Be Selfless Christ calls us to do something far more difficult than minding our own business and watching our own backs. It is to love, forgive, heal
Jesus helps us to see more clearly. It’s when we do God’s work that
our heart finds its true home. It’s when we help feed the hunger of
others, share our resources with those in need, and replace our
selfishness for the selflessness modeled by Jesus that we begin to
recognize the true faith we seek.
† ""Faith and love are like the blind man's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden."
— St. John of the Cross
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"The secret of happiness is to live
moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His
— St. Gianna Molla
of the Day
"Above all, it
is necessary to ask of God every morning the gift of perseverance, and to beg
of the Blessed Virgin to obtain it for you, and particularly in the time of
temptation, by invoking the name of Jesus and Mary as long as the temptation
lasts. Happy the man who will continue to act in this manner, and shall be
found so doing when Jesus Christ shall come to judge him. ‘Blessed is that
servant, whom, when his Lord shall come, he shall find so doing’ (Matt.
— St. Alphonsus De
Liguori, p. 167
The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori
click to go there
Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions
Saint of the Day for October 19
(d. 1642 – 1649)
Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions' Story
Isaac Jogues and his companions were the first martyrs of the North American continent officially recognized by the Church. As a young Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture, taught literature in France. He gave up that career to work among the Huron Indians in the New World and in 1636, he and his companions, under the leadership of Jean de Brébeuf, arrived in Quebec. The Hurons were constantly warred upon by the Iroquois, and in a few years Father Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and imprisoned for 13 months. His letters and journals tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured, and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.
An unexpected chance for escape came to Isaac Jogues through the Dutch, and he returned to France, bearing the marks of his sufferings. Several fingers had been cut, chewed, or burnt off. Pope Urban VIII gave him permission to offer Mass with his mutilated hands: "It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ not be allowed to drink the Blood of Christ."
Welcomed home as a hero, Father Jogues might have sat back, thanked God for his safe return, and died peacefully in his homeland. But his zeal led him back once more to the fulfillment of his dreams. In a few months he sailed for his missions among the Hurons.
In 1646, he and Jean de Lalande, who had offered his services to the missioners, set out for Iroquois country in the belief that a recently signed peace treaty would be observed. They were captured by a Mohawk war party, and on October 18 Father Jogues was tomahawked and beheaded. Jean de Lalande was killed the next day at Ossernenon, a village near Albany, New York.
The first of the Jesuit missionaries to be martyred was René Goupil who with Lalande, had offered his services as an oblate. He was tortured along with Isaac Jogues in 1642, and was tomahawked for having made the sign of the cross on the brow of some children.
Jean de Brébeuf was a French Jesuit who came to Canada at the age of 32 and labored there for 24 years. He went back to France when the English captured Quebec in 1629 and expelled the Jesuits, but returned to his missions four years later. Although medicine men blamed the Jesuits for a smallpox epidemic among the Hurons, Jean remained with them.
He composed catechisms and a dictionary in Huron, and saw 7,000 converted before his death. He was captured by the Iroquois and died after four hours of extreme torture at Sainte Marie, near Georgian Bay, Canada.
Father Anthony Daniel, working among Hurons who were gradually becoming Christian, was killed by Iroquois on July 4, 1648. His body was thrown into his chapel, which was set on fire.
Gabriel Lalemant had taken a fourth vow—to sacrifice his life for the Native Americans. He was horribly tortured to death along with Father Brébeuf.
Father Charles Garnier was shot to death as he baptized children and catechumens during an Iroquois attack.
Father Noel Chabanel was killed before he could answer his recall to France. He had found it exceedingly hard to adapt to mission life. He could not learn the language, and the food and life of the Indians revolted him, plus he suffered spiritual dryness during his whole stay in Canada. Yet he made a vow to remain until death in his mission.
These eight Jesuit martyrs of North America were canonized in 1930.
Faith and heroism planted belief in Christ's cross deep in our land. The Church in North America sprang from the blood of martyrs, as has been true in so many places. The ministry and sacrifices of these saints challenges each of us, causing us to ask just how deep is our faith and how strong our desire to serve even in the face of death.
Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, and Companions are the Patrons of:
When I come into your presence, O Lord,
I know I am in the presence of my Creator.
You created me out of Love.
You even know the amount of hairs on my head.
Your presence, O Lord, is the greatest of all.
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.
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
Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Reading 1 Eph 3:2-12
Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.
Of this I became a minister by the gift of God's grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.
Responsorial Psalm Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
R. (see 3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
Then Peter said,
"Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?"
And the Lord replied,
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
'My master is delayed in coming,'
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant's master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master's will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Jesus never tells us to be afraid of his coming, for he comes to save us. But he does insist that we must be watchful not to be caught unawares or unprepared. I do that by living the present moment as fully as I can, trying to be as aware as I can of the presence of God in every moment of my life.
▪ I pray for the grace to be aware of all my gifts, and of the responsibility they bring with them. I ask that this be always a source of joy and gratitude for me, and never a burden.
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.
I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me.
I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord.
When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Meditation: Luke 12:39-48
Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs (Memorial)
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. (Luke 12:43)
Did you know that your brain prunes itself? Neurologists have found that often-used pathways in the brain grow stronger, while pathways used less frequently grow weaker and are eventually deleted. Thus, the more you think about a particular subject, the more "brainpower" that subject will receive.
This can give us some insight as we look at today's Gospel message urging us to be vigilant for Jesus' return. Being vigilant means training ourselves to be constantly aware of what is around us and letting this awareness influence the way we act. So in the context of this passage, a part of this vigilance would involve paying attention to our thoughts as well as our surroundings. The research suggests that the more we intentionally focus our thoughts on the Master's return, the more we will naturally be alert to how prepared we are for that great day.
How to start? Perhaps you could try exercising a combination of internal and external vigilance.
Internal vigilance could be as simple as keeping the words of the Lord or images of him and our heavenly home in the forefront of our minds. The more we read, imagine, and reflect on these positive thoughts, the more the negative thoughts will be replaced.
External vigilance, while more time-consuming, is also extremely valuable. This involves filling our time with activities that are centered on serving the Lord and the people around us. It's also a matter of guarding the way we treat each other, the way we demonstrate love for our families, and the way we prioritize our time with the Lord.
Today, take a look at how you can use this two-pronged approach to help keep you ready and waiting for whenever Jesus comes. And remember, his coming is twofold: at the end of time and in your everyday life. Strive to fill your mind with thoughts of the Lord, and focus your actions on love and service. Everything else will fall into place.
"Lord, help me keep my thoughts and actions fixed on you until you come again in glory."
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6
We heard St. Paul say "Of this I became a minister by the gift of God's grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power." A minister, in a ministry, but how do we view our ministry? Are you involved in the ministry? And so what is "ministry" anyway? From newadvent.org at one point says about "minister": "The language of 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Hebrews 8:2; Matthew 20:26, etc. must have helped to familiarize the thought that those charged with spiritual functions in the Christian Church were called upon to be the servants (ministri) of their brethren." As a director for the family festival, I was to be the ultimate servant of servants. When someone had a complaint, I had to hear about it. When something went wrong, I had to deal with it. And so, a priest is a minister, the very and only Eucharistic Minister, and the rest are helpers. And so the question is about your ministering. Some say, "I don't like labels, like ministries etc". Yet, if God appoints you to serve, then rightfully, you must be administering, shouldn't you? Shouldn't you be caught involved in the ministry of God's mission? Do not say like many "I am not going to vote this year, we have terrible candidates". You know what that says to me? It says "I don't care who wins". And you know what that says? "Do WHATEVER YOU PLEASE" to the worse and worst party. Did you know that one of the parties is 100% for abortion? Did you know that not only do they desire the deaths of children, and end children with non-traditional marriage, but now, if this party wins, they will begin to enforce laws against our Catholic faith? Would you really throw your vote away to let them win?
And so we have the Scripture to turn to today on all of this, because Saint Paul is exhorting a very real truth: We are being involved in a spiritual realm while we live in this world, "...so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens." What is at stake are not only human lives...but SOULS!!!!!!
We pray today "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation"
"God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD" I am unafraid of the world, because all they offer is death and destruction, and that's it. God offers something else. True joy and true peace. And if you do not know what this means, it is a grace of God, a gift of God and is available to His faithful loving souls. If He did not care about you, you would not be reading this. If He did not care about your loved ones, you would not be reading this. If He did not care about the unborn children, you would not be reading this.
The Lord says "You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." What does this say to your heart? To mine, it says LET THE LIGHT SHINE ALWAYS. Did we not read a quote today that said "All the darkness of the world can not extinguish the light of a single candle"? What happens if your light goes out? You nor your loved ones can see. Can you imagine traveling the world in the dark? Wouldn't you be lost most of the time? Wouldn't you be susceptible to great dangers? This being lost in the dark means not having a moral compass, and that is where we Catholics and all Christians and everyone else that don't believe must vote not for a party, but for morals. Let me ask you something about your clothes and your cars: what do they say on them? Does the clothes and car you drive have anything written to defend the unborn? They are blank billboards, your clothes and your car. Who will be the light for them? You see, the devil has a hold of the media, focusing on a war across the world while in your backyard and in your home it is devouring souls. Why not wear a shirt about God every day? Why not put a sticker about God on your car? And for the unborn? This is the day, not tomorrow, not next week. Jesus says you must be prepared. He doesn't say "you should start thinking about preparing". He says you must be found prepared for the unexpected hour. And you don't want to know what is coming, if you are unprepared. Arm yourself with Christ. For those in "ministries", you need the armor of light. Away with gossip, away with negative thoughts, and away with all things darkness. I am calling on you to live Christ. I am calling on you to turn on your lights! What if I said that every moment is a pivotal moment in life? If you believe in the "butterfly effect" that says a small flutter in the winds helps accumulate to a greater storm, would you believe your thoughts and actions all make a difference? GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE LORD!