Friday, September 4, 2015

Old Is Good

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Minute Meditations

Obedience is a Cross
Obedience is not a joke, it is a sacrifice. The more you love God, the more you will obey. Obedience is a cross—pick up your cross and follow him. Everyone in the world has to obey in some way or another. People are forced to obey or they will lose their jobs. But we obey out of love for Jesus.
— from Thirsting for God

St. Rose of Viterbo

Rose achieved sainthood in only 18 years of life. Even as a child Rose had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. While still very young, she began a life of penance in her parents' house. She was as generous to the poor as she was strict with herself. At the age of 10 she became a Secular Franciscan and soon began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus.

Viterbo, her native city, was then in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope's side against the emperor, she and her family were exiled from the city. When the pope's side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return. Her attempt at age 15 to found a religious community failed, and she returned to a life of prayer and penance in her father's home, where she died in 1251. Rose was canonized in 1457.


The list of Franciscan saints seems to have quite a few men and women who accomplished nothing very extraordinary. Rose is one of them. She did not influence popes and kings, did not multiply bread for the hungry and never established the religious order of her dreams. But she made a place in her life for God's grace, and like St. Francis before her, saw death as the gateway to new life.


Rose's dying words to her parents were: "I die with joy, for I desire to be united to my God. Live so as not to fear death. For those who live well in the world, death is not frightening, but sweet and precious."


Daily Prayer - 2015-09-04


I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being.
I pause for a moment and think of this.


"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."
Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God


Reading 1 Col 1:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the Body, the Church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the Blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good,
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Alleluia Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
"The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink."
Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days."
And he also told them a parable.
"No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, 'The old is good.'"


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The little word new comes up seven times in this passage. Jesus is trying to get the Pharisees and scribes to see that, with his coming, everything is now new, different. Newness is a quality that God brings to our lives. Each year is a new year of grace, every day is a new day, different from yesterday.
  • The 'daily bread' we ask for in the Lord's Prayer is fresh bread, baked today. The decisions we make today give a new shape to our lives. And this encounter which I am now having with God through Sacred Space is a new one: it has never taken place before. So let me enjoy it to the full, and look forward to the next encounter!


Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
May I respond to your call today.
Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.


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: Colossians 1:15-20

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22nd Week in Ordinary Time

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

Health experts recommend taking a five-minute break from work every hour as a way of decreasing stress and increasing concentration and productivity. Not only can breaks like these increase your productivity in the short term, but they can also improve your overall health.

If this is true for your physical life, imagine how much more true it can be for your spiritual life! So try it today. Every hour, make it a point to take a short break to refocus yourself. Maybe stretch or take a short walk; and as you're doing it, take just one line from today's first reading, and ponder it.

In prayer, see if one verse leaps out at you. Perhaps it's that Jesus is the image of God; perhaps it's that all things hold together in him; perhaps it's that he has made peace by the blood of the cross. Or it may be something from the Gospel reading instead. Whatever it is, write it down, and keep it with you. At each hour break, take out that verse, and read it over again. If you're near a computer, do a web search on its meaning. If you're out working in the field, repeat the verse to yourself over and over just as you would a decade of the Rosary. If you're surrounded by friends or co-workers, just take a quick break, and go somewhere quiet, where you can mull it over more. Try to understand the meaning of the passage better, and memorize it; or just sit quietly in God's presence, and let the words sink into your heart.

Your doctor might call it a "five-minute stress-busting break," but our spiritual ancestors called it "practicing the presence of God." No matter what you call it, the benefits are undeniable. You are touching base with the Lord at regular intervals, making the effort to be aware of his presence throughout the day. As you do, you'll get to know Jesus better, you'll develop your "spiritual muscles" more fully, and you'll be more aware of God's constant presence. Even more important, you will be better equipped to handle the stresses and demands of your day because you are in touch with your heavenly Father.

"Father, help me stay in touch with you today!"


Psalm 100:1-5
Luke 5:33-39




A text said in reflection this morning in spanish:
 "From Padre Arrupe:  I do not resign myself to, that when I die, the world continues on as if I had not existed".
Jesus did not want to leave the world as he found it.
Jesus did not come to leave the world as it was.
Jesus came to change things and to leave us a different world.  Not a world of patches and mending.
But a different world.
Jesus did not come to leave a world dominated by the law.  Jesus did not come to leave us a world where precepts of the law are predominant.
Jesus did not come to leave a sad world dominated by hardships and penances.
But a world.
Where men feel free.
Where men feel happy.
Where men feel joyful."

The first Holy Scripture ends with "For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the Blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven."  Most often in my dealings with dozens of people and hundreds throughout the years, I get a vibe from some that makes me sense they are not at peace.  What I've had to learn is I should pray for them.  In silence, and at times I will pull them aside and pray over them.  Jesus made peace by the Blood of His cross.  What does this mean for me?  It means peace is available.  Reconciliation is available.  And if you want the world to change, then you be the first.
The Psalms pray today "Come with joy in to the presence of the Lord."  Come giving thanks, as you enter.  All the Psalms remind me of the Mass.  Enter the gates, give thanks all the lands, give praise and serve with gladness and sing with joy.  We used to have a choirmaster for many years, actually two different ones.  It seems they served out of service rather than joy.  They seemed to be mad upon arriving and left really not any better.  Keep this in mind as JEsus our King speaks today.
The Lord said "... no one pours new wine into old wineskins".  What is the new wine?  Jesus is the new wine, the real wine turned to real blood, especially in Mass.  I know of a young man that is terribly afraid of taking the wine, the species in Mass.  Why is he afraid to drink it?  He is afraid he will get someone else's germs.  How then, how will the new wine come into His soul? Because it is a rejection of the Lord Himself, His blood.  Through His blood we are saved.  And a rejection of the Lord is a rejection of the cross, and rejecting the cross is rejecting salvation.  I knew another man that worked for us many years ago.  He was a very tall man, older and white.  I remember very clearly him saying he didn't shake nobody's hands, "don't like shaking all them peter fingers" which was a nasty comment saying everyone else was nasty.  This man eventually killed another man and is in prison right now.  We want to resume our daily lives the way we want to live.  We believe the world is bad and we don't want to change.  "They are the ones that have to change, not me".  LIES.  What Jesus is asking today is for the new you. 
I am going to be new.
I am going to let Jesus rule my life.
I am going to let others be first before me.
I am going to let God rule over all the other rules.
I am going to let God into my soul.
I am going to let God transform me.
I am going to let Him give me the strength to endure my cross.
I am going to let God be God and me His child.
I am going to be obedient.
I am going to open my heart in His presence.
I am going to let His blood mingle in my soul and transform it.
I am going to be joyful amidst the persecution.
I am going to let the truth be known.
I am going to let everyone know that Jesus wants peace.
I am going to reconcile with God because then I will reconcile with you.
I am going to reconcile with you so I can be at peace with God.
I am going to be open to His prophecy and workings in my life.
I am going to love Jesus as if nobody could love Him more...

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