Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Have Been Sent

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Minute Meditations

The Way In
The pierced, open side of Christ on the cross, which makes visible the Sacred Heart of the Son of God, remains "the way in" to knowledge of Jesus Christ.
— from Made For Love, Loved By God

St. Gregory the Great

Coming events cast their shadows before: Gregory was the prefect of Rome before he was 30. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome.

Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal representative in Constantinople. He was recalled to become abbot, and at the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome.

He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England, sending 40 monks from his own monastery. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of "Gregorian" chant is disputed.

Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, he interviewed the Lombard king.

An Anglican historian has written: "It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages without the medieval papacy; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great."

His book, Pastoral Care, on the duties and qualities of a bishop, was read for centuries after his death. He described bishops mainly as physicians whose main duties were preaching and the enforcement of discipline. In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called "the Great," Gregory has been given a place with Augustine (August 28), Ambrose (December 7) and Jerome (September 30)as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.


Gregory was content to be a monk, but he willingly served the Church in other ways when asked. He sacrificed his own preferences in many ways, especially when he was called to be Bishop of Rome. Once he was called to public service, Gregory gave his considerable energies completely to this work.


"Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions, but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself. To renounce what one has is a minor thing; but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot" (St. Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels).

Patron Saint of:

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

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Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 1 cor 3:1-9

Brothers and sisters, 

I could not talk to you as spiritual people,
but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.
I fed you milk, not solid food,
because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now,
for you are still of the flesh.
While there is jealousy and rivalry among you,
are you not of the flesh, and walking 
according to the manner of man?
Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another,
"I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?

What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul?
Ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
He who plants and he who waters are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
For we are God's co-workers; 
you are God's field, God's building.

Responsorial Psalm ps 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
From his fixed throne he beholds
all who dwell on the earth,
He who fashioned the heart of each,
he who knows all their works.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Gospel lk 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases
brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God."
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, "To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent."
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Catholic Meditations

Meditation: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

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Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

God ... causes the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:7)

What does growth look like? Well, it depends on whether you're talking about mutual funds, urban sprawl, weeds in the garden, or grandchildren. And then there's the question of growth in our spiritual lives, which can be even more difficult to gauge!

Yes, the seed of faith that was planted in you at baptism is watered throughout your life: by your family and friends, by various priests and religious, and by the stories of the holy men and women who have gone before you. But what does that seed's growth look like?

For one thing, it can look like a snake shedding its skin as you leave behind old habits, thought patterns, or relationships. It can leave you feeling exposed. You may be sad about what you're letting go of or afraid of what comes next. But the newness of what emerges is fresh and exhilarating. It offers you hope and a future replete with God's life!

Growth can also look like the transformation that a caterpillar undergoes in the quiet darkness of a cocoon as it becomes a butterfly. The Holy Spirit works deep in your heart, changing you into something beautiful before the Lord. It requires patience and acceptance, perhaps, of a life temporarily less full of activities and recognition. And yet such times are essential.

Growth can also be like the almost imperceptible increase in the girth and height of a tree, as you stay faithful to the words, commands, and life God has revealed to you.

Whatever your current mode of growth looks like, you can be sure that it also includes the growth and development of roots, which sink deeper and anchor you more securely to the Lord. Strong, healthy roots allow you to absorb God's life more fully.

So ask the Lord to help you grow. Every time you receive Communion, ask Christ, who lives in you, to nourish you. Ask him to give you direction for your day or new insight into his love. As you kneel in adoration, let Jesus open your eyes, just as he did for the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Let him give you deeper and deeper roots in his love and his word.

"Father, thank you for the faith planted in me. Please bring me to full maturity in you!"


Psalm 33:12-15, 20-21; Luke 4:38-44

Jesus left the temple and got to work.  When we are blessed with the final blessing in Holy Mass, the Priest (in the person of Christ) sends us forth, a co-missioning to bring the Good News to the world.  But, we leave, we fight, we forget that we are missionaries for Christ.  The "real world" kicks in and it has nothing to do with Jesus and His Kingdom.  Oh sure, we "try" to be good, but seems we are good at failing, right?  I digress.  Jesus left the temple and went to Simon's house and the work began, healing.  We too can go to homes to heal, did you know that?  And Simon's mother was healed and began immediately serving the Lord.  How many of us are that grateful, that when we are healed we begin giving our lives to the Lord?  And we have healing Sacraments.  Then the whole town began coming in at sunset for Him to heal.  Then they didn't want to let Him go, inadvertently did not want to share the Good News...Jesus.  He laid His hands on them to heal EACH ONE of them.  He gave EACH ONE His loving care, and He cured them; all of them?  In total, He cured.  And this after praying the Psalm "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His Own".  And this after reading that we are co-workers in the Kingdom of God and that one planted and the other watered.  Planted in hearts of man made of dirt, because we are all made of earthly materials, but God plants in the soul and we have to tend to and water the plant of the soul.  As the spanish 5minutos ended today "...For this Jesus realizes in us His "miracles" and lets us put our "grain of sand", to show our faith, our appreciation.  How? Tasting it, living it, when my life has a meaning when it comes, preciscely of the faith, that frees my thoughts, that strengthens my joy for life; because it is the base of my actions and principally because now "it is not I who lives; but Christ who lives in me"; inside of me is the fountain of life, and for this His life animates now my heart, my intelligence, my gestures.  This is the true miracle that Jesus awaits of us! "
When God came to this earthly body, something spectacular happened.  Not destined for here forever, but with Him forever.  He laid hands on people to heal them.  Nowadays many lay hands on one another to kill or take control.  It is either dark or light. The rest? Not laying hands is as good as not.  I lay my hands on people constantly to pray for them.  Even yesterday they brought in a little girl in a wheelchair, to see tubes sticking out of her body now and forever will use them as a bladder, unable to walk, pale, it was the hardest part of the day.  I had told them we could help them, no need to come to our office and someone would go pay for their gas or something.  But they said the little girl wanted to meet everyone again because it made her feel good.  Me and my mom lay our hands on her for healing.  I had to fight hard to swallow my tears and not let the little girl see just how much it pained me to see what could've been one of my daughters in that situation.  What pains on top of that pain is the ingratitude of others that see me try to help someone like this little girl and then they accuse of me of being her illegitimate father or something for giving a care.  The conniving devil will never let me rest and is constantly on the attack with lies and insults.  Yet, we have read about grace.  The grace of God is within me, that fountain of hope we just read about.  I no longer live, but Christ Lives in Me.  I am whipped many times, but this grace I keep mentioning is relentless and never gives up.  This is the only thing getting me through this journey and the devil wants to take it away.  My.  Jesus.  How you are relentless on mercy.  I need that mercy.  I love that mercy.  This dirt needs water, baptism, purification, this very thing that pushes us along, this constant watering of the soul to grow to Heaven.  You may have thought "oh Mr. Adrian probably needs prayer", but if you rather, pray for that little girl with cystic fibrosis, and those who dare raise their hands and lay them on Jesus falsely accusing and sentencing to death (any body in your life).  They need more prayer than me.  And if I get left behind, say a prayer then for me, because I am just a mere servant of God who has been healed by His touch and want more for you than I care to show....
Now You Have Been Sent