Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I Forgave You

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Minute Meditations

Gifts of the Trinity Minute Meditations

Salvation can be described in the following way: The Father saves us by sending us the Son; the Son saves us by sacrificing His life on the cross; the Holy Spirit saves us by sanctifying us with the gift of divine life.
— from Inspired

St. Dominic Savio

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So many holy persons seem to die young. Among them was Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys.

Born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined St. John Bosco as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. He impressed John with his desire to be a priest and to help him in his work with neglected boys. A peacemaker and an organizer, young Dominic founded a group he called the Company of the Immaculate Conception which, besides being devotional, aided John Bosco with the boys and with manual work. All the members save one, Dominic, would in 1859 join John in the beginnings of his Salesian congregation. By that time, Dominic had been called home to heaven.

As a youth, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer. His raptures he called "my distractions." Even in play, he said that at times "It seems heaven is opening just above me. I am afraid I may say or do something that will make the other boys laugh." Dominic would say, "I can't do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God."

Dominic's health, always frail, led to lung problems and he was sent home to recuperate. As was the custom of the day, he was bled in the thought that this would help, but it only worsened his condition. He died on March 9, 1857, after receiving the Last Sacraments. St. John Bosco himself wrote the account of his life.

Some thought that Dominic was too young to be considered a saint. St. Pius X declared that just the opposite was true, and went ahead with his cause. Dominic was canonized in 1954.


Like many a youngster, Dominic was painfully aware that he was different from his peers. He tried to keep his piety from his friends lest he have to endure their laughter. Even after his death, his youth marked him as a misfit among the saints and some argued that he was too young to be canonized. Pius X wisely disagreed. For no one is too young—or too old or too anything else—to achieve the holiness to which we are all called.

Patron Saint of:

Juvenile delinquents


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....


By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving care.


In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God


Reading 1 Dn 3:25, 34-43

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

"For your name's sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord."

Responsorial Psalm PS 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart;
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel Mt 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."

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    Watch a video reflection


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon 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: Matthew 18:21-35

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3rd Week of Lent

Not ... seven times but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:22)

Speaking in parables was one of Jesus' most effective methods of teaching. A master storyteller, he had the ability to gain his listeners' interest and involve them in the story's drama. But Jesus' parables weren't simply engaging stories. They reveal to us the love of God and the values of his kingdom. They call us to deeper conversion.

To bring a lesson home forcefully, Jesus often used exaggeration—a common Semitic practice—or contrasted opposites like wisdom and foolishness, generosity and stinginess. Surely there's no clearer instance of exaggeration than today's Gospel reading about the unforgiving servant. A man who was forgiven an enormous debt, the equivalent of 150,000 years' wages, refused to cancel another man's debt that equaled a hundred days' wages, a debt that was only 1/20,000 of 1 percent as great as his own. Although the servant acknowledged his need for mercy, he didn't allow that mercy to soften his heart. And the consequence for him was devastating.

The blunt ending of this story is a direct challenge for us to be just as forgiving toward people as God has been to us. It also underscores something Jesus told his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount: "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions" (Matthew 6:14-15). If we are not trying our best to be merciful, compassionate, and forgiving, we will find it very hard to pray or to know God's love and mercy in our lives.

If this sounds intimidating, remember today's parable! It is the experience of being forgiven that moves us to forgive. The extent to which we know God's mercy in our lives is the extent to which we will treat each other mercifully.

So do you want to become more forgiving? Then run to Jesus and ask him for a greater outpouring of his love. Echo the psalmist's prayer: "Your ways, O Lord, make known to me" (Psalm 25:4). Open yourself to his love, so that you can give it away!

"Thank you, Jesus, for the countless times you've forgiven my sins. By your grace, soften my heart. Let your own immeasurable mercy teach me to be merciful as well."


Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Psalm 25:4-9



I Forgave You


In today's 1st Holy Scripture, we read "But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received".  We are in a time of offering (or we should be anyway!).  Offering to God what?  A sincere heart.  A Docile spirit.  What does this mean?  It means a time to allow Him in our lives more than ever.  Now keep that in mind because the line we read brings up the heart.  But first, the Psalms pray "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior." and "Remember your mercies O Lord".  We depend on mercy, don't we?  I mean, most of the time we either pray asking for things or asking for mercy.  But how many times do we ask to be taught?  How many times do we ask God to guide truth?  Probably pretty rare for most...or is it?  And wouldn't you agree that His guidance involves His mercy? 
Now the Gospel.  Jesus.  What a sweet name above all names.  He comes, the King teaches, that's why in His day they called Him "Rabboni", like when Mary Magdalene was crying for Jesus after He died, and He appeared to her and she did not recognize Him until He called her by name and she exclaimed "Rabboni".  Teach us your way O Lord.  Master, Teacher, how can I love you as I ought?  Such tremendous Love and mercy surpassing hope and thought!  Last night I was asked to be a substitute in a lenten longings adult class.  We went over the first Holy Scripture for Sunday's readings.  In it, it brought up the time in Exodus when God said "For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments."  A student that I rarely see at church was confounded by how evil could be handed down from generation to generation.  I reminded him about the line of mercy that follows.  Another student, a visitor, a friend I invited said that "it can be broken by His mercy".  And I reminded them that Jesus has since come into the picture with Divine Mercy for the whole world and He broke the bonds of sin and death. 
Jesus teaches.  Peter asked Jesus "how many times must I forgive?...7 times?".  No, even though 7 is the perfect number, our Lord says 70 times 7, in other words, infinitely, not 490 times!  Why Peter asked this question is what we may consider a hint of what was to come.  Peter would deny ever knowing Jesus as Jesus suffered.  Turned his back when Jesus needed him, and our Lord forgave Peter, a tremendous amount.  I mean, who does that?  Who betrays God and stabs Him in the back?  Uhhh...surely not I Lord? Like in Mt26:22 when Jesus said one would betray Him "Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?".  Surely I wouldn't take on such a debt?  Surely I wouldn't betray you Lord, right?  And one does.  We stab Him in the back in betrayal, because sin is a betrayal.  Ahh, no wonder we ask for so much mercy in Holy Mass.  Because we need reminding that we are sinners and that we are in deep need of His mercy?  Don't you?  Don't we?  And this mercy should be life changing.  There have been a couple of moments when people have shown great mercy to me.  Or was it God?  Because He shows it in Confession.  Last night two students answered the question "have you ever been saved from a form of slavery?"  One said he was laying in a tub, taking drugs in needles, drinking hard liqour and a gun at his side, as if ready to die, and he remembers saying his last words "God Help Me".  And God bestowed mercy, he was found passed out by family and was taken to rehab. 
You tell me who owes who?  Did Jesus owe that sinner anything?  Yet He saved.  Yet He saves!  Yet...that is how we are to be with one another.  I don't mean to take so much of your time...or is it God's time?  The end of the Word of God today ends with the word "heart".  And notice how it is used "...unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart".  Remember that word "heart" was used in the first Holy Scripture?  And Jesus comes to an end with it.  As a matter of fact, the last thing that was done to our Lord on the cross was that He was stabbed, near or right into the heart, where blood and water poured out, and as it trickled on the soldier He was baptized and saved.  You see, that's mercy for you.  The heart is what matters because that's where everything is at.  In today's world, electronics bring about a social world that wants to engulf and ensnare your heart.  Just look around at how people are always looking their phones.  Failing to see what is right in front of them, what matters most.  Stop looking down, on others, because it is ruining your heart.  Start looking up at others and find Christ in them.  Yet, how will I experience this?  First, experience God's mercy.  How?  Let His blood and water splash on you, His Love and Mercy.  Let your heart be first filled with Him so that what He does with you, you can do with one another...
This is how we know we are His followers, His students...His Children

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