Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Who Loves

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Minute Meditations

Powerful Connections
Every connection we make with our brothers and sisters on earth holds great power. Each day, God calls us to be in community, to share faith and friendship, and to lead each other into a beautiful, miraculous, and radical relationship with God.
— from Created to Relate

Blessed Michael Giedroyc
(d. 1485)
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A life of physical pain and mental torment didn't prevent Michael Giedroyc from achieving holiness.

Born near Vilnius, Lithuania, Michael suffered from physical and permanent handicaps from birth. He was a dwarf who had the use of only one foot. Because of his delicate physical condition, his formal education was frequently interrupted. But over time, Michael showed special skills at metalwork. Working with bronze and silver, he created sacred vessels, including chalices.

He traveled to Kraków, Poland, where he joined the Augustinians. He received permission to live the life of a hermit in a cell adjoining the monastery. There Michael spent his days in prayer, fasted and abstained from all meat and lived to an old age. Though he knew the meaning of suffering throughout his years, his rich spiritual life brought him consolation. Michael's long life ended in 1485 in Kraków.

Five hundred years later, Pope John Paul II visited the city and spoke to the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. The 15th century in Kraków, the pope said, was "the century of saints." Among those he cited was Blessed Michael Giedroyc.

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

Reading 1 Acts 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet."
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
"The gods have come down to us in human form."
They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes,"
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
"Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial Psalm PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R. (1ab) Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
"Where is their God?"
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 14:26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name—
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 14:21-26

View NAB Reading at |

5th Week of Easter

He will teach you everything. (John 14:26)


What is the first thing that comes into your head when you think of a teacher? Homework? A chalkboard? The times you got in trouble? These are the memories that often stick in our minds—along with memories of the very good teachers, the ones who ignited a fire for learning in our hearts.

What set those exceptional teachers apart? They took time to work with us individually. They struck just the right balance between encouraging us and challenging us. They created an environment in which we could ask lots of questions and pursue the answers.

In today's Gospel passage, Jesus talks about how the Holy Spirit is the best teacher in the world. Only instead of math or history, the Spirit wants to teach us about Jesus. As a teacher, his goal is not only to impart new knowledge to us. He wants to help us apply that knowledge to our lives. When we are feeling burdened by guilt, he reminds us that "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). When we are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, he reminds us how much Jesus loves us. When we are experiencing a season of blessing and peace, he moves us to thank the Lord for his goodness. He is speaking to us all the time, teaching us how to see the world through the eyes of Christ.

As a dedicated teacher, the Spirit also challenges us in our walk of faith. He nudges us to be more kind or encourages us to compliment rather than criticize. He reminds us to serve one another and bless everyone, even the ones who rub us the wrong way.

Take some time to ponder just one thought from today's Gospel reading, and see what comes into your heart. You could look at Jesus' promise to come dwell in you. You could focus on loving Jesus by following his commands. You could focus, as we did, on the Holy Spirit as a teacher. Just mull this one idea in your mind, and see if any new thoughts come to you. If they are filled with peace, hope, or encouragement, you can be sure that the Spirit is teaching you!

"Thank you, Holy Spirit, for opening my mind and my heart. Come and teach me about Jesus today."



Acts 14:5-18; Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16

Give credit where the credit is due.  In today's 1st Holy Scriptures, St. Paul and Barnabas give all honor and credit to our Lord for His great deeds.  But the people fail to see...God.  Some may have seen, otherwise we wouldn't have heard about it.  And so is the story of your faith and mine.  Failure to see God in our lives has been our failure to love God in our lives.  Let's read on the life of Christ.
Today's Psalms pray: Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name give glory because of your mercy, because of your truth.  Why should the pagans say, "Where is their God?"  Why should people ask you if you believe in the Lord?  Does it not show?  Why should people doubt?  So is the life of faith.  I asked the students in our praise and worship, "who here wants to be a saint!?".  Not very many answers, maybe confusion (is this a real question?).  Truth is, we are Holy and called to be saints, yet we don't want to be what we are designed to be!  Just don't know what is truly natural (holiness).   What's up with that?  And for this we speak out about our faith.
Our Lord speaks today, ""Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."  For those that love Him, He is revealed.  At times in my life, I dare to ask when I believe I feel and see Him "Jesus, is that you?", but I only ask in my mind.  Sometimes, a stranger, sometimes, a priest, sometimes in the unseen, but never, in the Holy Eucharist.  And so I invite you to a love relationship with our Father, which only comes through Jesus.  "Then why are you Catholics so nuts about Saints and Angels?, and MARY!?"  Because, they bring us closer to Jesus, and it is so awesome to be brought closer to Jesus.  The commandments are clear.  The first 3 are commandments between us and Him, and the other 7, between us and "them", the people we meet daily and live with.  The 3 found and base a Love relationship that will affect the other 7.  The 7 can not be more than the first 3.  Just because I didn't kill someone or have an affair, or steal, doesn't mean you have fulfilled the obseranve in its fullness, because ignoring the Love of the Father would be as if to say "I don't get along with my parents, but I am good to everyone else".  Might as well say "I curse at my parents, but not to anybody else".  How backwards is that?  It's as if to say, "I believe, but I don't".  And so what I am asking for is for you to see the Father, and you will see Him when you Love Him above all!
Get up, I want you For ME