Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learn From Me

Untitled document
Minute Meditations
Our Father

Joseph showed through his care of Jesus what being a father truly means.  Jesus, in turn, would show the world the Father. --Fr. Gary Caster
— from St. Anthony Messenger

St. Francis Solano
Listen to Audio


Francis came from a leading family in Andalusia, Spain. Perhaps it was his popularity as a student that enabled Francis in his teens to stop two duelists. He entered the Friars Minor in 1570, and after ordination enthusiastically sacrificed himself for others. His care for the sick during an epidemic drew so much admiration that he became embarrassed and asked to be sent to the African missions. Instead he was sent to South America in 1589.
While working in what is now Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, Francis quickly learned the local languages and was well received by the indigenous peoples. His visits to the sick often included playing a song on his violin.

Around 1601 he was called to Lima, Peru, where he tried to recall the Spanish colonists to their baptismal integrity. Francis also worked to defend the indigenous peoples from oppression. He died in Lima and was canonized in 1726.


Francis of Solano knew from experience that the lives of Christians sometimes greatly hinder the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Francis lived an exemplary life himself, and urged his fellow Spaniards to make their lives worthy of their Baptism.


"When Francis Solano was about to die, one of the friars asked him, 'Father, when God takes you to heaven remember me when you enter the everlasting kingdom.' With joy Francis answered, 'It is true, I am going to heaven but this is so because of the merits of the passion and death of Christ; I am the greatest of sinners. When I reach our homeland, I will be your good friend'" (contemporary biography of St. Francis Solano).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M


Dear Lord, help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my mind with your peace, Your Love.


Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness. He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

Reading 1 is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19

The way of the just is smooth;
the path of the just you make level.
Yes, for your way and your judgments, O LORD,
we look to you;
Your name and your title
are the desire of our souls.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you;
When your judgment dawns upon the earth,
the world's inhabitants learn justice.
O LORD, you mete out peace to us,
for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.

O LORD, oppressed by your punishment,
we cried out in anguish under your chastising.
As a woman about to give birth
writhes and cries out in her pains,
so were we in your presence, O LORD.
We conceived and writhed in pain,
giving birth to wind;
Salvation we have not achieved for the earth,
the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth.
But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise;
awake and sing, you who lie in the dust.
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the land of shades gives birth.

Responsorial Psalm ps 102:13-14ab and 15, 16-18, 19-21

R. (20b) From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
You, O LORD, abide forever,
and your name through all generations.
You will arise and have mercy on Zion,
for it is time to pity her.
For her stones are dear to your servants,
and her dust moves them to pity.
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
"The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die."
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.

Gospel mt 11:28-30

Jesus said:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."


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 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.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 11:28-30

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

15th Week in Ordinary Time

My yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11:30)

While the image of a yoke was familiar to Jesus' audience, we modern readers may not be able to relate to a yoke and how it works. A yoke is made for two, like a team of oxen. When oxen are young, they are taught to pull together when hitched to the yoke. When one ox tries to go one way and the other a different way, they experience the pain of pulling against the yoke. The harder they fight it, the worse it gets. In a sense, the yoke punishes and burdens them. But when both are going in the same direction, the yoke actually makes their work much easier. Usually one ox is in the lead, setting the direction, and the second ox learns how to follow. Over time they learn the positive and negative effects of the yoke, until practice makes perfect.

This helps us understand Jesus' saying that being yoked to him lightens our burdens. That's the way a yoke is supposed to work! It teaches us to let the "lead ox" set the course. It teaches us to follow the One who is walking beside us. We experience what happens as we try to go our own way. We see how fighting God's lead causes us pain. As Paul understood in Acts 26:14, by "kicking against the goad" (a tool used to drive oxen), he only hurt himself. But when he followed Jesus, he was far more peaceful—and far more fruitful!

Because we are humans, we are designed to learn through trial and (sometimes painful) error. That may sound harsh, but we can be confident that Jesus is extremely patient. He never stops loving us and trying to lead us. He knows that we will become more docile to his leading as we experience the wonderful effects of following him. He is confident that we will learn.

Yes, Jesus' yoke is easy—because the One who leads us is walking beside us in the yoke. He shares all of our burdens. He invites us to enter into his rest. All he asks is that we follow his lead.

"Jesus, I will follow you. I want to learn your gentleness and humility as I walk with you. Teach me to move in unison with you and your Spirit."


Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Psalm 102:13-21

The last line of the 5minutos says "You, Lord, do wonders with our surrendered weakness".  Can I get an Amen?  But what a funny Gospel right? To us it sounds weird to read about oxes and yokes.  Yet we hear Jesus our Lord, our Master, Brother, Friend and Shepherd say "take my yoke upon you".  Uhh, Ok?  What does that really mean? From  
  "Now in all these instances, they who do not love these things feel them as great severities; whereas they who love them endure the same, it is true, but they do not seem to feel them severe. For love makes all, the hardest and most distressing things, altogether easy, and almost nothing. How much more surely then and easily will charity do with a view to true blessedness, that which mere desire does as it can, with a view to what is but misery? How easily is any temporal adversity endured, if it be that eternal punishment may be avoided, and eternal rest procured! Not without good reason did that vessel of election say with exceeding joy, The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. See then how it is that that yoke is easy, and that burden light. And if it be strait to the few who choose it, yet is it easy to all who love it. The Psalmist says, Because of the words of Your lips I have kept hard ways. But the things which are hard to those who labour, lose their roughness to those same men when they love. Wherefore it has been so arranged by the dispensation of the Divine goodness, that to the inner man who is renewed from day to day, placed no longer under the Law but under Grace, and freed from the burdens of numberless observances which were indeed a heavy yoke, but meetly imposed on a stubborn neck, every grievous trouble which that prince who is cast forth could inflict from without on the outward man, should through the easiness of a simple faith, and a good hope, and a holy charity, become light through the joy within. For to a good will nothing is so easy, as this good will to itself, and this is enough for God. How much soever therefore this world may rage, most truly did the angels exclaim when the Lord was born in the flesh, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will; because His yoke, who was then born, is easy, and His burden light. And as the Apostle says, God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it."
Love makes all the difference don't it?  The first verse of today's first Holy Scripture said what Jesus fulfilled "The way of the just is smooth;  the path of the just you make level."  Take to His way, His Truth, His Life.  Because we do live under an oppression.  Justly.  It was not brought about by God alone, it was sin, our own doing that has brought about "injustice".  So Jesus came to offer His yoke.  Not the ones we have decided to pick up, the ones that get us nowhere.  He wants the labor for Him.  Followers.  I can not begin to explain what my life means since our Lord asked me to follow Him.  It is not the same life at all.  Sure there are remnants of me to be seen, still kind of look the same, still kind of like the things I used to live for, but now life is under a different yoke.  'Is life easier for you now Mr. Adrian?' Well, to be honest, when living a life of Grace, I can't say things are easier, but my Spirit is out of this world.  I can't help but think of the healing Sacraments of the Holy Church that make this possible through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I can't live life alone, I need a yoke.  And it's either going to be the one Christ offers or something else, and that something else is just waiting, promising an easier, better, or happier life, an illusion at best.  I am not asking you to be happy with what you have, but to give.  I am not asking you to live happy, but to take on a yoke.  I am not just asking you to work for His Kingdom, but to love.  Someone said they enjoyed me singing for the choir this Sunday.  All I can say is that I almost cried in most of the songs, because I was singing my heart out to God, praying, worshipping, praising Jeus Christ on the altar, on the Cross and everywhere in every heart.  I am learning what this whole yoke thing is I think.  It is binding.  And what is bound on earth will be bound in Heaven.  I want you to be bound to Jesus Christ our Savior