Tuesday, July 26, 2016

...Like the Sun

"You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love." — St. Catherine of Siena MEDITATION OF THE DAY


"You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love."
— St. Catherine of Siena


"We are the holy Church. But I do not say 'we' as though to indicate only we who are here, you who have just been listening to me. I mean all of us who are here and by the grace of God faithful Christians in this church, that is, in this city; all those in this region, in this province, across the sea, all those in the whole world. Such is the Catholic Church, our true mother, the true spouse of so great a husband."
— St. Augustine, p. 87
Augustine Day by Day


click to go there


Sts. Joachim and Anne

In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother's family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names Joachim and Anne come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died.

The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary's childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.

The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.

Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.


This is the "feast of grandparents." It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people's greater perspective, depth of experience and appreciation of life's profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.


"...[T]he family is the foundation of society. In it the various generations come together and help one another to grow wise and to harmonize personal rights with the other requirements of social life" (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 52).


Sacred Space
(stop, slow down, breathe, we're about to receive the Word of God)
Daily Prayer - 2016-07-26


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


By God's grace I was born to live in freedom.
Free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving care.


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

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
audio readings

Reading 1 Jer 14:17-22

Let my eyes stream with tears
day and night, without rest,
Over the great destruction which overwhelms
the virgin daughter of my people,
over her incurable wound.
If I walk out into the field,
look! those slain by the sword;
If I enter the city,
look! those consumed by hunger.
Even the prophet and the priest
forage in a land they know not.

Have you cast Judah off completely?
Is Zion loathsome to you?
Why have you struck us a blow
that cannot be healed?
We wait for peace, to no avail;
for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness,
the guilt of our fathers;
that we have sinned against you.
For your name's sake spurn us not,
disgrace not the throne of your glory;
remember your covenant with us, and break it not.
Among the nations' idols is there any that gives rain?
Or can the mere heavens send showers?
Is it not you alone, O LORD,
our God, to whom we look?
You alone have done all these things.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13
R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.

R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name's sake.

R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Let the prisoners' sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.

R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
"Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

'The Son of Man will send his angels'. Jesus is saying that God will sort things out in the end. In the meantime we are not to assume the role of judges because we cannot tell the weeds from the wheat. I reflect that Jesus calls blessed not those who appear blessed in the eyes of the culture - the winners, we might say - but rather those the culture considers to be losers. The final judgement may be a huge surprise both to 'winners' and 'losers'.
Dear God, open my heart and that I may be surprised by your grace and mercy and that I may see your children in the faces of all those I meet. .


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.


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: Matthew 13:36-43

Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

They will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin. (Matthew 13:41)

The servants in this parable are eager to get rid of the weeds in their master's field, but he counsels patience. Both the weeds and the wheat are growing, and it isn't entirely clear how they will develop.

Although Jesus applies the parable to righteous and evil individuals, we can just as easily apply it to the good and evil tendencies sprouting in our own hearts. There are so many "gray areas" when it comes to our inner lives that it can be difficult to discern which seeds we should cultivate and which ones we should try to uproot. But in today's Gospel reading, Jesus gives us an important clue: take a look at the way these words, actions, or thoughts affect the people around you.

Those of us who are parents can learn this by observing the effect we have on our children. Small children imitate even the way we walk, our facial expressions, or other habitual gestures. Have you ever had the experience of being horrified to hear a child use a swearword or a complaining tone that sounds eerily like yourself? It's humbling, isn't it? But it can also bring us up short and move us to make some changes in our lives.

The opposite of "causing others to sin," of course, is helping them to grow in holiness. We want our children to learn kindness, honesty, and generosity from us, and we work hard to make that happen. Our children don't always see it, but it's there. It was probably similar for Joachim and Anne. Their prayerfulness, their humility, and their openness to the Spirit clearly affected Mary. How else could she have found the courage to give a wholehearted yes to the angel's invitation?

Think for a moment about people who have had that kind of positive effect on you—a parent, a teacher, a priest, a friend, or a mentor. As a popular saying puts it, "I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you."

Take the time today to express your gratitude to one of these people. And pray to be that kind of influence on other people.

"Father, help me bear fruit that pleases you so that I can be a positive influence on the people around me."

Jeremiah 14:17-22
Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13




From today's 1st Holy Scripture "If I walk out into the field, look! those slain by the sword; If I enter the city, look! those consumed by hunger." If you look into the world, you will see murder and destruction, an incurable disease of sin, and I said incurable because the healing has not begun. Those are consumed by hunger, a thirst for light, a starvation of justice and justice in God's eyes means HOLINESS. Keep this in mind because our Lord Jesus is the consummation of the Old Testament, the complete fulfillment into the new, and we are speaking of fulfilling you, the complete and new you, through Him, and justice which I remind HOLINESS.

We prayed today "For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us." Deliver us from Evil, this we pray in the Lord's prayer, our Lord's prayer to us, for us, and with us. "Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins for your name's sake." Pardon our sins means to forgive sins, and He does, He has, and He will. Who told you He would not? Who told you He does not desire the good? The good in the world through you, to shine out what is dulled, to reflect and give the light of the Lord...

In comes the Lord of our lives, and the apostles, His disciples ask Him for an explanation of the talk about the weeds in the field He was talking about. In today's first Holy Scripture, we heard the prophet Jeremiah speaking about the field, where they are starving and dying. In today's world, the same occurs. From the footnotes of today's scripture in USCCB: "Dismissing the crowds: the return of Jesus to the house marks a break with the crowds, who represent unbelieving Israel. From now on his attention is directed more and more to his disciples and to their instruction. The rest of the discourse is addressed to them alone." Let me ask you this tiny little bitty question, when Holy Mass ends, what is your disposition upon dismissal? Some don't even wait for the final blessing of the Father, they take Communion and run! But what about you? At what point are you ready for the dismissal? I told my godson one time "I seen you in the back of the church holding on to that door ready to open it and leave". I am saying this because whatever your sentiment is there, with the Lord, it is with Him anywhere else, when you visit the lonely, when you feed the homeless, when you see the Lord out and too will be ready to leave, do your thing and leave. Who likes to stick around after the meal? After the intercourse with the Lord? Who likes to savor the moment, and enjoy Him? Because many times, the ending of a Holy Mass is like a fire drill, the building is left empty...and the Lord alone when He dismisses. Only the faithful lovers, His disciples remain. What if I asked you to stay after Mass and discuss the Holy Gospel brought to you and that you consumed? Why? What for? Because the fields are waiting for you, your labor, and there are few laborers for the Lord. There is ALOT of work available for the Lord. I sat last week in church and thought, "you know, if every single member of the parish pitched in, this place would be completely different, a flourishing and fruitful field" But it will not begin without Love, love of God. And so this then, is a labor of love. I love you because God loves me. That's why I have to love the unlovable. Watch this: I was speaking to my brother in Christ about prison ministry, and he asked 'haven't you heard what they did in prison here last week?" I said no, thinking "dude I'm not from that city, I don't get that news channel! LOL" He said a prisoner had got a hold of a lady in the kitchen, raped her and killed her. It was a shockingly, disturbing kind of news, kind of like when we heard an alligator killed the toddler at Disney, but worse. And I say this to explain the animal, the savage beast of the devil. And I say this to arouse in you the ugliness in sin. Two things to consider in the event with the rapist/murderer, first, the sin, sexual lust and out of control desires, and second, death, murder of a soul, and the soul that died was the murderer's not necessarily the victim. And I bring it up to your attention, before your eyes and ears to shine the light in the dark field, "look my brothers and sisters, look at what's going on with sin and death". The world is starving for light, for Christ. It is dying without light. A saint once said "It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass." – Padre Pio, and to pinpoint it, I would say "It would be easier for the world to live without the sun than the SON of God, in the most Holy Eucharist". Yet He is there, yet we receive Him, and is He darkened in my life?
The question is brought, because at your hands is the world. I care so much that I pray for you now to be this disciple hanging out with the Lord clarifying what to do before going to do it. And the Lord makes it clear. There is a real hell. It is a fair warning for dead souls walking this earth.

We want you to be alive, resurrected in the flesh. Holiness


St. Pio, pray for us...