Friday, June 5, 2015

How Is He

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Minute Meditations

In the Dark

God doesn't wait for us to repent before he forgives us—his mercy is constant, overflowing, and limitless. But unless we repent, we will not receive that mercy, and we will remain unforgiven—just as someone who refuses to open their eyes remains in the dark.
— fromAnswers

St. Boniface
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Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions he found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordination was questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops' elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

During a final mission to the Frisians, he and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for Confirmation.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, he had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent. He introduced Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.


Boniface literally struck a blow for Christianity in his attempt to destroy pagan superstitions. On a day previously announced, in the presense of a tense crowd, he attacked with an ax Donar's sacred oak on Mount Gudenburg. The huge tree crashed, splitting into four parts. The people waited for the gods to strike Boniface dead—then realized their gods were powerless, nonexistent. He used planks from the tree to build a chapel.


Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform.  Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.

Patron Saint of:


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

Daily Prayer - 2015-06-05


I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....



I will ask God's help,

to be free from my own preoccupations,

to be open to God in this time of prayer,

to come to know, love and serve God more.


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

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 Tb 11:5-17

Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come.
When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father,
"Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!"

Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father:
"I am certain that his eyes will be opened.
Smear the fish gall on them.
This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes;
then your father will again be able to see the light of day."

Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him,
and said to him,
"Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!"
And she sobbed aloud.

Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate.
Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand,
and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes.
"Courage, father," he said.
Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart.
Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit's eyes,
Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts.

When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept.
He exclaimed, "I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!"
Then he said:

"Blessed be God,
and praised be his great name,
and blessed be all his holy angels.
May his holy name be praised
throughout all the ages,
Because it was he who scourged me,
and it is he who has had mercy on me.
Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!"

Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice
for everything that had happened.
Tobiah told his father that
the Lord God had granted him a successful journey;
that he had brought back the money;
and that he had married Raguel's daughter Sarah,
who would arrive shortly,
for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh.

Tobit and Anna rejoiced
and went out to the gate of Nineveh
to meet their daughter-in-law.
When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit walking along briskly,
with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed.
Before them all Tobit proclaimed
how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes.
When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah,
he greeted her: "Welcome, my daughter!
Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter!
Blessed is your father, and blessed is my son Tobiah,
and blessed are you, daughter!
Welcome to your home with blessing and joy.
Come in, daughter!"
That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.

Responsorial Psalm PS 146:1b-2, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts
The LORD shall reign forever,
your God, O Zion, through all generations! Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 12:35-37

As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,
"How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:

The Lord said to my lord,
'Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.'

David himself calls him 'lord';
so how is he his son?"
The great crowd heard this with delight.

    Listen to audio of this reading

    Watch a video reflection

Some thoughts on today's scripture
  • This style of argument delights Jesus' original audience although it may seem strange to us. When the scribes teach that the Messiah is the son of David they seem to imply that he is inferior to David. Jesus argues that Psalm 110 (used during the coronation of a king) shows that the opposite is the case. In its opening verse David (its presumed author) writes that "The Lord" (God) speaks to "my lord" (the king). "My lord", or the Messiah, is therefore superior to David. There is even a hint of divine status, or at least of a divine relationship, in what follows: "Sit on my right hand".
  • Does this episode deepen your understanding of who Jesus is?


I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.What part of it strikes a chord in me?  Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently- will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness.  If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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: Tobit 11:5-17

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Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

There was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh. (Tobit 11:17)

What a happy ending! Tobit regained his sight, Sarah was happily married to Tobiah, and the entire family rejoiced in God's blessings. But the journey to that point was far from easy. Sarah had married and lost seven husbands, and a grave had been dug for Tobiah on their wedding night. Tobit had to endure the pain of Tobiah smearing his eyes with fish gall (which made them "smart") and peeling off his cataracts with both hands!

The Book of Tobit shows us that pain isn't always bad. Difficulty is often part of the path of healing. It isn't that God wants us to suffer, but he knows that suffering gives us the opportunity to cooperate with his grace. It forces the decision of whether we will sink into self-pity or keep following him in trust. This can take effort on our part. Tobiah had faith and a good disposition, but it couldn't take him far enough. He had to act on his faith and "assault" his father's eyes with the gall.

Sometimes our own faith requires painful decisions and a measure of discomfort. Maybe there was a time when you knew you needed to go to Confession, and it took all your will to approach the priest. Afterward, you experienced a freedom that would have been impossible had you not humbled yourself and received the grace of the sacrament. Or perhaps you have endured illness, either yours or that of someone close to you. You couldn't understand why there was such suffering, but as you walked through it, you saw opportunities to grow closer to Christ. You discovered his presence and his love in ways you normally wouldn't have seen.

Just because things look bleak, that doesn't mean there isn't a "happy ending" coming. We can listen to the words that Tobiah told his father, the same words Sarah's mother told her: "Take courage!" As St. John Paul II used to say, "Be not afraid!" Trust God to walk with you through your challenges, and in the end, you'll find a joy that overflows.

"Father, I won't run away from discomfort. Help me to embrace everything you offer me so that I can receive your life."


Psalm 146:1-2, 6-10
Mark 12:35-37



The 5 minutos said today:
  "I give you thanks, Lord, for your Word, that illuminates every day my life and gives meaning to what I do, because it shows me and convinces me, it corrects me and is forming in me a new man.  I give you thanks because your Word gives me strength and sustains me in the tests, because in it shines the truth like the sun and is sweet like honey.  But I give you thanks also for those times in which your Word is dark and mysterious, hard and bitter and penetrates in me like a double edged sword, putting out into the open my fears and wounds, the monsters and demons that are inside of me, and provokes me to look where I don't want to, there where my heart does not take me, beyond my likings.  Forgive me, Son of the Father, for all the times I have renounced the search and let me be guided by the Word, forgive me for other times having announced without passion your Word and I have forgotten it and confused it with other words, and then even hushing it, for fear or embarassment, for vile complacency or human respect, or because I felt in myself its reproach before anything.  Forgive me if I have looked somewhere else for the "rock" to build my "house" on.  I pray that you give me valor in the tests.  Make me learn to remain faithful to Your Word and to what the Church in it has taught me, so that my faith is a faith received by Scripture and proven by life.  Grant me, Jesus, your wisdom to know to plant justified questions to myself and others, those that leave no escape, in order that the Word leads me every day closer to the threshold of your Mystery, and have the necessary strength to announce it.  Amen"
 Tobit returns home and still obedient to Rafael, the angel of God, the angel of healing and medicine, says how to heal his father.  The afflictions to a just man were lifted through the son.  And I hope you get the vibe that the son is eventually the Son of God, the healer in obedience to the Father and returning to the Father who in turn says as Tobit today "I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!".  Interestingly the mother of the son, Tobiah, proclaimed what Simeon prophecied in the temple "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word..." Luke 2:28.  Still all leading to is all prophecy of what would be of Christ our Lord, our God, Jesus.  And if you want a deeper bite, listen to what this verse says today "Welcome, my daughter! Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter! Blessed is your father, and blessed is my son Tobiah, and blessed are you, daughter!", tell me now, who does the wife of Tobiah remind you of?  Well the name Tobiah, should remind you of the name Messiah.  Got the hint?  Who is the bride of Christ?  The Holy Church, including the Holy Mother, the Queen...and in Luke 1:42 we read "Blessed are you among women", and this is a prophecy of the Kingdom, not simply bloodlines although they are carried to Jesus.
  The Psalms read the life of Christ "Praise the Lord, my soul" and "The LORD keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free."  And rightly so, they rejoiced when the Lord spoke today's Word "The Lord said to my lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.', and this comes from the lips of the Son of David, the inheritance given to one greater, the one who had given to them in the first place the Kingdom itself, the owner of the vineyard claming what is His, as if to say "I AM the Vine", I am everything you are fighting for, I am everything you need, I AM the Lord YOUR GOD!  Today, the Lord shows love.  Today, He is serving.  He healed.  He obeyed.  He hugged.  He spoke.  He gave.  Ours is the Way.  Ours is the offering to follow Him, which means taking the Way.  Strange gods are appearing in modern day.  Strange because the gods are selfish.  Yet His mercy waits for you.  That is to say, His love waits for you.  That is to say, becoming one with Him waits for you.  That is to say, to abandon self for better.  Even the Psalms prayed "The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the just. The LORD protects strangers."  So, have you become a stranger to Him?  Because so many of us really are.  How can a stranger be welcomed into a home?  Only if he/she is invited.  I am inviting you right now to the House of God, but first through me.  I will show you how God is by the way I live, only then will people begin to want to go to the House of God...if I am truly sent, if I am truly letting Him live in my soul and doing whatever He pleases with my entire life.
This is the first Friday of the month...go to the House of God, to the Blessed Sacrament.  Be a stranger no more.  He misses you just like Tobit missed Tobiah.  Much rejoicing happens when we return from where we were, and where we will be!