Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where Are The Other......

Minute Meditations
Our Blessed Mother
Mary possesses everything we lack, everything we desire. She is always there for us, willing to teach us and intercede for us if we will only ask her for help. Most importantly, our Blessed Mother will lead us to a closer relationship with her son, Jesus.
— from Joyful Witness

St. Josaphat

In 1964, newspaper photos of Pope Paul VI embracing Athenagoras I, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, marked a significant step toward the healing of a division in Christendom that has spanned more than nine centuries.

In 1595, when today’s saint was a boy, the Orthodox bishop of Brest-Litovsk in present-day Belarus and five other bishops representing millions of Ruthenians, sought reunion with Rome. John Kunsevich (who took the name Josaphat in religious life) was to dedicate his life and die for the same cause. Born in what is now Ukraine, he went to work in Wilno and was influenced by clergy adhering to the Union of Brest (1596). He became a Basilian monk, then a priest, and soon was well known as a preacher and as an ascetic.

He became bishop of Vitebsk (now in Belarus) at a relatively young age, and faced a difficult situation. Most monks, fearing interference in liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. By synods, catechetical instruction, reform of the clergy and personal example, however, Josaphat was successful in winning the greater part of the Orthodox in that area to the union.

But the next year a dissident hierarchy was set up, and his opposite number spread the accusation that Josaphat had "gone Latin" and that all his people would have to do the same. He was not enthusiastically supported by the Latin bishops of Poland.

Despite warnings, he went to Vitebsk, still a hotbed of trouble. Attempts were made to foment trouble and drive him from the diocese: A priest was sent to shout insults to him from his own courtyard. When Josaphat had him removed and shut up in his house, the opposition rang the town hall bell, and a mob assembled. The priest was released, but members of the mob broke into the bishop’s home. He was struck with a halberd, then shot and his body thrown into the river. It was later recovered and is now buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be canonized by Rome.

His death brought a movement toward Catholicism and unity, but the controversy continued, and the dissidents, too, had their martyr. After the partition of Poland, the Russians forced most Ruthenians to join the Russian Orthodox Church.



Surrounded by an angry mob shortly before his death, Josaphat said, “You people of Vitebsk want to put me to death. You make ambushes for me everywhere, in the streets, on the bridges, on the highways and in the marketplace. I am here among you as your shepherd and you ought to know that I should be happy to give my life for you. I am ready to die for the holy union, for the supremacy of Saint Peter and of his successor the Supreme Pontiff.”


The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West. The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting and celibacy. No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor, and doctrinal disagreement was present. But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern Churches (mostly Orthodox) and 23 percent Protestant, and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians!

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....

Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.  Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.  I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.

How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.  Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.  I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.
The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 493

Reading 1 ti 3:1-7

Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities,
to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.
They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate,
exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded,
slaves to various desires and pleasures,
living in malice and envy,
hateful ourselves and hating one another.

But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Responsorial Psalm ps 23:1b-3a, 3bc-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Gospel lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to 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: Titus 3:1-7

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Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared … (Titus 3:4)
Often, a proofreader will read a text backwards. This forces the eyes to slow down and notice each word individually. If we modify it just a bit, this technique can help us read and ponder the Scriptures more carefully and prayerfully.
Take today’s first reading, for example. There is so much here that explains God’s eternal love and his plan for us that we might miss if we read it too quickly. So let’s try reading it “backwards.”
The last line of the text talks about our becoming “heirs in hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). This is the foundation of everything God has done for us! He created us to be with him forever and to inherit all of his spiritual riches. This intention of his has never changed. Even in our darkest sins, he still longs for us to be with him.
With this truth in our hearts, we find it easier to embrace the line just before it: “that we might be justified by his grace” (Titus 3:7). If you want to be with God forever, you need to embrace his salvation. You need his grace to set you free from sin. You don’t have to be afraid of your past, for there is no condemnation, only hope.
Continuing back, we read these words: “… through Jesus Christ our savior” (Titus 3:6). Everything points to Jesus. If we fix our eyes on him, we can’t help but come to love him. Seeing his perfection and his glory, we will want to surrender our lives to him and receive his healing, his freedom, and his Spirit.
Speaking of the Spirit, the next line tells us that God has “richly poured” him out on us (Titus 3:6). Our generous Father is always offering us a share in his life. He wants nothing more than to fill us with his divine life, which only his Spirit can provide.
Now, as you read back through this passage in its original order, ask the Spirit to move these truths from your head to your heart. Remember, his word is not just letters on paper. It’s living and active!
“Holy Spirit, I want to know Jesus more. Help me to receive the abundant life you have for me in your word. Open my heart and fill me.”

Psalm 23:1-6; Luke 17:11-19

The 5minutos says:
 "We should cultivate a heart that knows how to appreciate, the people that surround us and that surely fill us with favors, and overall to God.  A zar, that was sick, said "I will give half my kingdom to whomever cures me!".  Then all the wise men united and celebrated a gathering to cure the zar, but no medium was found.  One of them regardless, declared that it was possible to cure the zar.  "If over the land there is a happy man", he said, "take off his shirt and put it on the zar, and that way he will be cured".  The zar made them look in his kingdom for a happy man.  The messengers of the sovereign scattered throughout the kingdom, but they couldn't find a happy man.  They could not find one man with his luck.  One was rich, but was sick; another enjoyed health, but was poor; another one, rich and healthly, but complained about his wife; this other one, about his kids; everyone desired something.  One evening, the son of the zar walked in front of a poor hut and heard someone exclaim: "Thank you God, I have worked and have eaten good, what else could I want?".  The son of the zar felt filled with joy.  Immediately he sent that they take the shirt off that man, to which they would in exchange give him all the money he demanded.   The messengers sent presented themselves in a hurry to the house of that man to take his shirt, but the happy man was so poor that he had no shirt... For what are you to give thanks to God this day that He has given you?"
Last night after our make-up parish councils meeting, for some odd reason, I felt the Spirit turn my truck around, bust a U turn as I was driving away from the church hall, to go to my confirmation god-son walking out of the meeting so I could give him a CD of the songs/prayers I recorded for the Lord.  Somehow he divulged that he had already missed 3 Sunday Masses.  He mentioned he felt bad about it.  I had not asked him, it was his spirit talking.  Little needs to be said, much love needs to be shown.  I motioned to hug him as he left but it was an incomplete side hug.  The hug was from the Lord.  "I Love You Still".  Come back, and be happy, be filled.  This was the story and point of today's saint, and it was the point of today's first Holy Scripture.  And the Psalm?  The Lord Is My Shepherd, THERE IS NOTHING I SHALL WANT.  What does that mean?  Once He is all my love, I need NOTHING else in this life.  Then our King gives the Gospel, Jesus.  10 people were healed, only one realized the gift of God and CAME BACK.  It is the story of me and you.  Our sickness is our failures in the spirit.  Many times a sickness is a spiritual embodiment, of what is going on within.  For all of this Jesus came to heal.  And healing is there, but we don't come BACK to Jesus.  I say this because every day of our lives are filled with miracles.  I'll tell you one after another, and it won't affect you.  You say you need signs but they don't phase you, if anything you may raise an eyebrow of peculiar interest, much like King Herod or Pontius Pilate or any of the Pharisees in the days Jesus walked this earth. 
  So what's it going to take for you to be moved?  I heard a song I recorded last year as I drove home last night, in one part the song says as if God singing "...I would tear the world apart for keeping you from me".  Does God need to do that?  Sometimes it takes that.  Sometimes it takes much less.  At the funeral I sang at for my wife's half sister that died of cancer in her 40s a couple weeks ago, at the gravesite the deceased woman's young daughter read a poem she tried to read with a knot in her throat..."every time I see a butterfly I will know it is you mom".  We need these little signs in our lives to appreciate the love, especially of God our Father.   If I were to gaze into the eyes of Jesus, do you know what I would see?  Hope.  His eyebrows would say come back.  His face would say, I AM your Father.  His arms would be opened and His entry would have my shape belonging into His body.  You fit.  You fit in His Kingdom.  The parable of gratitude is a parable of love.  How much love will God experience from my life?  Because 10 were healed, "were they not?"  But only one was saved?  So what do I want?  To be healed or to be saved?  Because Jesus is offering everything...