Tuesday, August 4, 2015

When They Heard

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Minute Meditations

Spontaneous Joy

The most beautiful and spontaneous expressions of joy which I have seen during my life were by poor people who had little to hold on to. --Pope Francis
— from St. Anthony Messenger

Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla

The first Gypsy to be beatified was a martyr and a Secular Franciscan.

Ceferino was born in Fraga (Spain). He had a successful business, buying and selling horses. Ceferino and his wife had no children though they adopted one of his wife's nieces. He attended Mass frequently and joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Always generous to the poor, he was known as a reconciler among Gypsies.

During the Spanish Civil War, he was arrested for defending a priest who had been dragged through the streets of Barbastro and for having a rosary. As the firing squad prepared to kill him, Ceferino clutched his rosary and cried out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!) When he was beatified in 1997, thousands of Gypsies attended the ceremony.


Ceferino shows us that Christ's love is not limited by race or culture. The daily living out of his Baptism prepared Ceferino for making the supreme sacrifice of his life. For better or for worse, the decisions we make today prepare us for future decisions.


At Ceferino's beatification, Pope John Paul II said: "His life shows how Christ is present in the various peoples and races, and that all are called to holiness which is attained by keeping his commandments and remaining in his love (John 15:11)" (L'Osservatore Romano 1997, Vol. 1, No. 6).

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-08-04


"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek Your presence.
I long for your healing power.


"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccuptions.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Nm 12:1-13

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext
of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman.
They complained, "Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks?
Does he not speak through us also?"
And the LORD heard this.
Now, Moses himself was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth.
So at once the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam,
"Come out, you three, to the meeting tent."
And the three of them went.
Then the LORD came down in the column of cloud,
and standing at the entrance of the tent,
called Aaron and Miriam.
When both came forward, he said,
"Now listen to the words of the LORD:

Should there be a prophet among you,
in visions will I reveal myself to him,
in dreams will I speak to him;
not so with my servant Moses!
Throughout my house he bears my trust:
face to face I speak to him;
plainly and not in riddles.
The presence of the LORD he beholds.

Why, then, did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?"

So angry was the LORD against them that when he departed,
and the cloud withdrew from the tent,
there was Miriam, a snow-white leper!
When Aaron turned and saw her a leper, he said to Moses,
"Ah, my lord! Please do not charge us with the sin
that we have foolishly committed!
Let her not thus be like the stillborn babe
that comes forth from its mother's womb
with its flesh half consumed."
Then Moses cried to the LORD, "Please, not this! Pray, heal her!"

Responsorial Psalm PS 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 6cd-7, 12-13

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense;
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned;
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
That you may be justified in your sentence,
vindicated when you condemn.
Indeed, in guilt was I born,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not off from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Alleluia Jn 1:49b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
"It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
Peter said to him in reply,
"Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come."
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
"Truly, you are the Son of God."

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

Or Mt 15:1-2, 10-14

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal."
He summoned the crowd and said to them, "Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one."
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
"Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?"
He said in reply, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit."

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The Apostles, despite living side by side with Jesus and seeing the wonders he worked, failed to believe that he could save them from the ferocity of the storm. So many storms batter our own lives -- storms of sin and temptation, anxiety, fear and despair - and yet Jesus is no farther away from us than he was from the disciples in that small boat.
  • Lord, when we are afraid, help us to realise that you are always at our side. In all the difficult times of our lives, help us to hear your encouraging words: "Do not be afraid". With our hand in yours, nothing can be too much for us.


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 14:22-36

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Saint John Vianney, Priest (Memorial)

Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:29)

Imagine the confusion and fear in a small child who is suddenly separated from his parents. They may only be steps away, but the child is filled with trepidation until Mom or Dad comes into view. Then all that fear gives way to peace.

In the midst of the storm, Jesus stood right in front of the apostles. "It is I," he told them. "Do not be afraid" (Matthew 14:27). As Peter looked at Jesus, the storm seemed to fade away. All that mattered was that Jesus was there, defying the laws of gravity and banishing fear. In that moment, Peter's heart was lifted above the waves, and he stepped out of the boat. Jesus became the source of his confidence and security, not the boat. Even when he turned from Jesus' gaze and began to sink, he called to Jesus for help, and he was saved.

Our hearts and thoughts are constantly being pulled this way and that by the waves around us. It may be an illness, financial concerns, relationship challenges, or major decisions facing us. But Jesus remains the one and only constant. He sits at God's right hand and has all power and authority. He also loves us completely. Filled with compassion and working according to his plan, he lets nothing catch him off guard. That's why whenever we lift our hearts to him, he reminds us of who he is and all he wants to do in our lives.

It's in these moments that our hearts are strengthened by faith. It is in these moments that we grasp that Jesus is right in front of us, always reaching out to us and reminding us of his power. We were created to know him, to see him face-to-face, and to hear his words to us.

Today Jesus is telling us, "It is I; do not be afraid" (Matthew 14:27). So respond to him today by picturing him sitting on his throne, gazing at you in love, and reaching out to help you.

"Jesus, I want to know you more. I want my heart to be so sure of you and your love that I can look above the waves in my life. Lord, you are worthy of my trust!"


Numbers 12:1-13
Psalm 51:3-7, 12-13




It's almost as if we are left in suspense.  What is going to happen next?  This is where faith comes in.  This is where trust comes in.  Miriam and Aaron couldn't muster up the faith, couldn't really trust in the decision that Moses had made, as if to say "yeah you got us this far but it's about time we re-evaluate" as if to say re-define what should really be, as if to say "we make the laws, not you".  Such is the rebellion that is going on around the world.  People are now telling God "we are going to define what is right and wrong".  No longer has it been left in the hands of our Lord.  We want justice to be in our own hands and point the finger at the Lord saying "look how bad you've been"! WHAT?? What a rebellious teenager, spanking his own father!  Slapping him across the face!?  This is the essence of sin. If you are sinning in any way in your life, you are sharing in this rebellion against God.  And truth be told...this rebellion kills us.  In the future, generations will read about our generations of sinfulness and debauchery, this freedom we so much enjoyed and we were killing ourselves all the time, yanking babies from the wombs of mothers and selling their body parts and the governments would not do anything because they were made up of the same people...who could possibly save them all?  Would then not a justice from Heaven be necessary?  Would then His morals not be called for?  Because when Miriam and Aaron wanted someone else to lead them to freedom...they were pulling apart from their savior...the Lord Himself.  And sin hurts you, the truth of the soul of Miriam was revealed when God departed...she was white and falling apart, almost lifeless, dying, and hideous to see, and this is life in sin.  And the one they didn't trust was praying in the end for them.  The one they rejected at that mountain was still going to save them.  Like Jesus at the cross, still praying for those who were killing him, and the moment he prays and saves the thief nailed next to Him on the cross.
So much is at stake right now and we wonder what can we do?
The Psalms pray on: "Be merciful O Lord for we have sinned" and "A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not off from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me."  This is the beauty of the Divine Mercy chaplet prayer that we pray, it continously says "have mercy on us and on the whole world".  There are people devoted to praying these words over and over, or do you have a better way to pray?  Do you have a better plan?  Because Miriam and Aaron thought they had a better plan, and all we got is a yell.  Like our first pope, St. Peter, lunging towards God to follow Him wherever He goes...and fails and it is meant to be so that we know who we are before God.
And so the Holy Gospel brings us our Lord Jesus.  Firstly, what does Jesus do after dismissing the crowds?  He goes by Himself to pray up on the mountain.  What did He pray?  For who?  Most definitely for the world and those following Him because those following Him are susceptible to storms.  Storms get bad, sometimes really REALLY Bad.  And it seems the more you focus on the fear...the worse they get.  This then leads me to say...could be a sin, to fear anything or anyone more than God.  St. Peter was overwhelmed by fear and sank in the dark sea and storm.  And like Moses all he was left with was a prayer "Lord SAVE ME", Lord Heal me, Lord, please help me.  I'm a lost soul in this world, shivering and afraid in the storm, so cold and weak that I can't even yell for help...and so all I have some times is a prayer in my mind "Lord help me".  These are the exact words a friend/relative of mine said when he was lost in sin, drunk and drugged up with hypodermic needs feeding him meth in one arm and a bottle of whiskey in another hand and laying in a bathtub was feeling himself fade away, and all he remembers saying is "Lord help me".  Indeed the name Jesus means "He Saves".  The friend was found barely alive and was shipped to an emergency room and began a rehab, but he knows in his heart, the Lord heard his prayer.  Now, do we have to hit rock bottom to experience God's mercy? Sometimes.  But we don't have to go there!  Experience it.  I'm a goofball, a sinner too.  This weekend I got in somewhat of an arguement with a loved one.  I will spare you the details but I lost my temper sort of.  Now, if that loved one had not forgiven, we would be in hell, problems galore, a storm like no other pushing your limits of faith and sinking fast.  I told another relative in the evening that had gone through the same and I said "you should forgive because I don't know where I would be right now if there was no mercy".  And it is the truth in my faith in life.  If I had not experienced God's mercy, and if I were not grateful to Him for that, I would not be here typing to you, writing to you love letters of justice and charity and obedience.  Being Holy has never meant being perfect.  And the more holy you allow God to let you be, the more perfection in Him we will be. 
And so my prayer is His prayer.  Forgive as you would love to be forgiven.  I have forgiven many alot, and because of so I too am forgiven.  If then, you are relentless in pride, ruthless and unforgiving then it will be so hard to receive forgiveness.  If then, you declare the Lord is a bad god, you will have an even harder time to be forgiven, because by saying this you are not being forgiving.  If then, you choose to go this route, do not be surprised if you find yourself falling apart and God having left you...His Holy Spirit.  Because God was there, is there, and will be there in those He has planted a soul.  I invite you then, to do what is so hard...have faith.  I asked God the third time I visited Him yesterday in the Blessed Sacrament in my mind "what are we to do, I feel so helpless" and as if an answer came "just live your life my child, but love me more above all".  Because I feel like a failure.  Big time, I goof up constantly in everything I do, at work, at home, and at church.  How soon I forget I'm not perfect...and how I am really still loved and pushed to walk on water.  What propels a fool like me or a saint like St. Peter to think we can walk on water?  It is the love of God pulling us to Him...we just can't help but falling...into Love, into His hands