Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wash Their Hands

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Minute Meditations

In Awe of Life Minute Meditations

For now, begin to look at your body and your soul with wonder. With every morsel you eat, do not presume to understand the mystery that you are. Instead be in awe of each moment of life that courses through your veins, of each breath you inhale and exhale.
— from Table of Plenty

Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica
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First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century, the Liberian basilica was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary's title as Mother of God in 431. Rededicated at that time to the Mother of God, St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honoring God through Mary. Standing atop one of Rome's seven hills, the Esquiline, it has survived many restorations without losing its character as an early Roman basilica. Its interior retains three naves divided by colonnades in the style of Constantine's era. Fifth-century mosaics on its walls testify to its antiquity.

St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centers of the Church. St. John Lateran (November 9) represents Rome, the See of Peter; St. Paul Outside the Walls, the See of Alexandria, allegedly the see presided over by Mark (April 25); St. Peter's, the See of Constantinople; and St. Mary's, the See of Antioch, where Mary is supposed to have spent most of her life.

One legend, unreported before the year 1000, gives another name to this feast: Our Lady of the Snows. According to that story, a wealthy Roman couple pledged their fortune to the Mother of God. In affirmation, she produced a miraculous summer snowfall and told them to build a church on the site. The legend was long celebrated by releasing a shower of white rose petals from the basilica's dome every August 5.


Theological debate over Christ's nature as God and man reached fever pitch in Constantinople in the early fifth century. The chaplain of Bishop Nestorius began preaching against the title Theotokos, "Mother of God," insisting that the Virgin was mother only of the human Jesus. Nestorius agreed, decreeing that Mary would henceforth be named "Mother of Christ" in his see. The people of Constantinople virtually revolted against their bishop's refutation of a cherished belief. When the Council of Ephesus refuted Nestorius, believers took to the streets, enthusiastically chanting, "Theotokos! Theotokos!"


"From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, in whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs. Accordingly, following the Council of Ephesus, there was a remarkable growth in the cult of the People of God towards Mary, in veneration and love, in invocation and imitation..." (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 66).

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.



What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming.

I reflect on the Presence of God always there in love,

amidst the many things that have a hold on me.

I pause and pray that I may let God

affect my becoming in this precise moment.


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.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment. I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude. I attend to the shadows and what they say to me, seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 jer 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound?
your pain is without relief.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.

Thus says the LORD:
See! I will restore the tents of Jacob,
his dwellings I will pity;
City shall be rebuilt upon hill,
and palace restored as it was.
From them will resound songs of praise,
the laughter of happy men.
I will make them not few, but many;
they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.
His sons shall be as of old,
his assembly before me shall stand firm;
I will punish all his oppressors.
His leader shall be one of his own,
and his rulers shall come from his kin.
When I summon him, he shall approach me;
how else should one take the deadly risk
of approaching me? says the LORD.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23

R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
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. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
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. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared on Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.

Gospel mt 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
"It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
Peter said to him in reply,
"Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come."
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
"Truly, you are the Son of God."

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

or mt 15:1-2, 10-14

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal."
He summoned the crowd and said to them, "Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one."
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
"Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?"
He said in reply, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit.


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.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 14:22-36

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The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Come. (Matthew 14:29)

Today we read how Jesus invited Peter to take an extra large step of faith—and how Peter went for it! What do you think was going through Peter's mind at this point? "What am I doing? Is this really safe? Hey, look! I'm on top of the water! This is amazing!" But then suddenly, the potential consequences of his actions became clear, and Peter began to sink. It's a good thing Jesus was right there, ready to pick him up!

We can read this little story as a sort of three-step illustration of what it's like to follow Jesus. First, like Peter, we have all experienced times when we felt Jesus inviting us to take a step of faith. In a rush of adrenaline, we go for it, and it all seems fine for a while. Then, step two kicks in, when we realize that we might be in over our heads and we begin to doubt. Maybe we misheard the Lord. Maybe we stepped left when we should have stepped right. Whatever the situation, our eyes are opened to the roiling sea beneath our feet. Next comes step three, when we call out to the Lord, frantically at times, and he comes to help us. The wind dies down, and all is calm again.

Stepping out might be difficult, but the hardest moment might actually be that breath we take between step two, when we see the wind and waves, and step three, when we decide to call out for help. It takes a certain degree of humility to do that. Many of us would rather try to work it out on our own than admit that we have reached our limits. It's ironic, but we may even think that it shows a lack of faith to ask for God's help!

Which phase of discipleship are you in right now? Are you getting ready to step out, or are you feeling overwhelmed on top of the water? Or maybe you're feeling his hand lifting you up, and you're ready to embrace the next challenge he has for you. No matter which phase you are in, the key is to take the next step. Wherever you are, know that the One who called you out of the boat will uphold your every step.

"Lord, help me to step out in faith today."

Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22; Psalm 102:16-21, 29, 22-23


They took offense at what Jesus said.  Nowadays we don't want to say nothing so nobody will get offended, right?  Yesterday my wife was telling me where the lost and found place was as we journeyed with our family.  I asked the bus information which bus went were and by the way "where is the lost and found?" (I wanted to be sure).  My wife said she told me already where it was but truth is I didn't hear, or couldn't hear.  Case in point, if we don't say something people will get lost...from the Way, the Truth.  They say a lady was blurting out at one of the parks "don't go in there, they are racist...a lady didn't want to sit by me and they moved her".  LOL.  Why do I laugh?  Because, it is childish.  The race thing is childish. Being offended childish  Grow up, in FAITH.  This means stepping out in faith.  Why don't we want to be less?  Or tiny?  Our Lord said "they will not be tiny (His people), for He will glorify them.  Do you know that when someone "offends" you, they owe you?  So they are not really offending but getting into debt with you, through our Lord!  In that case, you will not be offended, but glorified.  What offends God though, that is the concern. What's funny is that most often we take things wrong and say we are offended.  In comes the "Lord's prayer".  Who knows, He probably prayed this every time He went off to pray on His own..."Father, forgive us our offenses, as we forgive those who offend us", isn't that what we are to pray?  Live a life of grace and you will know.  Yet they say grace is a gift.  But life itself is a gift.  To make a good life happen, you have to work at good.  Do nothing, and the opposite happens.   I wrote a song not too long ago that said that I can't live always looking up (with my nose in the air) looking to God and never looking down.  I wouldn't see where I'm going, and soon I could fall into the dark by not seeing where I walk.  God is not just in the clouds, but in everyone  around.  Finding Him in Church and together, that's where He suddenly comes through walls that we thought were impenetrable...Jesus is AMAZING
The Truth prevails and the meek shall inherit the earth...