Friday, July 10, 2015

before the Son

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Minute Meditations

Covenant of Love
Jesus comes through something tiny, a little piece of bread, consecrated by the priest, which becomes his Body. This is the plan of Jesus. He will leave us physically, but through the bread he will be really present with us. The sacrament becomes a real presence for each one of us; it is not just a moment of grace but a sign of a covenant of love, a friendship offered to us.
— from The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Relationship

St. Veronica Giuliani
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Veronica's desire to be like Christ crucified was answered with the stigmata.

Veronica was born in Mercatelli, Italy. It is said that when her mother Benedetta was dying she called her five daughters to her bedside and entrusted each of them to one of the five wounds of Jesus. Veronica was entrusted to the wound below Christ's heart.

At the age of 17, Veronica joined the Poor Clares directed by the Capuchins. Her father had wanted her to marry, but she convinced him to allow her to become a nun. In her first years in the monastery, she worked in the kitchen, infirmary and sacristy and also served as portress. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress, a position she held for 22 years. When she was 37, Veronica received the stigmata. Life was not the same after that.

Church authorities in Rome wanted to test Veronica's authenticity and so conducted an investigation. She lost the office of novice mistress temporarily and was not allowed to attend Mass except on Sundays or holy days. Through all of this Veronica did not become bitter, and the investigation eventually restored her as novice mistress.

Though she protested against it, at the age of 56 she was elected abbess, an office she held for 11 years until her death. Veronica was very devoted to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart. She offered her sufferings for the missions. Veronica was canonized in 1839.



Why did God grant the stigmata to Francis of Assisi and to Veronica? God alone knows the deepest reasons, but as Celano points out, the external sign of the cross is a confirmation of these saints' commitment to the cross in their lives. The stigmata that appeared in Veronica's flesh had taken root in her heart many years before. It was a fitting conclusion for her love of God and her charity toward her sisters.


Thomas of Celano says of Francis: "All the pleasures of the world were a cross to him, because he carried the cross of Christ rooted in his heart. And therefore the stigmata shone forth exteriorly in his flesh, because interiorly that deeply set root was sprouting forth from his mind" (2 Celano, #211).


Daily Prayer - 2015-07-10


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 am free."
When I look at these words in writing
They seem to create in me a feeling of awe.
Yes, a wonderful feeling of freedom.
Thank You, God.


How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.  Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.  I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

The Word of God

Reading 1GN 46:1-7, 28-30

Israel set out with all that was his.
When he arrived at Beer-sheba,
he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called,
"Jacob! Jacob!"
He answered, "Here I am."
Then he said: "I am God, the God of your father.
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
for there I will make you a great nation.
Not only will I go down to Egypt with you;
I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes." 

So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba,
and the sons of Israel
put their father and their wives and children
on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport.
They took with them their livestock
and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan.
Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt.
His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—
all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.

Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph,
so that he might meet him in Goshen.
On his arrival in the region of Goshen,
Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot
and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen.
As soon as Joseph saw him, he flung himself on his neck
and wept a long time in his arms.
And Israel said to Joseph, "At last I can die,
now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive."

Responsorial PsalmPS 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty. 
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones. 
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

AlleluiaJN 16:13A; 14:26D

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you to all truth
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men, 
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus urges his apostles to persevere in face of the persecution and trials they will encounter while announcing the good news. He assures them that they need not worry for the power of the Spirit will be speaking through them.
  • Lord send forth your Holy Spirit when I feel weighed down by struggles and persecutions in my life. Help me to trust in the power of your Spirit, the very life of God within me which guides me into the ways of truth and love.


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: Matthew 10:16-23

View NAB Reading at |

14th Week in Ordinary Time

Do not worry about how you are to speak. (Matthew 10:19)

Sheep in the midst of wolves. Being handed over to the courts and punished in the synagogues. Being brought before governors and kings. Jesus told his disciples not to worry when they faced roadblocks like these. Nowadays, he might have cautioned against apathy, secularism, or relativism. Either way, confronting hostility or bias when we try to share our faith can make us anxious.

But don't forget that it's really Jesus' life in you that people are rejecting, not you yourself. And he is totally equipped to handle any objection or opposition that may come your way!

Anxiety often comes from the feeling that we are inadequate in facing a challenge. We worry that we will make mistakes or that we won't have what it takes to succeed. But Jesus wants us to put aside this kind of worry. Why? Because it's not about us! The progress of the gospel doesn't rise and fall on the strength of our personality, on the depth of our intellect, or on the extent of our oratorical skill. It's not only about gritting our teeth and pushing through difficulties. It's also about resting in God's presence and trusting that his Spirit will help us overcome what we lack.

Are you afraid of evangelizing? Don't be! Remember, it's the Spirit who speaks through you and touches someone's heart He so wants to share the good news of the gospel that he will overcome any obstacles to get just the right message to just the right person at just the right time. All he asks is that we try our best to recognize and use the opportunities to share the gospel that come our way.

No matter what, the situation is never about "us" and "them." It's about being ignited with God's love and having the confidence that his Spirit can shine through you. With the heart of a true evangelist, eager to pass on the amazing gift you have received, you can witness to the gospel. Just open your mouth and speak, resting assured that the Spirit will take care of the obstacles.

"Jesus, you want everyone to receive the awesome gift of your redemption! Help me to put away worry so that this life of yours can flow out of me and touch the people you put in my path."


Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40




When Jesus was presented to the temple a few days after His birth, Simeon cried out to God the exact words that Jacob/Israel cried out when He finally saw his son "Now I can die for I have seen with my own eyes that he is alive".  Joseph was the prefigure of Christ, and Simeon stated at the end "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, j which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."  Notice he said he saw the glory of Israel.  The fulfillment of what was to come...had come.  How does this affect your life?  It affects every part of our life.  For years Israel/Jacob had lived in pain, at the loss of his son.  There was light at the end of the tunnel, and it was Jesus, the Son of God...the light, the light for revelation to the gentiles (non-believers).
The Psalms pray this day "The salvation of the just is from the LORD; he is their refuge in time of distress."  And the LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him."  In that bitter darkness, take refuge, for He is with you, He is with you when you offer to Him to share the load, the pain and He will deliver the just.  For Simeon was a just man, he was just and devout.  Because it is two and the same, to be just and to be devout.  Like I told the co-workers, "you can't live with one foot in hell and one foot in Heaven...this is trying to bring darkness to light". 
And so we have the Holy Gospel, bring us the good news...Jesus. 
Today, the Lord continues from yesterday.  Do not take money, nor food, nor extra clothes was mentioned before, and today He says "do not worry about what you are to say".  LOL, Ok!?? So, let's get this straight, don't worry about money, nor food, nor clothes, nor what I'm going to say?  YES!  For The Lord always YES.  The songs I wrote said "what will your answer be to the Lord?  A yes or a no?"  A co-worker said this week as we talked about his life and trouble he was going through, said he remembered one time he was at a bar, drinking, waiting for drugs, and this right after getting out of rehab.  Said his brother called "hey do you want to go to church tonight?" and he said "nah, maybe some other time".  And the brother said on the phone "ok, but just remember, what if the Lord came to you and asked you to be with him, and your answer would've been "nahh, maybe some other time".  This was many many years ago, yet the troubles he was going through this week were exactly because he said "nahh, some other time" to our bible studies he stopped going to.  I told another friend that has not been meeting weekly with me anymore that "he used to meet me and be my friend" and he laughed as he was doing chores for the church.  He said "yeah, I think I'm going to simmer down for the summer".  I said "You can't simmer! You'll get cold". 
How often have you wanted to cool off from Church?  It's not good.  You have to be hot for the Lord and nothing or nobody else, lest they be your gods.  You see, this whole trusting in God thing means abandoning yourself at the altar.  If He is going to come in, He wants to become one with you, become your hands and feet, become the love of the world.  I told the co-workers, "who else is going to prohecy to your family and friends that none of us know?  If you remain silent, then you would have blocked the Holy Spirit from them".  You see, we have to trust and let the Holy Spirit flow through us.  When I sit teaching all these classes, I'm actually a student, praying for them and asking them to talk, because if they let Jesus in their souls, the Holy Spirit, then Jesus speaks and teaches.
My prayer then is that we trust, allow Him into our lives and to never let go.  It's what I do for you every week day.  I pray for you at the Blessed Sacrament.  I open myself to Him.  Then I start typing and speaking...Now it is your turn, I want to see Jesus in you...I really REALLY do.  Because then i will learn.  And listen to this, we just read a prayer from Word Among us above that prays "Jesus, you want everyone to receive the awesome gift of your redemption! Help me to put away worry so that this life of yours can flow out of me and touch the people you put in my path."  Notice:  flow out of me and TOUCH the people.  It's one thing to teach...and a whole other to touch.  This calls for an act of love, a yes to the Lord, a work of humility to transform the world.

God I Love You

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