Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Put On Your Apron

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 Minute Meditations

Focus on Heaven
When the longing in our hearts for God is seemingly replaced or satisfied by the offerings of the world, lukewarmness is the result. We should keep our focus on our heavenly home and the good things God has in store for us, not the temporary and false pleasure of this world.
— from Joyful Witness

St. Martin of Tours
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A conscientious objector who wanted to be a monk; a monk who was maneuvered into being a bishop; a bishop who fought paganism as well as pleaded for mercy to heretics—such was Martin of Tours, one of the most popular of saints and one of the first not to be a martyr.

Born of pagan parents in what is now Hungary and raised in Italy, this son of a veteran was forced at the age of 15 to serve in the army. He became a Christian catechumen and was baptized at 18. It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier. At 23, he refused a war bonus and told his commander: "I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ. Give the bounty to those who are going to fight. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." After great difficulties, he was discharged and went to be a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers (January 13).

He was ordained an exorcist and worked with great zeal against the Arians. He became a monk, living first at Milan and later on a small island. When Hilary was restored to his see after exile, Martin returned to France and established what may have been the first French monastery near Poitiers. He lived there for 10 years, forming his disciples and preaching throughout the countryside.

The people of Tours demanded that he become their bishop. He was drawn to that city by a ruse—the need of a sick person—and was brought to the church, where he reluctantly allowed himself to be consecrated bishop. Some of the consecrating bishops thought his rumpled appearance and unkempt hair indicated that he was not dignified enough for the office.

Along with St. Ambrose, Martin rejected Bishop Ithacius's principle of putting heretics to death—as well as the intrusion of the emperor into such matters. He prevailed upon the emperor to spare the life of the heretic Priscillian. For his efforts, Martin was accused of the same heresy, and Priscillian was executed after all. Martin then pleaded for a cessation of the persecution of Priscillian's followers in Spain. He still felt he could cooperate with Ithacius in other areas, but afterwards his conscience troubled him about this decision.

As death approached, his followers begged him not to leave them. He prayed, "Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done."


On a bitterly cold day, a famous legend goes, Martin met a poor man, almost naked, trembling in the cold and begging from passersby at the city gate. Martin had nothing but his weapons and his clothes. He drew his sword, cut his cloak into two pieces, gave one to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other half. Some of the bystanders laughed at his now odd apearance; others were ashamed at not having relieved the man's misery. That night in his sleep Martin saw Christ dressed in the half of the garment he had given away, and heard him say, "Martin, still a catechumen, has covered me with his garment."


Martin's worry about cooperation with evil reminds us that almost nothing is either all black or all white. The saints are not creatures of another world: They face the same perplexing decisions that we do. Any decision of conscience always involves some risk. If we choose to go north, we may never know what would have happened had we gone east, west or south. A hypercautious withdrawal from all perplexing situations is not the virtue of prudence; it is, in fact, a bad decision, for "not to decide is to decide."

Patron Saint of:


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


Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.


How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for?
Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for?
Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 ti 2:1-8, 11-14

You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm ps 37:3-4, 18 and 23, 27 and 29

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.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Gospel lk 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and  share my
feelings with him.


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: Psalm 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29

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Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security. (Psalm 37:3)

Did you know that a tree's roots can extend way beyond the length of its branches and sometimes go as deep as the height of the tree?

When we think about trees, we often think about the magnificent height, the breathtaking canopy of the branches, and the fruit that many trees produce. But what happens underground? The roots do more than just provide food to keep the tree healthy. They also provide stability so that it can weather most storms. They help nourish the soil and prevent erosion. And they provide a home for many underground creatures. So God's purpose for that tree extends below the ground as well as above the ground. If the roots aren't growing in the right place or manner, the tree will die, and the entire environment around it will be affected.

This analogy can help us understand the thrust of today's readings. In the first reading, St. Paul encourages us to strive to be good examples for all those who see us "above the ground": our self-control, our perseverance, and our integrity. But he also asks us to consider what is happening "under the ground" in terms of our openness to the grace of God that is ours in Christ (Titus 2:11). Are we getting our stability and nutrients from the Lord?

In today's Gospel, Jesus is telling us that God wants us to be like the servants in the parable: bearing fruit when it's convenient and when it's difficult. Like every tree that produces a minimal harvest, we are "unprofitable servants" if we are concerned only with serving just enough to get by. Those who bear generous, abundant, joyful fruit bring gladness to the people around them.

Finally, in the psalm, we are exhorted to "trust in the Lord" and "take delight in the Lord" (Psalm 37:3, 4). God is reminding us that in order to be upright in this world and to bear the kind of fruit that refreshes our loved ones, we need to sink deep roots into the Lord, receiving all the nourishment and strength he has to give us.

So how can your roots grow deeper today?

"Lord, help me sink my roots into your word and your grace so that I can bear the fruit of your kingdom."


Titus 2:1-8, 11-14; Luke 17:7-10

I can't believe the bible tells you how to act, how to be.  Woops!  Is that the sentiment we feel sometimes?  I was thinking about this yesterday.  God is telling us how He wants us to be, most often, joyful, most often, giving, most often Holy, most often satisfied.  That's how He is telling us to be, but we don't listen.  And He is telling us how, but we won't listen.  So how can we listen?  I believe we've read it already somewhere today, to be quiet and let Him speak. 
God is amazing.  And I won't tell you why or how come I say that, because it is something you have to experience for yourself.  Every Holy Mass wells up tears from the heart.  My brother in law Pablo who is in RCIA said that he had experienced our Lord in a most beautiful way in Holy Mass Sunday.  Fr. John of the Holy Spirit, a lone hermit from our diocese gave a dynamic homily, and I told him after Mass that it was "dynamic".  Somehow through all the powerful words came down to silence in the Eucharist.  That's when my heart begins to burn and my eyes soon follow.  I hold my hands together at the moment of consecration, palms together facing up in honor of our Lord's presence on earth.  When He is consumed my hands are clasped.  A consummation has occured.  The bride and the groom have had an intimate moment, the Church and Jesus.  Today, St. Paul is telling us how to be, servants after a long life, still keep serving in your old age, setting the example of holiness.  The Psalm we prayed said "The salvation of the just comes from the Lord".  Only to be followed by Jesus, and His words on how to continue to increase our faith; just keep going.  What you don't know about Pablo is that he lives with us.  He is basically a servant.  "Yes sir boss" is always his reply.  Doing my bidding, all the to do's at home that I can't get to.  He comes to the dinner table among my family, like last night, "...sit down Pablo eat with us", the reply "no, no it's Ok boss, I can't eat".  But if I tell him to pray, he will.  Somehow I've noticed a transformation in his life.  God is touching his heart, and I will tell you why or how: it's the attitude.  That attitude of servitude will determine the altitude of grace from God.  That is to say, grace is a gift, but to be disposed to that gift is the disposition He desires.  And so we prayed the rosary after dinner last night.  I demanded his sick wife, my wife's sister, to come out of her room to come pray with us.  I am a very demanding person, when it comes to God.  I am not pushy, but I demand justice.  This again, is attitude.  We are too soft, we let people do whatever in the heck they want.  Didn't you read "the Salvation of the JUST comes from the Lord"?  Just is attitude.  I told Pablo earlier that day, "you're probably tired of me asking you to pick up after yourself", and the reply was "no sir, I like it".  Truth is, we like the truth, because it sets well.  I've never experienced a relationship like with Pablo, where we can be honest with what is being said without being offended.  I believe this is the type of relationship we all need with our Father.  Because He telling us how to be, how to act.  He is telling us how to be faithful, because the apostles had asked how to increase the faith.  He is saying simply, "Be Faithful My Child".  You don't need to do much more because I already Love you.  Just be my faithful spouse (The Holy Church), just be what you already are...