Thursday, September 3, 2015

Into deep water

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Minute Meditations

Saying Yes to Jesus Minute Meditations
Loving trust and total surrender made Our Lady say yes to the message of the angel, and cheerfulness made her run in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth. So much in our lives, too, is saying yes to Jesus, and running haste to serve him in the poorest of the poor.  --Mother Theresa
— from Thirsting for God

St. Gregory the Great
(540?-604)Listen to Audio

Coming events cast their shadows before: Gregory was the prefect of Rome before he was 30. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome.

Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal representative in Constantinople. He was recalled to become abbot, and at the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome.

He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England, sending 40 monks from his own monastery. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of "Gregorian" chant is disputed.

Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, he interviewed the Lombard king.

An Anglican historian has written: "It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages without the medieval papacy; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great."

His book, Pastoral Care, on the duties and qualities of a bishop, was read for centuries after his death. He described bishops mainly as physicians whose main duties were preaching and the enforcement of discipline. In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called "the Great," Gregory has been given a place with Augustine (August 28), Ambrose (December 7) and Jerome (September 30)as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.


Gregory was content to be a monk, but he willingly served the Church in other ways when asked. He sacrificed his own preferences in many ways, especially when he was called to be Bishop of Rome. Once he was called to public service, Gregory gave his considerable energies completely to this work.


"Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions, but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself. To renounce what one has is a minor thing; but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot" (St. Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels).

Patron Saint of:



Daily Prayer - 2015-09-03


Dear Jesus, today I call on you in a special way.
Mostly I come asking for favours.
Today I'd like just to be in Your presence.
Let my heart respond to Your Love.


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.


Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life?
By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Col 1:9-14

Brothers and sisters:
From the day we heard about you, we do not cease praying for you
and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding
to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit
and growing in the knowledge of God,
strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience,
with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6

R. (2) The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Alleluia Mt 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."
Simon said in reply,
"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets."
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
"Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men."
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • This miracle reveals the power and generosity of God. Jesus knew what would please Simon, who would never forget this catch of fish!
  • God's grace comes to us tailor-made to fit our situation. Can I recall a moment when my efforts to do good were rewarded beyond my dreams? Did I recognise then that God was busily at work through me? Or do I tend to say, 'This can't be done: it wouldn't work!' and so do I block God's action? Let me allow God to be a God of surprises for me.


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.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Luke 5:1-11

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Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men. (Luke 5:10)

There's a story about the British evangelist Smith Wigglesworth (1859--1947). He was riding a train to Wales one day. As the train neared his station, he got up to wash his hands in the restroom. While there, he prayed for just a few moments. When he returned to his seat, someone noticed that his face seemed to be shining with an extraordinary glow. "Sir," he said, "you've convinced me of my need to repent!" Soon after, others in the carriage were exclaiming, "Who are you? You've convinced us all to repent!"

The reaction of these travelers to Wigglesworth sounds a little like Peter's words to Jesus: "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man" (Luke 5:8). It wasn't that Peter wanted Jesus to go away. It was that he was overwhelmed by Jesus' power and goodness.

It's natural for us to react like this when we encounter the Lord. Perhaps the encounter has shown us our sin, and we are moved to repentance. Perhaps we are not accustomed to experiencing such an abundance of unconditional love. Or maybe we sense that God has a new calling for us, and we are afraid to take it up. As the Letter to the Hebrews says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).

But look at Peter. He allowed himself to fall into Jesus' hands, and it changed his life forever. No longer just a fisherman, he became a fisher of men and women as he grew into his role of leading the Church and encouraging his fellow apostles. It was a rocky road at first, but over time, Peter became a heroic, humble servant reverenced by millions of believers down through the ages.

God has an adventure set aside for you as well. It may not entail world travel or a place in the limelight, but it does involve a life lived for more than just yourself. He wants you to take up the call to catch people for his kingdom. And as you do—whether through evangelization or a life of intercession—you'll find your horizons broadening, your heart growing warmer, and your life more purposeful. Who knows? Maybe your face will even shine as brightly as Smith Wigglesworth's!

"Here I am, Lord. I don't want to live just for myself. Make me into your servant."


Colossians 1:9-14
Psalm 98:2-6





Last night, a co-worker in our co-worker bible study said to notice how Jesus used miracles to preach, to reach out to even more people.  Every once in a while, we will experience or hear about a miracle.  People like them, but they are not everything...there is more.  If anything, it is the bait for the fish.  I have already fallen for the bait.  I have been caught in the net of the Lord.  Now all I got to do is the same.  I too have to become like Jesus, a fisher of men.  This means bringing people to Jesus, and in high hopes that their souls will be caught...and saved.  I received a long text just as I was writing to you, another (spanish) reflection on today's scripture, and it said at one part:
  "On the shore, you can fish with a hook without any need to get wet. 
On the shore "a craft fishery" takes place.
Only inside the sea do you cast nets.
Only inside the sea does "industrial fishing" take place.
The true fishing is "inside the sea".
The Church is called to leave the shore and "into the deep".
It was the motto of Pope John Paul II for the third millenium.
Not a Church that is satisfied with fishing to eat today.
But a Church called to invite those that are afar, to those who hover slightly to the temple.
'All night struggling'
Evangelization is nothing easy.
Respecting always the liberty of each one.
It is possible that many times:
We depend in our own strengths.
We believe that the conversion depends on our arts.
We believe that the conversion is our work.
We believe that the conversion depends on our organizations.
We believe that the conversion depends on our structures.
And we run into our failure: 'all night struggling' and we awaken:
every day with the discouragement of our pastoring.
every day with the discouragement of useless work.
every day with the discouragement of leaving everything.
Until we take into conscience that the evangelization is based "on the faith in the Word of Jesus".

LOL. and that was a part of the text, and ends with a little story:
  "One time, a group of 3 men were lost in the mountains and there was only one fruit to nourish the 3 who were famished with hunger.
There appeared to them God and said to them to test their wisdom and depending on what they showed they would be saved.
He asked them what they wanted to ask for so their problem would be solved and so all would be nourished.
The first said: "Well, make there appear more food", and God said that it was an answer without any wisdom, for you should not ask God for the solution to appear magically for the problems without working with what you have.
Then the second said: "Then, make that the fruit grow so that it can be sufficient", to which God answered No, for the solution is not to ask always for multiplication of what you have to fix a problem, for the human being would never be satisfied and in the end would never be sufficient.
The third then said "My good God, even though we are hungry and we are proud, make us all little so that the fruit will be enough".  God said "You have answered good, for when man makes himself humble and makes himself small before my eyes, they will see prosperity".

End of the long text message today.  When St. Peter obeys, then something good and tremendous happened.  God knew where and when the fish would cross, and the opportunity was then and now.  I told the co-workers last night, "when someone asks you for something, especially the Church, you are to say yes".  How could you say no all your life and expect a "yes, come right into Heaven" when one of those question in life was "will you give your life to Jesus" and you had made up an excuse?  I said "there is forgiveness in life, but what if you never ask for it and die?    Then you are the living dead.  Sin kills the soul, the more, the darker.  Let us not be the living dead.  Let's be alive, have Christ at the center of our lives.  Stop saying no.  Stop saying you can't.  Stop saying you got other things to do.  Stop loving others more.  Start obeying God.  Not just looking for prosperity, but for true Love.  What better blessing would you want here and forever than...the Love of God?

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