Wednesday, September 16, 2015

You Did Not Dance

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Minute Meditations

Perfect Timing
Attempting to discern God's will, especially when it comes to major decisions, can take a long time. And we can prolong the process if we aren't listening carefully. If we continue to seek His guidance, He will provide us with the information we need, when we need it. His timing is perfect.
— from Faith, Hope & Clarity

St. Cornelius
(d. 253)

There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of St. Fabian because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests. St. Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men."

The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Two extremes were finally both condemned. Cyprian, primate of North Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop.

In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view. After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival bishop of Rome—one of the first antipopes. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance."

The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up.

A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000.

Cornelius died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia (near Rome).


It seems fairly true to say that almost every possible false doctrine has been proposed at some time or other in the history of the Church. The third century saw the resolution of a problem we scarcely consider—the penance to be done before reconciliation with the Church after mortal sin. Men like Cornelius and Cyprian were God's instruments in helping the Church find a prudent path between extremes of rigorism and laxity. They are part of the Church's ever-living stream of tradition, ensuring the continuance of what was begun by Christ, and evaluating new experiences through the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before


Daily Prayer - 2015-09-16


God is with me, but more, God is within me.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, in my mind, in my heart,
as I sit here, right now.


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
Mostly I take this gift for granted.
Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended,
with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in You.


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

The Word of God

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Lectionary: 445

Reading 1 1 Tm 3:14-16

I am writing you,
although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed,
you should know how to behave in the household of God,
which is the Church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of truth.
Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,

Who was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.

Responsorial Psalm PS 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

Alleluia See Jn 6:63c, 68c

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life,
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus here is trying to shake us up! Do I need a shake? Am I any more than half-alive? My soul can become numb, paralysed, drugged, fragmented. I can remain unmoved no matter what God does for me. Sometimes the pain of others does not move my heart. I can be hard to please: psychologists speak of persons who live lives of 'a thousand little disgusts'! Gratitude and praise for God's goodness can be weak and faltering in me.
  • Jesus, pull me out from my self-made tombs so that I may live out my life with you to the full. I want to be as you are, fully alive and vibrant with the life of God.

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: Luke 7:31-35

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Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs (Memorial)

Wisdom is vindicated by all her children. (Luke 7:35)

Many people in Jesus' day rejected both his teaching and the teaching of John the Baptist. Nothing seemed to suit them. These were the people Jesus likened to children who are difficult to please, not happy about anything. When John lived simply and preached a message of repentance, they considered him too severe and demanding. Yet when Jesus ate with sinners and showed them mercy, they dismissed him as being too easy on people. How fickle the human heart can be!

Some of the people in Jesus' generation had their own preconceived ideas of what the Messiah was to be like, and Jesus didn't fit their expectations. Locked into their own view of things, those who had the opportunity to know Jesus actually didn't want to recognize him or welcome God's action through him. They held onto their own judgments and their own standpoint, just as obstinate children do. As a result, they missed out on receiving his touch.

How often we act the same way today! Perhaps we've already decided just how much God can ask of us and have closed our minds to anything more. Maybe we've allowed a good relationship to be ruined because we won't give up a strongly held opinion of little importance. Perhaps we're not giving our spouse a chance to prove he or she has changed because we won't accept an apology. Maybe we've judged our pastor harshly because of one statement he has made in a homily. How many opportunities have we missed to make a new friend because we didn't like the way someone dressed?

When we close ourselves off to people or dismiss them on the basis of our preconceptions, mistaken judgments, and prejudices, not only do we make them suffer, but we suffer as well. Though Jesus recognized the hardness of heart of those who were opposed to him, he knew that God's wisdom would ultimately prove its validity in the lives of those who embraced it (Luke 7:35). Let's ask the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts and free us from any prejudices and misconceptions that bind us up. Let's seek the Lord daily for his wisdom so that we can know his life in us.

"Open my eyes, Jesus, so that I can see you more clearly. Clear away any obstacles in my heart so that I can receive your life in me."


1 Timothy 3:14-16
Psalm 111:1-6





Notice today, St. Paul says "you should know how to behave in the household of God".  He is talking about "the Church of the living God". A new RCIA student asked me last night what Eucharist meant.  I did my best to explain in the short time I had before another meeting.  I explained that God becomes the living bread.  As He did when He walked this earth.  Many were unmoved, and the same is still happening today.  I explained reconciliation in the same terms of the priesthood, how they have the "power" if you will, that is authority, to consecrate, to make holy, and to even absolve sins.  I said 'I really hope one day you can experience confession and the Eucharist."  The Church is the people of God gatehered with Him.
That is why the Psalms pray today "I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart in the company and assembly of the just."  Giving thanks together to God...this happens in Holy Mass, and as I explained also last night "Eucharist means Thanksgiving".  And it is happening all over the world as it has been since Jesus came to the earth in human form.  The Psalms continued "He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant."  "He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations."  To the world He has distributed evenly the gifts of His love.  What blocks the reception is the poverty of the world.  The reason people are literally, physically, dying of hunger is not because there is not enough food in the world, but because of how poorly we give and distribute.  People get in the way of the distribution.  People are greedy.  Nations block the channels.  They promote a war while the people die.  And we don't have to zoom out worldwide to see the poverty before our very eyes.  The reason people are suffering close to you is because we do not have time nor money to go help them or be with them, or so we say.  We, then....are unmoved.
Jesus speaks today in the most Holy Gospel "But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."  Overall, people are unsatisfied saying they are satisfied.  They don't believe they need anything else than what they got, they don't even need a god to tell them what to do.  They then, claim to be fatherless.  I went earlier this year to a 3 day retreat "Escuela de la cruz" (school of the cross), geared towards lay (non clergy) men.  The focus seemed to gear us to love the Father, the father in the priest and to even lay down our lives for them.  It is fitting, because look at how people treat priests in the last decades.  Overall, they are treated as just another person, some even say they are all evil.  They said the same of John the Baptist and Jesus Himself.  Priests are treated with indifference.  Priests are a symbol of God's word.  Yet, they are treated like they don't matter.  I'll even say it about the Holy Bible, to most, it's just a "bible".  I'm not one to just leave a bible laying around under a pile of newspapers, I'll pick it up, and if I dare, I'll kiss it, and set it up high in the household.  This isn't just any book.  This isn't just any person.  This God is not just some "thing" we're making out to be.  Jesus performs an innumerable amount of miracles and teachings, so many that books could not contain all He had to say and did.  We have a few and have quarreled about it since He left to be with us in Spirit.  And the Good News comes to your life.  And we fall asleep during the readings, or our minds wander off.  The kids in the playground don't hear their father speaking, calling them saying "My Child, It Is Time!".  Because that is what our Lord is saying.  Wake up!  This Church is not going to continue on as it has.  The 5minutos said that "the people expected a Messiah that would enslave others and have boundaries, a slave of the law, a political Messiah that would make the people live in a materialistic and oppressing peace.  The lines of God and the lines of men do not find each other.  To our God you do not fabricate, you either accept or reject."
Jesus says "My ways are not your ways, My thoughts are not your thoughts" and He asks us to do His way and His thoughts.  Living a new Church means me and you living the way He wants, with Him as the center of everything...our joy, and our Love

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