Monday, September 4, 2017

Cure Yourself

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The Dignity of Labor

During my first three years in the seminary, I worked for a pastor who was fond of saying, "Manual labor is good for the soul." While I didn't initially appreciate the wisdom of his maxim—especially while polishing brass, waxing floors, and pulling weeds—I gradually came to appreciate the perfective power of human labor. Men and women were not created to be idle, but to work with creation on its journey to completeness.

—From Fr. Gary Caster, author of

Joseph, the Man Who Raised Jesus


✞ "If then we have angels, let us be sober, as though we were in the presence of tutors; for there is a demon present also."
— St. John Chrysostom

"I never found anyone so religious and devout as not to have sometimes a subtraction of grace, or feel a diminution of fervor. No saint was ever so highly rapt and illuminated as not to be tempted sooner or later. For he is not worthy of the high contemplation of God who has not, for God's sake, been exercised with some tribulation."
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 65
Imitation of Christ

"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Isaiah 30:15a


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Saint Rose of Viterbo

(1233 – March 6, 1251)

Even as a child, Rose had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. While still very young, she began a life of penance in her parents' house. She was as generous to the poor as she was strict with herself. At the age of 10, she became a Secular Franciscan and soon began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus.

Viterbo, her native city, was then in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope's side against the emperor, she and her family were exiled from the city. When the pope's side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return. Her attempt at age 15 to found a religious community failed, and she returned to a life of prayer and penance in her father's home, where she died in 1251. Rose was canonized in 1457.


The list of Franciscan saints seems to have quite a few men and women who accomplished nothing very extraordinary. Rose is one of them. She did not influence popes and kings, did not multiply bread for the hungry, and never established the religious order of her dreams. But she made a place in her life for God's grace, and like Saint Francis before her, saw death as the gateway to new life.

Saint Rose of Viterbo is the Patron Saint of:

Flower Growers


Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Thes 4:13-18

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1 and 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Alleluia See Lk 4:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, "Is this not the son of Joseph?"
He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb,
'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'"
And he said,
"Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.


Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

22nd Week in Ordinary Time (Labor Day, USA)

The Lord himself . . .will come down from heaven. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

A family had the car packed for vacation, and everyone eagerly piled in. But you can imagine what happened after they had gone just a little way: a young voice from the backseat called out, "Are we there yet?" That was the cue for all of the children to pepper their dad with questions. It was noisy for a while, but they eventually settled down because they trusted that Dad knew where they were going and how to get there. Their father was with them, and everything was going to be okay.

In today's first reading, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of something very similar. He had known them from the early days of their conversion and had watched them grow in their faith. That's why, when they started to worry about the exact date and time of the Lord's return, Paul reminded them that God was trustworthy. Their heavenly Father was with them, and he would stay with them for the entire journey, right up to the Second Coming. Like the father in the car, he knew where they were going and how to get there.

The Lord is with you too. He knows where you are right now and where he plans to take you. How can you be so confident? Look back on the landmarks you've already passed: moments of discovery, challenge, and hope. Remember that time you thought of a simple act that would make your home more peaceful? Maybe it was smiling at your spouse when they walked in the door or asking forgiveness before you went to bed. Or the time you suddenly understood how to help your child through a difficult patch at school. All that was your heavenly Father steering you, taking you where you needed to go.

Even today, he is there to reassure and guide you. Ask him as many questions about the trip as you need to. He doesn't mind. Remember the landmarks you've already passed. He wants you to trust in his driving. He wants to help you settle down and enjoy the trip.

Are you there yet? No, but you're on your way! And God is at the steering wheel.

"Father, I trust that you know where I am right now and where I an going."


"Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together...". Today's 1st Holy Scripture reminds us of something to remember....being caught alive...not dead, mortally, spiritually dead. That is how we can be caught...with the Lord, ALIVE!

We pray " The Lord comes to judge the earth. Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds." A new song? How about a new life? They say in Heaven everything is always new...this must be refreshing, gratifying, cleansed, purity, virgin, blessed, made special for, prepared for, this must mean so many things, as a gift, and a new song is a new gift of life, unless, you love the old, and can not make something new.

In comes the Lord " "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." this after He had read and said "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives....". He came to give sight to the blind, but, what if the blind do not wish to see? What if the captives do not wish to be free? You see, at one time they did want to be free from slavery, but now, they didn't, these people of Israel...the people of God. It was to the point that, if He kept talking, they were going to have Him killed. They pushed Him to the edge, breathing words of hate, those things of division and death, as a threat. They say the Lord our God walked through the crowd, and went away.

Today, many of us push Him away, don't we? We are too busy. We don't want to hear it. "And if you keep pushing me, I might just have you silenced". Sadly, the silent of today are the ones who have no voice, like an unborn child, or an elderly person in an asylum, even prisoners have no voice, but only, all of these have a voice through an advocate, someone who will speak out in favor of....and this is Jesus. Jesus through you and Jesus through me.

Be captivated by the message.
Jesus upsets the world, doesn't He? Or, did we first upset the Lord? Jesus came, our God came at the perfect time, before complete darkness could take over, He would come to save His children forever. His creation. His love, the apple of His eye, because God is a God who loves and has Mercy. How I wish we'd all fall in love with Mercy, God's mercy, how enamored the world would be, because mercy is salvation. Mercy is healing. Mercy is unifying. Mercy is gratifying. Mercy is love. Confess, there is mercy. Eat, His blood and body, mercy itself. Share yourself then...mercy continues alive. And being found alive, we will be caught up with HIM


Bless God

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