Tuesday, January 13, 2015

He Commands

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Minute Meditations

The Essence of Idolatry Minute Meditations

We are so consumed with the things of the created world that we forget that there even is a creator! This is the essence of idolatry. We gladly follow anything other than a God who makes demands on us and tell us what to do with our money, our bodies, our time... our lives.
— from Zealous

St. Hilary

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This staunch defender of the divinity of Christ was a gentle and courteous man, devoted to writing some of the greatest theology on the Trinity, and was like his Master in being labeled a "disturber of the peace." In a very troubled period in the Church, his holiness was lived out in both scholarship and controversy. He was bishop of Poitiers in France.

Raised a pagan, he was converted to Christianity when he met his God of nature in the Scriptures. His wife was still living when he was chosen, against his will, to be the bishop of Poitiers in France. He was soon taken up with battling what became the scourge of the fourth century, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ.

The heresy spread rapidly. St. Jerome said "The world groaned and marveled to find that it was Arian." When Emperor Constantius ordered all the bishops of the West to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, the great defender of the faith in the East, Hilary refused and was banished from France to far off Phrygia (in modern-day Turkey). Eventually he was called the "Athanasius of the West." While writing in exile, he was invited by some semi-Arians (hoping for reconciliation) to a council the emperor called to counteract the Council of Nicea. But Hilary predictably defended the Church, and when he sought public debate with the heretical bishop who had exiled him, the Arians, dreading the meeting and its outcome, pleaded with the emperor to send this troublemaker back home. Hilary was welcomed by his people.


Christ said his coming would bring not peace but a sword (see Matthew 10:34). The Gospels offer no support for us if we fantasize about a sunlit holiness that knows no problems. Christ did not escape at the last moment, though he did live happily ever after—after a life of controversy, problems, pain and frustration. Hilary, like all saints, simply had more of the same.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Saint of the Day for 1/12/2015 Saint of the Day for 1/14/2015

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


"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
What a wonderful privilege
that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me.
I welcome His presence.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.
I attend to the shadows and what they say to me, seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

 The Word of God

Reading 1 Heb 2:5-12

It was not to angels that God subjected the world to come,
of which we are speaking.
Instead, someone has testified somewhere:

What is man that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor,
subjecting all things under his feet.

In "subjecting" all things to him,
he left nothing not "subject to him."
Yet at present we do not see "all things subject to him,"
but we do see Jesus "crowned with glory and honor"
because he suffered death,
he who "for a little while" was made "lower than the angels,"
that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he,
for whom and through whom all things exist,
in bringing many children to glory,
should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.
He who consecrates
and those who are being consecrated all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them "brothers" saying:

I will proclaim your name to my brethren,
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (see 7) You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.

Alleluia See 1 Thes 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!"
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
"What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him."
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.


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.


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: Mark 1:21-28

View NAB Reading at

Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

He taught them as one having authority. (Mark 1:22)

Mark tells us that Jesus' authority astonished those who heard him. It amazed those who witnessed what he did. Even though they didn't understand where the authority came from or how Jesus got it, they couldn't deny it. Were they awed by his command over the unclean spirit? Probably. But the people were also surprised. Jesus taught in a way that produced something new in them. Perhaps it was hope or reassurance, release from guilt or eagerness to know God more.

We tend to think of authority as the right and ability to enforce rules. What is remarkable is that the things Jesus speaks with authority about are things he wants to create and build up in us. Not mere lofty goals we reach for endlessly but qualities, characteristics, and desires that he himself will help us adopt.

Consider, Jesus says you are ...

... Safe—"I give you eternal life, and no one can take you out of my hand." (John 10:28)

... Known intimately—"Before you were born, my eyes gazed on your unformed substance. I know you inside and out, exactly how you are made." (Psalm 139:12-16)

... Chosen—"I chose you before the foundation of the world to be with me forever." (Ephesians 1:4)

... Treasured—"Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you." (Isaiah 49:15)

... Empowered —"You can do all things, for I will strengthen you and give you the wisdom and power you need to do what I call you to do" (Philippians 4:13)

All these statements are true about you. Let Jesus speak these words, in all his authority, to your heart today. Let these words shape the way you relate to the people around you, too. For the more you know how important you are to the Father, the more you'll see how important everyone else is—and the more you'll begin to treasure them.

"Jesus, open my ears to hear you, and my heart to be amazed and astonished as you teach me of the life you have for me."


Hebrews 2:5-12
Psalm 8:2, 5-9


All things are subject to Him.  This we read in the first Holy Scripture.  The Psalms pray "You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands".  The Holy Gospel takes us to the synagogue where Jesus is, and there too had entered evil.  Some man yelled at Jesus, but it was evil speaking "..what do you want with us? Have you come to destroy us?".  To a normal ear of the world, this may have been interpreted as just a rant, nobody would've cared, but Jesus knew what it was...evil trying to destroy the church.  And since all things are subject to Him, He expelled the evil from that man that was being used.  You see, evil uses us and disposes of those it uses.  But God saves.  We didn't hear of the man that was being used, but we should be assured that he was saved, because Jesus came to reconcile and find what is lost. 
For the last week or so, I've been personally inviting this person and that person to come to this prayer/worship gathering I feel the Lord calling me to do this Thursday, upon which too I expect healing if the grace is allowed and faith held.  Someone was turned off because I said it may be somewhat charismatic.  That's fine.  We don't like what we don't even know.  I don't even know.  But I do know this "all things are subject to Him".  That sickness these people have, even my aunt facing death as we speak in ICU right now, all that is subject to Him.  Question is, am I subject to Him?  Of course we are, but do I let it be?  If you don't get it still, I'm asking you in a sense, are you disposed to the Holy Spirit and His Graces?  Are you subjecting yourself to Him?  The Holy Catholic Church has recognized charismatic renewals, and God recognizes those subjecting themselves to His will, so why the stigma?  "WHAT HAVE YOU TO DO WITH US?" says the people when they stigmatize others within the Church, thus trying to cause division.
And this is my focus, that of Jesus, healing, that of Jesus uniting, that of Jesus amazing.  Because once He allows His subjects to do His will and His subjects allow Him to do His will, both are amazing the world.
And the miracle you have seen or will see, it should be only to subject ourselves to God.  It is a calling.  It is God calling.  Calling to what?  To Him.  That is the whole point of the charismas, the gifts of God, to bring us closer and closer to Him, and that means holiness.  Either you will suffer to Holiness or you will subject yourself to Holiness.  Either way, God will have His way.  I want us though to focus on His calling and it is one always of purity and holiness.  Do you remember the quote from Allen Hunt (the ex mega church pastor) when he described holiness?  Love.  Forget all your pious attitudes if there is no love.  Forget all the good will you desire for yourself and family if there is no love.  Love has to find a way and it is finding you by reaching your eyes today.
If you open Scripture, God is looking into your soul.  And that there is the aim, of what He knew before you were conceived, the very substance He knew, He knows deeper than the material DNA, He knows the soul.
The man in the synagogue is the sinner that we are.  The Savior in the synagogue is Jesus.  So two meet up in the temple, evil is expelled and another soul comes to Heaven, to Holiness, saved from evil, death, and hell.  Only, the man Savior is divine, God is inside and with power and authority does for the good with all that is subject to and I