Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What is this

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Minute Meditations

Filled With Joy
As regards your spiritual state, I exhort you in the most sweet Lord to live tranquilly. I have a great reason to praise the Lord, for having enlightened your spirit somewhat. Knowing that you are always resigned to the will of heaven fills my soul with superlative joy.
— from The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio

St. Damian (Cosmas and Damian)
(d. 303?)

Nothing is known of their lives except that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of Diocletian.

A church erected on the site of their burial place was enlarged by the emperor Justinian. Devotion to the two saints spread rapidly in both East and West. A famous basilica was erected in their honor in Constantinople. Their names were placed in the canon of the Mass, probably in the sixth century.

Legend says that they were twin brothers born in Arabia, who became skilled doctors. They were among those who are venerated in the East as the "moneyless ones" because they did not charge a fee for their services. It was impossible that such prominent persons would escape unnoticed in time of persecution: They were arrested and beheaded.


For a long time, it seems, we have been very conscious of Jesus' miracles as proofs of his divinity. What we sometimes overlook is Jesus' consuming interest in simply healing people's sickness, whatever other meaning his actions had. The power that "went out from him" was indeed a sign that God was definitively breaking into human history in final fulfillment of his promises; but the love of God was also concrete in a very human heart that was concerned about the suffering of his brothers and sisters. It is a reminder to Christians that salvation is for the whole person, the unique body-spirit unity.


"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Daily Prayer - 2016-01-12


I pause for a moment
and think of the love and the grace
that God showers on me,
creating me in his image and likeness,
making me his temple....


Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom.
May your Holy Spirit
guide those in power to work for
equality for all your people.


Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
I can afford to be honest about how I am.
How has the last day been, and how do I feel now?
I share my feelings openly with the Lord.

The Word of God

Reading 1 1 Sm 1:9-20

Hannah rose after a meal at Shiloh,
and presented herself before the LORD;
at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair
near the doorpost of the LORD's temple.
In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously,
and she made a vow, promising: "O LORD of hosts,
if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid,
if you remember me and do not forget me,
if you give your handmaid a male child,
I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives;
neither wine nor liquor shall he drink,
and no razor shall ever touch his head."
As she remained long at prayer before the LORD,
Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently;
though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard.
Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her,
"How long will you make a drunken show of yourself?
Sober up from your wine!"
"It isn't that, my lord," Hannah answered.
"I am an unhappy woman.
I have had neither wine nor liquor;
I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD.
Do not think your handmaid a ne'er-do-well;
my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery."
Eli said, "Go in peace,
and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."
She replied, "Think kindly of your maidservant," and left.
She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband,
and no longer appeared downcast.
Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD,
and then returned to their home in Ramah.

When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah,
the LORD remembered her.
She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son
whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.

Responsorial Psalm 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

R. (see 1) My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
he humbles, he also exalts."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
"He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage."
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

Alleluia See 1 Thes 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"
Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!"
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
"What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him."
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • At some point in their lives people may feel themselves being brought to their knees by urges and forces that are too strong for them. They need to turn to a power above and beyond themselves.
  • Jesus, with that power behind him, comes close to each one of us -- in his teaching, in the Christian community, in the Church.


Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for me.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: 1 Samuel 1:9-20

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1st Week in Ordinary Time

If you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:11)

How do you talk to God? In the first reading for today, we hear how Hannah prays. For years she has borne the sadness of infertility, along with the stigma that other people have attached to her condition. Now she has had enough, and with honesty and desperation, she asks God for a child. She is willing to do anything, including return to God the very son she is asking for, if only God will show her mercy.

What a model Hannah offers us! She comes to God earnestly, in the midst of her troubles. She doesn't try to make herself look good, and she doesn't hide her true feelings. She arrives empty-handed and upset, so much so that she appears to be babbling drunkenly. But that doesn't matter. All she knows is that she wants God to hear her.

And he does exactly that. He showers her with blessings. Not only does he give her a son, but he destines this son—Samuel—to be one of Israel's most powerful prophets. And to top it off, he blesses Hannah with many more children!

In the face of seemingly unanswered prayers, it's tempting to move away from God instead of towards him. It's tempting to give up on him and remain locked in sorrow and frustration. But God does work when we pray. Our prayers may feel inadequate, and our faith may seem too small. But our Father sees to it that no prayer goes unnoticed. No act of faith or trust—however small—goes unrewarded. He doesn't need us to be perfect before we come to him. What good would that do anyway? We would have no needs to bring to him!

This is one of the greatest blessings of prayer: you can come to the Lord no matter who you are or what you have done. He welcomes you with open arms, even when you don't think you deserve it. He loves to hear what is upsetting you, and he loves to offer you his help and his grace. Hannah herself would testify that it's not always easy to come to the Lord like this. But she will also tell you it is well worth it!

"Lord, thank you for your generosity. Help me to be generous with you too."

(Psalm) 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Mark 1:21-28

What is this

It is a glorious day when the Lord comes into action into our lives, and the Word is an action, Love is an action, it is not an abstract idea, it is something that is done by giving.  It is evident in the life of Hannah, she prays on her knees and in tears, and she prays at the threshold of the temple of the Lord, whereby an onlooker, Eli, says basically "what are you sitting ther blabbering, go on your way!"  And the truth is revealed as if Mary the Blessed mother were to be speaking "I am a handmaid of the Lord, I will do as you say".  And this mother bore a son, and the son was offered to our God our Father.  Because if Samuel was a prophet, it wasn't all that he said, but the life he lived, dedicated to the Lord, given to the temple and this should resognate in our lives, for Jesus was born, offered to the Lord, and is given to the temple, and it is said that our bodies are a temple, and how do we treat bodies?  How about the bodies in the womb, the unborn?  How are they treated?  My pregnant wife said "what are you looking at?" as I stared at her belly, I replied "I'm looking at our son".  Just because I can't see him, doesn't mean he isn't there.  The same it is with our God in the temple, amazing! 
We prayed the Psalm ". My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior." and ""He raises the needy from the dust; from the dung heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage."  They say the Psalms proclaim the life of Christ.  Indeed, the Lord was born into poverty but rich beyond measure, for what we measure on earth for wealth is backwards to the wealth in Heaven.  Here, the font of mercy was teaming with life.  Here among the dung heap of the animals in the manger, He lifts up the poor, and the Kings came to greet Him, and He made the glory appear more than ever, because His Kingdom is forever.  Our Blessed mother said "My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!" and the Psalms we prayed today said "My heart exults in the Lord my Savior".  You see, she lived the Psalms as she carried the Psalms in her heart and this time even her womb...she bore the truth, and the Truth sets us free.  Therefore the Son of God is greater.  That is why He speaks with authority to those who stand to listen.
In comes our Lord into our lives today and the only words He was quoted to have said today were ""Quiet! Come out of him!"  A simple and powerful command.  'Be quiet.  Be quite because you talk too much.  Be quiet, because you've sat there and blabbered all sorts of empty prayers.  Be quiet, because you are dividing the temple.  Be quiet, because I AM is speaking!  Reverence.  Respect.  Love, and obedience.  Be quiet, because only in silence do I speak to the heart!  "Come out of him!"  Come out, be dispelled evil spirits.  Spirits of oppression, come out!  Spirits of detraction, come out!  The spirit of deviance from the truth, come out!  Come out of the temple I have created!  Come out because I will come with the whip, the sash of chords of justice are upon you!  Come out, because the person has asked for ME to come into their soul!  Come out because I have come to re-claim what is mine!  Come out, and come out of every soul that dares speak to me.  Come out now! ' A loud cry was heard, and the man convulsed and the convulsion was a conversion, out with evil spirits and in with a new and Holy and good spirit, and at this, the people were amazed.  "What is this?"  And as they asked themselves, some were scared away, some were converted.  You see, this is the power of God, in His justice and saving grace, things suddenly become black and white, very clear, into perspective, yes or no.  Those that feared and ran away, would later come back with spears and ropes, nails and hammers to crucify Him.  This is what happens when we do not convert.  And conversion is for the person reading this right now.  Not for that other person you wish would convert!  For Heaven's sake, literally, do not ever throw the message to others when it was for you.  Remember, this is the year of great things for your soul and it begins with giving. "...go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mt 9:13.  And notice the man in the Gospel, the only one that was converted was the man that had evil spirits.  That is who Jesus came for to save.  The other day, I was watching a youtube "funny clip" with the kids.  A not so funny part came on with questionable content, a "wardrobe malfunction" almost that supposedly aired on tv.  I laughed it off and turned it off so the kids wouldn't suspect nothing but it had ensnared enough of my thoughts that later that night I pleaded the Lord for forgiveness and mercy, even though it wasn't intentional, the reason I asked for mercy is because of this:  I had a sin I could now give to God that I knew very well of!  You see, this year is the year of giving then, if it is to be tremendous; to give forgiveness (mercy), to receive forgiveness (mercy), to fall in love with giving (mercy) and to learn to give mercy back to the Lord in His temple, like Samuel, like Jesus our God.  That's where He belongs...on the throne of your temple, God almighty Father...not you, not your loved one, but HIM above all.  This makes Him truly King and all giving, and His Word we receive is like gold.  Give me a command Lord, I can't wait to receive it!