Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Have Set Aside

Minute Meditations Center of Life Jesus really cannot be merely a part of our life; he must be the center of our life. Unless we preserve some quiet

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Minute Meditations

Center of Life

Jesus really cannot be merely a part of our life; he must be the center of our life. Unless we preserve some quiet time each day to sit at his feet, our action will become distraction, and we'll be unhappy.

— from 40 Days, 40 Ways


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St. Jerome Emiliani


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A careless and irreligious soldier for the city-state of Venice, Jerome was captured in a skirmish at an outpost town and chained in a dungeon. In prison Jerome had a lot of time to think, and he gradually learned how to pray. When he escaped, he returned to Venice where he took charge of the education of his nephews—and began his own studies for the priesthood.

In the years after his ordination, events again called Jerome to a decision and a new lifestyle. Plague and famine swept northern Italy. Jerome began caring for the sick and feeding the hungry at his own expense. While serving the sick and the poor, he soon resolved to devote himself and his property solely to others, particularly to abandoned children. He founded three orphanages, a shelter for penitent prostitutes and a hospital.

Around 1532 Jerome and two other priests established a congregation, the Clerks Regular of Somasca, dedicated to the care of orphans and the education of youth. Jerome died in 1537 from a disease he caught while tending the sick. He was canonized in 1767. In 1928 Pius Xl named him the patron of orphans and abandoned children.


Very often in our lives it seems to take some kind of "imprisonment" to free us from the shackles of our self-centeredness. When we're "caught" in some situation we don't want to be in, we finally come to know the liberating power of Another. Only then can we become another for "the imprisoned" and "the orphaned" all around us.


"'The father of orphans and the defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God gives a home to the forsaken; he leads forth prisoners to prosperity; only rebels remain in the parched land' (Psalm 68).... We should not forget the growing number of persons who are often abandoned by their families and by the community: the old, orphans, the sick and all kinds of people who are rejected…. We must be prepared to take on new functions and new duties in every sector of human activity and especially in the sector of world society, if justice is really to be put into practice. Our action is to be directed above all at those men and nations which, because of various forms of oppression and because of the present character of our society, are silent, indeed voiceless, victims of injustice" (Justice in the World, 1971 World Synod of Bishops).

Patron Saint of:

Orphans, abandoned children

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Sacred SpaceDaily Prayer -

Daily Prayer - 2016-02-09


Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.


I ask for the grace
to let go of my own concerns
and be open to what God is asking of me,
to let myself be guided and formed by my loving Creator.


I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

Reading 1 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30


Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD
in the presence of the whole community of Israel,
and stretching forth his hands toward heaven,
he said, "LORD, God of Israel,
there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below;
you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants
who are faithful to you with their whole heart.

"Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth?
If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,
how much less this temple which I have built!
Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God,
and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant,
utter before you this day.
May your eyes watch night and day over this temple,
the place where you have decreed you shall be honored;
may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place.
Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel
which they offer in this place.
Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon."

Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5 and 10, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.

R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!

R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of your anointed.

R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia Ps 119:36, 29b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
and favor me with your law.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
He responded,
"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."
He went on to say,
"How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
'If someone says to father or mother,
"Any support you might have had from me is qorban"'
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

Jesus with his uneducated disciples is mixing with sophisticated Pharisees from Jerusalem, men who have mastered the intricate rules about ritual purity, and look down on those who are ignorant of them. As Christians we can set up our own norms of what is god-fearing and respectable, and forget that it is the heart that matters. Jesus always sees through the externals of behaviour to the love and goodness that may lie beneath.


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.


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Meditation: Psalm 84:3-5, 10-11

5th Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed they who dwell in your house! (Psalm 84:5)

Think about soldiers serving in the field. They may not have access to the sacraments, much less an actual church building, for months at a time. So imagine how lovely it would be, after attending an outdoor Mass in desert winds or trying to pray huddled inside a small tent, to step into a cathedral, see the stained glass windows, smell the incense, and kneel before the tabernacle.

Today's psalm echoes the longing felt by anyone who cannot, for some reason, worship in the house of God. The psalmist feels deprived of the privilege of being in the Temple, and he has a deep sense of the happiness and blessedness of those who are there. He even remembers with longing the birds that would make their nests in the rafters or ledges of that magnificent building.

If the swallows can have a home in God's Temple, how much more can we? God has called himself our Father and invited us into his house. When we go into a church, we are not just sitting in an elaborately—or simply—decorated building. We are in the courts of almighty God!

Still, God is not confined to the altar. The entire world is his sanctuary. He meets us in our workplaces and sickbeds, in our homes and in the marketplace. In fact, Jesus even called his body a temple—both his physical body and the whole Church, the body of Christ. He has chosen to make his home among the people he has redeemed, and that means that any time you are with your brothers and sisters in Christ, you are in God's presence. And that means you can find rest and refreshment, even as you serve in your parish.

So tell the Lord, as the psalmist did, that you want to be close to him. Instead of feeling distant or unhappy with your circumstances, ask him to help you find his presence. Remind yourself that if the birds felt safe near God's altar, you are even more beloved and welcome. You belong with him.

"Lead me, Lord, and guide me today. Help me find the time and the opportunity to rest in your presence."

1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
Mark 7:1-13



Today's 5minutos (allow me to translate):

"At a toy factory, they announced the owner of an important chain was coming who was about to make a great deal with the operation. He came with his little three year old boy, and coming in the manager quickly dispatched that we take great care of the little boy while they talked. Once alone the boy immediately started to cry. Worried because this could affect the outcome of the deal, we started to do anything necessary to calm the little one down. One of my coworkers brought a big plastic ball and offered it to him, but this made him cry more. Another rapidly brought a big battery operated remote control truck and made it work. Nothing. The crying continues to grow. A third brought a bicycle with a horn and offered it to him, succeeding only to make the yells and grow and kicking and swinging of arms uncontrollable. A fourth called the four factory clowns, who brought candies and balloons to play with the child. The child got scared with so much movement of people that he started to run everywhere screaming. We were all on the edge of our nerves when one of the girls got up calmly from her chair, came close to the child, picked him up, gave him a kiss on his cheek and sat him on her lap. Immediately the child stopped crying and fell asleep in her arms'. It's not precise to do great works, but with love. "
King Solomon created a magnificent temple, and at the end said he knew it wasn't enough to house the Lord, and in the end asked for pardon for our iniquities. What we must learn is that this relation with the Lord goes beyond human comprehension and even care.
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, Almighty God. Perhaps King Solomon wrote these Psalms, and I am always tempted to say he wrote this one recalling Uriah, the faithful soldier for King David "I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." Because King David wanted him to go home and get drunk and so forth to cover up for King David's sins, his plans and commands to supercede the Lord's. But Uriah was faithful, and slept like a careful watchdog for His King, at the door he lay down....and lay down his life eventually for Him in war. To battle faithful soldiers, faithfulness is the key.
The Lord our God speaks today ""How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!" How well we come up with our own commands instead of following Gods' commands. We become permissive and then actually make rules out of permissiveness. We believe this law and that one is good, until you have corralled yourself in your own pen, you build cement blocks around you and block out the Lord Himself! What happened in your life that you allowed sin to win? What happened that day you thought you knew better? Am I speaking to Eve or to Adam? Or me right now? You reading this text? The Jews eventually accumulated up to 613 commandments to follow, and these became more and more important until God came, the Messiah, and they shut Him out with their laws. The same is happening in our world today. Yeah, our country is making laws to shut out religious liberty more and more, but the permissiveness started long ago in the heart of the people. The difference begins in you. You think your corner of the world in not important, yet could have great effects across the world, that small act of love, that embrace, like the crying boy. My 3 year old boy was put under general anesthesia yesterday to work on his teeth. Me and my wife were worried. I took a lunch break while she fasted and waited by the door for them to call us back in with him. As I left and waited for the hospital to valet our car, a taxi came ahead, an elderly couple got off, and a thin older white man with a brown coat hobbled over with a cast on his leg and cane to get to the minivan taxi. They turned him away. I was next to him and as the taxi drove off, my car pulled up, and I said "you need a ride?" he said 'no it's ok", his taxi was coming. I opened my passenger door, "you sure? Free ride!". He finally agreed. As he got in he got on the phone to cancel his taxi coming "I don't want to be in bad terms, they already stopped picking me up once for doing that for 3 months". I asked him why he was at the hospital as he asked me to take him to the local bar. "I got bone cancer, I just shattered my leg from my knee down...I got 3 tumors, one on my esophogus, one on my stomach and another on my lung...they might shrink them and remove them, but I don't think that'll ever happen". I dropped him off and he said "how much do I owe you?" I said "nothing, I wish I could do more for you". I help alot of people, poor people, me and this old man "Blake" talked about the Lord, and this is the first time I've ever felt someone in dire loneliness. No family to give him a ride, no one to truly care. I got a feeling he won't last much longer. I drove off thinking "I hope that drink soothes his suffering" his own anesthesia. Then I woke up, maybe I should've drove him to a church and prayed, but I knew the Lord set him up with a free ride, and I'm praying the Lord to continue to take care of him.

Don't let your business overcome your love. Don't let your own rules overcome the love of God even religion.

Lent begins tomorrow and I ask you to join me in a couple of things. First, pray with your family every day, even the chaplet of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Second, give up on your own ways of living and live the life of Christ. Why should we sacrifice and not love? Why should I be like the Jews who missed the Messiah's coming, Jesus into their lives? This emptying of self is to fill ourselves with more of Him until He is all in all, the center of our lives...

eucharist lighting