Friday, July 31, 2015

They Took Offense

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Minute Meditations

Tear Down the Wall
When we are angry with someone we put up a wall between us and this person. And so we deprive ourselves of that person's love. Included in this love—which is probably the warmest love you can ever receive—is the love of God. So, I hope when the time is right, you can let the wall come down and let God love you.
— from Spiritual Resilience

St. Ignatius of Loyola

The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, Ignatius whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat (near Barcelona). He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper's hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned.

It was during this year of conversion that Ignatius began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.

He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. He spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, his orthodoxy was questioned; Ignatius was twice jailed for brief periods.

In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others (one of whom was St. Francis Xavier, December 2) vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general.

When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.

Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, ad majorem Dei gloriam—"for the greater glory of God." In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.


Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517. Seventeen years later, Ignatius founded the Society that was to play so prominent a part in the Catholic Reformation. He was an implacable foe of Protestantism. Yet the seeds of ecumenism may be found in his words: "Great care must be taken to show forth orthodox truth in such a way that if any heretics happen to be present they may have an example of charity and Christian moderation. No hard words should be used nor any sort of contempt for their errors be shown." One of the greatest 20thh-century ecumenists was Cardinal Bea, a Jesuit.


Ignatius recommended this prayer to penitents: "Receive, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask."

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-07-31


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.


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.


My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to you,
I find peace and contentment.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Lv 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37

The LORD said to Moses,
"These are the festivals of the LORD which you shall celebrate
at their proper time with a sacred assembly.
The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month,
at the evening twilight.
The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD's feast of Unleavened Bread.
For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly
and do no sort of work.
On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD.
Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly
and do no sort of work."

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the children of Israel and tell them:
When you come into the land which I am giving you,
and reap your harvest,
you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest
to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the LORD
that it may be acceptable for you.
On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this.

"Beginning with the day after the sabbath,
the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf,
you shall count seven full weeks,
and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day,
you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD.

"The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement,
when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves
and offer an oblation to the LORD.

"The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD's feast of Booths,
which shall continue for seven days.
On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly,
and you shall do no sort of work.
For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the LORD,
and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly
and offer an oblation to the LORD.
On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work.

"These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD
on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly,
and offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and cereal offerings,
sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day."

Responsorial Psalm PS 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11ab

R. (2a) Sing with joy to God our help.
Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel,
the pleasant harp and the lyre.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our solemn feast.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
For it is a statute in Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob,
Who made it a decree for Joseph
when he came forth from the land of Egypt.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt.
R. Sing with joy to God our help.

Alleluia 1 Pt 1:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever;
this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus was rejected by his own people who were astonished by his wisdom and power. They couldn't accept this ordinary man, one of their own, whose family attended their synagogue, as their teacher. Though he spoke the truth they chose not to listen.
  • I pray for wisdom and enlightenment so that I may listen to and reflect on the teachings of Jesus with renewed insight and wisdom, seeing their relevance to my walk of faith with him.


I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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: Matthew 13:54-58

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Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest (Memorial)

Where did this man get all this? (Matthew 13:56)

How could Jesus' townsfolk not see who he really was? He had already performed so many miracles and spoken so insightfully about the Law of Moses. But to them he was still the carpenter's son from down the street. So because they came to him with such low expectations, they were kept from experiencing the healings, deliverances, and other works of wonder that so many others had received. By their lack of faith, they placed limits on what they would allow God to do for them.

Do you limit Jesus? Has he become your Savior only on Sundays or in times of crisis and difficulty? Of course he wants to touch you during Mass. And yes, he loves to be with you in the hard times. But he wants to be so much more as well. He wants to talk with you and walk with you as he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He wants to give you counsel in your decisions, cheer you on in your successes, and teach you from your mistakes. He wants to give you good gifts and teach you how to serve your loved ones more humbly. Jesus wants to be your constant companion!

It can be hard to believe, but God really does delight in revealing himself in the everyday events of our lives. What's more, he actually enjoys being with us, even when we're sitting through a meeting at work, watching television at home, or doing the laundry. The more we learn how to sense his presence, the more we will receive his blessings, his revelations, and his love.

Brothers and sisters, Jesus is completely committed to you! Even when your mind is taken up with the demands of the day, he is still close to you. You may not be able to feel his presence all the time, but he is there, speaking words of love, shielding you from the devil, and forming you in hidden, unseen, ways. In the face of such love, how can you do anything but place your faith and trust in him?

"Jesus, in so many ways, you remain a mystery to me. I don't always feel you, but I know you are with me. Thank you, Lord, for your unending love!"


Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37
Psalm 81:3-6, 10-11

Listening to God is key, it is of the most importance in our daily lives.  Listening though, will come as a learned process of first obedience to Him, or shall you make the Lord listen to you first?  No.  We must put ourselves before Him, we must put ourselves before the tests for the glorious moment of hearing Him speak a single word. 
Let us turn to the Word of God.  First we prayed prayers by the saint we read of today, Ignatious who brought about the Jesuits.  We must tune ourselves into the Word and ask for the Holy Spirit to speak.  We can't just open a bible and go half-hazard and expect something magical to happen.  Today, our Lord lays out what the Israelites are to do, certain feasts on certain days, certain fastings, certain mortifications, and certain offerings.  Some they understood in rememberance and re-living a salvation of God with us, and some would have to be understood later in their fulfillment by Jesus our Christ our Lord.  Because Jesus would become the Passover Lamb that which saves, through its blood.  Jesus would then come offered as the unleavened bread already the lamb now offered in the bread that saved in the desert as bread from Heaven.  And those who partake would witness Jesus in their lives in the resurrection, for 50 days He appeared to various groups and loved ones on earth...but notice:  First They Obeyed.
  The Psalms pray on:  "There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt." and " Sing with joy to God our help."  When God says there should be no strange god among you, He means it.  He says "I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD!".  You shall trust in nothing or nobody more.  You shall love nothing or nobody more.  You shall do as I say.  You shall follow as I have walked among you.  The Lord is not saying this to be a boss, but to be your Father.  Listen to your Father and trust in His ways.  Yet the problem lays right there.  Do you listen?  So often we as mere animals, we listen to our stomach, instead of our gut.  We listen to gossip instead of the truth.  We listen to the law because we fear repercussion, instead of listening to God if His laws are moral.  You see, we listen to everything that is convenient.  We listen to our prejudice.  We listen to the stereotype, and not the little.  This past weekend, I took my wife and kids to an RV camp for the weekend.  On our way, we stopped at a truckstop to grab a bite.  My wife waited in the restaurant area and I took most of the kids, maybe 5 with me because they were restless.  As we walked around the store, I saw an older hispanic fellow was putting up a shirt on a shirt rack and at one point he caught my attention and said he had 7 kids, and remembers when they were small and said "te dan ganas de trabajar" (it gives you enouragement to work) after he said how beautiful it was.  I smiled and walked away.  Most comments from other race of people were of astonishment, I guess large families are an anomoly today, perhaps even frowned upon, where in parts of the world like China they could only dream of such a thing.  I digress, I heard  the messages of strangers, but the poor fellow working at the truckstop (I think he worked there) was the only one I received in the heart.  I want to be strong now.  I want to work now.  I want to listen to God now.  For those of you who are reading this that are fighting an uphill battle in your family life that will not listen to you, realize the important: They did not listen to Jesus either, but eventually they would realize the truth.  It is this persistence that should catch your attention.  Perhaps the annoyance.  Like my mom, perhaps a saintly person, she will annoy you with her pesky persistence.  For example, when all are eating and after they have began eating, my mom comes in real loud praying, blessing the meals.  It rubs the hardest the wrong way when we forget to pray before we eat, my dad complains, I can't even swallow my food.  But it is now something that I do.  Make an appearance and an annoyance.  You see, nowadays, we don't want to "annoy" anybody or "hurt their feelings".  But this stuff is going way overboard to the point of immorality being let through our society.  Life and Family life have been hurt.  Listen to that annoying message, maybe it's trying to tell you something.
And to realize one day for Jesus our God and King to say "I was with you" as if to say "I was the one asking you to be with me", saying "I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD" and listening to anything or anyone else above the Lord our God is false.
I'm hitting overtime with you...
or is there something more important?


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Into The Sea

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Minute Meditations
The Road to Jerusalem

Just as Jesus resolutely traveled to Jerusalem, knowing that crucifixion awaited him, we know that we need to seek God's will and embrace God's support in all situations—even the necessarily painful ones.
— from Spiritual Resilience

St. Peter Chrysologus
(406-450?)Listen to Audio

A man who vigorously pursues a goal may produce results far beyond his expectations and his intentions. Thus it was with Peter of the Golden Words, as he was called, who as a young man became bishop of Ravenna, the capital of the empire in the West.

At the time there were abuses and vestiges of paganism evident in his diocese, and these he was determined to battle and overcome. His principal weapon was the short sermon, and many of them have come down to us. They do not contain great originality of thought. They are, however, full of moral applications, sound in doctrine and historically significant in that they reveal Christian life in fifth-century Ravenna. So authentic were the contents of his sermons that, some 13 centuries later, he was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII. He who had earnestly sought to teach and motivate his own flock was recognized as a teacher of the universal Church.

In addition to his zeal in the exercise of his office, Peter Chrysologus was distinguished by a fierce loyalty to the Church, not only in its teaching, but in its authority as well. He looked upon learning not as a mere opportunity but as an obligation for all, both as a development of God-given faculties and as a solid support for the worship of God.

Some time before his death, St. Peter returned to Imola, his birthplace, where he died around A.D. 450.


Eutyches, the leader of the heresy denying the humanity of Christ, sought support from church leaders, Peter Chrysologus among them, after his condemnation in ad 448. Peter frankly told him: "In the interest of peace and the faith, we cannot judge in matters of faith without the consent of the Roman bishop." He further exhorted Eutyches to accept the mystery of the Incarnation in simple faith. Peter reminded him that if the peace of the church causes joy in heaven, then divisions must give birth to grief.


Quite likely, it was St. Peter Chrysologus's attitude toward learning that gave substance to his exhortations. Next to virtue, learning, in his view, was the greatest improver of the human mind and the support of true religion. Ignorance is not a virtue, nor is anti-intellectualism. Knowledge is neither more nor less a source of pride than physical, administrative or financial prowess. To be fully human is to expand our knowledge—whether sacred or secular—according to our talent and opportunity.

Daily Prayer - 2015-07-30


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


Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.  If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Ex 40:16-21, 34-38

Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.
On the first day of the first month of the second year
the Dwelling was erected.
It was Moses who erected the Dwelling.
He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars,
and set up its columns.
He spread the tent over the Dwelling
and put the covering on top of the tent,
as the LORD had commanded him.
He took the commandments and put them in the ark;
he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it.
He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil,
thus screening off the ark of the commandments,
as the LORD had commanded him.

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent,
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Moses could not enter the meeting tent,
because the cloud settled down upon it
and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling,
the children of Israel would set out on their journey.
But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward;
only when it lifted did they go forward.
In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling;
whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud
by the whole house of Israel
in all the stages of their journey.

Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young--
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!
I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia See Acts 16:14b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
"The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

"Do you understand all these things?"
They answered, "Yes."
And he replied,
"Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old."
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The image that Jesus uses of drawing the fishing net and separating the catch was one which many of his disciples would have been familiar with in their role as fishermen. Putting the good fish into baskets and dispensing with the bad was part of their everyday duty. So Jesus was speaking to them in language which they could relate to when describing the kingdom of heaven.
  • Elements of good and bad are inherent in the human condition. I pray Lord that with your grace I may nurture the goodness in my life so that my ways may reflect your ways and I can contribute to the building of your kingdom of justice, peace and love.


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: Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38

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Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

Moses did exactly as the Lord had commanded. (Exodus 40:16)

When their children are young, parents need to explain to them how to do just about everything. But as the children mature, their parents are more comfortable giving them greater freedom and fewer explicit instructions. Commands like "Don't cross the street" become instinctual. The phrase "Say you're sorry to your brother" becomes less necessary—or at least that's what parents hope for!

So it may seem odd that today's first reading repeats the observation that Moses did everything "exactly as the Lord had commanded" (Exodus 40:16). These are adults we're talking about here! Why does God have to give them such detailed instructions? Why tell Moses precisely how to organize worship and guide the people in the forms of cloud and fire?

Remember that the Israelites were still young in their faith at this point—they hadn't even entered the Promised Land! Not to mention, they had just recently fashioned a golden calf and worshipped it. They still needed clean boundaries so that they could become more fully the people that God called them to be.

Sometimes, we might wish that God would speak to us as specifically as he spoke to the Israelites. We want to be told exactly what to do and what not to do. Yes, sometimes he makes it very clear what he wants, but there are so many other times when he leaves us to make our best call. He gives us his Spirit to nudge us, his commandments to establish boundaries, and the Church to guide us. But in the end, he asks us to use the gift of our conscience as we try to discern the course of action that will most give him glory.

God doesn't want to keep us on a short leash, dictating our every action. He wants us to step into the freedom of his sons and daughters. So don't worry if you don't "hear" him all the time. Instead, make your best decision, step out in faith, and ask his Spirit to guide you. Over time, you'll find yourself growing more and more mature as your will naturally lines up with his.

"Heavenly Father, thank you for the double gift of your Holy Spirit and my free will. Guide me today as I step out in faith."


Psalm 84:3-6, 8, 11
Matthew 13:47-53


So the question lingers "who's a bad fish?"  Well we're probably missing the point, because the scripture says "what is bad is thrown away", the angels are picking the good for the better...the Kingdom of God.  Feel honored, for your eyes are receiving an open invitation from a messenger (angel means messenger).  Feel honored!  Another day another shot for the good.  I read a quote from today's saint through another reflection I read and it reads "Why then man, are you so worthless in your own eyes and yet so precious to God? Why render yourself such dishonor when you are honored by him? Why do you ask how you were created and do not seek to know why you were made?" (From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop).  Truth be told, the devil makes you feel worthless, brings you down with shame.  Truth be told, that is what it is supposed to do, it is a creation of God.  Now, truth be told, the devil uses lies to make you feel ashamed and worthless.  Yes we should be sorrowful for our sins, but shamed and shunned forever?  Here comes salvation! 
Moses made a tent for the glory of God.  You must make your tent a place for the Glory of God.  In its fullest essence, the Eucharist embodies in every sense of the word...the Glory of God.  The cloud now is the cloud of witnessess to His greater glory.  The end of times, the end of the age is when?  Let's take it one day at a time, for if we knew the end of time we would wait till  the last minute to try to make things right, right?  It is better to live the forever now.  Start living Heaven now.  This is the point of the Glory of God.  Just because He wasn't in the tent, doesn't mean He wasn't with them.
The Psalms pray on "My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. R. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, mighty God!"  Last night in our co-worker prayer bible reading group, we read the Gospel for this coming Sunday.  Jesus says ""I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."  I told them when it was my turn to speak, that the Lord from the days of Moses wants us to depend on Him more and more, for anything and everything.  This whole "trying to do it on my own" thing is not the point, He wants to be the point of our lives.  He wants to be front and center.  So that means I have to move out of the way!  Can we do that?  Can He be the center of our lives?  In the Church, He is at the center, the focal point, but is He the center of your daily life?  Good fish, bad fish, what's good to eat, what's not, what's good to serve God and what's not is at question.  Do you want to serve God the best you've made or a bunch of mud?  Let Him serve you, teach you, let Him be your Master, let Him be your Lord, let Him be your King, and best of all, let Him be your savior, your "Abba" which means "daddy".  Let Him discipline you, this is how you will be a disciple.  Then, with His honor, you will be honored to be in His presence.  Because to be in His prescense without all this discipline in honor will be like standing in front of nobody.  Realize what holiness means then.  Realize that all the signs and gestures and prayers we are doing in the Catholic faith are to aim our focus on making God truly the Glory He always is, not just some body else in the world, but our God!
Bow down.
Take a knee.
Offer your life.
To the King of Kings!




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Taken From Her

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Minute Meditations

Be Not Afraid

One of the difficulties we may have when our lives become unmanageable is that we find dealing with other people to be difficult and we may even struggle to maintain a relationship with God. Caring people especially can find themselves carrying unnecessary crosses as they become lost in the maze of trying to meet everyone's crazy expectations—including their own!
— from Spiritual Resilience

St. Martha
Listen to Audio

Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother's death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.

No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.

Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an "unrecollected activist." The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: "...o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear.... But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); "One does not live by bread alone" (Luke 4:4b); "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness..." (Matthew 5:6a).

Martha's great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother's death. "Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world'" (John 11:25-27).


Scripture commentators point out that in writing his account of the raising of Lazarus, St. John intends that we should see Martha's words to Mary before tLazarus was raised as a summons that every Christian must obey. In her saying "The teacher is here and is asking for you," Jesus is calling every one of us to resurrection—now in baptismal faith, forever in sharing his victory over death. And all of us, as well as these three friends, are in our own unique way called to special friendship with him.


"Encouraged by so great a cloud of witnesses, we may run as victors in the race before us and win with them the imperishable crown of glory through Christ our Lord" (Roman Missal, Preface of Saints I).

Patron Saint of:

Waiters, waitresses

Daily Prayer - 2015-07-29


To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.
I take a moment and greet my loving God.


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.


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


Memorial of Saint Martha

Reading 1 Ex 34:29-35

As Moses came down from Mount Sinai
with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands,
he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant
while he conversed with the LORD.
When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses
and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become,
they were afraid to come near him.
Only after Moses called to them did Aaron
and all the rulers of the community come back to him.
Moses then spoke to them.
Later on, all the children of Israel came up to him,
and he enjoined on them all that the LORD
had told him on Mount Sinai.
When he finished speaking with them,
he put a veil over his face.
Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him,
he removed the veil until he came out again.
On coming out, he would tell the children of Israel
all that had been commanded.
Then the children of Israel would see
that the skin of Moses' face was radiant;
so he would again put the veil over his face
until he went in to converse with the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm PS 99:5, 6, 7, 9

R. (see 9c) Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his footstool;
holy is he!
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
and Samuel, among those who called upon his name;
they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for holy is the LORD, our God.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.

Alleluia Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 11:19-27

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
"Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you."
Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise."
Martha said to him,
"I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."

Or Lk 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
"Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply,
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Martha's faith in Jesus is absolute. She believes that her brother Lazarus will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. She acknowledges Jesus as 'the Messiah, the Son of God'.
  • Faith in the resurrection helps us to live with an attitude of hope, sharing in the joy of the victory of the risen Christ over sin and death. It is because of the resurrection that Christ is with me on all of my journeys through life. Can I recognise his presence and open my heart to encounter him more fully?


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: John 11:19-27

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Saint Martha (Memorial)

You are the Christ, the Son of God. (John 11:27)

Martha, on this your feast day, we want to honor you. So often you are remembered as being so overwhelmed with housework and so upset with your sister that you lost your cool and yelled at the Lord (Luke 10:38-42). But today, we want to honor you for the witness of your deep faith.

How much you must have loved the Lord! Even as you were grieving the death of your brother, Lazarus, you still were able to make one of Scripture's greatest confessions of faith: "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world" (John 11:27). What courage that must have taken! Lazarus had been dead four days, and his body had begun to decay, but still you believed. Despite all the evidence that your eyes, ears, and nose gave, you rose up in faith to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Whatever moments of weakness you may have had, Martha, you were still a firm believer!

Martha, we want to honor you today because you are proof that even people with less than shining moments are still capable of great faith. You teach us not to downplay the faith and grace that God has given to us. You urge us never to impose limits on ourselves or to think that we will never have the faith of great saints like Peter, Mary, or yourself.

Thank you, Martha, for your witness! You show us that we can exercise hopeful, even audacious, faith. You show us that even a crisis, like the death of a loved one, is a divine opportunity to bring into focus what we truly believe. And you show us that our faith can grow just as much in ordinary times and opportunities—just as yours did when Jesus visited your home and invited you to a deeper trust in him.

Martha, you teach us that nothing is impossible for those who believe. Pray for us today, that we will follow your lead and let Jesus surprise us with a revelation of his goodness.

"Yes, Lord, I believe in you and in your promises. I will live for you today. Give me the grace to walk in the light and to know many bright, shining moments of faith today."


Exodus 34:29-35
Psalm 99:5-7, 9




The last part of the 5minutos today was the last interview question to Martha:
  "...Interviewer: 'Have you now understood which is the "only thing necessary"?
-Martha:  "It is not discovered through a definition.  But standing busting the slavery of things, revealing itself against the tyranny of the clock, putting oneself to the listening.  It is necessary to reject the blackmail of the urgent, to enter into the freedom of the only thing necessary.
-Interviewer:  "And what is the better part?"
-Martha: "That what reclaims the profoundness of our being!"
{end 5minutos}
 In today's first Holy reading, our Lord speaks to Moses and the face of Moses becomes radiant, scary even to the point that he had to put a veil over his face.  The veil is torn and the light shines through though, when our Lord is crucified and dies on the mount.  No more will we have to be afraid to see the light, the truth.  In comes the story of me and you with our Lord.  Come to the light.  Do not be afraid.  Come to Him with anything and is all
The Psalms pray on "Extol the LORD, our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for holy is the LORD, our God." and "Moses and Aaron were among his priests, and Samuel, among those who called upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them."  Holy is the Lord.  Last night the RCIA class I'm helping at was asked who do you know that you consider holy?  One man, a returning Catholic, said "Fr. Joseph" (our parish priest).  The other student, (the rest of the class LOL), a man brought up sort of Muslim, said as he pointed "you".  I said "I was afraid you'd say that, because now it's going to get to my head and I will lose the holiness".  It was a joke, but this ego thing can get the best of you.  Holy is humility all things contrary to pride.  Holy is to be set apart, like the people of God have always been.  Set apart for what?  For Him.  What is holiness and do you want it in your life?  What does it mean to honor someone that was holy like we honor St. Martha today?  These are questions you must venture now and seek and be for yourself, for this class is bringing you to the answer.
In comes the Lord our God.  Oh how He loves us.  Yet it is hard to believe when things didn't work out the way we thought they should've been.  Let me demonstrate:  Moses killed some one.  For whatever the reason he took the life of another.  And this man gave us the 10 commandments from God?  You tell me God doesn't love us and I'll tell you the truth.  Nowadays, killing comes easier, by our lies, by the slander of our mouths, I'm pretty disgusted, especially if I find myself nearing these temptations or sharing in them.  It is disgusting because they cause pain.  Martha was in pain, for her brother had died.  "If Jesus would've been there it wouldn't have happened", and so is the train of thought of a pagan, or an atheist, "if god were really there none of this bad stuff would happen".  Very childish to say the least.  God was there, God Is there, and God will be there.  If there were no darkness you would not see the light.  If life wasn't a rainbow of colors everything would be the same color, this means you would be blind or want to be blind.  Yesterday I heard of the engrossing atrocities that vicious terrorist groups are doing with other people, the sex trafficking, the killings, the lies, the deception.  They aim to recruit by being your friend.  Can we be friends?  Yes.  Should we follow their ways?  No.  One young girl fell into their religion, to the point that she writes that she was sitting in her room and saw a crucifix and felt like vomitting.  To me, this reminded me of a possessed person that is revolted or repulsed by a crucifix.  To be anti-life of another is to be anti-Christ.  Because not only is Jesus the light, He is the life.  He told Martha "There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."  When I introduced the class by Dr. Brant Pitre "Spiritual Theology" to our parish, we had about 20 show up for the first class and then they never came back.  3 or 4 were faithful and it taught "the one thing necessary"...and it was all about our prayer life and our holiness.  Many are called, few follow through.  Stay with me.  We in general, don't like to pray.  It is awkward, don't really know how, and in actuality, most times it is just plain hard.  We don't want to see Moses, so we don't pray or go to church.  So the people run from the truth and tell others why and take others with them away from the truth.  I want you to look into the light.  Look into it today.  Look into the sun, just look at the Son of God in a picture, don't say anything just look and let the hearts speak.  This is not vocal prayer, this is not meditative prayer...this is contemplating God!  A prayer in of itself.  Contemplate and be lost in His Sacred heart that continues to pump blood this very day.  It is for you, you are believe

"....anyone who lives and believes in me will never die."