Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Be Lifted Up

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Minute Meditations

Be a True Witness
May the joy and the love of the risen Jesus be always with you, in you, and among you so that you become the true witnesses of the Father's love for the world. Let us also love God so much that we give ourselves to Him in each other and in the poor.
— from Thirsting for God

Blessed Peter Gonzalez
(d. 1246)
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St. Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Many years later, the same proved true for Peter Gonzalez, who triumphantly rode his horse into the Spanish city of Astorga in the 13th century to take up an important post at the cathedral. The animal stumbled and fell, leaving Peter in the mud and onlookers amused.

Humbled, Peter reevaluated his motivations (his bishop-uncle had secured the cathedral post for him) and started down a new path. He became a Dominican priest and proved to be a most effective preacher. He spent much of his time as court chaplain, and attempted to exert positive influence on the behavior of members of the court. After King Ferdinand III and his troops defeated the Moors at Cordoba, Peter was successful in restraining the soldiers from pillaging and persuaded the king to treat the defeated Moors with compassion.

After retiring from the court, Peter devoted the remainder of his life to preaching in northwest Spain. He developed a special mission to Spanish and Portuguese seamen. He is the patron of sailors.

Peter Gonzalez died in 1246 and was beatified in 1741.


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....


Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.


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 Acts 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated "son of encouragement"),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5

R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R. Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R. Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 3:14-15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 3:7b-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"'You must be born from above.'
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
'How can this happen?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels. May I respond to your call today. Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.


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: John 3:7-15

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2nd Week of Easter

The wind blows where it wills. (John 3:8)

Meteorologists have developed finely-tuned instruments to measure natural forces that help them predict the weather. But in Jesus' time, weather was a bit of a mystery. No one could pin down the wind. You couldn't find its starting point or know when it would shift direction. It was always doing something unexpected. And so Jesus used this natural phenomenon to illustrate how surprising life is when you try to follow the Spirit.

On the face of it, the Spirit's work doesn't always seem to follow human logic. That shouldn't surprise us, of course; earthly things are not like heavenly things! Earthly expectations don't always predict or reflect heavenly realities. So being "born from above" is not just a patched-up earthly existence (John 3:7). It's not a predictable progression toward a nobler version of your human self. It's a bracing gust of wind from a God who loves to challenge assumptions and turn things upside down!

Nicodemus came to Jesus looking for clarity, for a better understanding of what Jesus was teaching. But Jesus didn't just take him one step further in his faith; he turned his whole world upside down. He told Nicodemus that Nicodemus had to be "born from above" if he wanted to understand Jesus' words (John 3:7). Nicodemus needed to embrace a whole new way of living, a way guided by the sometimes gusty wind of the Spirit.

Look back over your life. Where have you seen the Holy Spirit blowing you onto a new and different path? Think about a time when God surprised you, maybe by deepening your faith as you endured a stormy period. Maybe there was a family emergency that brought people together. Maybe you lost your job, but new opportunities opened up. Maybe your parish priest was transferred, but the new pastor's preaching resulted in a conversion of someone you know.

God may be unpredictable, but he is completely trustworthy! Whether the wind of his Spirit blows hard or gently, he will always respond to our faith with more grace and a deeper relationship with him. So let the lessons from your past help you lay hold of your faith in the present and the future!

"Lord, no matter how the wind blows, I will hold on to you. I trust that your ways are the best!"


Acts 4:32-37; Psalm 93:1-2, 5


Sometimes I believe we read just so we can possibly believe.  We need something to hold on to.  But the first believers, in my opinion sinners turned saints, were selling all they had to give to the community of believers...the Holy Church, the Holy Catholic Church.  Nowadays?  Ehh, we lucky if some give 10 percent.  But they gave 100%!  They set the example for the ages of what they valued.  These are the values I want to consider.  What is valuable to you?  What is MOST valuable to you?
The Psalms pray, "The Lord Is King, He is robed in majesty".  This magisterium is what robes Him.  What is a magisterium?  If you look up its definition it means "the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church, especially as exercised by bishops or the pope."  The Lord is KING.  What wraps Him is His bride, the Holy Church.  The faithful.  Those who embrace His teachings and authority on earth as it is in Heaven. 
You know, sometimes I wish I could just write nice things that everybody would get and feel good, but no, the truth must be told, I let my spirit be overcome by the Holy Spirit, please believe.
And it is as if the time Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, a "teacher of Israel", that sought Jesus but just found it hard to believe.  Jesus explained in earthly terms and if you can't even understand that, how can you understand everything Jesus did for us all? 
Last night an author was speaking to EWTN's Raymond Arroyo, about his new book "Finding Peter".  The author said he spent half the book (about his memoirs) talking about himself just to establish credibility with the reader so you would perhaps believe what he would say about Peter, (his deceased son).  William Blatty, the author and writer of the book "The Exorcist", said he would experience supernatural phenomenon of his deceased son.  I could say then, that our Lord in Heaven did the same.  He spent over half the book of the Bible establishing a rapport with His people so that they just might believe what would happen with His Son.  Nicodemus represents the people, and their incredulity especially the supernatural phenomenon that would ensue, because Jesus did things we can not see with the eyes, bringing a spirit into our lives that we just can not grasp in concept and calls on faith.
  Jesus said he would be lifted up like the serpent that Moses lifted up in the desert so that all that believe will be saved, which means have eternal life.  What I live among, are people that do not believe, at least not as we ought.  Failure to believe is a failure to give.  Failure to give is a failure to receive.  Failure to receive is a failure to live.  Because our Lord is offering Himself upon that cross, He offered His Holy Spirit to live among His Holy Church.  Last night, the rosary leader would not be at the community rosary which is rarely and poorly attended.  Since he would not be there I texted a brother, "what do you think?" I asked in a text.  His answer was roundabout a couple times I kept prodding for a yes or no, and it kept being wishy washy until he texted "we can skip so you can be with your family".  That was my trigger to say "Nope, we're going".  You see, what do you value most? 
And so he was waiting at the Church's door in the rain.  We walked in, made a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, then started praying the rosary.  About halfway through, the dark foyer doors make a sound, someone rushed in and the hairs stood up on my neck.  I didn't really look too much I saw with a corner of my eye it was another brother, Meño.  I noticed how he prayed wasn't the usual fervent strong words and long words.  After the rosary, I saw him turned away, I walked up to him as he was kneeling and sitting at the pew  at the same time, wiping his eye with his sleeve.  I put my hand on his other shoulder, "que tienes hermano? Alergias?" (What you got allergies brother?)  He began sobbing like a little boy and talking "my wife died in my arms yesterday...she wasn't breathing normal at night and so I started CPR on her and her eyes rolled back and died for almost a minute".  I asked if she was ok now, and he said yes she was home, doctors didn't do much but put oxygen on her and sent her home.  He was very distraught, and I could feel the pain of a loving husband who has done nothing but try to work hard for and care for his wife that was dying little by little it seems at not that old of an age.  I invited him to our 3rd Thursday worship night and praise and healing we will do, and I ask for your prayers for her.  You see, most people I invite do not come to get healed, and those that get healed rarely come back.
And we are speaking of the wife of God, the bride, the Holy Church.  God loves her soooooo sooo much and she seems to want to die and He gives CPR, breathes life into her.  And people fail to believe, fail to give, thus fail to receive.  Receive what is truly there, real life and FOREVER, because forever is what is at stake for the souls and He wants us forever.  And so I'm typing away, wish I could give you lovey dovey words but the truth is worth more, the value is more because the truth is the blood and body of Christ, that which He gives and gives, and gives again.  Because He loves, loves, and loves you over and over again.  They said that sister Faustina said that in Heaven everything is always new, and this sooo sooo awesome. 
So why do I care so much?  Because, I want you to experience the truth in your life.  It frees, it is true freedom.  The devil wants slaves, and God wants a lover.  I want you to be free, free to love with all you got, no longer a slave but what you were created to be...