Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Made For Man

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Minute Meditations

Mind-boggling Love Minute Meditations

We must allow ourselves to be filled with wonder and awe at His majesty, and at His mind-boggling loving kindness as evidenced by the simple fact that He has created us (He didn't need to), has redeemed us (we didn't deserve it), and has continuously invited us to walk with Him toward our everlasting home in His heavenly kingdom.
— from Answers

St. Sebastian

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Almost nothing is historically certain about St. Sebastian except that he was a Roman martyr, was venerated in Milan even in the time of St. Ambrose (December 7) and was buried on the Appian Way, probably near the present Basilica of St. Sebastian. Devotion to him spread rapidly, and he is mentioned in several martyrologies as early as a.d. 350.

The legend of St. Sebastian is important in art, and there is a vast iconography. Scholars now agree that a pious fable has Sebastian entering the Roman army because only there could he assist the martyrs without arousing suspicion. Finally he was found out, brought before Emperor Diocletian and delivered to Mauritanian archers to be shot to death. His body was pierced with arrows, and he was left for dead. But he was found still alive by those who came to bury him. He recovered, but refused to flee. One day he took up a position near where the emperor was to pass. He accosted the emperor, denouncing him for his cruelty to Christians. This time the sentence of death was carried out. Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs. He was buried on the Appian Way, close to the catacombs that bear his name.


Another legend describes Sebastian's effectiveness in bolstering the courage of those in prison. Two men under sentence of death seemed about to give in to their captors. Sebastian's impassioned exhortation to constancy not only confirmed the two in their original convications but won over many other prisoners in the jail. Again, this particular story may not be historically accurate. But it is true that all saints witness to Jesus both by word and action. 


The fact that many of the early saints made such a tremendous impression on the Church—awakening widespread devotion and great praise from the greatest writers of the Church—is proof of the heroism of their lives. As has been said, legends may not be literally true. Yet they may express the very substance of the faith and courage evident in the lives of these heroes and heroines of Christ.

Patron Saint of:


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.


I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.  I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 Heb 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10c

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Eph 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
"Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
He said to them,
"Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?"
Then he said to them,
"The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

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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.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Mark 2:23-28

View NAB Reading at

Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr

The sabbath was made for man. (Mark 2:27)

When the Pharisees question Jesus' disciples picking and eating grain on the Sabbath, he reminds them that David ate a special kind of bread on the Sabbath called the "bread of offering" (1 Samuel 21:5). It was also called the "bread of the presence" because it had to be always before the tabernacle in the presence of God (Exodus 25:30). Only the priest could eat it, yet he gave the bread to David, who then gave it to his companions. So why do you think Jesus used this example to show that "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27)?

There's no doubt that Jesus was pointing out how burdensome some of the sabbath regulations were. Human beings—like his disciples—couldn't realistically be expected to follow them all. But in telling the story of David and his companions, Jesus was also saying something about what God has done for us. He gave us the Sabbath so we could rest and be nourished. We are told that the bread of offering was unleavened bread—the bread of the Passover and the kind of bread that the Eucharist is made of!

David and his companions are much like us. When we are weary from life's journey, Jesus provides us with food and rest through the gift of his Body and Blood. "The bread that I will give," he said, "is my flesh for the life of the world" (John 6:51). The Eucharist—the bread of Jesus' presence—is what sustains us throughout the week, for our entire lives, and into eternity. It's something we can't do without.

The Sabbath should be a day of rest, and in the Eucharist, God offers us that rest. It's so much more than just physical rest. It is refreshment for our souls when we become weary of fighting temptation. It's rest for our hearts when we get worn down by the call to love our enemies. It's strength for our wills when we want to give in and just go with the flow. The Eucharist is that "secret place" where you can go to commune with Jesus and take refuge in him. What a marvelous gift!

"Jesus, how I love to receive you in the Eucharist! There can be nothing better than to experience your presence. May I never stop thanking you for this awesome blessing!"


Hebrews 6:10-20
Psalm 111:1-2, 4-5, 9-10

Our Lord made a promise, and it is good.  He made a promise to the father of the patriarchs, Abraham, that we would be descendants of the chosen one.  And the chosen one has come, and He has chosen us today.  Chosen for what?  Destined to die but for what?  Because today's saint's life is not really known...except that he died for our Lord.  And that is enough.  Enough to give our entire lives, enough to provide all we have.  The Psalms say it all "The Lord will remember His covenant forever".  I don't think we, as humans, understand what forever really means, mostly because we don't understand the depths of true love.  Sure we taste it, but don't understand the bread of life. 
In comes Jesus into our world.  The disciples are plucking heads in the wheat fields and the Pharisees popout of the fields like ground squirrels LOL, "hey! you can't do that! I'm going to tell on you!".  Stringent followers of the law and not of God.  This is the dilemma we find ourselves in today.  So much stringent laws on how things ought to be and really no one is opening their hearts to God.  And so we have finger pointers and people saying there are divisions, but I say nay.  I say there is a law that everyone is forgetting...the law of God, of Love.  Our Lord says it all today, all that is important in words we can not understand without the Spirit, "I came for you, you are mine", (I Am availing myself to you) only He says "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath".  Man was to be treated with the opportunity of salvation, the Sabbath, the day we keep holy for the Lord.  Only, the death of our Lord would establish a new covenant, a new promise, a resurrection of the dead...forever.  The new sabbath is Sunday, the first day of the week of ancient times.  This is the first day of the rest of my life.  God abolished the law of man (Pharisaical train of thought) and brought His son, the completion of the first promise to make an inummerable amount of descendents for the salvation of man.  For this He descended from Heaven, so that we may ascend with Him.
  So take heart, because we live in the days of the promise, the bread is on the altar, and turns into the promise of salvation.  When He is lifted up, elevated above all, it is a sign that we are to elevate God above all in our lives.  The bread was made for man to consume.  The sabbath was made for man to consume, so that we might live.  Seize the day.  Seize every opportunity the bread comes into your life...Jesus.  Take as much as you can, because if we are in a race, then it is human.  And in this race we seek glory, only the glory God gives is the glory the evil wants you no part yourself on the Sabbath...just like Jesus on the day of Passover.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem, of the House of Bread.  He IS THE Bread.  Upon the sacrifice of the greatest celebration of old, the greatest bread of life was being offered to God...Jesus on the cross.  Man was made to give glory to God.