Monday, September 1, 2014

He Passed Through

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Minute Meditations

Final Reunion

The ascension is about the final reunion of what appeared to be separated for a while: earth and heaven, human and divine, matter and Spirit. If the Christ is the archetype of the full human journey, now we know how it all resolves itself in the end. "So that where I am, you also will be" (John 14:3).
— from Yes, and...

St. Giles
(d. 710?)
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Despite the fact that much about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land.

In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.

The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death.

Patron Saint of:


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....


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.


Reading 1 1 cor 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Responsorial Psalm ps 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102

R. (97) Lord, I love your commands.
How I love your law, O LORD!
It is my meditation all the day.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
Your command has made me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
I have more understanding than all my teachers
when your decrees are my meditation.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
I have more discernment than the elders,
because I observe your precepts.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
From your ordinances I turn not away,
for you have instructed me.
R. Lord, I love your commands.

Gospel lk 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, "Is this not the son of Joseph?"
He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb,
'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'"
And he said,
"Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?


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: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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22nd Week in Ordinary Time

... So that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:5)

It has been said that the greatest chasm in the world is the distance between the mind and the heart. So when St. Paul went to Corinth, he didn't focus on sublime teaching about God or argue about moral issues. He simply presented Christ crucified, risen, victorious, powerful. He didn't give the people teachings about Christ as much as he gave them Christ himself. He wanted to bridge that chasm!

Paul's words were so effective because he showed the heart-to-heart, person-to-person relationship that Jesus came to give us. He showed that Jesus is more than a great teacher; he is our salvation. He is not just an idea; he is a person. Jesus himself is the very foundation of our faith.

So let's connect with Jesus on a personal level, a "heart" level, today. Let's allow the Scriptures to bring us face to face and heart to heart with the Lord. Reread today's Gospel and place yourself in the scene. As the synagogue members listen to Jesus and note the graciousness of his words, they still can't bridge that gap between their minds and their hearts. They are impressed with him intellectually and emotionally, but they still can't get past what they know of him. He grew up with them; they played together as children; they worked together at their trades. He couldn't possibly be more than they already know! And so their polite approval changes to fury when Jesus exposes their closed hearts.

Jesus' heart must have ached to see his neighbors unable to accept him.

What about you? Will you go deeper than what you know about the Lord? Will you let him—Jesus, the person, and not just the ideas about him—touch your heart?

"Lord, I believe that you are more than I know. I don't want to be just convinced about who you are. I want to meet you and know you personally. Jesus, come and be the foundation of my faith!"


Psalm 119:97-102; Luke 4:16-30


St. Paul's words emphasize faith, but not in what we know, but in the power of our Lord.  Faith.  And where do we get our faith?  How do I do it?  We prayed the psalm today "Lord, I love your commands. Your command has made me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me."  What has made me wiser in my own life is the knowledge of where I stand in relation to our Lord and sin.  This has brought about supreme intelligence in my dealings with neighbor.  Charity and compassion have been revealed the more I allow God in my life.  Sin starts being uprooted, the weeds in my life are being plucked out, one by one.  But notice, it's all about IF we allow Him.  Or do we drive Him away by what "I really know" about God?  Because that is exactly what drove those in Nazareth to nearly throw Jesus over a cliff.  It pains me to sit in a group of Christians who I know will not do as our Lord commands.  Perhaps it pains me the most because I am sitting among them; in other words, I could be one of them.  And so this is my faith, my struggle.  To do what no one else will do.  To do the hard stuff for the Lord.  To love like no one else for the forgotten.  To pray like no one else? Well, that would be a marvel in my life.  But I do meditate all day.  An obsession?  Not really, it's called faith.  And the more I tune myself to His Will, the more faith I am revealed.  So, this is not all words, let me give you a miniature example: yesterday, when I woke up I had a headache, I didn't feel really awake and I could tell, and so one prayer I prayed in my heart to the Lord, knowing I would have to read as a Lector for Holy Mass, I prayed "Lord, my mind is not all here, please let your Holy Spirit take over as I ready today because I am not all here (disconnected)"...When it was almost time for me to read, a few minutes before, I could hear my kids getteing restless, but I still meditated and prayed, and the message of the cross began to be revealed (without having read the Gospel).  I read the 1st Holy Scripture in front of the congregation in that relation, of what we leave behind in our lives as the cross.  It was a revelation I was reading and emphasizing (because we communicate mostly through the truth and our bodies not just words).  After Mass, my parents were complimenting on how well I had read, (i said to them Thank God) but inside I knew what had happened; the Holy Spirit had taken over.  And so this was a miniature example of faith in action.  You don't simply "believe" but you allow.  What I allow in my life to happen is for good or evil, there is no middle ground.  What we need to do is allow more and more of our Lord in our lives, because if we do not, we are pushing Him to the cliff.  What's funny though is that at the end of the cliff, He steps aside and we keep walking ourselves to the brink of death.  He didn't lead us there, but we did it to ourselves.  It's our choice.  And by reading this you have begun the right process and allowed Him just a little more... I will never know who was affected by this today, but perhaps one day the Lord will reveal it, because in the end, the Truth is revealed and God is there......

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