Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Servant Who Knew

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Love Without Measure
Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá
— from Love Never Fails

St. John Paul II
Listen to Audio

"Open wide the doors to Christ," urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978.

Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol's promising academic career at Krakow's Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an "underground" seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology.

Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland's University of Lublin.

Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong!

He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later.

Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations.

He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome's Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria.

The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul's ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope.

"Christ is the center of the universe and of human history" was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, Redeemer of the Human Race. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as "a witness to hope."

His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that.

One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier.

In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people.

In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson's disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.


Before John Paul II's funeral Mass in St. Peter's Square, hundreds of thousands of people had waited patiently for a brief moment to pray before his body, which lay in state inside St. Peter's for several days. The media coverage of his funeral was unprecedented.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then dean of the College of Cardinals and later Pope Benedict XVI, presided at the funeral Mass and concluded his homily by saying: "None of us can ever forget how, in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing urbi et orbi ['to the city and to the world'].

"We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father. We entrust your dear soul to the Mother of God, your Mother, who guided you each day and who will guide you now to the glory of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."


In his 1999 Letter to the Elderly, Pope John Paul II wrote: "Grant, O Lord of life,...when the moment of our definitive 'passage' comes, that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope....Amen."
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


Dear Jesus, as I call on you today I realise that I often come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


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

Reading 1 eph 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God's grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial Psalm is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

R. (see 3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Gospel lk 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Then Peter said,
"Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?"
And the Lord replied,
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
'My master is delayed in coming,'
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant's master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master's will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon 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: Luke 12:39-48

View NAB Reading at

Subscriber? Login to view archives.

Saint John Paul II, Pope

If the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. (Luke 12:39)

Why would Jesus compare himself to a thief when preaching about his Second Coming? Why did he use the example of a harsh master who punishes his servants for not being ready? For those who have neglected their relationship with God, this imagery can certainly be a wake-up call. But what about those of us who have been trying our best to follow him? Should we start worrying?

Certainly not. Jesus doesn't want to frighten us into the kingdom. But there is surely an element of mystery regarding his Second Coming. No matter how spiritual we are, it's going to surprise us. We know that he will come "upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30). But we don't know exactly what that will look like or when it's going to happen. We can only expect that when the infinite enters the finite, the status quo of everyday life will be disrupted!

Since Jesus' return will astonish everyone, we might suppose there's no way to prepare for it. But his own words tell us that our entire Christian life hinges on getting ready. He wants us to take up our cross daily and follow him. In order to find our life, we have to lose it (Luke 9:23-24; 14:33).

The best way to get ready for Jesus' return is to let him make his home in your heart. In your prayer time, try to be open to the surprising ways he may want to speak to you—not just through his word but through the gentle voice of the Spirit or through the actions and words of the people around you. As you go through your day, be open to the interruptions that come to you. Those unexpected requests from relatives, friends, or co-workers may be Jesus giving you an opportunity to serve him. You don't have to wait for the end of the world to see him; he's knocking at your door right now!

"Lord, may I welcome you in whatever form you come today—in the conviction of your holy word, in the presence of my neighbor, and in all the blessings you send to me."


Ephesians 3:2-12; (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6




St. Paul has some very interesting words for us on this day we remember the beloved Saint Pope John Paul II.  St Paul says "This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him."  We are designed for a purpose in life, the purpose, the will of God, and it will become very evident in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior in the Holy Gospel, but first the Psalm we prayed "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation".  The springs of Salvation are what give life to the Life of Christ.  I can remember when I was a little boy living in Mexico in a village, we lived in a shed behind my uncle and aunt's house.  I remember clearly one day I was thirsty, and they helped me get a tin can and went to a water well with a storage tank set higher, the hose was opened and I was poured water and it was fresh, and oh so good!  I still want that water, many water bottle companies try to offer different waters, cleaned in different ways, pulled from different springs, but none can match the experience I had that day. 
 And so it is with our Lord Jesus.  Once you partake of that water, like St. Paul, the revelation in the soul is never to be forgotten or ignored!  I remember going to another village and stayed with cousins, and another time I was thirsty I saw a glass coke bottle on top of the fridge, and without asking for it, I was so tempted to just get a drink for myself.  I got it, it wasn't cold but I took a drink and the sensation was horrible, it burned, I started gagging and thought I would die when I found out it was petrol, some type of fuel I guessed stored for the wood burning stove.  The temptations of the world will offer substitutes that will only harm you, beat you severely, and you do it to yourself! 
   Our Lord is asking us to be ever ready, ever found serving.  The abott of the Carmelite monastery said to us in our last gathering "I just had 3 cysts removed from my head last week, thank God they were not cancer, but look at me, I am here with you, I will work for the Lord until the day I die".  He said he left the ordinary parish priesthood because he could not phathom the thought of having vacations or taking a day off from the Lord.  The point is we are all called to be ready, we can't take a day off, especially on vacation, because we know not the hour!  The devil is waiting like a hungry lion, ready to pounce on the weak, that weak point in your life, and it feeds and is made strong off weakness.  Be strong.  Be courageous like St. Paul asks and our Lord is demanding.  I told my anti-catholic brother in law (says he's not), that "now that you are ministering in your church, you are more responsible" for all those souls.  The truth has to be made known and lived, and the truth is Christ.  That is our entire purpose for living.  Not just the priests' duty, not just the people at church, but every single one of us that are a Christ follower, we are all called to be Christ.  If anybody needs more prayer and love it is your priest, your church person, as well as yourself.  We are in this together.  It is too easy to find faults and dwell on them.  It is the stuff that is hard that we have to do, finding Christ and fighting tooth and nail to be His body for a hungry world.  And so it is fitting when Jesus says today "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?"  Jesus is wanting to feed his lambs, and wants responsible souls to be found doing so.  What do His lambs eat?  What Jesus provides...that cup of water for the soul, that cup of salvation, that food, His body, nourishment to grow with Him and through Him, and He is Love itself....
Thank You JESUS

Custom HTML Template. Add your content here.