Monday, February 29, 2016

Accepted In His

Minute Meditations Led by the Spirit O great and glorious God and my Lord Jesus, send your Spirit into our midst that he may enlighten our minds and

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Minute Meditations

Led by the Spirit

O great and glorious God and my Lord Jesus, send your Spirit into our midst that he may enlighten our minds and inflame our hearts, that he may give us a right faith, a certain hope, and a perfect charity. In this way, we pray that we may be able to understand the Word of God given to us in the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit, and that as he dwells in our hearts, he may bring us closer to you and to all our brothers and sisters in the world today. Amen.
— from The Gospels According to Saint Francis
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St. Oswald

(d. 992)
The last acts in the life of today's saint make for an amazing story. In truth, they merely underscore the holiness he exhibited throughout his life.
Born into a military family in 10th-century England, Oswald was a nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury, who raised him and played a crucial role in his early education. Oswald continued his studies abroad in France, where he became a Benedictine monk.
Following his appointment as bishop of Worcester, and later as archbishop of York, he founded monasteries and introduced many reforms. He supported—and improved—scholarship at the abbeys he established, inviting leading thinkers in such fields as mathematics and astronomy to share their learnings.
He was widely known for his sanctity, especially his love for the poor. The final winter of his life was spent at the cathedral in Worcester that he so loved. At the start of Lent in February of the year 992, he resumed his usual practice of washing the feet of 12 poor men each day. On Leap Year Day, February 29, he died after kissing the feet of the 12th man and giving a blessing.
The news of Oswald's death brought an outpouring of grief throughout the city.
Sacred Space
Daily Prayer - 2016-02-29
The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (Gerard Manley Hopkins)
I dwell for a moment on the Presence of God around me,
in every part of my body,
and deep within my being.
Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.
I ask how I am within myself today?
Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
If any of these characteristics apply,
can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God

Reading 1 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman's wife.
"If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,"
she said to her mistress, "he would cure him of his leprosy."
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
"Go," said the king of Aram.
"I will send along a letter to the king of Israel."
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
"With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy."
When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
"Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!"
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
"Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel."
Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha's house.
The prophet sent him the message:
"Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean."
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
"I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?"
With this, he turned about in anger and left.
But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
"My father," they said,
"if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
would you not have done it?
All the more now, since he said to you,
'Wash and be clean,' should you do as he said."
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
"Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel."

Responsorial Psalm PS 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4

R. (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!

R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.

When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Verse Before the Gospel See Ps 130:5, 7

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

Gospel Lk 4:24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
"Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Some thoughts on today's scripture
This is about the expectation of miracles and cures. The self-important Naaman feels he has been slighted: he meets only a messenger, not the prophet himself; and the cure depends on Naaman washing himself in the river, instead of receiving hands-on treatment by Elisha.
I am the same, Lord. Even in my neediness my ego pushes through. I want to be not just a victim but a celebrity victim. I want not just a cure, but to be the centre of attention. Help me to centre on you, not on me.
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: 2 Kings 5:1-15

3rd Week of Lent
. . . a little girl. (2 Kings 5:2)
Have you ever looked at a famous painting, and at first glance, it appears to be almost ordinary? But then you look closer, and you see the artist's use of shadow and light, perspective, and contrast—and the scene comes alive before your eyes! Today's story about Naaman is like that. A little girl, a grizzly prophet, and a minor river—nothing too impressive, and yet they all work together in a miraculous way. They show that the small and the humble can bring great glory to the Lord.
Why is this? It's because they aren't prone to drawing attention to themselves. All they want to do is follow the Lord; they don't worry about whether people see it or not. The scene with the little girl moves us because it comes from such an unexpected place, a place of purity and sincerity and simplicity.
Don't you love how God reveals himself through unlikely people and circumstances? The Bible tells us about Gideon, the youngest of the least of the families of Israel, who leads his people to victory. There is Ruth, a widowed and impoverished foreigner, who wins the heart of a wealthy Israelite and becomes part of Jesus' family tree. And there's King David. This heroic leader was just a young shepherd boy when the Lord chose him.
Don't think that God can't use you! You may not be wealthy or powerful or famous. You may feel that you don't have a lot of control over your circumstances, either. But none of that matters to God. In fact, you might be just the right person he is looking for. Just as he worked through a little girl to change the course of history, he can use you to bring powerful change to the people around you.
Whether you're doing the dishes, shoveling snow, or filing papers, you can be a vessel of Jesus' love and grace. A simple word of encouragement, spoken from a heart of love and trust, can do far more than you can imagine. Just ask that little girl who set Naaman on the road to healing!
"Lord, use me to reveal your love."
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Luke 4:24-30
The prophet speaks. There's only one thing one can do, either choose to believe or not. Either do as he says or not. Either be healed or not. Either take a chance full hearted or not. This valiant leader of an army had to choose. This battling warrior had now a life and death decision, and he turned around and had chosen death because of what he was told. And now he had a group of friends that had to encourage him to choose life, to listen to the extraordinary thing that were being asked of him. Just do as he says. It's like when I went to confession Saturday. I had to face the same priest. This priest is the people Jesus says to go to for the completion of healing. Jesus would often say "go show yourself to a priest to do as prescribed" and the healing would ensue and be completed. To make reparation, that part follows. The man here, Naaman, once he did as he was told in obedience, he was healed, made whole, repaired and could go back and be one with his people...who are you? You too are called to be repaired and go back and be one with your people, the baptized family of God.
"Athirst is my soul for the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God." Dr. Brant Pitre said that running waters were called "living waters" in the Jewish recollection. Living waters means holy waters. This water is what we are baptized with, where the body dies, the soul lives. The family of God needs your living waters. Am I a font of living water? Or am I a pool of stagnant murky and algae filled waters? What will it take to motivate your faith? What will it take? It will take an outpouring of self, an obedience and adherence to God...God's hand.
Our Lord speaks "no prophet is accepted in his own native place." I've had a couple of revelation type deals happen in the last couple of days of going to Mass. Saturday, the revelation was of a picture being painted as the Monsignor gave his homily. The picture being painted in my mind was that of painting a setting of Church. Inside, you could see the body, like mine, and outside you could see my vehicle, and inside the vehicle you could see painted my heart. The story then unfolds of the thousands of worries and loves sitting outside of church. Inside the church sits an empty person. There is no heart to render to God. The moral of the painting is the moral of today's happening of the life of our Lord. Inside the church were many empty bodies that could not accept the Lord God manifest in front of their eyes. Is this happening to you nowadays? Could it be that you are so distracted in Mass that you can not focus on a single word that was read or said? And much less the Word Made Flesh in the Eucharist? This is then, in your time, a prophecy. Where I am at, I suffer a heart wrenching ordeal. My friends and family do not accept the Word of God that I speak to them. Instead, I face a rejection. Not my wife and kids, for I am the father and priest of the home, but the family beyond, at work, and church. The ordeal is the prophecy of the Lord. For nowhere else will I be rejected more. If you suffer this same happening, then consider it a suffering of love of God. They took Jesus to throw him off a cliff, and Jesus simply made his way through them to salvation. This is you and me. We too will face rejection, but with the Lord in obedience and faith, we will meander our way through each soul, and the Lord whom we hold firmly by the hand will touch them.

Let this then be a prophecy. Faithfulness means decision.
Choosing life means choosing to love.
Jesus hand nailed