Monday, June 19, 2017

You have heard

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Manifestation of Christ

Lord God, through the preaching and ministry of John the Baptist, you manifested your Son to the world in the waters of the Jordan River. Prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ so that we may trust in him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Through our repentance, may we recognize and work toward the coming of your Kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

–from the book Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions


"You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them."
— St. Therese of Lisieux

"O my God, you and you alone are all wise and all knowing! You know, you have determined everything that will happen to us from first to last. You have ordered things in the wisest way, and you know what will be my lot year by year until I die. You know how long I have to live. You know how I shall die. You have precisely ordained everything, sin excepted. Every event of my life is the best for me that it could be, for it comes from you. You bring me on year by year, by your wonderful Providence, from youth to age, with the most perfect wisdom, and with the most perfect love."
— Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, p. 103
Everyday Meditations

"Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is."

1 John 3:2


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Saint Romuald
June 19. Saint Romuald had the strange experience of being uncomfortably holy and asked to leave a monastery. When he tried to become a missionary, he was repeatedly hindered by an illness. Next he was falsely accused and excommunicated for a few months. But he didn't give up.


Reading 1 2 Cor 6:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
As your fellow workers, we appeal to you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
We cause no one to stumble in anything,
in order that no fault may be found with our ministry;
on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves
as ministers of God, through much endurance,
in afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots,
labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech,
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2b, 3ab, 3cd-4

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
In the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Alleluia Ps 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."


Catholic Meditations
Matthew 5:38-42

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Saint Romuald, Abbot (Optional Memorial)

Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. (Matthew 5:41)

Did you ever wonder where the saying "go the extra mile" comes from? Possibly from Jesus' instruction in today's Gospel passage! But where did he get the idea? Probably from the people around him.

In biblical times, Persian or Roman messengers could legally compel a person into service without pay to help bring dispatches from the imperial court to distant provinces. Needless to say, no one wanted that job! You can just imagine the complaints that would flow from a person forced into this service.

But Jesus wants us to take up a different attitude. Not only should we avoid complaining, but we should be willing to go twice as long as expected—to be generous and serve even beyond what seems reasonable.

That's far easier said than done! When a coworker asks us to work late to help finish a project, it can feel unjust or inconvenient. When a relative needs help with a home repair late at night, we might want to grumble or delay helping until another day. And when a neighbor asks us to drive an extra carpool during an already busy week, we want to say, "No! Enough already!" We sense we should be more willing, but it's so often a struggle!

It's a good thing that God doesn't respond to us this way! In fact, Jesus himself is the best example of going the extra mile. He emptied himself to take on flesh and all our human limitations. He suffered silently and held nothing back when he laid down his life for us. Even now, he never tires of hearing our prayers. He helps us in our weaknesses and forgives us our sins—over and over again.

How can we hope to imitate such generous love? One step at a time.

When we cooperate with the Spirit, even in little ways, we open the door to God and let him fill us with his divine love. We will find new strength and endurance, greater peace and patience. Just one step and then another. And then another. Add them all up, and we'll find that we have already gone that extra mile.

So when someone asks you for help today, lift up a prayer, take a deep breath, and say yes.

"Holy Spirit, fill me with God's love for the people around me!"

2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Psalm 98:1-4


From Bishop Barron:
Friends, today's Gospel gives Jesus' teaching about non-resistance to evil people. We are continually wanting God to behave as we would, that is to say, withdrawing his love from those who don't deserve it and giving his love to those who do deserve it. But this is just not the way God operates. Why should you pray for someone who is persecuting you? Why shouldn't you be allowed at least to answer him in kind—an eye for an eye? Because God doesn't operate that way, and you are being drawn into the divine life.

Why should you turn the other cheek to someone who has struck you? Because it's practical?! No, because that's the way God operates, and you're being called into the divine life. Why should you go beyond simply loving those who love you? Because that's the way God operates: he loves the saints and he loves the worst of sinners.

Is any of this easy to do? Of course not. Are we able to get to this state through willing it, through earnest practice? Of course not! That's why love is referred to as a theological virtue. It is the sheerest participation in the divine life, and it can only come from God."

If someone asks something of you how can you say no? It is the Lord asking....



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