Wednesday, February 4, 2015

His Own House

Untitled document

Minute Meditations

Transforming People Minute Meditations

Remember, it is much easier for priests and congregations to transform bread than to actually transform people, and further, the bread is for the sake of the people and not an end in itself, as both St. Augustine and even present canon law clearly teach.
— from Yes, and...

St. Joseph of Leonissa

Listen to Audio


Joseph avoided the safe compromises by which people sometimes undercut the gospel. Born at Leonissa in the Kingdom of Naples, Joseph joined the Capuchins in his hometown in 1573. Denying himself hearty meals and comfortable quarters, he prepared for ordination and a life of preaching.

In 1587 he went to Constantinople to take care of the Christian galley slaves working under Turkish masters. Imprisoned for this work, he was warned not to resume it on his release. He did and was again imprisoned and then condemned to death. Miraculously freed, he returned to Italy where he preached to the poor and reconciled feuding families as well as warring cities which had been at odds for years. He was canonized in 1746.


Saints often jar us because they challenge our ideas about what we need for "the good life." "I'll be happy when. . . ," we may say, wasting an incredible amount of time on the periphery of life. People like Joseph of Leonissa challenge us to face life courageously and get to the heart of it: life with God. Joseph was a compelling preacher because his life was as convincing as his words.


In one of his sermons, Joseph says: "Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel. This is what St. Paul says to the Corinthians, 'Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh in the heart' (2 Corinthians 3:3). Our heart is the parchment; through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer because 'my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe' (Psalm 45:1)."

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


What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming.
I reflect on the Presence of God always there in love,
amidst the many things that have a hold on me.
I pause and pray that I may let God
affect my becoming in this precise moment.


It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


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 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as "discipline";
God treats you as his sons.
For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a

R. (see 17) The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children's children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted 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: Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

View NAB Reading at

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. (Hebrews 12:4)

Recent international events have reminded us that in our struggle against sin, some of our brothers and sisters surely have endured severe opposition. In the last year, hundreds of thousands have lost their homes and jobs, and many, refusing to renounce their faith, have shed their blood. Today, let's honor these brothers and sisters—in Asia, in Africa, and in the Middle East—by praying especially for them.

"Father, we pray for the persecuted Church around the world. These brothers and sisters are your treasures of immense worth. With hearts united, we ask for a gracious outpouring on those facing violence for their faith. Lead them into a deeper union with you as they seek you in prayer. May this union equip them with the strength they need to stand fast in the face of persecution, and to care for their loved ones during hardship. As they abide in your presence, make them as strong as oak trees planted by streams of water.

"Jesus, come and show yourself strong in their weaknesses, hardships, and persecutions. May the light of your risen glory shine on their faces. Beholding you, may they be changed from glory to glory. Lord, you have triumphed over sin and evil. Now walk beside them, and show them the way to victory.

"Holy Spirit, in the wake of violence and injustice, we ask that you bear the fruits of healing and forgiveness in the hearts of the persecuted. May no bitter root grow up. Strengthen them against the temptation to deprive their tormentors of the grace of God. Use the witness of your faithful ones to turn the hearts of the oppressors back to you. Come, Spirit, and bring greater unity in every hostile, divisive situation. Make us all one!"

As we carry these brothers and sisters in our hearts today, let's hold onto the words of Pope Francis: "In martyrdom ... violence is overcome by love, death by life. The Church sees in the sacrifice of the martyrs their 'birth' into heaven... . Jesus turns the death of those who love him into the dawn of new life!"

"Lord, strengthen the hands and knees of your faithful ones who are persecuted."


Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18
Mark 6:1-6

Today's 5minutos said:
  "Pulguita, had been a hard worker.  Now, disabled, he spent the days in the house of his children, whom were already married, a month at each of their houses.  For this, he had shared all his goods.  And he gave them a certain monthly payment that he'd receive from his brother in Argentina.  But the "burden" was getting heavy, and even more when the monthly payment of the uncle wouldn't come in.  They decided to send him to the nursing home (asylum), alleging a thousand excuses: hard life/economy, poor crops, many children...The tears rolled down the wrinkled face, because of the ingratitude of the children.  On the day of departure, the man Pulguita, stretched out his hand to the neighbors full of emotion and tearful.   He was getting on the car that would take him to the city, when there came running, the vice prefect of the town: "Pulguita! Wait! I bring you happiness.  The postman has just given me this from the office of the consulate...they say your brother died and left you a huge inheritance!".  'OH dearest father!' yelled the children and daughters in law.  You will no longer go to the asylum, there's no room; come to our house.  But he got on the car helped by his friends.  He straightened up and said: My children, this does not change my intent.  I will go to the asylum.  The good sisters and the old folks opened their arms to receive me when I was poor.  Now, it is not just that I despise them for thousands of millions.  This money will be for them and for the unfortunate/unhappy, like me, who have been expulsed from home by ungrateful children.  Goodbye!"
Today's first Holy Scripture asks to take the load for the Lord, one that becomes joy, because seeking self satisfaction brings ultimately death.  The Psalms pray with us "The Lord's kindness is everlasting, to those who fear Him".  He is kind enough to bring you reprimand.  Yesterday, I felt more comfortable telling someone I feel more close to at work to tell them they were taking advantage of work lunch abusing time limit and to watch out.  The others, I didn't really say much.  And so it is fitting that one that has a close tie with God will be reprimanded by God as well.  Whether a time out, a broken spirit, or hurt materially, to make you realize what happened...a departure from God called sin.  This indeed is good news, because the message says "I Love you" and because He loves us, He does what He has to do, and it hurts Him more than it hurts us, but for the good of the world, it must be.  It must be that, daily  hundreds are persecuted for Christ, and a handful must die.  Daily, thousands and millions suffer diseases and it is in those moments, people turn to God.  Yesterday, I got a message from a long time ago brother, I asked how he was doing and if finally his family is going to Church, and he said he had gone through many surgeries last year and that is when his wife finally started going to church, coming closer to God.  The last message between us was one of me replying to him "whatever it takes....right?".  Who knows if he knows what I meant, but will we resist and fight til we shed blood for the Lord?  Many of us won't even  break a sweat for the Lord and give up.  Surely we don't do that when exercising trying to look good and feel good, so why is it that when it comes to the spiritual stuff we are so weak? 
The Gospel should remind us of just how weak we are to see the Lord right in front of our face.  Someone in your family is begging you to come to God and you or they won't even listen to that dumb so called "hypocrite", right?  They just "knew" Jesus of Nazareth, just a small town boy turned carpenter now trying to be this big time prophet?  And so what happens?  Nothing.  No transformations or conversions, because they "knew" God, they just "knew" better.  This is the dilemma we live in nowadays.  People have figured out God and just "know" how and who He is.  This putting Him in a box is danger to the soul.  So who won the heart of "Pulguita" in the story?  The poor that accepted him.  The same is with the Lord.  Those that are not rich, that is full of themselves, have allowed Christ into their lives and rejoice with the King of Kings, and the King of glory which means giving total life to Him.  The Gospel has been introduced into your life right now.  Pay attention to how the Lord is working in your life.  A real sign of intelligence is noticing a pattern, and when you step out and back, you can see exactly how God has been pulling you closer, and closer, and closer to Him.  Like a sheep with a call.  This message has reached the eyes of the one He loves