Thursday, July 2, 2015

They Were Struck

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Minute Meditations

Plan of Mercy
Minute Meditations
God had a plan even before he created Adam and Eve. God is never caught off guard. He knows all. He sees all. And he is working all things together for the good of his children. Nothing can stop his plan of mercy and love.
— from Zealous

St. Oliver Plunkett

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The name of today's saint is especially familiar to the Irish and the English—and with good reason. The English martyred Oliver Plunkett for defending the faith in his native Ireland during a period of severe persecution.

Born in County Meath in 1629, he studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained there in 1654. After some years of teaching and service to the poor of Rome he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. Four years later, in 1673, a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution began, forcing Archbishop Plunkett to do his pastoral work in secrecy and disguise and to live in hiding. Meanwhile, many of his priests were sent into exile; schools were closed; Church services had to be held in secret and convents and seminaries were suppressed. As archbishop, he was viewed as ultimately responsible for any rebellion or political activity among his parishioners.

Archbishop Plunkett was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1679, but his trial was moved to London. After deliberating for 15 minutes, a jury found him guilty of fomenting revolt. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in July 1681.

Pope Paul VI canonized Oliver Plunkett in 1975.



Daily Prayer - 2015-07-02


At any time of the day or night we can call on Jesus.
He is always waiting, listening for our call.
What a wonderful blessing.
No phone needed, no e-mails, just a whisper.


If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.


How do I find myself today?

Where am I with God? With others?

Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.

Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness. 

The Word of God


Reading 1 Gn 22:1b-19

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
Then God said: "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a burnt offering
on a height that I will point out to you."
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey,
took with him his son Isaac, and two of his servants as well,
and with the wood that he had cut for the burnt offering,
set out for the place of which God had told him.

On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
Then he said to his servants: "Both of you stay here with the donkey,
while the boy and I go on over yonder.
We will worship and then come back to you."
Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering
and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders,
while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham:
"Father!" he said.
"Yes, son," he replied.
Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood,
but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?"
"Son," Abraham answered,
"God himself will provide the sheep for the burnt offering."
Then the two continued going forward.

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Next he tied up his son Isaac,
and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am," he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son.
Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh;
hence people now say, "On the mountain the LORD will see."
Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—all this because you obeyed my command."

Abraham then returned to his servants,
and they set out together for Beer-sheba,
where Abraham made his home.

Responsorial Psalm PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R. (9) I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your kindness, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
"Where is their God?"
R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia.
They have mouths but speak not;
they have eyes but see not;
They have ears but hear not;
they have noses but smell not.
R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia.
Their makers shall be like them,
everyone who trusts in them.
The house of Israel trusts in the LORD;
he is their help and their shield.
R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia 2 Cor 5:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
"This man is blaspheming."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
:Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins"--
he then said to the paralytic,
"Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The healing of the paralysed man shows the power of Jesus to forgive sins. Jesus wants to renew every person with the gift of his healing grace just as he did for the paralytic. I can bring to Jesus the areas of my own life that need healing. He knows all of my struggles and even when life is not easy and I stumble, the gift of his forgiveness frees me from thinking of the past and gives me the grace to make a fresh start.


How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?

Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?

I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,

I turn and  share my feelings with


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: Matthew 9:1-8

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13th Week in Ordinary Time

Courage, child, your sins are forgiven. (Matthew 9:2)

What a beautiful thing to say! Remember that in ancient Israel, it was commonly thought that people with disabilities were being punished by God either for some sin they had committed or the sins of their parents. It was a curse, in other words. But here is Jesus telling this fellow—in a very compassionate way—that he was not cursed. In fact, his sins were forgiven! He showed that God is not a forbidding, awesome deity; he is a Father who loves. He also showed that God hadn't abandoned this poor man but was very much a part of his life, ready to work wonders in him.

Have you ever said to yourself that you deserve something bad that has happened to you? Or have you thought that you aren't worthy of any personal attention from God because of the ways you fall short of his call? "I deserve this upset stomach," you might think. "I was nasty to my next door neighbor yesterday." The truth is, we find it easy to acknowledge the theory that Jesus forgives us, but we can find it much more difficult to forgive ourselves. In our hearts, we want to be set free, but somehow we still labor under a cloud of guilt and shame.

Whether it's the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:4-42 or the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) or Zacchaeus (19:1-10) or any number of other stories, Scripture is filled with proof that Jesus' forgiveness is boundless. All he asks is that we turn to him and humbly confess our sins. If we do, the first thing he will do is tell us to take courage because we have been forgiven. He will fill us with confidence in his love and provision. He will convince us that we belong to him and that he is always with us.

So let Jesus call you "child" today. Let him assure you that your sins have been forgiven. Then let him continue to heal your inner self. Even if you don't see an immediate change, you will know him more deeply. And that's the greatest healing of all!

"Jesus, thank you for your boundless mercy! Thank you that I can bring all of my needs to you for healing. Lord, I am in awe of your love!"


Genesis 22:1-19
Psalm 115:1-6, 8-9


The 5 minutos said today:
  "The corporal healing is only a sign of the power of Christ to heal the more serious sicknesses that "consume" the interior of man.
You believe in God?  Then, why are you afraid?
You know that God is your Father?   Then why do you not trust?
You know that God defines Himself with love?  Then, why do you not feel loved?
You received the Holy Spirit?  Then, why are you sad?
You know you're the temple of God?  Then, why do you feel alone?
You eat the broken bread?  Then, why don't you live the Communion?
You know He loves you until the end?  Then, why don't you live in love?
You know I give my life to you?  Then, why are you afraid of death?
You believe the Kingdom of God is near?  Then, why do you fall asleep or get discouraged?  Why do you not advance the Kingdom?
You pray the Lord's prayer?  Then, why do you not share your bread?  Why do you not forgive with the heart?
You know that God does not stop forgiving?  Then, why are you overwhelmed by guilt and sin?
Forgive us Lord!
For us that say and do not do.
We talk and do not live.
We ask and we do not give.
We "like your things", but we do not commit ourselves.
We say we are faithful and many times we forget you.
We want to serve you, we have forgotten what it means to live.
We want to be the first in everything and we forget the others.
Today, from the depths of my littleness, I raise to You my prayer, praying...
"Forgive, Lord, Forgive!"

  Today's 1st Holy Scripture brings forth a faithful man, and his only son by blood.  It is a beautiful scene.  A man, and his boy, a family, blood lines pure too, body from body, spirit from spirit.  The devil hates this and always has, this is the devil's nature.  Such is the formidable force, that it has destroyed families for centuries, and lately through abortions and homosexual unions to destroy any creation, any more beautiful bloodlines of purity.  Take heart though, for God's ways and truth are eternally triumphant.  Be strong.  Be courageous.  And if you don't care about what's going on in the world, then join the ranks of the so called Christians and Jews that are passing these laws for the world.  Join the neutral people, join all those who have one foot in hell while trying to have one foot in Heaven.  Join your spirit with darkness while supposedly trying to live in the light.   When God asked Abraham for his only beloved son, Abraham just went for it.  This is faith.  This is the love of God.  To give everything you love and stand for to Him.  You see, in the things of God, it is a yes or a no.  When God asks for something, you'll know, and you better not say no!  The son, Isaac asks "where is the lamb" to slaughter, to offer up to God?  Abraham prophecies even though he didn't know it when he said "God WILL PRovide".  AWESOME.  Abraham was already prophecying the Messiah, Jesus, who would be the sacrificial lamb of God, the only beloved Son of God to die for our sins and to overcome death.
The Psalms pray "I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living" and "They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; They have ears but hear not; they have noses but smell not."  Who has eyes but can not see?  Who has mouths but do not speak?  Hardened hearts.  What is a hardened heart?  One who is hardened in sin.  If you go to receive Jesus in Holy Communion (The Eucharist) without cleansing yourself (Holy Confession), what sins you bring to justice will be hardened, week after week.  But if you come disposed to dispose of yourself, in purity, into God's will, you will be hardened for goodness, week after week.  The focus then, it is to walk in the prescence of God in the land of the living.  Adam and Eve used to be able to walk with God, but sin separated them.  Right now, our Lord is inviting you to "walk this way"...His Way.
Jesus is amazed and the people are amazed. In today's Holy Gospel, Jesus heals a paralyzed man.  How did a paralyzed man get to Jesus?  He did so by a few men that "walked His way".  They made their way to the presence of the Lord.  I can not tell you how many healings (for others) I have witnessed in the presence of our Lord, in the most Holy and Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist, and confessions.  Yes prayer works, but it is so much more apparently present in the Sacraments.  Bringing others to Jesus is bringing them to healing, yes, but much more...salvation.  The paralyzed man was saved from being looked down upon and as an outcast in the community.  The same happens with our sins.  We are cast out from His Kingdom.  My mom was orphaned from the age of 11.  Her dad died while working the farm, and the tractor implements crushed him while working alone.  Then, her mom died a year later because of a tumor in her head.  They were 9 siblings.  Were.  One of them was my uncle "tio Jilo".  He was a paralyzed man, not from birth but when he was a newborn, he got polio and it crippled his body and brain.  He couldn't walk or talk and had to be treated like a toddler all his 34 years or so of life.  He was a burden to the family.  Someone had to change this grown man's body's pampers.  Someone had to feed him.  Someone had to bathe him.  Someone had to everything for him, carry him and so forth.  Isaac, in the scripture today, was forced to carry the wood.  Jesus was forced to carry the cross.  My mom's family was given a cross.  And you know what?  The cross saved them all.  My mom's family was preoccupied with Tio Jilo until they all got married and had kids...then he died.  Was this God's gift?  Was this what united them?  Was this God's love?  Someone carried him, this paralyzed man...and it was Jesus
And I can only pray, that cross we see as a burden, our faith, that what is costing us our time and treasures, I pray we see that the cross is salvation..and not just for you...but the whole world.  We are at a point no different in a world of hatred for the people of God, and the cool thing about it is there is definitely no difference in the love and mercy of God either.  Where sin abounds...His grace is more.  He is triumphant no matter what.  This is the message of joy.  There is a flock that needs to be led to the truth, and you are the prophet, you are the angel, the messenger to bring sinners to the Salvation! What an awesome task...

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