"It is in the company of Jesus that you work for the glory of God." — St. John Baptist de la Salle
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"Whenever that sacrifice of Christ is memorialized in the Church, there is an application to a new moment in time and a new presence in space of the unique sacrifice of Christ Who is now in glory. In obeying His mandate, His followers would be representing in an unbloody manner that which He presented to His Father in the bloody sacrifice of Calvary. After changing the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood: He gave it to them (Mark 14:22). By that communion they were made one with Christ, to be offered with Him, in Him, and by Him. All love craves unity. As the highest peak of love in the human order is the unity of husband and wife in the flesh, so the highest unity in the Divine order is the unity of the soul and Christ in communion." — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 401-2 AN EXCERPT FROM Life of Christ
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St. Philip Neri
Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise.
At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate.
As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip's appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome.
At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led "excursions" to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way.
Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip's followers, and composed music for the services.
The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.)
Philip's advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.
Many people wrongly feel that such an attractive and jocular personality as Philip's cannot be combined with an intense spirituality. Philip's life melts our rigid, narrow views of piety. His approach to sanctity was truly catholic, all-embracing and accompanied by a good laugh. Philip always wanted his followers to become not less but more human through their striving for holiness.
Philip Neri prayed, "Let me get through today, and I shall not fear tomorrow."
As I begin this prayer, God is here. Around me, in my sensations, in my thoughts and deep within me. I pause for a moment, and become aware of God's life-giving presence.
Lord, guide me always to do your holy will knowing that your strength will carry me through.
There is a time and place for everything, as the saying goes. Lord, grant that I may always desire to spend time in your presence. To hear your call.
The Word of God
Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest
Reading 1 1 Pt 2:2-5, 9-12
Beloved: Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk so that through it you may grow into salvation, for you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Once you were no people but now you are God's people; you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul. Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Responsorial Psalm PS 100:2, 3, 4, 5 R. (2c) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord. Know that the LORD is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord. The LORD is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Alleluia Jn 8:12 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
The mutual respect among the characters in this scene is very evident. The Eucharistic prayer "Lord, I am not worthy…' has its origin in the compassion and love of a centurion for a slave. Let me be respectful not only to Jesus, but to all I meet.
The love and concern of this long-dead soldier for his slave dignifies and sanctifies not just his slave but all people. What can we do to promote justice for those in need of it today?
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way? I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with him.
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.
Come before him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God. (Psalm 100:2-3)
Would it surprise you to hear that as a child of God, you are meant to be joyful all the time? No, you won't always be happy or cheerful. The circumstances of life sometimes call for sadness or regret. Still, today's Responsorial Psalm summons us to joy, just as St. Paul urges us to "rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4). How can we do this?
The psalmist tells us why "joyful song" is fitting: because "the Lord is God" (Psalm 100:2, 3). He is a good God who rules the world with kindness. He has made us his children, "the flock he tends," and he watches over us with enduring kindness. Whether or not we feel his presence at this moment, we can trust his promise never to abandon us. And because his sole desire is our good, he is able to use everything that comes our way to bless us and the people around us.
This is why it's important, as you approach God in prayer, to take time to praise him. Do it before you try to learn something from Scripture. Do it before you bring up your needs and intercessions. Do it before you get involved in anything else. Just praise him.
If you're not sure how to start, recall what you know about God. He is powerful, merciful, good, and faithful. He is Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Friend. He is a loving Father, a shepherd, a vine grower, the bread and water of life. Focus on whatever aspect stirs you at that moment, and praise and thank him for it.
When you run out of words, psalms like today's can provide many phrases you can borrow. There are also wonderful canticles spread throughout the Bible: the songs of Moses and Miriam (Exodus 15), Judith (16), Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79), Mary (Luke 1:46-55), Paul (Colossians 1:15-20), and the heavenly host (Revelation 5:12-13; 15:3-4; 19:6-8). Let their words inspire your words—and your heart.
Practice this prayer of praise, and you'll find yourself becoming more joyful throughout your day—not just happy, but deep-down joyful.
"I give you thanks, O Lord. I bless your name. You are good, and your mercy endures forever. Your faithfulness lasts through every generation."
my2cents: Saint Peter said "Once you were no people but now you are God's people; you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy." That's like saying without mercy you are no people, right? When Jesus entered the life, mercy entered the life of the world. Breaking out of your eggshell will be the context clue, breaking from the mold, which we would think of as a mould. Allow me to attempt to translate today's 5minutos: "A very poor European family saw themselves obligated to emigrate to the United States. Their friends and neighbors gave them bread and cheese on their farewell. They were so poor just like the family and couldn't offer anything else. They traveled on a steamboat and were confined to their cabin during the traverse. All their meals consisted of bread and cheese. One night when they were almost to their destination the youngest of the children was nine years old, and pleaded to his father to give him some coins to buy an apple to eat because he was tired of the bread and cheese. The father scoldingly gave him the coins and told him to come back immediately to the cabin. The boy went out and as he took long in returning the father with anxiety went to look for him. He looked in the dining hall and to his surprise found him sitting eating a huge dinner. The first thing he thought was how much all this was going to cost him. His son merrily shouted to his father: Daddy, what we've been missing out on! We could've eaten dinner every day, it was included in the voyage and we have settled for our bread and our cheese... We are invited every day to the great banquet of the Eucharist, and we don't even notice of this great gift of our Lord Jesus. "
The Psalms we pray today said " Come with joy into the presence of the Lord", life becomes worth living, when we are thankful...isn't it? And that is what Eucharist means, thanksgiving, thankFULLNESS, the fullness of thanks, completed with Him, in our lives. We've to go no further than the Holy Gospel to realize this, so let us go there.
Our Lord comes...to the shouting blind man. Like a reflection I read today said, "this wasn't just any man, he was named by name" and so the Lord approaches Bartimaeus. I don't know about you, but I only learn names after a long time spent with them. Otherwise, names don't really stick too easy. So Bartimaeus must've spent some time with the Apostles after what happened, and we all know what happened right? He was transformed. Ahh, bet you thought I was going to say "he was able to see". Well, this is true, he was able to see...the light...the first thing he saw was the Lord. I read in another reflection on how a 2 year old was operated on her eyes and when she was able to see for the first time it was a very emotional moment...can you then imagine the moment of transformation with Bartimaeus? A grown man, not only physically transformed but spiritually? And which is greater? I bet being transformed with body, mind, and soul is most transformative. And so I am led to ask you this question, do you want to see? Because if you ask most, they will not need anything in their lives, they are satisfied with where they are at...and I'm talking more than body, I'm talking spiritually. We settle for bread and cheese, we don't want to dare see because we "just know". That is why the people around Bartimaeus told him to hush when he would call out to Jesus the way he did, because they had their way of addressing people, how to behave, and they didn't believe in mercy. And Jesus hears the cry for mercy. When Bartimaeus says "I want to see", Jesus read his heart, and felt his faith. Bartimaeus wanted sooooo much more than plain eyesight. Do you remember when you were a kid, and you used to have this amazing sense of wonder and amazement and could just imagine new worlds?
This is what Bartimaeus was like. He was this child that would break from the mould of the mold.
This is what me and you have to ask ourselves..."have I settled in my faith?" We should never. Never settle for our level of holiness. Take it to a whole new level, a whole new world... Make it happen. I want to see. I want to see what it is like to live a life with Jesus. It will be amazing. Colors never seen, things never heard, and experiences out of this world. Let's do this! LORD! LORD! HAVE MERCY ON ME! PLEASE!!!
A priest's reflection said "let this prayer be our prayer all day today..."Lord that I may see! Lord! That I may see!!"