Acknowledging Christ Minute Meditations
Eye contact is more than a polite gesture - it is a simple yet meaningful acknowledgement of Christ in the other.
— from Tweet Inspiration
St. Brigid of Kildare
(c. 452-c. 524)
The known facts about St. Brigid of Kildare are few, but she is revered as one of Ireland's three patron saints (along with Patrick and Columba).
What we do know is that she was a fifth-century nun who founded the Abbey of Kildare, southwest of Dublin. Both monks and nuns lived there, and many accounts record that Brigid served as superior of both the men and women. In any event, the Abbey of Kildare contributed significantly to the spread of Christianity throughout Ireland at a time when traditional Irish religion was disappearing.
Many miracles have been attributed to Brigid. What is more certain is that she was an extraordinary woman who was known especially for her generosity to the poor. Because of the prominence the Abbey of Kildare gained under Brigid's leadership, she is considered the special patron of scholars. Her feast day is observed on February 1.
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2016-01-29
I pause for a moment
and reflect on God's life-giving presence
in every part of my body, in everything around me,
in the whole of my life.
Lord, guide me always
to do your holy will
knowing that your strength
will carry me through.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally,
I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings.
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
The Word of God
Reading 1 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13
An informant came to David with the report,
"The children of Israel have transferred their loyalty to Absalom."
At this, David said to all his servants
who were with him in Jerusalem:
"Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom.
Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us,
then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword."
As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing.
His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot.
All those who were with him also had their heads covered
and were weeping as they went.
As David was approaching Bahurim,
a man named Shimei, the son of Gera
of the same clan as Saul's family,
was coming out of the place, cursing as he came.
He threw stones at David and at all the king's officers,
even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard,
were on David's right and on his left.
Shimei was saying as he cursed:
"Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!
The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul,
in whose stead you became king,
and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom.
And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer."
Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king:
"Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?
Let me go over, please, and lop off his head."
But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours,
sons of Zeruiah, that he curses?
Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David;
who then will dare to say, 'Why are you doing this?'"
Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants:
"If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life,
how much more might this Benjaminite do so?
Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.
Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction
and make it up to me with benefits
for the curses he is uttering this day."
David and his men continued on the road,
while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside,
all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.
Responsorial Psalm PS 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (8a) Lord, rise up and save me.
O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
"There is no salvation for him in God."
R. Lord, rise up and save me.
But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!
When I call out to the LORD,
he answers me from his holy mountain.
R. Lord, rise up and save me.
When I lie down in sleep,
I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
I fear not the myriads of people
arrayed against me on every side.
R. Lord, rise up and save me.
Alleluia Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 5:1-20
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice,
"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!"
(He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!")
He asked him, "What is your name?"
He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us."
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him,
"Send us into the swine. Let us enter them."
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
"Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you."
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Whenever we think of a 'miracle', what comes to mind is an instant miracle. But there's also a slow-motion miracle – the miracle of growth. This may not be a one-off event that is being concluded before our eyes – but over time it's still a real happening. And God's hidden hand is giving it direction.
My life is God's 'project'. I must leave God free to stay working on me. Then I'll be 'God's work of art'.
Dear Jesus, I can open up my heart to you.
I can tell you everything that troubles me.
I know you care about all the concerns in my life.
Teach me to live in the knowledge
that you who care for me today,
will care for me tomorrow and all the days of my life.
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.
Meditation: Mark 5:1-20
Word Among Us reflection:
4th Week in Ordinary Time
The man had been dwelling among the tombs. (Mark 5:3)
Do you remember where the man called Legion was living before he encountered Jesus? Interestingly, Mark states it three times—perhaps to make sure we've got it. He was living among the tombs (Mark 5:3). That's an unnerving image, isn't it?
What comes to mind when you read among the tombs in this story? Perhaps you think of death and decay, an altogether unclean place. Mark actually describes the demon tormenting this man as an unclean spirit (Mark 5:2).
Maybe you think of a haunted graveyard. In this sense, the tombs were like memorials, reminding the man of a past that just wouldn't go away. What a fitting site for this deliverance account!
But we know the rest of the story. The man found a new place, at the feet of Jesus, in the presence of the One who cared enough to ask him, "What is your name?"
Of course, we'd never dream of living in a literal graveyard. But many of us do struggle with dwelling too much on the sins and mistakes of the past. In a sense, it's like spending time in an internal mausoleum. In this place, our thoughts are full of our own shortcomings and blunders. Condemning thoughts often masquerade as conviction; however, they never come from the Lord because all they do is drain our hope and leave us burdened with guilt.
But Jesus has come into these tombs to set us free! As you pray today, see yourself at his feet. There, every twinge of condemnation and every accusing thought yields to the truth of his love. He reminds you that you are clothed with mercy and forgiveness. He even asks you, "What's your name?" He already knows the answer, but he is inviting you to embrace the forgiveness, freedom, and dignity that he has declared over your life. You are a child of God!
Did you notice that, later in the story, the man could still be found sitting, clothed, at Jesus' feet? Out of love and a desire to grow in his new identity, he didn't want to leave! May we, too, find our new home at the feet of Jesus, our Deliverer.
"You, O Lord, are my shield; my glory, you lift up my head!" (Psalm 3:3)
2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13
Done for him
On the Mount of Olives, a tormenter was after King David and even his followers, with accusations. The meaning of Satan in Greek I believe means accuser and slanderer. I bet you have had an accuser and slanderer around in your life no? The difference is in how we handle this accuser. How do you handle evil in your life? What did King David do? He spared the man's life, like King Saul's life, but the accuser would have none of it and raised up all other instances of David being a killer. "If God were so good, why is there killings?" That is the lie and accusation that still floats around in this world. King David accepted it as a penance. How do you take accusations and slanders in your life? The stone throwings? What do you do? What did Jesus do when He was accused and led many times to the edge of the cliffs to be hurled over? He did nothing, just passed through them like raging waters of a storm which He walks on. What do you do? Are you with the Lord or not? Do you trust Him or not? Or are you the voice that joins in the accusations, the spirits that aim to bind down instead of binding up to Heaven? I read somewhere that in a way, it is good to be accused, it makes you stand out "To be accused is revelation that one is standing with God and has a standing before God." King David did, and all the more the "Son of David" of the lineage of Kings of the people of God comes our Lord.
Yet First, the Psalms we pray say "Lord, rise up and save me. O LORD, how many are my adversaries! Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, "There is no salvation for him in God." When people give up on you...God does not. When you give up on yourself, God does not. This crazy man we heard about in the Gospel, the people didn't know what else to do but to shut him up by sentencing him to life without parole, a death sentence without killing him, supposedly self imposed, and so they locked him in chains at the place of the dead, a living hell that is not hell yet, and in comes our Lord into this man's life.
"What is your name?" Our Lord asks the poor man with bruises all over himself, tattered clothes, and lacerations all over his body from being tied in chains and tears marked on his cheek bones that seemed like dark lines. "What is your name?" and evil speaks out, not the poor man "My name is Legion!". Legion had spoke and prayed for the man "get away from me". Sin is like that, it is basically praying to God to stay away from you. Legion is an interesting name: "In reference to the early Roman Kingdom (as opposed to the Roman Republic or Empire), "the legion" means the entire Roman army. The subsequent organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of around five thousand soldiers, divided into three lines of ten maniples during the republic, and later into ten cohorts during the early empire. Legions also included a small cavalry unit. By the third century, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, and there were more of them" and in this case, there were thousands of evil spirits living in this poor man. And apparently they had been leaking out into the town (I'll explain later). So Legion means thousands, and our Lord kept saying "come out of him" and realized there was many more and so the name was asked so that everyone knew the importance of what was about to happen. He was about to defeat ALL Evil if Legion meant all of the first soldiers of the Roman Empire. They prayed "let us go into the pigs". Notice how evil prays to God. And the Lord Jesus let them, and at once the swine herds of about 2,000 went crazy and flew off the cliff and died. They killed themselves. This goes to show you how evil works, it's ultimate goal is death. There are many evil spirits mentioned in the Gospel today, like those who like to cut themselves and think about suicide and live in the past and those who live only to die. These spirits are still kicking today. They tempt the world to live for death, like a cancer is how evil works. It will spread if it goes unnoticed, unchecked, and not healed, or better said....saved. I want you now, to take notice of sin in your life. Do not let it go unchecked or it will grow. Even not going to Holy Mass is a mortal sin and this means death to the soul. And how often do many live dead? Flirting with death and how often do you let it be even in your own household? It's like we have to drag people out of their homes no? How can we break these chains people are tied up with? How did Jesus do it today? How do I bust my own chains to evil? You can't. Not on your own. We need Jesus. Among all the fuss in today's Gospel, watch what was said. The evil spirits wanted Jesus out. Jesus wants in. The people infected can not see that a man was saved, they only see their ruined economy, they only see their pocketbooks, they can only see so far and can not look up to see the Lord of the Universe standing right there making them poor and broke, broken for a reason...."I Want In". I made you broke for a reason, I have broken you down for a reason, and it is all for the good. You see riches the world offers and do not see mine. You see as darkness wants you to see, and not as I see. You tied up a poor man instead of helping him, fasting for him, and saving him. I see a man in need of my mercy and my love. You see a prayer that seems dark but I hear the soul deep inside drowning and dying. Go and learn what it means I desire mercy more than sacrifice.
Lent is going to start in 9 days. Maybe we should be praying for 9 days about the Lent we are about to undertake. I told my kids as they talked about it after Mass, "when you give up something you love, it's to show God you love Him more....if you give up time on the computer, give time to prayer" You see, when you are emptied, you must fill it with good. Like if you confess, you must immediately start filling yourself up with more of Him. The poor man today chased and followed Jesus "Please don't go, please don't leave me!" and Jesus said ""Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." This message is for you. Announce the mercy of the Lord, and the announcement will be all the louder and stronger, a bold proclamation will come from the heart if you truly have tasted it for yourself...mercy