Thursday, June 26, 2014

Everyone Who Listens

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Minute Meditations

Love Transforms Us

Despite our loneliness, our powerlessness, our brokenness, something drives us and refuses to die. We are a hunger for love. And when at last that love comes and finds us, picks us up and holds us close, it transforms us. We become love for others.
— from Made For Love, Loved By God

Blessed Raymond Lull
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Raymond worked all his life to promote the missions and died a missionary to North Africa.

Raymond was born at Palma on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. He earned a position in the king's court there. One day a sermon inspired him to dedicate his life to working for the conversion of the Muslims in North Africa. He became a Secular Franciscan and founded a college where missionaries could learn the Arabic they would need in the missions. Retiring to solitude, he spent nine years as a hermit. During that time he wrote on all branches of knowledge, a work which earned him the title "Enlightened Doctor."

Raymond then made many trips through Europe to interest popes, kings and princes in establishing special colleges to prepare future missionaries. He achieved his goal in 1311 when the Council of Vienne ordered the creation of chairs of Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean at the universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris and Salamanca. At the age of 79, Raymond went to North Africa in 1314 to be a missionary himself. An angry crowd of Muslims stoned him in the city of Bougie. Genoese merchants took him back to Mallorca, where he died. Raymond was beatified in 1514.


Raymond worked most of his life to help spread the gospel. Indifference on the part of some Christian leaders and opposition in North Africa did not turn him from his goal.

Three hundred years later Raymond's work began to have an influence in the Americas. When the Spanish began to spread the gospel in the New World, they set up missionary colleges to aid the work. Blessed Junipero Serra belonged to such a college.


Thomas of Celano wrote of St. Francis: "In vain does the wicked man persecute one striving after virtue, for the more he is buffeted, the more strongly will he triumph. As someone says, indignity strengthens a generous spirit" (I Celano, #11).
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 granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccuptions.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1 2 kgs 24:8-17

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign,
and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.
His mother's name was Nehushta,
daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
He did evil in the sight of the LORD,
just as his forebears had done.

At that time the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
himself arrived at the city
while his servants were besieging it.
Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, together with his mother,
his ministers, officers, and functionaries,
surrendered to the king of Babylon, who,
in the eighth year of his reign, took him captive.
And he carried off all the treasures
of the temple of the LORD and those of the palace,
and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel,
had provided in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had foretold.
He deported all Jerusalem:
all the officers and men of the army, ten thousand in number,
and all the craftsmen and smiths.
None were left among the people of the land except the poor.
He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon,
and also led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon
the king's mother and wives,
his functionaries, and the chief men of the land.
The king of Babylon also led captive to Babylon
all seven thousand men of the army,
and a thousand craftsmen and smiths,
all of them trained soldiers.
In place of Jehoiachin,
the king of Babylon appointed his uncle Mattaniah king,
and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Responsorial Psalm ps 79:1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9

R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
as food to the birds of heaven,
the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
They have poured out their blood like water
round about Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury them.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name's sake.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Gospel mt 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,
and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,
speaking as one 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: Matthew 7:21-29

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12th Week in Ordinary Time

I never knew you. (Matthew 7:23)

Have you ever known a namedropper? You know, someone who always mentions the important people he or she knows? Usually, this is exaggerated, with some distant connection or contact turning into, "Oh, I know that person!" Who among us hasn't been tempted to use a famous name to gain influence or respect among our acquaintances?

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus is making it clear that name-dropping doesn't work with him. He wants to have a real relationship with us. He wants us to know him personally, just as he knows us. He doesn't want us to settle for book knowledge or just a passing acquaintance. Even if we're busy doing his work—whether in our homes, in our communities, or in our parishes—he wants us also to be growing closer to him in our hearts. Jesus doesn't just want servants; he wants friends.

So what does it mean to know Jesus? How does anyone go about building a relationship with the eternal Son of God? It may sound awfully hard, but it really isn't all that complicated or mysterious. It's pretty much the same way you build a relationship with anyone else. You spend time with him; you talk to him; you listen to him; you learn to trust him; you share secrets with him; you let him see you at your best and at your worst.

Don't let the tone of today's Gospel reading frighten you. Jesus is concerned that we come to know him, but he's not about to abandon us because our relationship with him isn't as deep as the holiest of saints. Rather than worrying about whether Jesus will say, "I never knew you," make it your goal to come to know him better.

Wherever you are with Jesus now, try to go a little deeper. As you read Scripture this week, listen for his still, small voice in your heart. Get in the habit of writing down what you think he is saying. Then take the time to talk to him. Tell him about your day. Open up about your hopes and fears, and see if you sense him offering you his guidance or consolation. By investing in this relationship, you are building your house on a foundation solid enough to withstand any storm.

"Lord, I want to know you and to be known by you. Draw me to yourself."


2 Kings 24:8-17; Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9

Today's 5minutos from Sonora Mexico says:

"All of us would like to get to the top.  But we prefer to coast downhill.
All of us would like to get far.  But we prefer to walk slow.
All of us would like to arrive soon.  But we prefer to walk without a hurry.
All of us would like to know everything.  But we prefer to study little.
All of us would like great success.  But we prefer minimum effort.
Without effort, no one achieves great things.
Without risk, we experience only the easy.
Downhill, we can not climb higher.
Downhill, the tops never come.
Downhill, it requires less effort. But the heights never come.
They say that a Franciscan was designated as a guide for Mother Teresa of Calcuta during her visit to Australia.
Filled with enthusiasm and eagerness for an opportunity to be close to this grand woman, he dreamed of learning much from her company.  During her visit, Mother Teresa was solicited by so many that he never had time to talk to her.  When the visit ended, he headed towards to New Guinea and the Franciscan asked: "If I pay the ticket, can I accompany you and sit at your side so you can teach me?"  Mother Teresa answered: If you have money for the trip, give the money to the poor and you will learn more than I can teach you.  
Mother Teresa understood the ministry of Jesus, she made it hers and put it to practice.  "

From today's Holy Scriptures, we can gather the truth of the Covenant.  Keep His ways or lose.  It's a very simple truth.  Take it or leave it.  And it's as if we want to live coasting downhill, believing we'll win the lottery through mercy, the last second of our life.  This is risky business.  To believe we have it made.  I've been to funerals where I hear people say "I just know so and so is in Heaven looking down on us smiling and ....".  How do you know they are in Heaven?  Today Jesus tells us "not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter".  Not everyone who expels demons will enter.  Not everyone who heals will enter.  Not everyone...will enter.  Scary thougt?  It shouldn't be.  It should bring us to the realization that today we have been given yet ANOTHER opportunity to turn our hearts completely to Him.  But what about all those healings and stuff done in the name of Jesus?  He did them.  He healed them.  Do we get any credit?  LOL.  Should we?  Then what's the purpose of serving?  Ahh.  Recall yesterday's Holy Gospel of wolves disguised as sheep.  I could be considered faithful, but actually be a predator underneath.  This is why I am working on my holiness.  This is why we are all being called to something more in our conversion.  There are people really upset with one another for different reasons.  What is it?  Intolerance?  Intolerant of the poor?  The Franciscan wanted to learn without lifting a finger. Sure our zeal is there but the effort is not.  Sure we'd like to learn about God, but not with others.  Yesterday I invited 5 different co-workers to join our bible study and most did not come.  I remember asking a business owner downtown, to join and he said "well I just finished reading the whole bible" and I said "well, it's one thing to read the bible, and it is another to live it and learn it with each other".  One worker said to the invitation last night "ahh, I'd rather spend my time at the gym".  But this is a typical answer, yet the only strange thing is that the young man was honest about his answer instead of saying supposedly "yes" as some said o me or to the Lord and then never coming.  Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter.  And so as we discussed the wolves in sheep disguises last night, the topic leaned towards leaders that are hypocrites and those that take what is yours.  Finally a co-worker said what I was fixing to say "but those can be anyone of us".  We are all leaders.  Everyone who listens to His words but does not ACT on them will be like fools building on sand.  Am I fooling myself thinking living this way will last forever?  What way?  My way.  This is not to be taken lightly.  I often make it a prayer for all I do for the Lord "please Lord do not forget your servant".  For all I claim to do, it is all for not, if it is not from the heart.  If you love Jesus like Mother Teresa, you will see His face among the most needy.  Most often in my life, they are not ragged homeless people in my small town, but rather people lost in the faith, poor beyond compare while blessed in temporal needs. Rich or poor, God is calling. The poor are calling.  And there is the face of Jesus, so natural, you won't believe...

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