Wednesday, July 8, 2015

To The Lost

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Minute Meditations

Oneness With Jesus

It is through the Eucharist that Jesus gives us his Body to eat and his Blood to drink, so that we can dwell in him and he in us. Jesus came to lead us into oneness with him and to help us live a life of oneness with others.
— from The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Relationship

St. Gregory Grassi and Companions
(d. 1900)
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Christian missionaries have often gotten caught in the crossfire of wars against their own countries. When the governments of Britain, Germany, Russia and France forced substantial territorial concessions from the Chinese in 1898, anti-foreign sentiment grew very strong among many Chinese people.

Gregory Grassi was born in Italy in 1833, ordained in 1856 and sent to China five years later. Gregory was later ordained Bishop of North Shanxi. With 14 other European missionaries and 14 Chinese religious, he was martyred during the short but bloody Boxer Uprising of 1900.

Twenty-six of these martyrs were arrested on the orders of Yu Hsien, the governor of Shanxi province. They were hacked to death on July 9, 1900. Five of them were Friars Minor; seven were Franciscan Missionaries of Mary — the first martyrs of their congregation. Seven were Chinese seminarians and Secular Franciscans; four martyrs were Chinese laymen and Secular Franciscans. The other three Chinese laymen killed in Shanxi simply worked for the Franciscans and were rounded up with all the others. Three Italian Franciscans were martyred that same week in the province of Hunan. All these martyrs were beatified in 1946 and were among the 120 martyrs canonized in 2000.


Martyrdom is the occupational hazard of missionaries. Throughout China during the Boxer Uprising, five bishops, 50 priests, two brothers, 15 sisters and 40,000 Chinese Christians were killed. The 146,575 Catholics served by the Franciscans in China in 1906 had grown to 303,760 by 1924 and were served by 282 Franciscans and 174 local priests. Great sacrifices often bring great results.


"Martyrdom is part of the Church's nature since it manifests Christian death in its pure form, as the death of unrestrained faith, which is otherwise hidden in the ambivalence of all human events. Through martyrdom the Church's holiness, instead of remaining purely subjective, achieves by God's grace the visible expression it needs. As early as the second century one who accepted death for the sake of Christian faith or Christian morals was looked on and revered as a 'martus' (witness). The term is scriptural in that Jesus Christ is the 'faithful witness' absolutely (Revelations 1:5; 3:14)" (Karl Rahner, Theological Dictionary, volume 2, pp. 108-09).

Daily Prayer - 2015-07-08


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....


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


Help me Lord to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognise your presence in others.  Fill my heart with gratitude for the times Your love has been shown to me through the care of others.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Gn 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a

When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt
and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread,
Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph
and do whatever he told them.
When the famine had spread throughout the land,
Joseph opened all the cities that had grain
and rationed it to the Egyptians,
since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt.
In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain,
for famine had gripped the whole world.

The sons of Israel were among those
who came to procure rations.

It was Joseph, as governor of the country,
who dispensed the rations to all the people.
When Joseph's brothers came and knelt down before him
with their faces to the ground,
he recognized them as soon as he saw them.
But Joseph concealed his own identity from them
and spoke sternly to them.

With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to his brothers:
"Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man.
If you have been honest,
only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison,
while the rest of you may go
and take home provisions for your starving families.
But you must come back to me with your youngest brother.
Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die."
To this they agreed.
To one another, however, they said:
"Alas, we are being punished because of our brother.
We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us,
yet we paid no heed;
that is why this anguish has now come upon us."
Reuben broke in,
"Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy?
But you would not listen!
Now comes the reckoning for his blood."
The brothers did not know, of course,
that Joseph understood what they said,
since he spoke with them through an interpreter.
But turning away from them, he wept.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Alleluia Mk 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
"Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus sends out his disciples with the clear instruction to 'proclaim the good news' of the kingdom of heaven. He sends them on a mission of teaching and healing to proclaim the message of God's saving love to those who were in most need of hearing it.
  • Help me Lord, to understand how my faith too can have a missionary dimension. Show me how I can be an instrument of your love in my encounters with others, so that your kingdom of justice, truth and love may reign.


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 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24

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14th Week in Ordinary Time

All the world came to Joseph. (Genesis 41:57)

If anyone had reason to break ties with his family and his God, Joseph did. Sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph found himself in a foreign country. Yet look at his faithfulness! In each new position—slave, prison inmate, then administrator—Joseph looked to God for wisdom and for strength to serve. He resisted temptations that cropped up at every turn. In the end, Joseph proved himself to his brothers by lavishing mercy on them. It's a pretty safe guess that God delighted in Joseph's faithfulness!

But at its heart, the story of Joseph is really a story of God's faithfulness. After all, it was God who blessed all that Joseph did and gave him the remarkable spiritual insights that caught Pharaoh's eye. In his own timing, God raised Joseph to the world's stage, as we see in today's first reading. And you could say that God was even faithful to his miscreant brothers who sold him into slavery. He saved them from famine and brought them into fertile Goshen.

So what does this mean for you today? Well, for one, it means that God honors your faithfulness too. He sees your devotion in praying and serving and loving. He hears your prayers. He remembers you. He considers your sacrifices, even the small ones that you think go unnoticed. Even when you're not faithful to him, because we all make mistakes, he remains true to you.

It also means that today, he is working behind the scenes. He's using your faithfulness to do more than you can probably imagine. When you feel imprisoned by guilt, fear, or resentment, he is at work, forging a way out for you. When you feel unable to forgive someone who has wronged you, he is at work, finding ways to help you soften your heart. Just as he worked through Joseph's challenging situations, even when it seemed hopeless, your faithful Father is working in you. So hang in there! Try your best to be faithful, and trust that he will raise you up in his own time and in his own way. Always remember that God loves writing long tales of faithfulness.

"Lord, your faithfulness stretches to the heavens! Thank you that your gaze of love is on me today."


Psalm 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19
Matthew 10:1-7



Joseph says in today's 1st Holy Scripture, "Do this, and you shall live...", later on Jesus, the betrayed brother as well, would say "Do This (in memory of Me)" and also He would say "and you shall live forever".  In both cases, they were dealing with feeding.  Joseph, feeding dying people's bodies.  With Jesus, feeding dying souls.  Joseph suffered for a reason, although he did not know the reason, but Joseph was faithful, the so called "dreamer" has now turned the world into believers.  Martin Luther King said "I have a dream" and now the world believes that we are one.  "Free at last" he said, and then was killed.  The quote "give me freedom or give me death" comes to mind.  Now, I want to put into proper perspective.  What do you want to be freed from?  Think about the answer.
How many will ask the Lord to give you freedom from sin?  How many will ask to be given freedom from death?  Not very many.  The devil wants to confuse words like freedom, as if to say freedom means to let loose from all inhibitions and even morals.  And because of this confusing world where truths are twisted, like "equality", and "tolerance", where these words are used against can begin to see the twisted truths of the devil.  Enough.  This is why the question is, do you want freedom from God?  This is hell.  Do you want freedom from satan?  Does that mean this is Heaven?  I bet there is much more...let us stay tuned.

The Holy Psalms pray today "Lord let Your mercy be on us as we place our trust in You", and "But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine."  God sees His children.  He decided to deliver them from sin and death.  Question is do you trust?  What is trust?  Faith?  What is faith? Love?  What is Love?  Ahh, that is the question, because that is the basis of our instruction on earth, to learn about love, and it would be sad to learn alot about Love and never actually experience it.  As if to know the bible inside and out and never really have a faith this connection with God and being led by the Holy Spirit in your life, where you just trust like Joseph had to, and Jesus had to, and all of today's murdered Christians had to. 
The onslaught of anti-life laws continue today.  The recent laws passing homosexual marriage are the latest and greatest laws against life, alongside abortion.  Life is at the basis.  Jesus is the life.  Then, to be anti-life is to be anti-Christ.  Now, this is not to put people against people, but to make aware that God's people are still being marked for persecution.  A nice ad by CatholicVote was put out recently to promote the stance of Catholics on traditional marriage, the normal people came on stating they believe in traditional marriage.  That was the gist of it.  They've gotten feedback, mostly negative and many aggressive and possibly threatening phone calls.  One comment that caught my attention said "too many Christians, not enough lions".  As if calling on an onslaught agains Christians, alongside these new laws.  What does Christ have to do with this?  The truth.  It has everything to do with the truth.  And with today's Gospel?  Well, what does Gospel mean?  Good news.  Jesus gave the authority over evil spirits and to heal.  That is the focus of the Church, yet this is a direct onslaught on evil.  I read a quote today "He who, when tempted, makes the Sign of the Cross with devotion, makes hell tremble and heaven rejoice." -St. John Vianney.  Jesus sends out the Apostles today to proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  The power has been given to the faithful, faithful to the truth, the power to reveal the truth.  And the power comes to those who trust, those with faith, as a gift from Heaven.  It's as if God's desire by His final words were to encompass the world with the fire of mercy.  And for His truth to prevail, "...the meek shall inherit the earth".

Lord, That faith, that love, lead us there Lord...
Be with us Lord, we need you, your Love