Friday, March 6, 2015

It Is Wonderful

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Minute Meditations

No Pain, No Gain Minute Meditations

At times Scripture holds a mirror up to our face and we don't like what we see. The Word is truth, and sometimes the truth is painful. But so is antiseptic on a wound. Scripture challenges us only to heal us and call us to growth. No pain, no gain.
— from 40 Days, 40 Ways

St. Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes

Listen to Audio

Mary Ann grew close to God and his people during her short life.

The youngest of eight, Mary Ann was born in Quito, Ecuador, which had been brought under Spanish control in 1534. She joined the Secular Franciscans and led a life of prayer and penance at home, leaving her parents' house only to go to church and to perform some work of charity. She established in Quito a clinic and a school for Africans and indigenous Americans. When a plague broke out, she nursed the sick and died shortly thereafter.

She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950.


Francis of Assisi overcame himself (and his upbringing) when he kissed the man afflicted with leprosy. If our self-denial does not lead to charity, the penance is being practiced for the wrong reason. The penances of Mary Ann made her more sensitive to the needs of others and more courageous in trying to serve those needs.


"At times when especially impelled by love for God and fellowmen, she afflicted herself severely to expiate the sins of others. Oblivious then to the world around her and wrapped in ecstasy, she had a foretaste of eternal happiness. Thus transformed and enriched by God's grace, she was filled with zeal to care not only for her own salvation, but also for that of others to the utmost of her ability. She generously relieved the miseries of the poor and soothed the pains of the sick. And when severe public disasters such as earthquakes and plagues terrified and afflicted her fellow citizens, she strove by prayer, expiation and the offering of her own life to obtain from the Father of mercies what she could not accomplish by human effort" (Pope Pius XII).


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....


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.


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 Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a

Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons,
for he was the child of his old age;
and he had made him a long tunic.
When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons,
they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.

One day, when his brothers had gone
to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem,
Israel said to Joseph,
"Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem.
Get ready; I will send you to them."

So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan.
They noticed him from a distance,
and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him.
They said to one another: "Here comes that master dreamer!
Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here;
we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
We shall then see what comes of his dreams."

When Reuben heard this,
he tried to save him from their hands, saying,
"We must not take his life.
Instead of shedding blood," he continued,
"just throw him into that cistern there in the desert;
but do not kill him outright."
His purpose was to rescue him from their hands
and return him to his father.
So when Joseph came up to them,
they stripped him of the long tunic he had on;
then they took him and threw him into the cistern,
which was empty and dry.

They then sat down to their meal.
Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead,
their camels laden with gum, balm and resin
to be taken down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers:
"What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?
Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites,
instead of doing away with him ourselves.
After all, he is our brother, our own flesh."
His brothers agreed.
They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21

R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son;
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

Gospel Mt 21:33-43, 45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection


What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to 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: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28

View NAB Reading at

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2nd Week of Lent

Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons. (Genesis 37:3)

What a recipe for trouble! A father has twelve sons but unapologetically favors one over the others. As a result, let's just say the golden boy, Joseph, doesn't have self-esteem issues. To make matters worse, his dreams only reinforce his special status—and he enthusiastically shares them with his brothers. It's no wonder their jealousy leads them to the brink of killing him!

It's a good thing that this story is in our Bible. It shows us that God can take jealousy, pride, and family dysfunction and bring something good from them. Resentment, lying, murderous thoughts, bitterness? It's no problem; he can redeem it all and use it to bring about his plan. Look at what he did for Joseph and his family. From his slavery in Egypt, which his brothers engineered, Joseph was able to save his family from famine and reconcile with his brothers.

So don't despair if you see problems in your family. No one is perfect. There's no denying the fact that sin is corrosive and can devastate relationships and deeply wound people. But don't ever forget that sin doesn't have the last word; God does! Even when you can't see how everything will work out, even when the pain is real, you can still trust that God can go above and beyond. Think about Joseph all those years in slavery, in prison, learning to wait for God's plan to come to full flowering.

Be careful not to lose your perspective, either. Just as Joseph learned that God would work everything out for good if he stayed true to the Lord, the Spirit wants to teach you the same thing. God can see where things are heading and how they will all work out, even when it doesn't make sense to you right now. You can trust him to love you every step of the way, right into the fullness of life that he has in store for you.

Keep these truths in the forefront of your mind. Proclaim them to yourself often. Let Jesus fill you with hope and trust in him. He has your family in the palm of his hand!

"Lord, I trust you with my family. I believe you can do great things with us. May we bring glory to you!"


Psalm 105:16-21
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46



"...It Is Wonderful.."

Joseph in the year 1760 BC or so in the first Holy Scripture is the pre-figure of Christ.  In case you do not know, the parrallels are many.  He was the "beloved one" but in this story was called the favorite one.  Jesus was the "beloved Son" that God said in another verse at the Transfiguration in mt 17:5 ""This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!".  Would the chief priests and elders listen to Him?  Well, would the elder brothers of Joseph listen to him?  No.  What did they do?  They seized Joseph.  They seized Jesus, had Him arrested.  And for how much?  For some pieces of silver.  Joseph, cost 20 pieces of silver.  Jesus cost 30 pieces of silver.  Yet, that stone that was rejected, that piece of the family of God, becomes the most important part...salvation.  Joseph later would become the savior of his family, becoming the most trusted in command in Egypt when famine spread across the land, and he would ration out the food to keep people alive...including his brothers that had sold him and wanted him dead.  Jesus would come after being killed as being the most trusted in command to give us our daily bread, so that we may live, and live with Him.  Remember the marvels the Lord has done, says the Psalms, the Words of God. 
God is asking us to remember all He has done in our lives.  REMEMBER.  Jesus says at the last supper to take the bread and cup it is His Body, and then says "Do This in REMEMBERance of ME".   What does this mean?  Thanksgiving.  Holiness.  Grace.  Had the chiefs and elders remembered, they would've recognized the Messiah, the Son of God, instead of making themselves the leaders, actually seek the leader...the Savior, the Messiah.  Only some few followers believed, that became thousands, that became millions, that became billions and they are alive today, me and you. 
The message of our Lord then today is exactly what it is, let me not be me, but Christ who lives in me, let Him be who He Is.  Is this a prophetic message?  It's the message God conveyed at that moment that is this moment, because outside of our world, time is not our time, it is His and it is now.  Joseph was rejected.  Jesus was rejected.  Am I rejecting Him through people trying to convince me of Him and His will for me?  Today I noticed someone unsubscribed.  My message is rejected.  I wrote to whomever it was "I hope you read the Word of God even if it is without me".  And that is why I write at the end so you can delete or move on but let God not be rejected!  As a matter of fact, it seems to be the easiest thing to do...reject Him.  That is why the world is in the state it is in.  The hard stuff?  It's the Jesus stuff.  That stuff that you can tell is there but we just don't care.  That is the story of Lazarus at the gate.  That stuff is Jesus at our door.  That stuff is what is made on the altar, that what we believers adore...JESUS, JESUS, JESUS
It is First Friday, visit the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament
Our Father Is Waiting....
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