Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Shall Raise

Untitled document
Minute Meditations
Spiritual Battle
There is a spiritual battle going on all around us. The best way to fight it is on our knees in prayer. As you pray the Our Father, take some time with the last line of the prayer, "Deliver us from evil." Thank God that He has already won the victory over the devil.
— from A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics

St. Adalbert of Prague
Listen to Audio Opposition to the Good News of Jesus did not discourage Adalbert, who is now remembered with great honor in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Germany.
Born to a noble family in Bohemia, he received part of his education from St. Adalbert of Magdeburg. At the age of 27 he was chosen as bishop of Prague. Those who resisted his program of clerical reform forced him into exile eight years later.
In time, the people of Prague requested his return as their bishop. Within a short time, however, he was exiled again after excommunicating those who violated the right of sanctuary by dragging a woman accused of adultery from a church and murdering her.
After a short ministry in Hungary, he went to preach the Good News to people living near the Baltic Sea. He and two companions were martyred by pagan priests in that region. Adalbert's body was immediately ransomed and buried in Gniezno cathedral (Poland). In the mid-11th century his relics were moved to St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.


Preaching the Good News can be dangerous work whether the audience is already baptized or not. Adalbert fearlessly preached Jesus' gospel and received a martyr's crown for his efforts. Similar zeal has created modern martyrs in many places, especially in Central and South America. Some of those martyrs grew up in areas once evangelized by Adalbert.

"O God, bestowed the crown of martyrdom on the Bishop St. Adalbert, as he burned with zeal for for souls, grant, we pray, by his prayers, that the obedience of his flock may never fail the shephered, nor the care of the shepherd be ever lacking to the flock." (Roman Missal, Common of a Martyr in the Easter season).

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

To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.
I take a moment and greet my loving God.
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me.
To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God
  Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 8:1b-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm PS 66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
"Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Jn 6:40

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

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.
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 6:35-40

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3rd Week of Easter
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me. (John 6:37)
Did you catch that?
The Father is giving you to Jesus. If you think that statement is meant to be little more than an empty platitude, say it again slowly. Focus on each word, and let them settle deep in your heart. You are a gift that God the Father is giving to Jesus. What does this say about you?
The Father is giving you to Jesus. Well, for one, this says that no matter how your days feel—holy, humdrum, or harried—each one of them is filled with divine opportunities. You're not just a spectator in life. You are an important actor in a great cosmic drama. What's more, you have been infused with the life and power of the Trinity, with all you need to play your part in this drama.
The Father is giving you to Jesus. A loving, generous God like your heavenly Father would never dream of giving a cheap gift to his Son! This can only mean that you are very valuable. You're a masterpiece, a crown of his creation. No cost was too high to pay for you. It also means that God will never revoke your worth. He is completely invested in you. In fact, you are his treasure. He rejoices over you with exuberant, loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17)! It's not based on how you do each day; it's based on who you are.
The Father is giving you to Jesus. As a gift to the Lord, your life has been set apart, or made holy. Every day you have a divinely appointed purpose. The Father is giving you to Jesus so that you can give Jesus to the people around you. And you can do that simply by the witness of your life—by living for Christ as the gift that you are.
Today, keep this in mind: you are a special, unique person created by God. There is no one like you. You are a special treasure. You have a divine purpose!
"Lord, I come to you today knowing that you will never reject me. As you gave yourself to me, I give my life to you."

Acts 8:1-8; Psalm 66:1-7

Click for today's mp3
Saul was trying to destroy the Church.  Notice, there is a capital "C" in Church, because this is the Holy People of God, there was already a Church right after they put to death our Lord.  The first pope already among them.  The first bishops already among them.  The first lay people already among them.  And Saul was seeking to destroy them all.  And it wasn't really Saul, because Saul was led by darkness, death.  Saul would eventually see the light...JESUS and become St. Paul of which much of the New Testament we get from his letters, many of which are from him when suffering in jail until he too would be chased and killed the same way he was chasing to kill, like they did St. Stephen.  And it seemed the more they tried to hush the message of Christ, the more it spread.  And I'm going to tell you the truth in my life, it is the same.  It seems the more I'm challenged, the more I am driven to proclaim Christ to the world.  You see, this is amazing.  I want you to imagine, a bad wolf chasing to kill, it can only kill a few, and the rest of the sheep encounter others and transform them into followers into lights, and again, see the light of Jesus spreading, covering the world with light where once it was simply dark.
How can it be that in total darkness in the Blessed Sacrament there be so much light?  You see, the light is the Spirit, and our spirits are ready for the light.  The Psalms pray " Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds! Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  TREMENDOUS are His deeds.  I want the whole earth to cry out to God with TREMENDOUS JOY!  The reason I live my life for Jesus, is so this joy I feel you too will feel.  Is it a "live, laugh, and love" attitude, eh, yeah, but it's way more, it is better.  How can something be more or better?  Here's how:
LIVE- Forever with Jesus
Laugh- At your plans when God comes into your life full hearted
Love- Consumes you totally, God consumes you when you consume Him with a sincere heart, especially in the Holy Eucharist.
OK?  I hear too many laughs, but I don't sense a true joy in those laughs.  What do I laugh about?  Hmm. Quick example, and this because I had just consumed Jesus in the Eucharist.  After Mass, this man approached our priest.  I said "I better go with him, sounds like he's going to go pick on him".  So, I stood between this man and the priest.  I looked to heaven as the discussion began, and I prayed in my mind "Lord, why do you have me here?  Please help me be your instrument and your will be done."  The man jeered and snarled to the priest "what did YOU SAY in your homily today? Huh?  You preached repentance and forgiveness didn't you!  You disrespected me in front of everyone!!"  They were mean words, and this is why he is not currently helping us in the church.  But I laughed.  "HEY! HEY! WAIT!  You're slapping us man!  You're whipping us!  Your words are so mean!" and I motioned pretending to be slapped left and right.  He settled down and realized the truth.  I told him the message is for us in the homily, us all, not to deflect the message but to take it in our hearts.  You see the things you laugh about when living in the light of Christ?  That is to say the light of LOVE!?  You don't need physical lights to be in the light.  You need eyes to see.  A blind man said at a cursillo event one day "now I'm blind, but now I see!", he now sees everything he was missing out on.
 Jesus said today "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day."  Now, my question is, do you want to see Jesus?  Because the day you see Him, you will follow Him, because it is natural to go towards the light, to be in the light, to not live in darkness anymore.  I have a sister in law that has been going to RCIA for a couple years and has been living a double life, not really wanting to be Catholic even though she was going to class to be one (again).  This weekend she said she was going to some little church in town "I'm going to MY church" she said.  I said "what do you mean MY church?" we just went to Mass.  And so she broke out with the truth.  And then I BROKE OUT with the truth, explaining JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST.  SHe would later come and say after discussing with others, she had clarity, which meant she saw the truth and would devote herself more sincerely to the faith.  Because all "bible based" churches have snips of truth, but the fullness is in the CATHOLIC CHURCH, with the first bishops and priests being among the first persecuted.  And to this day, persecuted.  Nothing new.  But let me tell you this, and Jesus says this about the Church He set on Peter our first pope "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."  That is to say, light will not be shut, not to a soul that wants it because Jesus said today " I will not reject anyone who comes to me".
Now, our job is to spread this message in a world that is afraid to come to Jesus, to the truth, to the light.  As a matter of fact, they may have your neck.  But they will never have your heart.  This is fuel for the light of the world.  This is what Jesus does with a sinful heart ready to come to Him for holiness (especially in the Eucharist).  He turns darkness to light.  Our sinful self to Him if we want that.  I want that.  And I want that for you.  I stand before you as an instrument of God's love.  Come to me with your drama and I will tell you where it is coming from.  Come to me with tears and I will show you the love of God.  Come to me with your hatred and the mirror I will hold will make you scream, and as I pray, let that evil come out so you are saved, because "this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me"

You see, it is no longer I that lives, but CHRIST IN ME

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note: it took 5 times of recording (5 times as long to get this out), something was hindering the recordings today,
must be something good that is trying to get blocked.  Let us PRAY! 
In the name of our Lord, Jesus.

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