Monday, May 25, 2015

Who Can Be.....

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Minute Meditations

It's a Beautiful Thing
The truth is that suffering can be a beautiful thing, if we have the courage to trust God with everything, like Jesus did upon the cross.
— from Ask The Bible Geek

St. Bede the Venerable
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Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.

At an early age Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and, especially, Holy Scripture.

From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30 (he had been ordained deacon at 19) till his death, he was ever occupied with learning, writing and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.

Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery till his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever."

His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede's death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.


Though his History is the greatest legacy Bede has left us, his work in all the sciences (especially in Scripture) should not be overlooked. During his last Lent, he worked on a translation of the Gospel of St. John into English, completing it the day he died. But of this work "to break the word to the poor and unlearned" nothing remains today.


"We have not, it seems to me, amid all our discoveries, invented as yet anything better than the Christian life which Bede lived, and the Christian death which he died" (C. Plummer, editor of Bede's Ecclesiastical History).

Patron Saint of:



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


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.


Saint Ignatius thought that a thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never
believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by her genius what she can make of it. 

I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator. 


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day,

starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.

I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.

I attend to the shadows and what they say to me,

seeking healing, courage, forgiveness.

The Word of God

Reading 1 Sir 17:20-24

To the penitent God provides a way back,
he encourages those who are losing hope
and has chosen for them the lot of truth.
Return to him and give up sin,
pray to the LORD and make your offenses few.
Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin,
hate intensely what he loathes,
and know the justice and judgments of God,
Stand firm in the way set before you,
in prayer to the Most High God.

Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High
in place of the living who offer their praise?
Dwell no longer in the error of the ungodly,
but offer your praise before death.
No more can the dead give praise
than those who have never lived;
You who are alive and well
shall praise and glorify God in his mercies.
How great the mercy of the LORD,
his forgiveness of those who return to him!

Responsorial Psalm PS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (11a) Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Alleluia 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
"Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother."

He replied and said to him,
"Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
"You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
"How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God."
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
"Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said,
"For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • An extraordinary meeting: Mark, the least poetical of the evangelists, throws in details that bring it to life. Why does Jesus take issue with the man calling him "good"? Then: 'Jesus looking at him, loved him' - something in Jesus' gaze was unforgettable. Finally Mark does not spare us the shock and grief of the man as he hears, and rejects, Jesus' invitation, or Jesus' calm acceptance of that refusal. He will not do violence to our freedom.
  • I consider this scene and wonder what it was that Jesus loved about the young man. I allow myself time to think about what he loves about me - and I don't move on until I do!
  • Jesus may show me the one thing that is holding me back from freedom. I can walk away or I can ask for help to deal with it.


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?


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: Mark 10:17-27

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Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Come, follow me. (Mark 10:21)

If you were ever called to the principal's office when you were a child, it was probably either good news or very bad news. Maybe it was to receive a prize or special recognition for your work. Or maybe you needed to be disciplined or told of bad news from home. "Come in," he or she would have said, but the tone of those two words would depend greatly on the circumstances. It would either have been a gracious invitation or a command.

Which tone do you think Jesus took when he told the rich young man, "Come, follow me" (Mark 10:21)? It seems it was spoken like a generous offer. The scene must have impressed the apostles, because a tiny detail was passed down, which Mark included in his story: "Jesus, looking at him, loved him" (10:21). He was filled with compassion for this man

Notice that Jesus starts off by reminding the man of some of the Ten Commandments, the good rules God has given that are meant to bring us life. When you are unsure how to approach a situation, reflecting on the commandments with the help of the Holy Spirit can often help untangle the confusion, showing a clear way forward.

There are also times when it's not so simple, times when you feel conflicted about the right path or too weak to do what your conscience is asking. At that moment, the same exciting invitation is open to you: "Come, follow me!" It's an invitation not simply to walk on some road Jesus walked two thousand years ago, but on a path he is on with you today. A path that leads through the commandments, with his grace, mercy, and wisdom available whenever the road is rough or you lose your way.

Whether you feel you know what God is asking of you or you are struggling to know his will, one solid, undeniable truth still holds: Jesus is looking at you with love. He loves you, even if your track record for following him leaves much to be desired. Let that love warm your heart today. Let it move you and help you overcome whatever hurdles you may be facing today. Let that love help you accept the invitation to follow Jesus more closely and confidently.

"Lord, I want to inherit eternal life by walking the path of life with you."


Sirach 17:20-24; Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7


In today's 1st Holy Scripture, we read things, but do we learn things?  Because it is one thing to read, and it is another to listen.  It is one thing to hear and another to do.  Today we heard and must "hate what God hates" and He only hates one thing...sin.  In spanish the word "sin" means without.  That means for us to be and do things without Him first.  We do things at our whims and fancies and justify them or just don't care.  We justify our meanness, our anger, our fears, our resentments, our gossip, our hoarding, our not giving, our ignoring of the Church, and so we keep doing it.  And so we lead to the Holy Gospel, but first the Psalms.
We prayed the life of Christ "Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord."  Blessed is the man in who there is no guile?  What's guile?  One definition is "skillful deceipt" and the sad part is, sin is deceiving our own self...not our Lord. 
And so our Lord tells a hopeful young man in the Gospel to sell everything he has and to come follow him.  I have a relative that would not go to a Cursillo, a course on our Lord and an encounter with Him and he said no because of this very Gospel message today  and that he'd be afraid to take the Lord serious and sell all he has to follow him.  I laughed and said that our Lord doesn't ask that literally, and is asking for your heart above all (if selling all is a result of that love, then more Glory be to God),  And to this day, he has not gone to a Cursillo.  And he tells me he loves his guns because they make him feel safe.  And very little time is given to Lord, and one day he was tempted to use a gun on an intruder sneaking into his house...his daughter's boyfriend.  Such is the danger of sin, of being without, for where there is no life, death abounds.  And so is the case for no life in a country that passed gay marriage a few days ago.  They said "yes" to death.  They were proud, marching the streets, and our Lord wants us to not be proud.  He comes in humble and poor ways to show the Way of Life, of obedience.  And so the rich young man left sad, because "too much" was being asked.  Yet, this isn't the story of a "rich spoiled kid", but that of the massive multitudes among us.  Yeah, they don't kill, yeah, they don't steal, and yeah they don't commit adultery, but do they really love God?  Or are they doing just enough to stay out of trouble on earth?  And what of what is yet to come?  My oh my, how the tables have turned.  Who is the spoiled child now?  Who is afraid now?  And why is the world afraid to Love God above all? 
That is not  the question but a command.  For our Lord asked the young man to follow Him...and he turned away.  My brothers and sisters, sinning is turning away...of being without
Don't you hate it?
If you do, then you are on the path to holiness, a nearness to our Lord and Savior, of being blessed and righteous...before His Loving and Merciful eyes....
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