Friday, May 8, 2015

Who Chose You

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Minute Meditations

Through Mary

Mary brought me to the Savior of the world. As our heavenly mother, she carries all of God's children into a deep and personal relationship with her Son. And a friendship with Jesus is the most radical gift we can ever receive.
— from Created to Relate

St. Peter of Tarentaise
(c. 1102-1174)
Listen to Audio

There are two men named St. Peter of Tarentaise who lived one century apart. The man we honor today is the younger Peter, born in France in the early part of the 12th century. (The other man with the same name became Pope Innocent the Fifth.)

The Peter we're focusing on became a Cistercian monk and eventually served as abbot. In 1142, he was named archbishop of Tarentaise, replacing a bishop who had been deposed because of corruption. Peter tackled his new assignment with vigor. He brought reform into his diocese, replaced lax clergy and reached out to the poor. He visited all parts of his mountainous diocese on a regular basis.

After about a decade as bishop Peter "disappeared" for a year and lived quietly as a lay brother at an abbey in Switzerland. When he was "found out," the reluctant bishop was persuaded to return to his post. He again focused many of his energies on the poor.

Peter died in 1175 on his way home from an unsuccessful papal assignment to reconcile the kings of France and England.

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




Daily Prayer - 2015-05-08


The more we call on God
the more we can feel God's presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.


"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.


I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God


Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 15:22-31

The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
"The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'"

And so they were sent on their journey.
Upon their arrival in Antioch
they called the assembly together and delivered the letter.
When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.

Responsorial Psalm PS 57:8-9, 10 and 12

R. (10a) I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn.
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory!
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one's life for one's friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Some thoughts on today's scripture
  • Lord, you are inviting me, choosing me, to be your intimate friend, to go out in your name and to make an impact on this precious world, and bear lasting fruit.
  • Jesus my friend, in your company I can relax, be silent or talk, grumble or boast, give out and complain, or feel thankful and light-hearted. You know my heart, and make allowances. I do not have to pretend.


Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for 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: Acts 15:22-31

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5th Week of Easter

Some ... have upset you ... and disturbed your peace of mind. (Acts 15:24)

It's a common frustration. You buy something on eBay or from an online retailer or at the local hardware store. But when you begin to use the item, you discover that it's defective—nicked, outdated, or missing a crucial bolt. The product can't do the job you thought it could do.

In a way, this is why the new Christians of Antioch were upset. However, their disappointment centered not on a product but on the gospel! These Gentiles had joyfully believed the good news announced by Paul, but after him came other preachers who claimed that he had given them a deficient message. It wasn't enough to believe in Jesus, they said: "Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved"

(Acts 13:48; 15:1). The Church's leaders in Jerusalem ruled otherwise, and today's reading quotes the letter in which they communicated their decision. Essentially, it was: No, you don't need to observe the Mosaic law. Faith in Christ is what's essential.

Christians no longer feel that they need to follow the Mosaic law. We believe that we are saved by the grace of a loving Father who wants to give us good gifts. At least, that's what we believe. But when our daily crosses get a bit too heavy, when we're tempted, drained, confused, or at a loss, we can begin to think that the gospel is deficient or defective in some way.

Jesus didn't come to guarantee us health, wealth, and prosperity. He came to promise us one thing: "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20). He is with us to guide us, to comfort us, and to encourage us. He has given us his Spirit so that we can stand tall, even when all around us seems to be falling apart. He gives us the same promise he gave to St. Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness"

(2 Corinthians 12:9).

So if you're feeling overwhelmed today, step back, consider the big picture, and put your faith in Jesus. For you, as for those early Christians, it's the path to peace of mind.

"Jesus, I see so many needs—mine, my family's, those of the Church and the world. Help me to look up, trust you to provide, and receive the peace and assurance you want to give me."


Psalm 57:8-10, 12; John 15:12-17


A priest recounted the story of a saint that passed by a flower in full bloom as if reaching towards the heavens and the light, giving beauty and glory to God and the saint said "enough showing off, we all know you're praising GOD!".   St. Paul today makes it clear that we are to praise God by living Jesus, in His name and live for it, die for it, just as St. Paul did for Jesus, and just as Jesus did for us, and rightly so, because Jesus says today "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."  Can Jesus be your friend?  How about being your best friend?  Because songs I've been composing lately say those lyrics, inviting you to meet my friend, the best part of my life, and rightly so, because He is our Father.  Can our Father be our best friend?  Yes. 
I read 3 or 4 reflections this morning before writing to you and asking the Holy Spirit to flow.  I read today's spanish 5 minutos, didn't find it too awful entertaining, but the messages aren't supposed to be about feelings, but to be about learning how to be true.
The music in church shouldn't be the only thing keeping you going to church.  The priest's homilies shouldn't be the only thing that keep you interested.  The true interest should be in Jesus, and what He is offering, and in the Catholic Mass, His true presence is there in the Holy Eucharist.  My best friend, offers Himself eternally, it was not a one time thing.  They taught us this weekend in the retreat that "Christ did not live, but LIVES".  Too often we put our Lord back in History, in a box, not present.  Yet, He re-presents Himself eternally especially in Holy Mass, to be with you in the darkest of moments.
The 5minutos ended with a story:
"Hu-Song, an oriental philosopher, recounted a story to his disciples: "Various men where enclosed by a dark cavern where they couldn't see anything hardly.  After a while, one of them was able to light a small torch.  But the light it gave was so scarce that you still couldn't hardly see anything.  The man, however, it occured to him that with his light he could turn on everyone else's torch and in doing so, sharing the light with others, the cavern was illuminated'. One of the disciples asked Hu-Song, 'What does this teach us master?'  and Hu-Song answered: 'It teaches us that our light continues being darkness if we do not share it with our neighbor.  And it also tells also that sharing our light does not dispel it, but on the contrary, makes it grow."  
The reason I decided to share it, is to put it in light of the Gospel.  Jesus says "I Chose You" and "Love One Another", to the point of laying down one's life for one another.  Priests lay down ther lives, for the very people that will hate them.  Me too, I will have to lay down my life for people that seemingly hate me.  Yet, it's not the people that hate, but the evil in them trying to get to you.  Would you lay down your life, your pride, your ego, your self esteem, your very physical life for them?  Jesus did.  Not many do nowadays, and so we have politicians now saying "religions are going to have to change", and this of those that say they stand for democracy.  It is hypocrisy.  And the reason I give you a taste of this darkness is so that your light of truth is infused and lights up the world, beginning with your neighbor, those you meet throughout the day.
And so, our Lord sends us off an an adventure, to battle the doom and gloom, to travel and realize, there's more going on in life than the darkness I see.  Because the light in the cavern came and was brought to others, and the little flower in the field was showing the best it could the praise, honor, and glory our Lord deserves from a truly grateful, appreciative heart seeking Him and Him above all, just so that we could rightly say, "He is my friend", and I want Him to be OUR friend.  I could not say He is my friend and talk bad behind His back, because Christ is in everyone as well.  Suddenly, the battle isn't really across the world, but in the heart of mankind.  It starts here, today, right now...will you be my friend?