you need to minister to other people.
Picture yourself at the bottom of a long staircase, with Jesus standing at the top. The sight of his glory and the love coming from his heart captivate you and make you want to be with him. But every time you try to go up a couple of steps, you slip back. Finally, frustrated and sore, you ask him to help you. In an instant, Jesus descends to the lowest step, picks you up, and carries you up to the top.
Today doesn't have to become "one of those days"! Instead, start out by entering God's presence through prayer and peaceful openness. Let him wash your feet. Accept the freeing truth that you will never become a messenger of God's love on your own. God never intended you to. You are someone he has "sent" in his name (John 13:20). You are a vessel of his presence, his light, and his grace. So let his presence and his promise fill you so that you can radiate his joy to everyone you meet!
"Jesus, you love me enough to send me out as your ambassador. Give me a heart of gentle humility, that I may serve as you served."
Acts 13:13-25; Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27
Allow me to translate the 5minutos reflection for today:
"An angel appeared to a lady: "this night the Lord Jesus will come visit your house." The lady was left full of enthusiasm: She tried to prepare an excellent dinner to receive Jesus. Suddenly the bell rang. It was a badly dressed woman at the door, she had a cold face, and pregnant- 'Ma'am, do you have some work to help my need?'. "But is this an hour to bother me? Come back another day. Today I'm busy with the dinner for an important visit." Then, a aman, all greasy, called at the door, 'Ma'am, my bus is broke down on the corner. Do you possibly have tools I can borrow?', "I'm very busy, I can't." And then she heard a loud noice, it could be it is Jesus now she thought excitedly and with an accelerated heart she went to open the door. But it was not Jesus. It was a ragged child from the street, 'Ma'am, give me a plate of food'. "Come back tomorrow, because I am very busy this evening." In the end, the dinner was ready. All the family was excited and awaited the illustrious visit. But, the hours passed and Jesus would not appear. The following morning, upon waking up, the lady found herself a fright, an angel in front of her. -"Can an angel lie?" she yelled. "I prepared all with care, I watched all night and Jesus did not appear. Why did you play this joke on me?" -'It was not I who lied, it was you who did not have eyes to see', said the angel. 'Jesus was here three times, in the person of the pregnant woman, in the person of the bus driver, and in the person of the hungry child. But you were not capable of recognizing and welcoming Him....."
I guess the joke around town nowadyas is that if you work for our family business, you're going to wind up being Catholic. Well, I don't know if that is true, or if it is meant as a joke, or as good. REGARDLESS, last night we had co-worker bible study in our conference room. LOL. How can you hide a good thing? We gathered and I opened up the prayer with an invocation to the Holy Spirit, which means to invite the Spirit into our minds and hearts, to be among us in our midst. We discussed several things, and I told a co-worker to share a bible verse he was asked to share that evening. It was 2Cor 3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom". We discussed it at great lengths, going off many tangents, about liberty and free will. Towards the end I said "let me share the Gospel of the day" and it was yesterday's Gospel, about the commandments of God and those who follow His will are His friends. Funny though, those were all things we were discussing the whole time and our eyes were opened as if a veil was pulled off. To me, I realized Jesus was with us and made it known in our closing prayer. Jesus has no body...but yours. Jesus has no hands...but yours. Jesus comes through the person of the Priest in Holy Mass. Jesus comes into the person of yours in the Spirit, and in a special way, the Eucharist, the consecrated Bread. Jesus comes in ways we can not imagine. You do not need to be enthusiastic about the book of Revelaiton, it is here and now. You do not need to be preparing for the day He comes...He is already present. Jesus said today "I know those whom I have chosen". Yesterday we read that He chose you and me. I shared this with the group last night and emphasized that what little we have learned we should go out and bear much fruit. It is the story of investments...in the Kingdom of God. He gives us all gifts to invest. But we can get so darn busy can't we? Yesterday I was too busy at work with people having accidents, losing bids on jobs, stressing out, that I had no time for my little sister (my little black sheep) bothering me for a cell phone replacement. I was too busy to share a smile, I was too stressed to give time to prayer, and I was too anxious about what would be if we don't get work going that I had no time to realize the several times I failed to see Jesus in my life. JEsus said today "...there is no messenger greater than the one who sent him". Then He said ".. whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me." Hmm, I don't know that we are good receivers sometimes. Oh yes, we make a big deal come "church time" but how about every moment of the day? That's why I chose today's saint as our table saint at last year's cursillo that I helped at. I love the fact that there can be a saint man and his wife as a saint. These are the kinds of people I look up to and aspire to be, extraordinary in their ordinary faith. Forget trying to be different to be cool in the world, there is nothing more outstanding and sticks out like a sore thumb than a person living for God. And there is all the difference. Jesus said today "If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it."
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