Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Utterly Amazed

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Minute Meditations

Heavenly Home
Faith can help us accept that the one who has died is now joined with all those who were part of his or her life, those whom they have loved and who have gone before them. We believe that they are now with God in a fuller way than was possible during their life on earth.
— from What Do I Say

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter
(d. 304)

Marcellinus and Peter were prominent enough in the memory of the Church to be included among the saints of the Roman Canon. Mention of their names is optional in our present Eucharistic
Prayer I.

Marcellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist, that is, someone authorized by the Churh to deal with cases of demonic possession. They were beheaded during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. Pope Damasus wrote an epitaph apparently based on the report of their executioner, and Constantine erected a basilica over the crypt in which they were buried in Rome. Numerous legends sprang from an early account of their death.


Why are these men included in our Eucharistic prayer, and given their own feast day, in spite of the fact that almost nothing is known about them? Probably because the Church respects its collective memory. They once sent an impulse of encouragement through the whole Church. They made the ultimate step of faith.


"The Church has always believed that the apostles, and Christ's martyrs who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are quite closely joined with us in Christ" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 50).

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

Daily Prayer - 2015-06-02


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.


By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving care.


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 Tb 2:9-14

On the night of Pentecost, after I had buried the dead,
I, Tobit, went into my courtyard
to sleep next to the courtyard wall.
My face was uncovered because of the heat.
I did not know there were birds perched on the wall above me,
till their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing cataracts.
I went to see some doctors for a cure
but the more they anointed my eyes with various salves,
the worse the cataracts became,
until I could see no more.
For four years I was deprived of eyesight, and
all my kinsmen were grieved at my condition.
Ahiqar, however, took care of me for two years,
until he left for Elymais.

At that time, my wife Anna worked for hire
at weaving cloth, the kind of work women do.
When she sent back the goods to their owners, they would pay her.
Late in winter on the seventh of Dystrus,
she finished the cloth and sent it back to the owners.
They paid her the full salary
and also gave her a young goat for the table.
On entering my house the goat began to bleat.

I called to my wife and said: "Where did this goat come from?
Perhaps it was stolen! Give it back to its owners;
we have no right to eat stolen food!"
She said to me, "It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages."
Yet I would not believe her,
and told her to give it back to its owners.
I became very angry with her over this.
So she retorted: "Where are your charitable deeds now?
Where are your virtuous acts?
See! Your true character is finally showing itself!"

Responsorial Psalm PS 112:1-2, 7-8, 9

R. (see 7c) The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Eph 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 12:13-17

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion.
You do not regard a person's status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?"
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
"Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at."
They brought one to him and he said to them,
"Whose image and inscription is this?"
They replied to him, "Caesar's."
So Jesus said to them,
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
They were utterly amazed at him.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Herodians does not lie in the question they are asking (this is fair and relevant) but in their motivation for asking it. They want to trick Jesus. Do I ever act for less than honest reasons? Am I ever hypocritical?
  • How do I understand the final statement of Jesus in the circumstances of my own life and times?


What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.


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: Psalm 112:1-2, 7-9

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Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs

Lavishly he gives to the poor. (Psalm 112:9)

Have you ever arrived home after a long day, feeling completely worn out? You want nothing more than to relax and unwind in a nice, warm bath—to let all the stress from the day wash right off of you.

It may not seem obvious at first, but this is one way to think about the lavishness with which the just person treats the poor. After all, the word "lavish" has its roots in the Latin word lavare, which means "to wash." According to today's psalm, those who fear the Lord are so generous that they literally shower the poor with all they need.

In one sense, we are all poor. We are all wounded by sin, and we all live in a fallen world. But it's precisely because we are poor that Jesus is so lavish toward us. Think of how he showers you with mercy every time you confess your sins. Think of the immeasurable wealth of wisdom available to you through the Scriptures and the Church's teachings. Think of the rich feast that is laid for you at the altar every time you celebrate the Eucharist. Day by day, minute by minute, the Holy Spirit is offering you an abundance of wisdom, insights, and guidance. So much refreshment, so many riches. And they're all for you!

Of course, all these lavish gifts aren't meant just for you. One of the reasons why God is so generous is because he wants you to become generous as well. What else can you do with such abundance? You don't have the room to keep it all to yourself! That's why this psalm talks about how generous are those who fear the Lord. Everyone who has tasted of his goodness can't help but share that goodness with everyone else.

As you end your prayer today, take a piece of paper, write the word "lavish" on it, and put it in your pocket. Let it remind you of Jesus' generosity toward you, and let it remind you to be just as generous with the people around you.

"Thank you, Lord, for showering me with your grace. Give me a generous heart."


Tobit 2:9-14
Mark 12:13-17



The 5 minutos said today:
  "Tobit is a charitable man and does the commandments of God, even though it risks his life.  God "should" protect him and prize him.  But things are different to justice as we understand them.  He loses his sight and is summited to a test, and is still insulted and made fun of by his friends: "What good has all your charity and obedience done for you?"  But he does not lament, he remains firm in his faith and gives thanks to God even in the middle of suffering.  With frequency it happens to the just in a test, that is incomprehendible.  To the pain, there is added the pain of loneliness.  It is the moment of temptation, but also the moment to verify the solidarity with the faith and the patience.   'Lord, just God, purify us so that in our work we do not seek the favor, nor the human complacencies, but only the desire to do Your will and to please You.  Illuminate and fortify our heart with your Spirit so that, through the tests of life, we can remain firm in your holy fear.  When the suffering, the loneliness, the weight and fatigue of the daily way is most heavy, show us to let ourselves be helped by You, to unite ourselves more to You, without asking You questions, with out asking for explanations, confiding in You more when our skies are even darker.  Then also our darkness will shine the light of hope that does not dissapoint and also the silent song of the thanks giving to You, good and faithful God. "
  Tobit is thrown temptations and tests.  Just like our Lord was thrown temptations and tests to Him.  The Psalms pray on "The heart of the just one is firm, trusting the Lord."   And also they read "An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD."  Yesterday was a real Monday.  All sorts of tests on patience.  Question is, how will you react?  A door slammed moments ago, and I also heard somewhat of a loud explosion while I read today's reflections and readings.  Unmoved, too zoomed in on the readings, the focus on the Lord can not be phased and it will not be phased if you are zoomed in on Him and Him alone.  Let the Holy Spirit flow.  Ask for Him to flow in your life.  Last night at a meeting at Church, another person said to me "you're going to get burned out" after realizing I practically spend every day of the week at church.  The lady had also said something like I needed to "get a life".   You see I had told her, "I have a boat and atv's, "I used to race and that was my life, but this is my life and has been more than anything i've ever done."  Years ago, I heard a priest tell me, perhaps indirectly, that we shouldn't be so involved because we can get burned out.  That was several years ago.  What do I make of these temptations?  
  A challenge.  So long as the Lord keeps calling, and so long as I keep being grateful, I will be found serving Him, and that is my life...because He is THE Life.  Let me tell you something about the LIFE that I know.  It is AWESOME!  I am experiencing a joy that gives me great happiness, a peace like never before.  When rock and roll and hip hop and racing and drinking were my getaway for an afternoon, now, the Lord has replaced all of that for a better joy and getting away...with HIM!  But, it's kind of not fair.  "Why doesn't everyone get to have this peace and joy, this very real piece of joy?  And so I try very hard day in and day out to persuade people with words, and actions, and writings, and songs, and spending practically every day in church for YOU.  In a way, I guess, I am like a little Jesus, giving up his so called life, for YOU.  You see, Jesus loves and understands and amazes.   Today He amazes those that went to test Him to put Him down.  Yet, they left amazed.  They weren't expecting to learn that they belonged to God!  They were expecting to get insulted, just like they insult everyone.  You see, this is how we are to be.  Not like the world expects.  And I love the fact that we are called to be a nobody in the world, yet a somebody for the Lord after all these readings and reflections.  I know I write much, I don't mean to take your time, but I want you to be blessed, and I want you to be strong in the faith, so strong that you can take insults and turn them into love, just like Jesus.  This is knowing Grace.  This is experiencinng and living the Christ we are taking into our souls. 
"Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a Christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure."
— St. Josemaria Escriva