Monday, June 12, 2017

Blessed Are They

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Powerful Presence

In the Eucharist Christ offers his Body and Blood as food under the signs of bread and wine. The bread we eat and the cup we drink is truly Jesus Christ. Yes, it is Jesus. It is his real presence. He is present to us in many ways. The Eucharist is his most powerful and intense presence. It is always worthwhile, especially in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, to spend some time meditating and focusing on what truly happens at the Eucharist.

–from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life


✞ "Viva Cristo Rey! — Long live Christ the King!"
— Blessed Miguel Pro

"To love God's will in consolations is a good love when it is truly God's will we love and not the consolation wherein it lies. Still, it is a love without opposition, repugnance, or effort. Who would not love so worthy a will in so agreeable a form? To love God's will in His commandments, counsels, and inspirations is the second degree of love and it is much more perfect. It carries us forward to renounce and give up our own will, and enables us to abstain from and forbear many pleasures, but not all of them. To love suffering and affliction out of love for God is the summit of most holy charity. In it nothing is pleasant but the divine will alone; there is great opposition on the part of our nature; and not only do we forsake all pleasures, but we embrace torments and labors."
— St. Francis de Sales, p. 76
Finding God's Will for You

"For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path. He made my feet like the feet of deer, and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your help has made me great. You have made me stride freely, and my feet do not slip."
2 Samuel 22:32-37


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Blessed Jolenta (Yolanda) of Poland

Saint of the Day for June 12

(c. 1235 – June 11,1298)

Jolenta was the daughter of Bela IV, King of Hungary. Her sister, St. Kunigunde, was married to the Duke of Poland. Jolenta was sent to Poland where her sister was to supervise her education. Eventually married to Boleslaus, the Duke of Greater Poland, Jolenta was able to use her material means to assist the poor, the sick, widows, and orphans. Her husband joined her in building hospitals, convents, and churches so that he was surnamed "the Pious."

Upon the death of her husband and the marriage of two of her daughters, Jolenta and her third daughter entered the convent of the Poor Clares. War forced Jolenta to move to another convent where despite her reluctance, she was made abbess.

So well did Jolenta serve her Franciscan sisters by word and example, that her fame and good works continued to spread beyond the walls of the cloister. Her favorite devotion was the Passion of Christ. Indeed, Jesus appeared to her, telling her of her coming death. Many miracles, down to our own day, are said to have occurred at her grave.


Jolenta's story begins like a fairy tale. But fairy tales seldom include the death of the prince and never end with the princess living out her days in a convent. Nonetheless, Jolenta's story has a happy ending. Her life of charity toward the poor and devotion to her Franciscan sisters indeed brought her to a "happily ever after." Our lives may be short on fairy tale elements, but our generosity and our willingness to serve well the people we live with lead us toward an ending happier than we can imagine.


Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Cor1:1-7

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the Church of God that is at Corinth,
with all the holy ones throughout Achaia:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia Mt 5:12a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad;
for your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you."


Meditation: 2 Corinthians 1:1-7
10th Week in Ordinary Time

The God of all encouragement . . . (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Experts tell us that for every negative comment we hear, it takes five positive comments to balance it out. That means it's much easier to get discouraged than to feel encouraged. Perhaps that's why Paul uses the word "encourage" or "encouragement" ten times in this letter. Maybe he wanted the Corinthians—and us—to know God's love more deeply.

The Gospels give us lots of examples of Jesus encouraging people.

When a scribe asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest, he replied, "You are not far from the kingdom of God" (Mark 12:34). Imagine how good that scribe must have felt!

When Peter professed him as the Christ, Jesus answered, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah" (Matthew 16:17). Think of how that must have reinforced Peter's conviction and his desire to keep following Jesus.

When confronted with a woman caught in adultery, Jesus told her, "Neither do I condemn you" (John 8:11). Imagine how these words must have strengthened her to go and "not sin any more" (8:11)!

The encouragement didn't stop when Jesus returned to his Father. He promised to send the Holy Spirit as "another Advocate" (John 14:16). And can you guess which word is used for "advocate"? Parakletos, which comes from the same Greek word for encouragement that Paul uses in today's first reading!

Part of the reason Paul stressed the Holy Spirit's role as encourager was that he was writing to Christians undergoing hardship. He wanted them to know that the Holy Spirit would help them find hope and stay close to the Lord even through trials. He wanted to tell them that the Spirit could teach them through their trials so that they could walk alongside other people and offer them the same encouragement.

The Holy Spirit wants to encourage you as well. When you're feeling down on yourself, he will help lift your spirits. When you wonder whether your efforts are bearing fruit, he will show you how much you've grown. And when things are going well, he is with you, encouraging you to keep up the good work.

God is on your side. He is always at work, offering you his encouragement.

"Holy Spirit, how do you want to encourage me today?"

Psalm 34:2-9
Matthew 5:1-12


"... encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God." I seek encouragement. And when I don't see it in front of me, I have to look above and I have to ask for it. Because it is easy to become discouraged, it is easy to fall, isn't it? Let us then look to our Lord for a loving Father does.

And so we pray to our Lord our Father "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad." I tasted the Lord this morning, in my soul in prayer upon scriptures and reflections and I said "Wow! Our God is amazing...thank God for God".

In comes our Lord "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." I was struck hard because this always gets me, who are the "poor in spirit?". A reflection in Spanish said "it is those who put their trust no on material goods, but in God". And then goes on to the humble rejoicing in the Lord as said in Isaiah 29:19. And this is how the Be-Attitudes kick off. The lowly. Like Mary, our Blessed Mother in Heaven. Lowly and poor. Dirt poor. Owning nothing but treasuring the greatest treasure in the world...Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Kings. This is the attitude the Lord seeks and desires to dwell in. Humble, and meek, so He can inherit the land.
And so God consoles the afflicted, is close to those who need Him. Perhaps then, this is a gift, mourning brings Christ closer.
He says "Rejoice and be glad"
When you carry your cross.
Rejoice and be glad because you are clean and merciful. Rejoice and be glad when you are lowly and poor, not rich. Enough with feeling good, it is more about being good.
It is like this: If I had not God in my life, I would not have forgiveness. But because I have God in my life and He is taking over, forgiveness is for the love of the Father.

For the Love of God, we too can become poor, and rejoice with our Lord in Heaven...



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