Monday, June 5, 2017

it is wonderful

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Angels on Earth

Despite all of the skills we bring to challenging times in our lives, we never operate through them in a vacuum. We always come in contact with, need, and benefit from other people. Some of these men and women are familiar, perhaps even family members. Others are complete strangers. All can be our "angels on earth," true treasure in our lives—if we recognize them for who they are, the gifts they bring, and nurture the ties, however slight, that we share with them.

–from the book Don't Panic: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough


✞ "At the end of our life we shall be judged by charity."
— St. Paul of the Cross

"How great is the sweetness which a soul experiences, when, in the time of prayer, God, by a ray of his own light, shows to her his goodness and his mercies towards her, and particularly the love which Jesus Christ has borne to her in his passion! She feels her heart melting, and, as it were, dissolved through love. But in this life we do not see God as he really is: we see him, as it were, in the dark. 'We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face' (1 Cor. 13:12). Here below God is hidden from our view; we can see him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face! We shall then see his beauty, his greatness, his perfection, his amiableness, and his immense love for our souls."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 133
Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 2:3-5


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Saint Boniface

Saint of the Day for June 5

(c. 675 – June 5, 754)

Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions Boniface found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordinations were questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops' elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

During a final mission to the Frisians, Boniface and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for confirmation.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, Boniface had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent, where he introduced the Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.


Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.

Saint Boniface is the Patron Saint of:



Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 Tb 1:3; 2:1a-8

I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life
on the paths of truth and righteousness.
I performed many charitable works for my kinsmen and my people
who had been deported with me to Nineveh, in Assyria.

On our festival of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks,
a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat.
The table was set for me,
and when many different dishes were placed before me,
I said to my son Tobiah: "My son,
go out and try to find a poor man
from among our kinsmen exiled here in Nineveh.
If he is a sincere worshiper of God, bring him back with you,
so that he can share this meal with me.
Indeed, son, I shall wait for you to come back."

Tobiah went out to look for some poor kinsman of ours.
When he returned he exclaimed, "Father!"
I said to him, "What is it, son?"
He answered, "Father, one of our people has been murdered!
His body lies in the market place where he was just strangled!"
I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched;
and I carried the dead man from the street
and put him in one of the rooms,
so that I might bury him after sunset.
Returning to my own quarters, I washed myself
and ate my food in sorrow.
I was reminded of the oracle
pronounced by the prophet Amos against Bethel:

"All your festivals shall be turned into mourning,
and all your songs into lamentation."

And I wept.
Then at sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.

The neighbors mocked me, saying to one another:
"He is still not afraid!
Once before he was hunted down for execution
because of this very thing;
yet now that he has scarcely escaped,
here he is again burying the dead!"

Responsorial Psalm Ps 112:1b-2, 3b-4, 5-6
R. (1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
His generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just man shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Alleluia See Rv 1:5ab
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead;
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 12:1-12

Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
"A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?"

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.


Meditation: Tobit 1:3; 2:1-8
Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)

I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched. (Tobit 2:4)

There's a special branch of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force called the Quick Reaction Alert force. These pilots are on constant alert. Should a threat arise, they can be in the air in minutes. They could be fast asleep, brushing their teeth, or eating lunch, but they snap into action when the alarm sounds.

This sounds a bit like Tobit's prompt response in today's reading, doesn't it? It was the Jewish feast of Weeks, and he was relaxing in front of a fine dinner. But when he heard that a fellow countryman had been killed, he immediately went out and buried the man. This was both a dangerous and a subversive act for an Israelite like himself living in exile in Nineveh. The Ninevites intentionally affronted Jewish customs by doing things like delaying the burial of dead Jews. But Tobit never hesitated. He was on constant "alert" to do God's will. He didn't allow his own comfort or safety to get in the way. He didn't allow fear or so-called common sense to stop him. A brother in the Lord had been killed, and he deserved the dignity of a proper Jewish burial.

So how can we be on call for the Lord just as Tobit was? How can we be always alert as those British pilots are? In our case, the call probably won't sound like a siren, and we probably won't need a shovel and a strong back. God is much more likely to summon us with the "still small voice" of his Spirit.

The key is to listen. Take a minute at the end of your prayer time or after Mass to listen with your heart. What comes to mind? You might feel the need to call a friend who is hurting. You might remember a long-standing disagreement with your neighbor and start thinking about pursuing reconciliation. Or you might feel a new enthusiasm welling up inside you to join a ministry at church.

No matter how you hear the call, take action!

"Lord, give me ears to hear you and the courage to follow you, no matter where you call! Help me to be always ready to respond to you."

Psalm 112:1-6
Mark 12:1-12


His neighbors, the people around him, mocked him, criticized him, made fun of him, saying ""He is still not afraid!". Was he not afraid? I bet this prophet was shaking in his boots, to a certain degree, but this fear did not paralyze him, because the fear of the Lord was greater. The Holy Spirit be with not be afraid. God said it. It is a command. And we are released into His vineyard, to be confident in His providence. To be fruitful. To remain true to Him.

We pray today "Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands". You want to be a blessing for the next generation? Then bless the Lord. Bless God. Bless His Holy Name. Bless and praise Him. Bless Him with your love. Bless Him with your presence. If I have had an intuition of Heaven, it is always about Him in the presence of others. If I was given an inkling of an inspiration of Heaven on earth prior to writing to you it was this: the smallest bit of true gratitude is a reflection of Heavenly life.

In comes the Lord of Life in the world of death: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone". Tobit was rejected, just like all the other prophets, persecuted, Moses, even Elijah, and so forth. And all the world makes them do is flee to Heaven...Home. But prophets are here for a reason, we are here for a reason. It is an offering. This life, it is an offering to our Lord. What are you offering to Him? How are you offering? Why are you offering? Are you truly offering? I wrote a song yesterday that spoke on this offering. It said in Spanish as if the Lord is speaking "If you want to fly with me, let go of what you love", even let go of your burdens, let them go, He already has them handled. He asks later in the song "Give me your love". This is crucial in living life in the Holy Spirit. The love of God, the fire within. The light within. These readings today are not a story of long ago, but of our story today with our Lord.

God wants us to be good stewards, children accepting of Him our Father. That is to say, the world is the vineyard. If you notice, there is always a rejection of God. Whether atheist, or a so called follower who does not follow the law, the commands of the Lord and delight in them.

Why is it crucial that we take care of the vineyard as God says?

One time Jesus said "I am the Vine".

This means, God is in the world. The vineyard is God's world. Not ours. We should know our place before God. We should hold Him in great compassionate love, which means fear, fear to upset, fear to break His heart, fear to be driven away by our own whims.


A sincere acceptance of Him. I pray the Holy Spirit make His light shine bright across the world in need of you of Him in you.



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