Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ask The Master

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Minute Meditations

Pray the Rosary

Lord, your mother gave us the rosary to save us from the evil world. Help us to spread her devotion. Help us to honor her request that we pray the rosary. Help us meditate on your life and the grace of salvation you bring us.
— from Amazing Graces


Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and Companions

Not much is known of the early life of Emmanuel Ruiz, but details of his heroic death in defense of the faith have come down to us.

Born of humble parents in Santander, Spain, he became a Franciscan priest and served as a missionary in Damascus. This was at a time when anti-Christian riots shook Syria and thousands lost their lives in just a short time.

Among these were Emmanuel, superior of the Franciscan convent, seven other friars and three laymen. When a menacing crowd came looking for the men, they refused to renounce their faith and become Muslims. The men were subjected to horrible tortures before their martyrdom.

Emmanuel, his brother Franciscans and the three Maronite laymen were beatified in 1926 by Pope Pius XI.


Daily Prayer - 2015-07-07


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....


God is not foreign to my freedom.

Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,

gently nudging me towards all that is good.

I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.


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 Gn 32:23-33

In the course of the night, Jacob arose, took his two wives,
with the two maidservants and his eleven children,
and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
After he had taken them across the stream
and had brought over all his possessions,
Jacob was left there alone.
Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.
When the man saw that he could not prevail over him,
he struck Jacob's hip at its socket,
so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled.
The man then said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."
But Jacob said, "I will not let you go until you bless me."
The man asked, "What is your name?"
He answered, "Jacob."
Then the man said,
"You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel,
because you have contended with divine and human beings
and have prevailed."
Jacob then asked him, "Do tell me your name, please."
He answered, "Why should you want to know my name?"
With that, he bade him farewell.
Jacob named the place Peniel,
"Because I have seen God face to face," he said,
"yet my life has been spared."

At sunrise, as he left Penuel,
Jacob limped along because of his hip.
That is why, to this day, the children of Israel do not eat
the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket,
inasmuch as Jacob's hip socket was struck at the sciatic muscle.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1b, 2-3, 6-7ab, 8b and 15

R. (15a) In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee from their foes.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.

Alleluia Jn 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said,
"He drives out demons by the prince of demons."

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • In proclaiming the good news Jesus placed himself on the side of the weak and vulnerable and had compassion for the crowds who followed him, seeking the truth of his message.
  • When we pray to the Lord to send labourers into his harvest we often think of the religious life and sometimes forget that Jesus calls each person to be a disciple of his love. Help me Lord to be caring and compassionate to those around me, recognising that it is often through the small and invisible things that I do for others that I can contribute to the building of your kingdom.


Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon 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 32:23-33

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14th Week in Ordinary Time

What is your name? (Genesis 32:28)

Your name defines you in a significant way. It identifies the family into which you were born. It often has a particular meaning or honors a particular ancestor. Add-ons like "Junior" and "Mrs./Miss/Ms." further tell who you are. And when you fall in love, your beloved may also have a special name for your ears alone.

When Jacob realizes that he has been wrestling with an angel, he begs for a blessing before his heavenly visitor departs. That blessing is expressed as a new name. "Jacob" (one who trips up) is the one who grasped his twin brother's heel as they were being born; ever since, he's been using his devious wits to trick people into giving him what he regards as his due. But now he has a new identity: "Israel," or "one who strives—or sticks—with God." From this time on, Israel is most true to himself when he relies on God and not on his own clever plans. That's quite an identity change!

When we were plunged into the waters of baptism, each of us was also made into a new creation and given a new identity and name: "Christian," a child of God who shares in the life of the Trinity. At our confirmation, we may have taken additional names in honor of saints we hope to imitate. Added to this, we also have a special God-given name, a name that describes how our Father sees us and the calling he has placed on our lives. The Spirit says, "To the victor I shall give ... a white amulet upon which is inscribed a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it" (Revelation 2:17).

Spend some time today basking in God's love for you. Ask him to give you just a glimpse of how valuable and precious you are to him. Let him whisper to you the name he has chosen to express who you truly are. Then, every time you face a new choice in your life, take a small but decisive step in the direction of that God-given identity.

"Father, thank you for naming me your beloved. Give me the grace to grow into the way you see me."


Psalm 17:1-3, 6-8, 15
Matthew 9:32-38




It is very interesting, how Jacob came to be, he took advantage of his father, stole his blessing that belonged to another in a sense, yet what was done was done.  This is the power of the blessing.  The father blessed him and did not take it back.  There are no take backs, blessings are a one way deal, this is giving in its truest sense.  Fast forward to the time Jacob was at the ford of Jabbok.  Jabbok in its hebrew meaning can mean an emptying out, and at times luxuriant river.  Such is an ideal prophecy of what was happening.  The Lord's promise was about to be fulfilled.  Israel is born...the name of the people of God.  The angel that was wrestled with was not broken, but man was broken, at the hip.  Emptied and filled, broken and healed.  This message is for you right now.  Let yourself be broken, emptied, and filled.  Repentance, yeah, it means breaking down, letting God break you down, and then really emptying yourself, things we really don't want to mess with.
The Psalms pray the life of Christ: "In Justice I Shall Behold Your Face O Lord" and "...I shall be content in your presence".  I was sitting there in choir practice Saturday as I've been helping them lately.  I noticed father was confessing.  I told everyone I wanted to confess (hoping they would jump on the bandwagon and say "oh me too!" but no).  One said "look you can go confess now" and so I went.  As I walked in, I usually sit face to face with the father.  This time though, as I walked in, the father began speaking so I knelt behind the veil.  Perhaps I could disguise my voice too, or so I tried.  It was the same confessions as many times I confess, hardened heart I guess.  But once we get up from the encounter...we leave blessed, broken, but now ready to be filled.
In comes our Lord Jesus our King in the Holy Gospel.  They bring him a demoniac.  Jesus delivers him, frees him, and the demoniac can now speak.  In the power of confession, I can now speak.  If not after one confession, after years of confessions.  Some exorcisms take years to accomplish, like treatments do for the body, this is for the soul.  The reason I can speak to you is because I have been delivered to this point.  To the point of deliverance, not total, not yet, that will only happen as the Lord sees fit and my willingness to cooperate with His plan.  And so the people are shocked, so shocked that they are freaked out and their evilness fails to see the good and so call it bad, and this is really bad, for one should never blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, it very well is unforgiveable.  Yet, our Lord continues in the face of insults and blasphemies.  You can not keep a good man down.  The devil has tried for the last thousands of years, it is impossible.  But the message then to take, is that of Jesus still reaching out and healing but more importantly preaching, teaching and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom.  That is our mission.  What are you pushing in your life?  What are you giving force to?  Some team?  Some fad?  Some sport?  Some work?  Some so called mission?  What about pushing the Kingdom of God.  And pushing means effort.  This effort is not made by many.  That is why the Lord our God says today ""The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."
We had a visiting priest from Mexico on Sunday.  In his homily, he at one point asked for vocations, for parents to push their children to be priests, sisters, and such.  Because we push them (encourage and help them) to be what we want them to be so many times, and many times anything but a priest or a religious sister.  Anything but give to God.  There is a TON of work to do for the Lord.  And what do I see in the face of this mountain of a task?  People backing out.  Moving mountains is heavy lifting. Rock by rock, pebble by pebble.  You know, after about 10 years of this, I've noticed only one person has stuck through it all...Jesus

And the faithful
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