Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Picking the Heads

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Minute Meditations

Attitude of Respect
With little social status of the poor, we can quickly recognize that their worth stems almost entirely from their very beings. They are created by and beloved of God through no effort or achievement of their own. This might be one of the most challenging concepts for us to recognize.
— from Pope Francis and our Call to Joy

St. Fabian
(c. 250)

Fabian was a Roman layman who came into the city from his farm one day as clergy and people were preparing to elect a new pope. Eusebius, a Church historian, says a dove flew in and settled on the head of Fabian. This sign united the votes of clergy and laity, and he was chosen unanimously.

He led the Church for 14 years and died a martyr's death during the persecution of Decius in 250 A.D.. St. Cyprian wrote to his successor that Fabian was an "incomparable" man whose glory in death matched the holiness and purity of his life.

In the catacombs of St. Callistus, the stone that covered Fabian's grave may still be seen, broken into four pieces, bearing the Greek words, "Fabian, bishop, martyr."


We can go confidently into the future and accept the change that growth demands only if we have firm roots in the past, in a living tradition. A few pieces of stone in Rome are a reminder to us that we are bearers of more than 20 centuries of a living tradition of faith and courage in living the life of Christ and showing it to the world. We have brothers and sisters who have "gone before us with the sign of faith," as the First Eucharistic Prayer puts it, to light the way for us.


"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Tertullian).

Daily Prayer - 2016-01-19


Lord, you are always there
waiting for me. 
May I never be too busy to
find time to spend in your presence.


Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve 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

Reading 1 1 Sm 16:1-13

The LORD said to Samuel:
"How long will you grieve for Saul,
whom I have rejected as king of Israel?
Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons."
But Samuel replied:
"How can I go?
Saul will hear of it and kill me."
To this the LORD answered:
"Take a heifer along and say,
'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'
Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do;
you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you."

Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him.
When he entered Bethlehem,
the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired,
"Is your visit peaceful, O seer?"
He replied:
"Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.
So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet."
He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves
and invited them to the sacrifice.
As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought,
"Surely the LORD's anointed is here before him."
But the LORD said to Samuel:
"Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because he sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart."
Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel,
who said, "The LORD has not chosen him."
Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said,
"The LORD has not chosen this one either."
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
but Samuel said to Jesse,
"The LORD has not chosen any one of these."
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
"Are these all the sons you have?"
Jesse replied,
"There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep."
Samuel said to Jesse,
"Send for him;
we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here."
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
and making a splendid appearance.
The LORD said,
"There--anoint him, for this is he!"
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.
When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:20, 21-22, 27-28

R. (21a) I have found David, my servant.
Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said:
"On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth."
R. I have found David, my servant.
"I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. I have found David, my servant.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
And I will make him the first-born,
highest of the kings of the earth."
R. I have found David, my servant.

Alleluia See Eph 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
"Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
He said to them,
"Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?"
Then he said to them,
"The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • The Sabbath was meant to be a day of rest when people would be free to think of God, to give thanks for God's gifts, and to take care of health and well-being. But some religious authorities gradually encroached on the Sabbath with so many regulations that it risked no longer serving its purpose.
  • Do we sometimes find ourselves seeking security by exercising too much control over other people's lives (and perhaps too light a control over our own life)? By contrast, perhaps we can trust ourselves to that freedom which we enjoy as God's sons and daughters - sisters and brothers of Jesus.


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.


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: Mark 2:23-28

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2nd Week in Ordinary Time

The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath. (Mark 2:28)

If you've ever had a garden, you have learned the importance of weeding. No matter how well you prepare the soil, weeds always seem to come up, and left untended, they will take over. Weeding is not just a one-time effort, either. Even if you spend hours removing weeds, you shouldn't be surprised to see them take root and spread—sometimes very quickly!

During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we can look at the call to ecumenism in many ways. Maybe it's best if we keep a "weeder's mentality." The Pharisees in today's Gospel criticized Jesus because his disciples weren't following their rules. In the Old Testament, Samuel couldn't believe David was chosen by God because he was too young. These types of judgmental or dismissive thoughts have just as much potential to bring disunity as weeds have to take over a garden.

What kind of thoughts do you have when you look at members of other churches? Are you quick to condemn or open and generous? If you find yourself on the condemning side, take hold of these thoughts, and bring them to the cross of Christ—even if they are only deep-down thoughts that you never give voice to. Each of us can become an agent of healing and reconciliation to the degree to which we uproot the negative attitudes that lurk in our hearts.

Christian unity need not remain a lofty goal that we can't really achieve. By taking our own thoughts captive and actively sowing seeds of generosity and forgiveness, we can all bring healing to the body of Christ. We may not have a direct effect on the leaders of the various Christian traditions, but we will have an effect on the world around us. We will be making it ripe for reconciliation and ready for ecumenism.

So bring your negative thoughts to the cross this week, and then watch how much more peaceful you are inside. You'll begin looking at people through God's eyes, and that will make you more able to bring his loving presence into the world.

"Father in heaven, Father of all, use me to bring reconciliation in the Church today. Help me be an agent of healing and unity for your divided people."

1 Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28

Picking the Heads


Wow :)
What amazing scriptures and more.  Let the Holy Spirit flow, let Him course through your veins, let Him thrive in your soul, let the power of the Lord be everything in every little thing in your soul's life.  I love a true quote I read today by a wonderful and lively saint that thrives to this day, St. Anthony of Padua "The life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God".  Do you have life within you?  And is He speaking and directing your life?  It was in the case of the prohet Samuel.  He was guided to a true king, a true shepherd for God's people.  No longer the half-hearted King Saul that pretended to be one of God's children.  No longer a shepherd of the dark, but a shepherd of the light, of the house of bread called Bethlehem.  A king that God would recognize.  Can you believe there are kings and queens that God does not recognize?  It's the same as many who attempt to enter His Kingdom in Heaven "Lord, Lord, open up!  We did this and that for you!...but when did we see you hungry, or naked, or alone?"  You see, suddenly, things are being put into perspective and no better than when our Lord asks to be the King, the True King of your life!
The Psalms praise our Lord and so should our hearts "I have found David, my servant. "He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.' And I will make him the first-born, highest of the kings of the earth."  And King David was a youth, the youngest of the brothers, the last, and comes in last into the picture, so Samuel wouldn't pick a leader by looks, or whims and fancies, but by the voice of God.  So too, we should not pick our kings and queens of our hearts by looks, fads, and fancies, of terrestial beings, but look to what is above, and what is above rhymes with love, because it is the Love of God bestowing and raining, like the true reign of a King that is almighty.  You are My Father, the ROCK, My Savior.  I can not be moved by the tides of time when I am firm in the rock, the grace of God, the life of a life in love with the almighty.
In comes the love of our lives, isn't it a joyful day?  He is being followed by His disciples and some self-proclaimed followers that dare ask the Lord why He is doing something "wrong".  Dare we ask the Lord of the Universe why He is He doing something that we see as wrong?  That is why we have to pray "help my disbelief", Help!  I want to see.  I want to believe.  The Lord turns with mercy as a true Father and shepherd gathering the flock, ""Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?"  This to reveal Him as the true and only son, King of Kings from Bethlehem, the house of bread and said "How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?"  As if to say "I am taking what you have stored up and spreading it to the world, the bread of Life, I will be, and I will provide.  This is why they were picking heads.  Heads that would give themselves up to be eaten and shared and give fruit.  This picking at heads is a welcoming thought to a life of a Christian.  Would you give your head to God?  What about your heart?  Because this is the Lord of all and everything ""The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."  You have made too many presumptions in your life.  That is why you are dissatisfied.  You have assumed and presumed that is not to be the truth in of itself.  Turn then, turn what is right to right.  I used to get hung up on little "respect its".  Like Sundays, or any Holy Mass, people have to dress right.  Now, I've learned, some of these folks don't know any better!  Once they fall head over heals for the Lord, they will know to dress to give God the glory and attention, not to myself.  It got to an extreme point both ways, when once a man "Filimon" was sitting in the pews before Mass, and I went up to him to tell him he should take off his dark glasses.  He apologized profusely saying his eye was infected and showed me and I begged him to keep them on!  To the other extreme point, I saw once a thug, a "cholo" walking into a funeral, pretty late, sat down, dark glasses, bandana, untucked, all things you should not do.  I was in the choir area, witnessing, this time, with a changed heart, I would never make the same mistake.  I made it a special point to hug the man when it was time for peace, who knows, it was perhaps, Jesus in disguise.  A week or two later, he came to a Sunday Mass, Hmmm, "this is interesting", I thought to myself.  He sat kind of in the same area.  I made it a point to hug him again, and this time he wasn't surprised, it's like he knew I was coming and was waiting for it.  And believe me, ask anyone in my circle of family and friends, I'm not really a hugging person, side hugger at best! LOL.  But it's the love of God that propels us and makes us do strange things.  Such is how God works.  So if something is tugging at your heart to love God, then GO FOR IT.  This is the year of great and tremendous things, and to be found in the least and last.  It is a prophecy for your soul, do not be afraid like Samuel, be obedient like Samuel, and listen, like Samuel, not to the eyes nor any earthly senses, but listen to God's voice that leads us to a stronger and more loving life with HIM.  Is He selfish that He wants you all to Himself?  Let's just say this, He is an all loving giver.  Surrendering to the giver makes us givers in return.  Then, the Lord becomes Lord of all, because the giver is greater, the giver of that all we have to give?

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oh you still reading? Lol, read another reflection/inspiration
one of the many I read before writing to you :)