Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Even The Winds

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Minute Meditations

Trust God's Plan
While the future may be uncertain to us, we can rest comfortably in the loving control and sovereignty of our Heavenly Father. We can trust his plan, and we can rely upon his fatherly design and control.
— from Zealous

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome
(d. 68)
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There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the "Apostle of the Gentiles" (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D..

There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city "caused by the certain Chrestus" . Perhaps many came back after Claudius's death in 54 A.D. Paul's letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds.

In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their "hatred of the human race." Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.

Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.


Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.


Pope Clement I, third successor of St. Peter, writes: "It was through envy and jealousy that the greatest and most upright pillars of the Church were persecuted and struggled unto death.... First of all, Peter, who because of unreasonable jealousy suffered not merely once or twice but many times, and, having thus given his witness, went to the place of glory that he deserved. It was through jealousy and conflict that Paul showed the way to the prize for perseverance. He was put in chains seven times, sent into exile, and stoned; a herald both in the east and the west, he achieved a noble fame by his faith...."

"Around these men with their holy lives there are gathered a great throng of the elect, who, though victims of jealousy, gave us the finest example of endurance in the midst of many indignities and tortures. Through jealousy women were tormented, like Dirce or the daughters of Danaus, suffering terrible and unholy acts of violence. But they courageously finished the course of faith and despite their bodily weakness won a noble prize."

Daily Prayer


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of your presence.


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.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness. He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Gn 19:15-29

As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, "On your way!
Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here,
or you will be swept away in the punishment of Sodom."
When he hesitated, the men, by the LORD's mercy,
seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters
and led them to safety outside the city.
As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told:
"Flee for your life!
Don't look back or stop anywhere on the Plain.
Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away."
"Oh, no, my lord!" Lot replied,
"You have already thought enough of your servant
to do me the great kindness of intervening to save my life.
But I cannot flee to the hills to keep the disaster from overtaking me,
and so I shall die.
Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to.
It's only a small place.
Let me flee there--it's a small place, is it not?--
that my life may be saved."
"Well, then," he replied,
"I will also grant you the favor you now ask.
I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
Hurry, escape there!
I cannot do anything until you arrive there."
That is why the town is called Zoar.

The sun was just rising over the earth as Lot arrived in Zoar;
at the same time the LORD rained down sulphurous fire
upon Sodom and Gomorrah
from the LORD out of heaven.
He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain,
together with the inhabitants of the cities
and the produce of the soil.
But Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Early the next morning Abraham went to the place
where he had stood in the LORD's presence.
As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah
and the whole region of the Plain,
he saw dense smoke over the land rising like fumes from a furnace.

Thus it came to pass: when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain,
he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval
by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.

Responsorial Psalm PS 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12

R. (3a) O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.
Search me, O LORD, and try me;
test my soul and my heart.
For your mercy is before my eyes,
and I walk in your truth.
R. O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.
Gather not my soul with those of sinners,
nor with men of blood my life.
On their hands are crimes,
and their right hands are full of bribes.
R. O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.
But I walk in integrity;
redeem me, and have mercy on me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the assemblies I will bless the LORD.
R. O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.

Alleluia Ps 130:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 8:23-27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
"Lord, save us! We are perishing!"
He said to them, "Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?"
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, "What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?"

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • We have already prayed Mark's version of this story on 21st June. Revisiting it gives us an opportunity to experience again the drama, the fear, the relief.
  • Does being in the boat with a sleeping Jesus resonate in any way with situations in my own life? Have there been times of turbulence when Jesus (God) seemed uninterested, uncaring? If so, was my faith weakened or strengthened by having this experience? And today? Am I of little or of great faith?


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: Genesis 19:15-29

The First Martyrs of Holy Roman Church

Early the next morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood in the Lord's presence. (Genesis 19:27)

Abraham lived in tumultuous times. God had told him that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah had grown so great that the only answer was to overthrow them and start all over again. Even though Abraham tried to bargain with the Lord on behalf of these cities, God was resolute. After sending angels to rescue Lot and his family, God went through with his plan and burned the cities to the ground.

When Abraham woke up the morning after the destruction, he traveled, as if by instinct, to the place where he and God had last spoken. It's as if he didn't know what else to do. He wanted to find refuge in the place where he had last connected with the Lord, a place where he could make sense out of what had just happened.

What is your place of refuge? Where do you turn when you are trying to sort through the wreckage of a difficult situation? Some find comfort in family. Some prefer to be alone. Others, sadly, turn to alcohol or drugs for solace.

Turn to the Lord! His arms are open wide, waiting to receive you. He has the wisdom, the consolation, and the guidance you need. He also has the authority and power to help you put things back together and choose the next steps along your path. This is what Abraham did, and he grew stronger because of it.

Oftentimes our first response to difficulties is to imagine the worst, to fret, or to try to run away. These are all natural reactions, but they're usually not the best reactions! The best thing to do is to make a conscious effort to stop, breathe, and seek the Lord in the quiet of your heart. Read a favorite Scripture verse if it helps. Try to get to daily Mass if you can. Make it a point to wake up a little earlier so that you can spend some extra time with the Lord. If you take steps to find God's presence, you'll also find the way through whatever challenges are before you.

"Thank you, Lord, for being my refuge. I know that I can come to you anytime, anywhere, about anything, and be filled with your life."


Psalm 26:2-3, 9-12
Matthew 8:23-27

The time that Sodom and Gomorrah was the time of their lives, everyone doing their own thing, until it killed them.  And we still think "we get what we deserve".  Lot had chosen what resembled the "garden of eden" and there...the snake too.  Evil is present in prosperity.  People look for satisfaction, and in pursuit lose their souls.  A beautiful temptation comes your way, and you fall for it, and you pay for it dearly, and this case...with your dear life.  But what is life worth?  Archbishop Fulton Sheen, when he was alive, had a show on TV called "Life Is Worthy Living".  Such a powerful message, and in the late 1960's the devil brought a message that doomed and dimmed that message and ended killing thousands in war, millions in abortions, and hundreds of thousands of souls at once.  Now listen to me, the message is still resounding from Fulton Sheen whom we can only summize is in Heaven praying for us to realize "Life is Worth Living".    A dark cloud cast over our country when 9 judges, several who were Catholic, chose to allow same sex marriage.  These are the exact same laws enacted for Sodom and Gomorrah.  They lived a double god life.  On one hand, they probably claimed to be Israelites, supposedly 'trying to" follow God's laws.  On the other hand, they lived an immoral life, at best, all kinds of sex allowed, pandora's box wide open, and it is just now beginning to open here in our it did back we go again.  Even the angels trying to save Lot were wanting to be devoured sexually by the possessed people, they were devouring all the wrong, seeking for good in all the wrong ways. 
Life is worth living.  Nowadays, you gotta watch it, you shouldn't have "too many kids" and you supposedly should use contraception (even if it hurts you), and you can't "be too religious" and you are supposedly supposed to love and accept everyone's sinful lifestyle (their immorality).  These are lies from the devil.  We are in a wishy washy world.  Going this way and that way.  We can't decide if we even really believe in God or really what God wants, it's too vague and ambiguous, His commands, all susceptible to an analysis by the world.   This is the time in the storm to be faithful to the Lord.  When the homosexuals spat on the priest a few days ago as they celebrated their "victory", the priest said he probably deserved worse.  Now listen to the message.  People look down on priests.  People are now spitting on priests.  Listen to the message of this devouring of God's angels.  Listen to the religious persecution.  People are starting to hate what has always been hating...the truth, and the truth is Jesus.  This is the whole point.  I got relatives that are gay, I think you know some yourself, your friends, family.  As an act of charity, we pray for them.  PRAY as they spit on your face for saying they live in sin.  They spat on Jesus, don't we deserve worse? 
Life is worthy living.  Is life worth fighting for?  We have been fighting the abortion laws for like 40 years, a whole generation, a whole generation of children is gone. Generation Y is the question, why did we lose them?   The garden of Eden in prosperity called for a liberation from God.
The Psalms pray "O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.  Search me, O LORD, and try me; test my soul and my heart. For your mercy is before my eyes, and I walk in your truth.  Gather not my soul with those of sinners, nor with men of blood my life.
On their hands are crimes, and their right hands are full of bribes."  These are words from the Bible today.  They are the truth.  Bribes and crimes and sinfulness are at hand mixed and joined together with lies.  "Oh, I'm an old school Catholic, I don't go to that liberal church" a man told me as we prayed for the unborn outside an abortion/murder clinic.  "So you don't go to Mass every Sunday?" I asked him.  "Nope, not unless its...." and he explained the hardships.  And then we have the ultra liberals that want the entire Catholic Church to change to suit their lifestyle.  But let me take it to this level, which is the truth.  Any sin you do is spitting upon the Lord.  Do we stand a chance?  With the Lord there is mercy, and mercy is for those who repent.  Walk in the truth and mercy will be in your eyes!  Life is worth living, can you
Our Lord is in the rocking boat.  The followers are scared, the clouds are above and the winds are raging, they could flip and drown at any moment.  What did they yell?  "Lord SAVE US!"  and rightly so.  The name "JESUS" means "He Saves".  He saved Lot because Lot listened and never turned back to the world of immorality.  The moral here is...LISTEN.  Listen to what God wants.  It's not that hard a message, "Be Still and Know That I am God" our Lord says.  Jesus was asleep in a boat that was being thrashed.  With the Lord in His heart...there is peace and joy.  Our restleness and anxiety calls upon Him for what He has in His heart...Love and mercy.  There are too many thinkers in our faith, too many chiefs and not enough Indians.  Too many so called and self-professed shepherds, and not enough sheep, all sorts of sheep being led in all sorts of directions.  I talked to a lady after Mass last night and realized she had a son, I asked how come I never seen him.  She said he never goes to church, his wife is willing, but her son is not.  Her son is doing what his friend says about the bible, and that friend doesn't go to any church and wants to start up his own church.  You see, too many shepherds and not enough sheep, everyone...doing their own thing.  Yesterday morning a worker asked me how he could get married by the church, and I encouraged him and his union with God.  I said 'it's not hard to do, just do what is asked".  You see, we make things hard.  We live scared.  We live away.  We live devouring what the world feeds.  I want you to feed from Jesus.  Not do our own thing but His thing, and then you will realize, "wow", Life Is Worth Living.
I invite you to live the LIFE of Christ

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