Friday, September 5, 2014

Wine Desires New

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Unbounded Love
"God's heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to forsake our human certainties, to trust in Him and, by following His example, to make ourselves a gift of unbounded love." --Pope Benedict XVI
— from Made For Love, Loved By God

Blessed Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta)


Mother Teresa of Kolkata, the tiny woman recognized throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor, was beatified October 19, 2003. Among those present were hundreds of Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded in 1950 as a diocesan religious community. Today the congregation also includes contemplative sisters and brothers and an order of priests.

Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia (then part of the Ottoman Empire), Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu was the youngest of the three children who survived. For a time, the family lived comfortably, and her father's construction business thrived. But life changed overnight following his unexpected death.

During her years in public school Agnes participated in a Catholic sodality and showed a strong interest in the foreign missions. At age 18 she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. It was 1928 when she said goodbye to her mother for the final time and made her way to a new land and a new life. The following year she was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. There she chose the name Teresa and prepared for a life of service. She was assigned to a high school for girls in Kolkata, where she taught history and geography to the daughters of the wealthy. But she could not escape the realities around her—the poverty, the suffering, the overwhelming numbers of destitute people.

In 1946, while riding a train to Darjeeling to make a retreat, Sister Teresa heard what she later explained as "a call within a call. The message was clear. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them." She also heard a call to give up her life with the Sisters of Loreto and, instead, to "follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor."

After receiving permission to leave Loreto, establish a new religious community and undertake her new work, she took a nursing course for several months. She returned to Kolkata, where she lived in the slums and opened a school for poor children. Dressed in a white sari and sandals (the ordinary dress of an Indian woman) she soon began getting to know her neighbors—especially the poor and sick—and getting to know their needs through visits.

The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Others helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, the use of buildings. In 1952 the city of Kolkata gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging, and street people.

For the next four decades Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor. Her love knew no bounds. Nor did her energy, as she crisscrossed the globe pleading for support and inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 5, 1997, God called her home.


Mother Teresa's beatification, just over six years after her death, was part of an expedited process put into effect by Pope John Paul II. Like so many others around the world, he found her love for the Eucharist, for prayer and for the poor a model for all to emulate.


Speaking in a strained, weary voice at the 2003 beatification Mass, Pope John Paul II declared her blessed, prompting waves of applause before the 300,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. In his homily, read by an aide for the aging pope, the Holy Father called Mother Teresa "one of the most relevant personalities of our age" and "an icon of the Good Samaritan." Her life, he said, was "a bold proclamation of the gospel."


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


"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek your presence.
I long for your healing power.


By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving care.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground.
Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God
Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 cor 4:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

Responsorial Psalm ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
Criminals are destroyed
and the posterity of the wicked is cut off.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Gospel lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
"The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink."
Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days."
And he also told them a parable.
"No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, 'The old is good.'"

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.


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: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

22nd Week in Ordinary Time

It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you. (1 Corinthians 4:3)

A saying made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous goes like this: "What others think of me is none of my business." That's a good reminder to all of us that people's opinions about us shouldn't rule our lives. When they speak something negative about us, it really says more about who they are than it does about who we are. Conversely, what we say about other people reflects back on us. In the final analysis, the only person we have to please is God. What a peaceful world this would be if everyone adopted this philosophy!

Paul says something similar to the believers in Corinth. They are squabbling over doctrines, favoring one apostle over another, and becoming divided as a result. But Paul doesn't want them to get hung up on personalities. He's simply a messenger who has been called to share the good news. They can't really judge him, or any apostle, as being more important than another. If he lived in our day, Paul might just as well have said, "It's not about me; it's about Jesus."

It's not that opinions don't matter. We all have likes and dislikes. We may disagree strongly with a co-worker, a political figure, or a family member. We may not like the way a particular ministry is run. We may even have a favorite priest or homilist. There's nothing wrong with these, as long as our opinions don't put walls between us and people we disagree with. We have to remember that charity is the most important thing, because it is the virtue closest to God's heart.

If you are getting distracted by what someone is doing or saying, take a moment to focus on Jesus. Remember that he died not only for you but for everyone who disagrees with you. He loves each of us with a love that is total and unconditional. Ask for that love to penetrate your heart more deeply. Let his grace help you to see all the people around you—even the ones you disagree with—as his sons and daughters and as your brothers and sisters. Jesus' love has pulled down "the dividing wall of enmity" (Ephesians 2:14). In Christ, we are truly one!

"Lord, there are many I disagree with. Help me to look beyond our differences to find harmony in the power of your love!"


Psalm 37:3-6, 27-28, 39-40; Luke 5:33-39



Today's 5 minutos recounted the story of some peasants caught in a big storm, winds tearing up everything and they found refuge in an old temple.  The place was shaking, the beams above were moving in danger of collapsing. One began to yell one of them among them must have some "thick" sin so as to bring on this fury.  "We should discover the guilty one" and "get him away from us".  "We shall throw our sombreros out the door" said the other, "whoever's hat flies away first  is the sinner and we will abandon him to his destiny".  They all agreed. They struggled to open the door and however they could, threw their straw hats out.  The wind took one immediately. Without any pity the peasants grabbed the owner of the hat and threw him out.  That poor man, however he could hold himself up in the middle of the storm started getting further away; having taken a few steps he felt a tremendous sound: a frightening lightning bolt had struck the old temple and turned it into dust and ashes and all its occupants"...It is not the fasting that saves, it is not looking for looking for guiltiness among the disgraced that makes us holy, but the presence of Jesus in our lives and the only suffering allowed is for those of us who follow Him, is of His absence!"
  Today we prayed the Psalm "The Salvation of the just comes from the Lord".  We facilitate the salvation...take a clue from Mother Teresa.  She reached out as hope to those with no apparent hope.  Jesus reached out to them through her and she said she saw Jesus in them.  The Earth is the Lord's.  Yet to this day there are many who are judging soon to be Saint Mother Teresa.  As if they knew her personally.  As if they knew her like Jesus.  Ask one of those she saved if she had darkness.  They will say the contrary.  They will speak of the love of God.  In reply to the question "What or who is God?" Mother Teresa on one occasion said, "God is love and He loves you and we are precious to Him. He called us by our name. We belong to Him. He has created us in His image for greater things. God is love, God is joy, God is light, God is truth."   The freedom to cooperate or not is yet another expression of the love and respect that God has for each of His human creatures. He does not force Himself on anyone; He leaves it to our choice. Yet, the response befitting a creature before its Creator, who is infinite love and wisdom ought to be one of love and trust, praise and adoration, recognition and thanksgiving. Loved so greatly by God, each person is called to share that love; as Mother Teresa often affirmed: "We have been created for greater things, to love and to be loved." To love as God loves, meeting daily with Him through prayer is essential. Without it love dies. Mother Teresa stressed its importance by saying, "What blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul." But to enter into prayer, silence is necessary, for "in the silence of the heart God speaks." Her aphorism expressing these truths has become well known:
The fruit of silence is prayer;
the fruit of prayer is faith;
the fruit of faith is love;
the fruit of love is service,
the fruit of service is peace.

And so we are left judging always.  And it is designed for good, for grace in our souls.  And the only benchmark we have for good is God.  We can not judge according to learned men alone.  We can not hold wisdom as a god because it comes from God!  For everything we have just read, we need to be completely new to receive the news.  I would say the largest percentage of our accusations are largely based on feelings.  Earthly feelings will lead you to earthly demise.  If I've learned anything in striving to live a life of grace is that our feelings can get in our way of Loving as God loves.  Would I not help a vagabond because they smell bad or look disgusting?  Yet Mother Teresa found the diamond in the rubbage...Jesus in the heart of the soul.  When is the last time I saw a forgotten soul and reached out to them?  When was the last time I reached out to the person I so much hate or look down on?  Because it is the same.  How soon we believe ourselves to be good Christians and forget to be good at all!  Such was the thoughts of the Pharisees.  They knew and observed every little law, but forgot what the law was all about...GOD!  That is the heart of the matter...JESUS.  We will be lead to this truth only through...the HOLY SPIRIT.  "Oh but I don't hate nobody or hold nothing against anybody Mr. Adrian".  LOL, if you said that it means you probably do!  We reflect of ourselves what we say outloud.  I remember we had a meeting with someone one time and we asked him to be more humble and he yelled out really loud "but I'm SUPER HUMBLE!" LOL.  No, no you are not.  Humility is Mother Teresa.  Like the time she took a starving boy into a bakery to ask for a (free) piece of bread, to which the baker exasperated with people doing this reared up and spat into her face.  She said "thank you, that was for me, now please, some bread for the boy".  This is Christ in the flesh.  This is what a Christ follower looks like.  This is what a new wineskin with new wine looks like.  And the wine is the blood of Christ, and the skin is the flesh of Christ.  I can not begin to tell you how critical it is to receive Christ in a new wineskin, that is disposed to forgive and not go back to how you live.  For when you partake of His Divinity, it is no longer I who lives...but CHRIST!


Custom HTML Template. Add your content here.