Thursday, May 21, 2015

I In Them

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Minute Meditations

Source of Hope
Jesus is our hope. Nothing—not even evil or death—is able to separate us from the saving power of His love.
— from The Spirit of Saint Francis

St. Cristóbal Magallanes and Companions
(d. 1915-1928)
Listen to Audio


Like Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, S.J., Cristóbal and his 24 companion martyrs lived under a very anti-Catholic government in Mexico, one determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Cristóbal established a clandestine seminary at Totatiche, Jalisco. Magallanes and the other priests were forced to minister secretly to Catholics during the presidency of Plutarco Calles (1924-28).

All of these martyrs except three were diocesan priests. David, Manuel and Salvador were laymen who died with their parish priest, Luis Batis. All of these martyrs belonged to the Cristero movement, pledging their allegiance to Christ and to the Church that he established to spread the Good News in society—even if Mexico's leaders once made it a crime to receive Baptism or celebrate the Mass.

These martyrs did not die as a single group but in eight Mexican states, with Jalisco and Zacatecas having the largest number. They were beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.


Every martyr realizes how to avoid execution but refuses to pay the high price of doing so. A clear conscience was more valuable than a long life. We may be tempted to compromise our faith while telling ourselves that we are simply being realistic, dealing with situations as we find them. Is survival really the ultimate value? Do our concrete, daily choices reflect our deepest values, the ones that allow us to "tick" the way we do? Anyone can imagine situations in which being a follower of Jesus is easier than the present situation. Saints remind us that our daily choices, especially in adverse circumstances, form the pattern of our lives.


During his homily at the canonization Mass on May 21, 2000, Saint John Paul II addressed the Mexican men, women and children present in Rome and said: "After the harsh trials that the Church endured in Mexico during those turbulent years, today Mexican Christians, encouraged by the witness of these witnesses to the faith, can live in peace and harmony, contributing the wealth of gospel values to society. The Church grows and advances, since she is the crucible in which many priestly and religious vocations are born, where families are formed according to God's plan, and where young people, a substantial part of the Mexican population, can grow with the hope of a better future. May the shining example of Cristóbal Magallanes and his companion martyrs help you to make a renewed commitment of fidelity to God, which can continue to transform Mexican society so that justice, fraternity and harmony will prevail among all."


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

Daily Prayer - 2015-05-21


Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Acts 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
"My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead."
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
"We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome."

Responsorial Psalm PS 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 17:21

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Lord, I treasure all the chances of fellowship with others who do not believe in you. When I work or talk with them, or love them, or serve or pray with them, your grace is at work in us. These occasions may not be labelled 'ecumenical events', but they carry your blessing.
  • Jesus' second prayer at the last supper is for future generations of believers, including ourselves. His prayer is that all of us will be united with God our Father and with him. He is to share with all of us what is deepest in his heart - the glory he had from the beginning of time. Love wants to share all that is best with the beloved.


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: John 17:20-26

View NAB Reading at

Saint Christopher Magallanes, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

... that they may all be one. (John 17:21)

Is it possible, Lord? You prayed that your people would be one in the same way that you and the Father are one. It seems too good to be true! I see so many people who call on your name and yet are at odds with one another. But it's not just other people. There are times when I catch myself holding onto past grudges or feeling superior to my brothers and sisters from other traditions.

Lord, I know that you deeply desire that all your children be united. It's what you prayed for on the night before you died, so it must be one of the deepest longings of your heart. And if you prayed for unity, then it must be possible. It must be capable of going beyond what I can see with my eyes.

You want so much more for us, Lord: more than just tolerating one another or trying to pretend our differences aren't there, more than an uneasy truce or a compromise of our disagreements. You want to bind our hearts together, to knit us into one body with you as our head.

Thank you, Lord, that you have provided the way! As you live in all of us, we can be "brought to perfection as one" (John 17:23). It is your life in us that overcomes disunity. So instead of looking at others or myself, I need to look to you, draw near to you, unite myself more fully to you. As I grow closer to you, I will grow closer to my brothers and sisters. As we all seek you with sincerity, we will find ourselves on a path toward you that will bring us nearer to each other as well. It's like a divine triangle with you at the top!

I know that we will be fully united with each other only when we are with you in heaven. But I also know that this heavenly promise is available to us more and more as we pursue unity here on earth. So please, Lord, help us all break down walls of division. Lord, make us one!

"Praise to you, Lord Jesus! You have made true unity possible. Help me to embrace your vision and dream so that we can become one in you!"


Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11


 Allow me to translate today's 5 minutos:
  "Who like Paul, risks it all to be a witness of the Lord whom he serves who ought to know clearly the ways to run for Him are seeded with difficulties and thorns.  What each one of us does not recognize is what will be the concrete accumulation of adversities that will put our faith to the test, our confidence, our fortitude.  That's why, like Paul, we are to be very prepared and open to the Spirit and the circumstances we are involved in.  The itenerary of Paul could not be more complicated.  Our Christian life and evangelizing, will always give itself in the context of the world in which we were chosen to live, and the one we serve.  We do not have another form to show or second the truth, justice and love which we profess...."I'm no good for anything any more" said an elderly lady to her Parish Priest, she continued "The Lord is lengthening my life; but I don't know what for, I can't do any good" - 'You are doing much good' he said to her.  'For you help me every Sunday preach my sermon'.  "How?" she interrupts.  'In the first place -I declare every time you are sitting in the first place in the church, that helps me.  In second place, you are very attentive to me looking at my face; and that helps me too.  In third place, I see at times tears roll down your cheeks, and that helps me more than anything..."  Ask in your prayer how you can give testimony/witness of Him today, in the daily, and with what you have.  "
 St. Paul was granted God's love and he was constantly in trouble...for the Lord.  But this is joy for a saint.  Sadly, the inverse is happening, people are suffering...but not for the Lord, and so the pain must be agonizing.  I overheard a conversation that a young man shot himself in the heart after arguing with his wife a day or so ago.  To what extreme does the heart go to commit such an atrocity...that of murder..of self?  Because let's call it what it is, murder, killing, be it yourself or anyone else.  And here comes the softies "oh Adrian you don't know what was going through their brain and chemicals and hormones, don't you judge them".  Satan, get behind me!  Because what I sense is a dark spirit of death looming, already snatching two in a week in my little home town.  And so at the moment, you may feel like, "what am I good for?" like the little old woman said.   Let's look to the HOLY Gospel:

   Our Lord's words end today with "Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them."  Our Lord prays that we may be with Him as He is with us.   He will not force Himself on you.  Such gentleness that we do not appreciate.  I heard on EWTN radio one speaking of our Blessed Mother on how she approached St. Bernadette of Our Lady of Lourdes, and she asks the little girl "would you do me the favor of meeting me here in two weeks".  Such gentleness.  Heaven is gentle, and the world is vicious.  I want you to be Heaven my child.  There is no screaming to take over, there is no anger that will force you.  In my life, I've had to win by getting beat up, and no better place than when found working for the Lord.  That is why the Mexicans in the Cristero movement lost their lives...for being one with their priest...the person of Christ on earth.  It wasn't the peasants in the fields that got hung, it was the priests and those found with them that got hung on telephone poles, in a mock crucifixion.  The government was taken over by the darkness of death, a dark spirit used by the devil.  It is very interesting then, how you will be found when death is presented to you.  I present to you what the Lord prays today...that we may be found ONE with HIM