Monday, June 2, 2014

Take Courage

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Minute Meditations

One-on-One Time Minute Meditations

We can often see more than we have ever seen and understand messages when we take the time alone. Left alone, we take time. Left alone, we experience differently. Left alone, we are filled. Venturing out on one's own, we are rewarded. Some days, Mary wants us one-on-one.

— from Visiting Mary

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter
(d. 304)

Marcellinus and Peter were prominent enough in the memory of the Church to be included among the saints of the Roman Canon. Mention of their names is optional in our present Eucharistic Prayer I.

Marcellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist, that is, someone authorized by the Churh to deal with cases of demonic possession. They were beheaded during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. Pope Damasus wrote an epitaph apparently based on the report of their executioner, and Constantine erected a basilica over the crypt in which they were buried in Rome. Numerous legends sprang from an early account of their death.


Why are these men included in our Eucharistic prayer, and given their own feast day, in spite of the fact that almost nothing is known about them? Probably because the Church respects its collective memory. They once sent an impulse of encouragement through the whole Church. They made the ultimate step of faith.


"The Church has always believed that the apostles, and Christ's martyrs who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are quite closely joined with us in Christ" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 50).

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....


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
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

Reading 1 acts 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?"
They answered him,
"We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
He said, "How were you baptized?"
They replied, "With the baptism of John."
Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus."
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm ps 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab

R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel jn 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
"Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God."
Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world."


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and  share my feelings with


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.

Mass Reading & Meditation for June 2, 2014

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Acts 19:1-8

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Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs

We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. (Acts 19:2)

"But wait, there's more!" This familiar line from countless television commercials captures the spirit of today's first reading. The disciples in Ephesus were adhering to John the Baptist's message of repentance. They had been baptized and were living according to what they had learned about turning away from sin.

But wait! God had more for them. Paul came on the scene and told them about Jesus, "the one who was to come after" John (Acts 19:4). They accepted Paul's message and said yes to baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (19:5). Such wonderful news!

But wait! There was even more. When Paul prayed with them and laid hands on them, the Ephesian disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Paul recognized that God was moving among them, and so for three months, he debated in the synagogue and taught about the kingdom of God. When Paul's welcome in the synagogue wore out, he didn't give up. He moved elsewhere in the city and continued teaching the disciples for two more years. Their simple yes to what they heard—from John the Baptist and from Paul—brought them to conversion, but it brought them so much more than that. It brought them into a lifelong relationship with the Holy Spirit!

With God, there is always more. It begins with saying yes to him, yes to whatever he holds out today. If something—anything—stirs your heart toward God, say yes to it. Accept it for the gift that it is, even if you can't see where it will take you. The disciples at Ephesus surely had no idea of all that awaited them once they accepted Paul's offer of baptism in the name of Jesus. They just said yes, and God did the rest.

Say yes, even to little things such as squeezing in a prayer time on a busy day or biting back unkind words. Say yes to promptings to speak to someone you may not know or to call or write a letter to someone you have lost touch with. Say yes to offering to pray with a co-worker who is ailing or anxious.

Say yes to the Lord, and you'll find more of his grace!

"Father, help me recognize what you are offering me today. I say yes to everything you have for me."


Psalm 68:2-7; John 16:29-33

"In the world you will have trouble."  You are reading this because you live in the world, and you know what the world is like, and there is trouble to be dealt with, isn't there?  Now here is the difference family.  One can go through the troubles alone or you can go through them with Jesus Christ our Savior.  We have to realize what Jesus our Master says today, "I Am Not Alone".  That is why in the cursillo movement we often use the term "Christ and I are an overwhelming majority".  To end today's Gospel it said what?  It's what He said. Jesus said something superpowerful:  "...but take courage, I have CONQUERED the world".  Uhh, Ok!?  But there's still problems and troubles, right?  So what did He conquer?  Hmmm.  Well, He Conquered Sin and Death.  They no longer have a hold on you, EVER.  So yeah, what else is there to conquer?  SOULS.  You and me are in charge of conquering souls for the Lord.  Harvest, plant, work the soil, get it prepared, for Him to collect the fruit that He gave to begin with.  Yesterday I saw young High School students getting baptized with fire.  We've been baptized with water (I hope we all have who are reading this) because with that baptism we are cleansed and called to be a disciple, it is a saving grace, and then we have a working grace in Action through the fire of the Holy Spirit which we will now begin to celebrate in the liturgical calendar...Pentecost.  50 days after the resurrection. 40 Days after Easter we celebrated the Ascension of our Lord into Heaven.  The disciples would still be afraid and scattered after Jesus left, they perhaps felt alone.  Don't we feel alone sometimes?  For this very reason Jesus died and rose again, so we would never be alone again.  The Holy Spirit has been sent.  The laying of the hands is something I witnessed yesterday, annointing with the Chrism oil.  And our new Bishop spoke words that I wanted the candidates to hear.  The Holy Spirit was truly there.  Only one thing was not said; the Holy Spirit operates our Holy Church.  That's how a Pope gets chosen, that's how leaders get chosen.  We do not choose, the Lord chooses.  It is the Holy Spirit that leads.  How do I know my life is being lead by the Holy Spirit?  Quite simply you pray about everything, and realize in general the direction your heading with revelation of His works in your life.  The Bishop asked that everyone pray a Novena (a prayer done 9 times whether in days or weeks or months), to the Holy Spirit.  My mom had given me a novena on Friday and I didn't pay much attention to it. Until Bishop asked that we do it yesterday.  So I started late last night.  Two times I was asked to do it, when I should've only been asked once and obeyed my mother.  But I simply use the example so you can have a sense of God calling.  You see, this whole deal, it's not about me, it's about God.  It's about the One who has conquered the world for you and me.  He's done the hard part so we could do our part.  He's given you everything you'll ever need deep inside your heart.  I got the newly confirmed to sing to the people, because in the life of the Spirit, you must use it or lose it.  Use that fire or let it die out to an ember.  But the Holy Spirit will never go away.  This means mercy will always be there, charity, all the fruit of the Spirit will always be there.  It's what we do with it that counts...

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