Friday, July 17, 2015

These innocent men

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Minute Meditations

Called to Love

Women must love for two reasons: The world needs their love, and their own happiness depends upon it. Who but women have been invited to receive human persons and to form them through the multifaceted gift of motherhood?
— from Woman of Strength

St. Alexis


Saint Alexis was the only son of a rich Roman senator. From his good Christian parents, he learned to be charitable to the poor. Alexis wanted to give up his wealth and honors but his parents had chosen a rich bride for him. Because it was their will, he married her. Yet right on his wedding day, he obtained her permission to leave her for God. Then, in disguise, he traveled to Syria in the East and lived in great poverty near a Church of Our Lady.

One day, after seventeen years, a picture of our Blessed Mother spoke to tell the people that this beggar was very holy. She called him "The man of God." when he became famous, which was the last thing he wanted, he fled back to Rome. He came as a beggar to his own home. His parents did not recognize him, but they were very kind to all poor people and so they let him stay there. In a corner under the stairs, Alexis lived for seventeen years.

He used to go out only to pray in church and to teach little children about God. The servants were often very mean to him, and though he could have ended all these sufferings just by telling his father who he was, he chose to say nothing. What great courage and strength of will that took!

After Alexis died, his family found a note on his body which told them who he was and how he had lived his life of penance from the day of his wedding until then, for the love of God.

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-07-17


"Be still and know that I am God"

Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek

Your Loving presence more and more.

For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world.<


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.


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 Ex 11:10—12:14

Although Moses and Aaron performed various wonders
in Pharaoh's presence,
the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate,
and he would not let the children of Israel leave his land.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
"This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month
every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb,
one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then,
with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole,
with its head and shanks and inner organs.
None of it must be kept beyond the next morning;
whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.

"This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every first born of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution."

Responsorial Psalm PS 116:12-13, 15 and 16bc, 17-18

R. (13) I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord,
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
"See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to the them, "Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The Pharisees were quick to point out the traditional observances of the Sabbath according to the Law and failed to understand the teaching of Jesus that 'the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath'. They were too preoccupied with rules, regulations and empty sacrificial offerings that they missed the meaning of the message of Jesus -- the mercy and love of God.
  • God wants to free me from my anxieties, fears, and burdens through the gift of his unconditional mercy and love. Can I extend to others the gift of mercy and love so generously shared with me?


What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word?
I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.


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: Exodus 11:10--12:14

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15th Week in Ordinary Time

You shall reckon it the first month of the year. (Exodus 12:2)

Most of us celebrate significant anniversaries: our birthday, our wedding day, or our graduation day. In today's first reading, God invites the Israelites to set apart the day when he delivered them from slavery. He tells them not only to celebrate a past event, but to mark a new beginning as well.

Each of us has experienced a day just as significant as the day of the Israelites' Passover: the day of our baptism. Like our spiritual ancestors, we too were delivered from slavery; we too were given a new identity; and we too were welcomed into a covenant relationship with the Lord.

If you were baptized as an infant, your parents and godparents made promises on your behalf. But every Easter, you are invited to make those promises your own. You can reject sin and all the ways the evil one lures you into sin. Profess faith in the God who is your Creator, Redeemer, Inspirer, and Friend. Affirm the Church as your home. And celebrate that the life you were given in Baptism will last forever.

When you emerged from the waters of baptism, you were anointed with chrism, a symbol of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. Cleansed from sin, you were also clothed in white—a symbol of the innocence that you can recapture every time you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You received a candle as a symbol of the risen Christ whose inextinguishable life you have shared from that day forward.

If you're not sure of the date of your baptism, try to find out when it was. Mark it on your calendar, and do something special to commemorate the anniversary. Light a candle, maybe, or look at old photos or make a special visit to church. Remember and give thanks, for that is the day when God brought you into his kingdom, made you a part of his people, and united you with his Son forever.

Of course your baptism, like your wedding or your graduation, is only the beginning of your story. So be sure to ask how you can continue to grow into the life you have received!

"Father, thank you for plunging me into your gift of eternal life!"


Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
Matthew 12:1-8




A section of a spanish reflection said today:
 "...from here the importance in the life in the Spirit, now that This makes the law turn into love.  It is many the daily obligations, those which can be lived under the law of the Spirit.  I can go every day to work, and do it for love and joy, or like a real load; I can fulfill my religious obligations (like going to Mass) as a routine manner or just to comply with a law, or I can do it for love and joy.
  The Lord what He wants is that we fulfill the law, but without forgetting that, above the law, He always wants our charity, Our daily obligation makes of the law an experience of love.  Permit that the love of God fill your life today.  Open your heart."
  Another part of the long texted reflections I received said:
"...The law has to be to protect the rights of men among men.
It interests us more the law than the hunger of men.
It interests us more the law than the dignity of men.
It interests us more to be faithful to the law than to be faithful to men.
And so, God results, frequently, as an enemy to man.
When in reality:
God does not demand rights that can destroy men.
God does not demand rights that attempt against man.
God does not demand rights that forget the rights of man.
A law that does not respect man, neither respects God.
A law that sacrifices a man, sacrifices God.
A law that destroys the dignity of man, destorys also the dignity of God.
A law that forgets man, forgets God.
The "glory of God is the man that lives" said St. Irene
Who does not respect the rights of man, neither respects the rights of God.
Who does not respect Man does not respect God.
Whom does not love man, neither loves God....."

Moses pleaded with the Pharoah to let the people go.  Yet they remained obstinate, opting for death.  This is the story of your life and mine.  When we refuse to listen to God even when He has proved choose death.  And God offers salvation to the faithful, those that will mind the laws and demands of our Lord in Heaven.  Today, laws have been killing innocent children all over the world.  Let it be known that this sacrifice to self has been noted.  Let it be known that it is an implosion.  And let it be known, God is still offering the faithful.
You see, don't ever read the Holy Scriptures and think of them as in the past.  They are always re-lived.  In the Holy mass, the blood of the lamb and the food that saves is Jesus.  We re-live salvation.  We re-live death passing by us.  We re-live, Jesus being there to guard us.  We re-live this love of a Savior in compassion and power in humility.
The Psalms pray today "How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? the cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD" and "To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD.My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people."  I remember one time I was in a heated discussion with a fellow church member a couple years ago, and it was because I had mentioned at the end of Mass in an announcement that laws against the church were coming such as Homosexual laws.  He and others didn't like what I said.  Today, the laws are true and they are not for the rights of people, it is a lie, it is about the religious persecution and our rights to worship as we have been for hundreds and thousands of years.  It is laws against life, against Christ.  It is the spirit of the anti-christ enacting the laws.  With the smile and gesture of a pen, in the name of peace among men, making laws to kill them off and make them all sterile because the devil HATES life.  Pretty strong words huh?  Is it the sad truth nobody cares about?  The question is an oxymoron.  Because the truth is not sad, but freedom and joy and jope, because the truth is Jesus.  Therefore to say "sad truth" is a contradictory statement.  The only part that is partly true of that question is the statment of "nobody cares".  In part, we really don't care, when we really don't make our voice heard.  I relayed the story to classes I've led this week, about last weekend we went to a waterpark, and being guests inside the park me and my wife got to go early before the park opens to any ride.  We went to the tallest and fastest slide, and when the bus got there, we rushed to the top and there was already a crowd, a 45 minute wait atop the tower.  As we waited, a young girl passed out, fainted.  I didn't know until the commotion caught my attention a little bit, and the lady behind us told me to tell the lady in front of us if they could call 911.  It was a chain of people reaching out for help: this person told this person and the next told the next.  Had I decided it wasn't important enough to bother, I wouldn't have told the lady in front to call 911.  Such is the urgency of the message of Christ.  Not emergency, but it is an urgency.  Not to say the world is ending tommorrow but could...for you.  I've been to several funerals, mostly sudden deaths in various forms.  So the message is for you my child.  Life is waiting for you.  Life is waiting for you to save it.  You are not sad about the millions of innocents killed and are being killed, but some One out there cares. Some Body out there is making an effort to save.  Often, alone, with or without you slaving away.  Is this some kind of crazy Pro-Life message?  LOL.  Yeah but in a sense of saving souls.  Do you really care about souls around your life day in and day out?  Do you really care if they go to Heaven or Hell? Or do you leave it up to them and God and you have nothing to do with it?  Exactly...nothing to do with it. 
And we will be judged as we judge.  You wipe your hands like Pontius Pilate and let Jesus die but first horribly tortured. 
You see, just because you don't care, don't mean it don't matter.
And this is the message Jesus was relaying to the Jewish law..."you've lost the meaning, the intention...the Love of God".

It's time to be crazy in love with God, drag all those in your world to Heaven, kicking and screaming they will come, believe me, all you have to do is care.  Nothing is impossible until you decided to make it so.


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