Monday, January 19, 2015

New Wine

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Minute Meditations

Empty Preaching Minute Meditations
No one listens willingly to someone who speaks to them from a position of self-righteousness and judgment. Again and again in the Gospels, Jesus reserves his harshest words for those who ignore their own weakness in order to lord it over others.
— from Pope Francis and our Call to Joy

St. Fabian
(c. 250)

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Fabian was a Roman layman who came into the city from his farm one day as clergy and people were preparing to elect a new pope. Eusebius, a Church historian, says a dove flew in and settled on the head of Fabian. This sign united the votes of clergy and laity, and he was chosen unanimously.

He led the Church for 14 years and died a martyr's death during the persecution of Decius in 250 A.D.. St. Cyprian wrote to his successor that Fabian was an "incomparable" man whose glory in death matched the holiness and purity of his life.

In the catacombs of St. Callistus, the stone that covered Fabian's grave may still be seen, broken into four pieces, bearing the Greek words, "Fabian, bishop, martyr."


We can go confidently into the future and accept the change that growth demands only if we have firm roots in the past, in a living tradition. A few pieces of stone in Rome are a reminder to us that we are bearers of more than 20 centuries of a living tradition of faith and courage in living the life of Christ and showing it to the world. We have brothers and sisters who have "gone before us with the sign of faith," as the First Eucharistic Prayer puts it, to light the way for us.


"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Tertullian).


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


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am.  How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1 Heb 5:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my Son:
this day I have begotten you;

just as he says in another place,
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
"Rule in the midst of your enemies."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
"Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Alleluia Heb 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
"Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them,
"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."

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Conversation requires talking and listening.  As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.  I picture the gentleness in His eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.  I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.  I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.  I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care, to abandon myself to Him, knowing that He always wants what is best for 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: Hebrews 5:1-10

View NAB Reading at


2nd Week in Ordinary Time

In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears. (Hebrews 5:7)

It's both wonderful and mysterious how Jesus lived while he was on the earth. We know that as God made flesh, he entered fully into our human condition. He displayed compassion, sorrow, tenderness, and mercy, and he also experienced tiredness, hunger, pain, temptation, and fear. He was human just like us, subject to all the experiences we face. But at the same time, he was fully God, and that meant he never let any of these experiences lead him to sin.

Here's one good side to the mystery of Jesus: he knows what we're going through because he's been through it. At the same time he knows that we don't have the same strength that he had to overcome sin. In other words, he gets it! He doesn't condemn us; he forgives us. Knowing our weaknesses and not wanting to lose any of us, he is extremely patient with us. He went so far as to shed his blood for us.

How did the Father respond to Jesus' dedication to us? Resurrection! He didn't relieve Jesus' suffering or remove the cross from him, but he transformed his Son's death into new life. So when you feel the challenges of everyday life, when your sin weighs heavily on you, when you feel there is no way out of temptation, you can turn to Jesus, because he never gave up on you! He is still interceding for you, joining his prayers to yours and lifting them up to his heavenly Father.

What more assurance can we have than this great high priest, who has ransomed us from sin? He forgives and forgets, then he sends us back out into the world to pass on his message of forgiveness! So come to the Lord with all your "stuff." He won't turn you away. He won't ask, "Why weren't you strong enough?" He's only going to say, "Neither do I condemn you. Now, get up and stick with me. We've got work to do."

"Jesus, thank you for your prayers, your forgiveness, your patience with me—again! I not only place myself at your mercy, but at your service."


Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 2:18-22


Allow me to translate today's 5minutos:
  "Many people live a life where happiness, joy, and the mystery have died.  To them, all is gray and pain.  The fire of life has turned off.  They get happy when not thinking nor hope too much.  THeir life carries on in a trivial and tiring manner.  Where does this tiredness and sadness come from?  Life is full of problems, of little causes: too much work, insecurity, guilts, loneliness, afraid of illness, deceptions, impossible desires...But, the true root of this sadness, is that inside the interior of these lives there is solitude and emptiness.  When one has nothing inside, they need to look for something outside to help them live.  When one does not live any joyful experience  in their interior, they need someone to excite them from the outside, and if not found they are left sad and without life.  There is in our society a tendency to consider as an illusion "what comes from the heart".  The interior world is substituted by what is outside, the things at our reach, the objects to possess.  But, when one has no interior life, things are boring, the conversations become unsubstantial chatter, a torrent of words without much content.  In the long run, everything starts becoming monotonous and grey, borring.  The joy can only be discovered when life is lived from the inside, when man knows to let self be inhabited by the mystery, when opened up to all calling that invites to love, the adoration the surrendered faith.  What faith have we lived us Christians that there has appeared before men like something sad, borring and painful?  With what have we confused the joyful presence of God in our lives?  How have we impoverished life in the resurrected spirit?  Jesus reminds us one more time with an expressive image that the faith should be lived as and expression of joy: the friends of the groom "can not fast while they have the groom with them".
The Spirit has led me to begin writing songs for the year 2015, two in one weekend, which is odd, normally one per month occurs.  Stranger things yet, the phenomenal presence of God is still being revealed about our charismatic prayer last week.  It is still being dissected and digested.  Much in the same way, is the life of Christ, the high priest, that offered sacrifice for the people.  Everything He did and said is still being dissected and digested, and digested is a good word, because we literally eat the Word made flesh for the life of the world.  And so one of two things happens when we digest the Word; 1) Nothing: nothing happens and life goes on the same as before (or worse).  Or, 2) Life Happens: the realization that God is with us makes a manifestation that causes great eternal celebration for the soul.  I'm serious, it is black and white, dark or day, night or light.  It's as if the disciples where with the ultimate sacrifice, they weren't going to kill it, but those that questioned them did.  How can you fast with the live lamb?  A priest would sacrifice by slaughtering the lamb, and one can't kill oneself, it is God that chooses when and where and how.  No lamb would kill itself, but the priest would.  And so, nowadays, we live in the times of the sacrificial lamb that was slaughtered, the obedient High Priest, Jesus.  We fast, not because we are without, but because we are filling ourselves within.   In Scripture and charismatics, you have to use your body to worship, King David danced for God, and some ridiculed their own demise.  What I am trying to say, is we have to have a renewed sense of who God is in our lives, and this sense should make sense that God is everything in our lives.  One said about our prayer gathering "I didn't know it was going to be like living a Cursillo", and another texted me yesterday evening, "i'm cleaning my house and cooking and I am crying because of God's goodness and I wated to thank you for everything I first thank Jesus..." and she is speaking of God's love experienced in the prayer meeting.  I asked my daughter what she thought and she said "it was like that time that we experienced God's presence in Adoration".  He is with us, this is all I am trying to say to you right now.  The groom? Right inside the heart.  The bride?  Your heart, the Holy Church.  Why do we not fast?  Exactly.  Why don't we fast more so more of the groom comes inside?  We don't because we have been fooled by the richness of the world, material things to blind you to the fact to tell you that you don't need no god.  I fast every morning until I finish writing to you.  I fast before Holy Mass.  I fasted before Christmas and it was the most beautiful Christmas I've ever experienced.  Soon, Lent will come so we can fast, what an honor to empty our bodies, our Holy Temples to make more room for the groom.  Jesus makes everything new.  I have seen transformations, healings, and lights turned on for the Lord, and the focus now is to keep them on until the day He comes for each and every one of us.  As if He is so far away, I've already said, He is with us...have no fear, have joy, have peace.  That's another thing one said of our prayer gathering "for the first time I felt peace like never before " and she slept good because previously physical ailments impeded her.  The point of it all is this, you were there in prayer, and God is with us all in everything we do for Him.  When we are with Him, we have everything, no room for the emptiness of sin...
We are Whole and Holy His