Thursday, November 30, 2017

come After Me and...


A Church of the Streets

I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from clinging to its own security.
My hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving.
—Pope Francis, as quoted in the book Pope Francis and Our Call to Joy
by Diane M. Houdek


✞ "We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty."
— St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

"Christ Himself taught humility of heart, and the heart must not remain idle, nor fail to product the necessary acts. And what acts of humility do you make before God? How often do you make them? When have you made them? How long is it since you made them? It would be absurd to hope for the reward which is promised to the humble without being humble, or at least making acts of humility; humility of heart without the heart's humbling itself—what folly! Are you foolish enough to believe that this can be done? ... it is necessary to humble ourselves when we approach God with prayer to obtain some grace, because God does not regard nor head nor impart His grace except to the humble ... When, therefore, you come to ask God for some grace of the body or of the soul, do you always remember to practice this humility? When we pray, and especially when we say the 'Our Father', we are speaking to God; and how many times when you are saying your prayers, do you speak to God with less respect than if you were speaking to one of your fellow creatures? How often when you are in church, which is the house of God, do you listen to a sermon, which is the Word of God, and assist at the functions of the service without any reverence? Humility of heart, says St. Thomas, is accompanied by exterior reverence; and to be lacking in this is to lack humility and is therefore a sin of pride, 'which excludes reverence.'"
— Rev. Cajetan da Bergamo, p .138-140
Humility Of Heart

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy."
Psalm 92:1-4


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Saint Andrew

Saint of the Day for November 30

(d. 60?)

Andrew was Saint Peter's brother, and was called with him. "As [Jesus] was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is now called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, 'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him" (Matthew 4:18-20).

John the Evangelist presents Andrew as a disciple of John the Baptist. When Jesus walked by one day, John said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." Andrew and another disciple followed Jesus. "Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, 'What are you looking for?' They said to him, 'Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are you staying?' He said to them, 'Come, and you will see.' So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day" (John 1:38-39a).

Little else is said about Andrew in the Gospels. Before the multiplication of the loaves, it was Andrew who spoke up about the boy who had the barley loaves and fishes. When the Gentiles went to see Jesus, they came to Philip, but Philip then had recourse to Andrew.

Legend has it that Andrew preached the Good News in what is now modern Greece and Turkey and was crucified at Patras on an X-shaped cross.


As in the case of all the apostles except Peter and John, the Gospels give us little about the holiness of Andrew. He was an apostle. That is enough. He was called personally by Jesus to proclaim the Good News, to heal with Jesus' power and to share his life and death. Holiness today is no different. It is a gift that includes a call to be concerned about the Kingdom, an outgoing attitude that wants nothing more than to share the riches of Christ with all people.

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of:



Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle

Reading 1 Rom 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R. (10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. (John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Alleluia Mt 4:19
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.


Meditation: Matthew 4:18-22

Saint Andrew, Apostle (Feast)

Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)

Good fishermen know that different types of fish like different types of bait. Some are attracted to bright colors, while others are drawn to a particular smell.

We see something similar in our call to be fishers of men. God has selected a diverse assortment of men and women. Their particular gifts give each of his followers their own particular appeal to different audiences. God uses each one differently. For instance, St. Andrew, whose feast we celebrate today, used his friendliness and his family connection to bring his brother, Simon, to Jesus (John 1:42).

God values our uniqueness; he can use all of us. He deliberately created us with distinct talents and personalities. He even helps us learn from our mistakes so that we can use our full life experience—successes and failures—to build his Church. By simply following Jesus—gifts, warts and all—we can attract people who appreciate our unique perspective. Like Andrew, we can lead them to Jesus.

While Andrew was not as well-known as his brother, Peter, he played an important role in the early Church. A simple fisherman, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. His heart must have yearned to be close to God. Andrew began following Jesus after John identified Jesus as the "Lamb of God" (John 1:36). It seems that Andrew was approachable and easy to talk to. In the middle of a huge crowd, he somehow knew the boy whose bread and fish became the supply for one of Jesus' miracles (6:8-9). When Philip wanted Jesus to speak to some Greek Jews, he first consulted Andrew (12:20-22). And tradition tells us that after the resurrection, Andrew traveled to modern-day Greece and Turkey, making friends and sharing the gospel. Andrew's humble ability to connect with people blessed the Church right up to the day he died a martyr's death.

Rejoice that God has given you a unique mission—one that only you can fill. Your life may not be recorded in Scripture, but like Andrew, you can have a ripple effect beyond what you see.

"Help me, Lord, to answer your call."

Romans 10:9-18
Psalm 19:8-11



Let's open up the first scripture with a highly disputed verse: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Here, today, there are denominations that believe this alone, faith alone. Not their fault. They are reading a bible that someone messed with, and wrote in the word "alone" into it. They say if you say this then you'll be saved forever. Meaning, you can live basically however you want, a two faced personality in spirituality. NO. When we confess, we are giving a living witness, being a living testimony of Christ on earth! What will people see in you? I want it to be Christ today and tomorrow and every day after. There is a sever problem in the world where everyone is trying to be so unique, so different, but why so different from Christ? In the Catholic faith, we are called as in all Christian faith, to be HOLY. Christ calls on us to be holy souls He created us to be. Do you believe your heart?

We pray : "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life. The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever; The ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just." There is something about the word "forever" that keeps pulling at me. It is impacting. And we prayed that the fear of the Lord is pure, and forever enduring. Fear here is an amazement and striking at the heart, to put you in your place, standing before your God, Father, Creator. Whoever and whater God me, is AMAZING. Downright fearful I am. Yet, He says "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" in His image. WHAT? That is an amazing love.

And this love reaches out to us, as our Lord says ""Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
"Come AFTER Me".
And what will happen? He will MAKE us fishers of men. God is written as a Father, as a man. In Spanish, if you read all of this "men" and "man", it speaks of all of humanity. So do not be gender confused! Once become fishers of mankind, He desires all souls to be brought to Him, this is fruit. What a wonderful task He has set before us. In the RCIA class last night we read these words "Come" as if the invitation was laid out direct to each one. And it is! God is asking you to join HIM! Did you know that when the Mass ends, the priest says His final blessing (you should never leave before his blessing by the way) because that is the point of sending forth, which is called a co-missioning, commission. It means together on a mission, and He is on the mission with us in this world. He loves it, and if you are in this with me, it means He loves us. If we are stricken, it only makes us more united with Him. Such is the powerful love of a heart united to His. NOTHING can separate us from His love, and I'm saying this so you're love grows to His.
Andrew and Simon left their father (family) and work, basically rendered their lives to Jesus. Life and the world would never be the same.....



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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

By Your Perseverance you will....


God Is Love

Since every thing, every person, every situation comes from God, the whole world is Word by which we can live. We need only "taste and see how good God is." We do this with all our senses. Through whatever we taste or touch, smell, hear, or see, God's love can nourish us. For the one creating and redeeming Word is spelled out to us in ever new ways.
God, who is love, has nothing else to say in all eternity but "I love you."
—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life by Brother David Steindl-Rast


✞ "Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the most tender of friends with souls who seek to please Him. His goodness knows how to proportion itself to the smallest of His creatures as to the greatest of them. Be not afraid then in your solitary conversations, to tell Him of your miseries, fears, worries, of those who are dear to you, of your projects, and of your hopes. Do so with confidence and with an open heart."
— St. Damien of Molokai

"The fullness of wisdom is fear of the Lord, she is present with the faithful in the womb (Sirach 1:14). Fear of the Lord does not mean to be afraid of God. It means to stand in awe and wonder before the greatness of the Lord. When we recognize that God is God and we are creatures, we develop a healthy sense of humility. We acknowledge our need for wisdom and grace, which are both gifts of the Holy Spirit."
— Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 9
Daily Meditations Holy Spirit

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'"
John 8:12


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Saint Clement

Saint of the Day for November 29

(d. 101)

Clement of Rome was the third successor of Saint Peter, reigning as pope during the last decade of the first century. He's known as one of the Church's five "Apostolic Fathers," those who provided a direct link between the Apostles and later generations of Church Fathers.

Clement's First Epistle to the Corinthians was preserved and widely read in the early Church. This letter from the bishop of Rome to the Church in Corinth concerns a split that alienated a large number of the laity from the clergy. Deploring the unauthorized and unjustifiable division in the Corinthian community, Clement urged charity to heal the rift.


Today many in the Church experience polarization regarding worship, how we speak of God, and other issues. We'd do well to take to heart the exhortation from Clement's Epistle: "Charity unites us to God. It knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity all the elect of God have been made perfect."

Rome's Basilica of St. Clement, one of the city's earliest parish churches, is probably built on the site of Clement's home. History tells us that Pope Clement was martyred either in the year 99 or in 101.

The Liturgical Feast of Saint Clement is November 23.

Saint Clement is the Patron Saint of:

Marble Workers


Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords,
with whom he drank.
Under the influence of the wine,
he ordered the gold and silver vessels
which Nebuchadnezzar, his father,
had taken from the temple in Jerusalem,
to be brought in so that the king, his lords,
his wives and his entertainers might drink from them.
When the gold and silver vessels
taken from the house of God in Jerusalem had been brought in,
and while the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers
were drinking wine from them,
they praised their gods of gold and silver,
bronze and iron, wood and stone.

Suddenly, opposite the lampstand,
the fingers of a human hand appeared,
writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace.
When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched;
his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook,
and his knees knocked.

Then Daniel was brought into the presence of the king.
The king asked him, "Are you the Daniel, the Jewish exile,
whom my father, the king, brought from Judah?
I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you,
that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom.
I have heard that you can interpret dreams and solve difficulties;
if you are able to read the writing and tell me what it means,
you shall be clothed in purple,
wear a gold collar about your neck,
and be third in the government of the kingdom."

Daniel answered the king:
"You may keep your gifts, or give your presents to someone else;
but the writing I will read for you, O king,
and tell you what it means.
You have rebelled against the Lord of heaven.
You had the vessels of his temple brought before you,
so that you and your nobles, your wives and your entertainers,
might drink wine from them;
and you praised the gods of silver and gold,
bronze and iron, wood and stone,
that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence.
But the God in whose hand is your life breath
and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.
By him were the wrist and hand sent, and the writing set down.

"This is the writing that was inscribed:
These words mean:
MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it;
TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting;
PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

Responsorial Psalm Dn 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"All you winds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
"Cold and chill, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever."
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Alleluia Rev 2:10c
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
And I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
"They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."


Meditation: (Psalm) Daniel 3:62-67
34th Week in Ordinary Time

Praise and exalt him above all forever. (Daniel 3:62)

This week's responsorial psalm comes from an unexpected place: the Book of Daniel. You might know the story of King Nebuchadnezzar throwing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:14-23). But did you know this psalm is part of the song they sang as they stood in the midst of the fire? Even facing certain death, they found reasons to praise God. It sure puts a different spin on the words "Fire and heat, bless the Lord!"

What "furnace" do you face today? It's probably not the flames that these young men experienced, but you can learn from their song of praise. Like them, you can choose to praise God and bring your feelings into alignment with what you believe. So let their song be your model:

"Lord, you are the same, no matter what my situation is today. Let every detail of my life give praise to you. Let me praise you in every circumstance, every event of my life!

"Joy and sorrow, bless the Lord. My life has its highs and lows. But whether I am up or down, I will sing your praise. You are unchanging and glorious. You are the firm foundation my life is built on.

"Cold and chill, bless the Lord. Father, you don't change with circumstances. You sustain me in comfort and discomfort. Even bad weather can show your glory. Heat and humidity, bless the Lord too!

"Sickness and health, bless the Lord. Oh Lord, my whole life comes from you. If I am healthy, I thank you for my health. If I am sick, I trust that you are still with me, giving me your strength and comfort.

"Loneliness or accompaniment, bless the Lord. If I am surrounded by community, I exalt you in your Church. If I feel alone, I will trust that you stand with me and that my solitude can give you glory. You have a perfect purpose for everything.

"Single or married, bless the Lord. Lord, you have given me my vocation so that I can glorify you through it. I will be faithful and fully pursue who you have called me to be. And if I'm not sure yet, I will praise you while I listen for your call."

"All you works of the Lord, 'praise and exalt him above all forever.'" (Daniel 3:62)

Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Luke 21:12-19


The Holy Word spoke in the First Holy Scripture:
"But the God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify."
They, rather, glorified other objects. Fruit of their own handiwork. This points out to me the underlying heresy of modern day times, those so infatuated with sciences, as if our own whims made us who we are today. No. It was the breath of God that made us and allows us to live. What do you glorify? Who do you glorify? Have you ever been so mad that you shake? It is pride. Call it the "pride shakes". You're all fired up...for nothing. Someone hit the right wrong buttons in you. The evil one does that. Realize for your own good, these are the moments to realize the truth, like when the King of kings spoke to a king defiling God by putting others first. A funny example. Last night we had a young man visit our friendship group reunion. He finally found a job, and we said thank God for the blessing. Before we left we said to come again, and he said "I don't know if I'll be able to with my new job". So I left thinking, "my oh my, how we turn blessings into cursings". Think about your own life, your talents, how do you Glorify God?

We pray: Give glory and eternal praise to him. Sun and moon, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever". Bless the Lord forever and forever begins right now.

Jesus comes in, our Lord, our King. One brother shared saying his 5 yr. old nephew had asked him over thanksgiving holidays "who is Jesus?"

My mind said inside "He is GOD!" Everything about Him is of God, through Him, with Him, and in Him. What is God? What is He made of? These questions are evil. WHAT?? Yeah. Once you figure out God, you have glorified yourself, making yourself greater than HE. Pride shakes. We are being watched. In the debauchery, God sees. In the goodness, He is there. There is no escape. Therefore, watch how you speak, what you say. I notice if I hold someone in high regard and if they say something somewhat negative of someone, I take it to heart. You plant seeds with your words and actions. Why not good seeds then? What good seeds? Good deeds. Yeah, but good deeds aren't that good when Love is not involved. There is a difference when Love is served.
The difference is night and day, light and dark. I write to you in great hopes and expectations of the greater good to take root. I've asked my RCIA students and my close friends in reunion, and now you my beloved in Christ, a simple proposition that the world would slap me about for asking:
"What if only saints get into Heaven?"
It is a loaded question. Purified souls, though, is what I mean. Only the Holy. And how do we "get holy"? You don't. God provides this grace. So now what? Strive to enter the narrow gate. Millions of souls choose otherwise. They choose the "other way". Glorifying "other" gods. Gods of money, sex, power (pride). And there is another extreme. The gods of self. I see people get mad and leave. Some get sad and die. That is the other extreme. There has to be an anchor to a balance and it all rests in the Spirit. Your spirit with His. And here is the battle ground for souls. Be grounded in God. Be anchored to His Hand. Feel the hole piercing as you grip Him tight. His marks a true love. Someone said we should strive to love God more than anyone ever did in this world. And the bar has been set high with our Blessed Mother. A severe affliction happens when He crosses you. At the cross, at the the Heart



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