Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Come Up Here

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Minute Meditations

An Incredible Gift Minute Meditations
Our heavenly Father loved us so much that he gave us an incredible gift that is even more powerful and glorious than the gift he gave Adam and Eve at the very beginning. God gave us himself: Jesus. And Jesus himself gives us to his Father.
— from Zealous

Blessed Basile Moreau

Few people realize that Blessed Basile Moreau founded the Congregation of the Holy Cross, which sponsores Notre Dame, along with St. Edward's University (Austin), the University of Portland (Oregon), Holy Cross College (Notre Dame), King's College (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), and Stonehill College (Easton, Massachusetts).

Moreau also helped found the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who sponsor St. Mary's College (Notre Dame, Indiana), and the Congregation of Sister Marianites of the Holy Cross, who sponsor Our Lady of Holy Cross College (New Orleans). A third women's group, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, is headquartered in Montreal.

Education was clearly a high priority for all these communities, which also engage in other apostolates such as parishes, high schools, Family Theater Productions, and the Family Rosary movement.

Born in a farming family near Le Mans, France, Basile was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1821 and became a seminary teacher. After establishing a group of priests to preach parish missions and retreats in the Diocese of Le Mans, he founded the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1837. Four years later Father Edward Sorin, CSC and six brothers arrived in the Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana. The men's congregation later expanded into Canada, Bangladesh, and a dozen other countries.

Priests and brothers with different and very strong opinions about the congregation's direction caused Moreau to resign as superior general in 1866. He spent his last years as chaplain to the Marianites of Holy Cross.

Moreau Seminary is on the grounds of Notre Dame. He was beatified in 2007.


Father Moreau's strong sense of God's providence and plans for the Congregation of the Holy Cross enabled him not to become bitter after his resignation as superior general. He once said, "Providence never fails to provide for all the necessities of those who abandon themselves to its guidance in accomplshing their duties."


Holy Cross Father Robert Kruse explains: "In his own life and work in founding a religious community, Father Moreau was influenced by the idea that priests, brothers, and sisters constituted the family of Jesus. He wanted religious and laity to be equal partners. The way he fostered collaboration between them made him a pioneer in his own time and a model for our own.

Daily Prayer - 2016-01-20


Dear Lord as I come to you today
Fill my heart and my whole being
with the wonder of Your presence


It is so easy to get caught up
with the trappings of wealth in this life.
Grant, O Lord, that I may be free
from greed and selfishness.
Remind me that the best things in life are free.
Love, laughter, caring and sharing.


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 17:32-33, 37, 40-51

David spoke to Saul:
"Let your majesty not lose courage.
I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine."
But Saul answered David,
"You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth."

David continued:
"The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine."
Saul answered David, "Go! the LORD will be with you."

Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag.
With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield bearer marching before him,
the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
When he had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt.
The Philistine said to David,
"Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?"
Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
and said to him, "Come here to me,
and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field."
David answered him:
"You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
I will strike you down and cut off your head.
This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field;
thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
All this multitude, too,
shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
For the battle is the LORD's and he shall deliver you into our hands."

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
while David ran quickly toward the battle line
in the direction of the Philistine.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling,
and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone embedded itself in his brow,
and he fell prostrate on the ground.
Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
Then David ran and stood over him;
with the Philistine's own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

Responsorial Psalm PS 144:1b, 2, 9-10

R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My refuge and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia See Mt 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up here before us."
Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

- - -

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Perhaps when I'm in difficulty and looking for help people sometimes might not always go out of their way for me; they can hide behind 'red tape' and regulations. But Jesus cuts through the 'red tape' -- like he did here in the synagogue -- and is always ready to help me.
  • Jesus can heal me, cure me; provided only that I myself am not the obstacle - but instead am open to his help.


Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in you?
Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently -
will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness.
If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


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 3:1-6

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Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

He stretched it out and his hand was restored. (Mark 3:5)

Have you ever had something that could be considered a "withered hand" in your life (Mark 3:1)?

It could be a big problem that has left you partially paralyzed or incapable of living life to its fullest. Maybe it has been a physical issue that made you reliant on other people to take care of your basic needs. Or maybe it has been an emotional issue that has left you feeling exhausted and in despair. What about a time of "crippled faith," when you have felt distant from the Lord, and nothing you did made you feel any better?

Living with a "withered hand" like this might mean a prolonged period in which you feel as if you could barely make it through the day. Over time, your pain could become permanent, and life would the begin to look like a long, dreary road.

Now, what if you met a man who could heal you on the spot—even though it would put his life in danger? Imagine how grateful you would feel! This is the dramatic scene that today's reading describes.

When Jesus called to a man with a withered hand at the synagogue, the man came forward and stretched out his hand, allowing Jesus to heal him. From that moment on, it was possible for that man to live a full, rich life again. No more begging in the streets! No more isolation or disability! But by performing this healing on the Sabbath—and in front of some skeptical Pharisees, no less—Jesus put himself in mortal danger.

Thank God the danger is now over for Jesus! He is now risen in glory—a glory he knows because he has given his life so that we can know physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. All he wants now is for us to come forward and stretch out our hands to him.

Try to take some time today to consider what sort of injury you have sustained that may be making your life less joyful. It may be physical or emotional or even spiritual. Do you need healing? Forgiveness? You've come to the right place. Jesus is standing right before you, ready to give you his healing touch.

"Lord, I bring to you my brokenness and my pain. Come and show me the path to a full healing of all of those things that may keep me from living my life for you."

1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10

Come Up Here


Do me a favor, if this is your first time reading this bit, please I ask you to have prayed, to have read all the above scriptures and reflections, and then, slowly read what is being said here, because one sentence reflects one part of all you read, and another could be a sentence of what will be said about tomorrow, and another about what was said in the past, perhaps even...something you missed...did you miss something?  Maybe you miss someone?  That someone is right here and right now, that someone is the one who has always been with you even though you decided not to be with Him. 
Such is the case of David and Goliath.  David was a youngster, Goliath a proven warrior, seemingly powerful, with a mean looking thing about him, a destroyer that had perhaps already beaten down many of David's people and was threatening David with all the clout about him.  David was freshly annointed with oil (remember we read about this not too long ago?).  This annointing we get in Holy Confirmation.  In this Holy Sacrament of the Holy Catholic Church, we are annointed with an outward sign of what is going on within.  What should be going on within your consciousness is the very fact that God is offering His Holy Spirit to be infused into your soul.  This I believed when the bishop was annointing me as a youth.  What for?  To prepare for the battle that is coming.  To prepare to fight that scary looking feat in front of you, that seemingly impossible feat before you.  Prepare to fight!  What's scary to you in your life?  Your current financial situation?  Your current health situation?  Your current marriage situation?  Your current situation in daily life?  What's scary to you?  I'll tell you what's scary, take this from a servant of the Lord; what is scary is that we are not scared of what we should be scared of, fearful of, and what is it?  We are not afraid of God.  We are not afraid to hurt him.  We are then, like Goliath, with alot of clout, with all the securities we pretend to have which could be taken away overnight.  We are not afraid of sinning, which means we are not afraid of God.  Saints, true saints flee from sin, places of sin, as if they were a deadly plague, and they are.  You see, the bible is a spiritual book dealing with Salvation, the history of it, the future of it, and the ever present past and future among us.  So take a side in the battle.  Will you side with David, the forefather of the Christ, our Lord Jesus?  Will you side with the shepherd that gathers the flock instead of dispersing it and dividing it?  Will you side with the one that has no sword but a mere slingshot?  How crazy is that, and what are the odds of victory?  With Christ, our Jesus, our Father, our God, all things are possible, and the underlying point is the heart and the obedience and the faith, the courage, all things that lead to salvation.
We pray the Psalms "Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war."  Yesterday, I said that the foundation of our faith should stand on the rock that stands the tests of time.  The faith of God's people, that were Jews, Israelites, now fulfilled in Jesus, all made one, this faith has stood longer than anything in human existence.  This is God's hand at work.  If His hand is at work, it is always at work, and His works are works of greatness and held together by Love.  If I speak of a war, do not think of weapons, swords and such.  If we speak of battles, do not think of arguments.  Rather then, think of a battle of overcoming sin.  Think of the war for souls.  Think of the reality of realms at work among us.  Do not think of human flesh and temporal things always, but of what is more important...the spirit, for which we have the Spirit inspired holy book, the Bible, and the culmination of the Word made flesh Jesus, and the Spirit that is still within.  A question was asked in RCIA last night, "what role do you play in the church? Why?"  The ones there said "we are students", and I said "why are you students...why are you here?"  Prior to that I asked them "how is Jesus among us where two or three gathered in His name".  So now you have two questions, how is He present and why are we present?  It is the Holy Spirit.  He calls and our response is how we respond to that call.  Do we respond with courage?  Or do we respond with reservations?  Like saying "well, if things go well, if I like what I hear, or, if the music moves me I'll keep at it".  This is not love.  "If I feel the emotion of love I'll keep trying at this relationship, otherwise I'm out".  Sadly, this happens in marriages and worse?  It happens with our relationship with our Lord, the groom, Jesus, the Holy Spirit.  Faithfulness takes on a whole new perspective.
In comes Jesus the Savior.  I asked the students "do you know what CHRIST means?"  They didn't.  Here we'd had several lessons talking about Christ, and they didn't even know what it means and who He is.  I explained that Christ is the Messiah spoken for thousands of years in the Old Testament.  But, they wouldn't know that because they haven't read the Old Testament.  The Messiah would be the savior of the world and save the people of God from oppression and deliver them to salvation and freedom.  Jesus enters the world, He enters the temple.  The "people of God" were watching Him closely.  On one side, we have the "son of David" who is Jesus.  On the other side, the Pharisees, these people that really knew the laws of the church, now turned into Goliath.  And the prize?  The soul of the man with a withered hand.  Jesus rushes to the battle line, "come here" He says, calling out to the withered soul.  And He challenges the goliath among Him, the hardness of hearts, the twisted faith that would rather choose death than life.   "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" says our Lord.  Here stood the messiah, ready to give life to a dying soul, one they had scolded and rebuked "your hand is withered because of your sins, you are a bad person, surrender to us and maybe you'll be ok!" they would say by the way the treated one another.  Evil takes hostages.  Do you care?  Do you CARE??  Because if you think having a choice in abortion is good, then you have sided with Goliath.  This mammoth killer is in the world, having fooled many to believe killing unborn children is a good thing, twisted theology and such.  Even an atheist would have more compassion than a so called "Christian" that wants death to a soul.  You see, do you see how much bigger the picture is than just us alone?  We are a part of this living battle that takes part in the war of thousands of years.  I have prayed at an abortion clinic until it closed, and you can too.  I remember telling a Goliath team member (a young man that was security at the abortion clinic) I remember saying to him "hey, I've been praying for you to get a better job, for your studies to go well" and I meant it for when the place would close down he would remember what I said.  The orphanage people I talk to in Mexico, the man came to meet me during Christmas season and at one point recalled that upon one visit to the poor indians in the mountains they told him things were bad, and one young girl took a knife and killed her baby and then killed herself.  I said "that's a sad story, but not as sad as ours in the U.S., where for the past several years, about 1 million babies are knifed to death a year."  So that one story of one girl has nothing on the bohemoth of a monster we are not afraid of.  I dare you to care.  I know most here call themselves pro-life.  But Jesus came in and dared all those in the church to really stand for life.  To give up the way they thought and surrender to Him and follow Him.  They chose the knife instead, they chose to take a stab at Him.  I'm telling this to the Holy Church.  Just because you're sitting pretty in the pews doesn't mean you have fully surrendered and doing what He is asking.  He is saying "thank you for being here, now, will you let me inside your soul and do as I please?"
And our response should be "yes Lord, I detest my sins, and I am sorry, and I want to empty myself of it all and let only you live inside my soul".  This is the battle line.  Stop trying to defend yourself and defend life.  Stop trying to justify your sins.  Stop arguing with God.  Stop living the lies.  Stop the slaughter you have brought forth with your lips.  Let only goodness come from inside, this is the reason to let only HIM inside!! 
The war exists till the end of time.
The War has been won by our Lord.  Life Won.
Death then is important, death to sin, death to win, die to evil ways and your made up thoughts.
Only then, will He will begin speaking to you and you will hear Him calling "Come here", I want you at my side.
I love you so much, that I am going to do this for you in front of everyone.
I love you so much that because of it, they are going to hunt me down to kill Me.
I love you so much, that even though you don't know Me, you believe in Me, and I will let you know Me.
I love you so much, that I am going to make you stand up in front of everyone and be my instrument of salvation.
I love you so much, that I am entrusting you with this salvation, now your withered hand, it can extend to save others.
I love you so much that I am going to be at your side not just right now, but after we die.
I love you so much that I am healing your hand so that you'll be able to take mine.
And the man went up for healing.  And the man was saved from damnation.  And the man became love in love with Love. 
And that man stands before you writing to you right now.  The hand of God is at work to reach inside your soul.
For if I was withering, I was going crazy, God saved me.  I kept going to Church, and ultimately I gave little more and more, until He said "come here" I want you do this for me.  YESSS
Do This In Rememberance of Me
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