God Is the Only True Happiness
Unless I am connected to God, who invented the happiness I'm seeking, I come up frustrated, angry, and disappointed by life—empty instead of full. When I feel disconnected from God, I feel restless—not at peace with myself, with my God, or with others.
—from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God's Word in Your Life
✞ "Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace in the world."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"There is, actually, only one person in all humanity of whom God has one picture and in whom there is a perfect conformity between what he wanted her to be and what she is, and that is his own mother. Most of us are a minus sign, in the sense that we do not fulfill the high hopes the heavenly Father has for us. But Mary is the equal sign. The ideal that God had of her, that she is, and in the flesh. The model and the copy are perfect; she is all that was forseen, planned, and dreamed. The melody of her life is played just as it was written."
— Archbishop Fulton Sheen, p. 15
AN EXCERPT FROM
A Year With Mary
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
click to read more
(March 10, 1549 – July 14, 1610)
Saint Francis Solano
Francis came from a leading family in Andalusia, Spain. Perhaps it was his popularity as a student that enabled Francis in his teens to stop two duelists. He entered the Friars Minor in 1570, and after ordination enthusiastically sacrificed himself for others. His care for the sick during an epidemic drew so much admiration that he became embarrassed and asked to be sent to the African missions. Instead he was sent to South America in 1589.
While working in what is now Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay, Francis quickly learned the local languages and was well received by the indigenous peoples. His visits to the sick often included playing a song on his violin.
Around 1601, he was called to Lima, Peru, where he tried to recall the Spanish colonists to their baptismal integrity. Francis also worked to defend the indigenous peoples from oppression. He died in Lima in 1610 and was canonized in 1726.
Francis Solano knew from experience that the lives of Christians sometimes greatly hinder the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Francis lived an exemplary life himself, and urged his fellow Spaniards to make their lives worthy of their baptisms.
Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Ex 1:8-14, 22
A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
He said to his subjects, "Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;
otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies
to fight against us, and so leave our country."
Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel
to oppress them with forced labor.
Thus they had to build for Pharaoh
the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed,
the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel
and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick
and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.
Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects,
"Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,
but you may let all the girls live."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us–
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers' snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Alleluia Mt 5:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 10:34—11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's enemies will be those of his household.
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
"Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet's reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
Meditation: Matthew 10:34–11:1
15th Week in Ordinary Time
Whoever receives you receives me (Matthew 10:40)
Stop a moment and let this one truth sink in: you are an ambassador for Christ. When someone meets you, they come into contact with Jesus.
As humbling as this truth can be, there is another, equally humbling truth connected to it: Jesus also comes to you in the people you meet every day—all of them. You may already expect him to break into your life through friends or family. But that's not enough for him. He loves you so much that he reaches out to you through every interaction you have. He is there in the "everyday" people you encounter, like the cashier at the grocery store or the receptionist at your doctor's office. He is there in the people you've never met before, like that new neighbor down the street or the person in the car behind you at the gas station. He is even there in the people you don't get along with so well. So how will you receive them?
Welcoming Jesus doesn't mean you have to invite every person you meet out for coffee or home for dinner. It just means paying attention. It means trying to be open and courteous to the people you encounter during the day. It means putting aside whatever first impressions you may have and listening carefully to what they have to say. And in the case of someone who rubs you the wrong way, it means at least being willing to be willing to accept them.
One of the best places this can happen is at church. Even though we have a common faith, we don't all have common opinions. You may run into someone at Mass who doesn't share your political views. Or someone who never seems to smile at anyone. Or someone who dresses differently than you do. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable around someone, take a deep breath and try to listen. Ask Jesus what he is saying to you through them. If you feel uncomfortable or awkward when you meet a new parishioner—especially someone who seems different from you—relax and let Jesus surprise you. Never forget that Jesus enjoys catching his people off guard and speaking to them through "unlikely" messengers.
"Jesus, I want to see you in the people I meet today. Open my heart so that I don't shut anyone out."
Exodus 1:8-14, 22
Bishop Barren's daily reflection today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus lays down the conditions for discipleship: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
There is line from the illuminator of the St. John's Bible which states: "We have to love our way out of this." There is nothing wimpy or namby-pamby or blind about this conviction. When we love extravagantly, we are not purposely blinding ourselves to moral realities—just the contrary. Love is not a sentiment, but "a harsh and dreadful thing," as Dostoevsky said.
This is just what Jesus shows on his terrible cross. And this is just what we, his followers, must imitate. Taking up the cross means not just being willing to suffer, but being willing to suffer as he did, absorbing violence and hatred through our forgiveness and nonviolence."
. . .
A Spanish reflection ended today with this line: "Is it a warning that we should not settle for any peace in the name of God or swallow any war in the name of the Gospel?"
The Eqyptian Pharoah does what the world does when it comes to God's people "Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase" and so, government forces laws to put them down, those people they are very afraid of, those people the devil is afraid of.
Yet, we must remember one scripture, Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Thank you for your prayers for the cursillo.
A woman said in her closing of her cursillo yesterday "I am going to re-enlist in the military, this time, I'm going to be a soldier of Christ!". The back of my mind said "watch what you are getting into...it is no easy feat" and indeed, carrying your cross daily, Jesus says DAILY, is no easy feat, but a loving feat if you love the cross...the Way. And Jesus is the Way. Luke 9:23 " "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Deny yourself? In a world that teaches you to indulge yourself!? What craziness. And the craziness continues with our Lord "I have come to bring not peace but the sword." And bible scripture continues in Revelation 2:12 ""... These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword." And the bible had already said before Revelation "The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
It is these piercing thoughts that wage war even into a household, the favorite battleground for souls. There where couples don't pray together, and kids are left to wonder in the darkness. There where children are taught how to play and not to pray. There where the ruler of their lives is the light in the living room, the television, the teacher, the ways of the world, where lies, pornography, and pride are taught the ways of life, thus introducing vices and crippling addictions that break down the nucleus of the world...the family. It is then, a truly "nuclear" war. Where in the beginning the atom was Adam. And it was split, to make for a powerful explosion of God's will.
There must be hatred then, as our Lord says. A fierce hatred of what is wrong, of what is dark. The type of hatred that leads you to holiness. The type of hatred that makes you a saint. The type that says "I no longer wish to be me, but CHRIST".
This is what the Lord desires, and not for our own good, but that of the world He created to bring souls to Himself, and why does He desire souls? Because His heart is hungry, His lips are thirsty. He said so on the cross as He was dying for us out of sheer love of the Father and His children. I Thirst, for souls. I Desire holy ones to make the light grow. We do not need a glow in the dark soul, we need a growing light that banishes the darkness out of every nook and cranny in our house, our temple of the Lord. And our bodies become that temple of God.
Let us turn to Christ in every moment, every second, every facet of our lives...