Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lights Up The Sky


Christ Dwells Within Us All

As members of a Church that promotes a culture of life, we are called to celebrate the lives of those who may not look like us or act like us. Learn to see each person, regardless of his or her challenges, as a human being specially created by God.
It may be easier for us to volunteer at a shelter to feed the homeless than to show love and compassion for an autistic boy, a little girl with Down syndrome, or a disabled person in a wheelchair in our own parishes. Look for ways to recognize Christ in each of them. As it reads in Matthew 10:42: "And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
—from the book Joyful Witness: How to be an Extraordinary Catholic
by Randy Hain


✞ "A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul."
— St. Therese of Lisieux

"The beatitude of the saints is immutable, like that of the Son of God. . . Add ages to ages; multiply them equal to the sand of the ocean or the stars of heaven; exhaust all numbers, if you can, beyond what the human intelligence can conceive, and for the elect there will be still the same eternity of happiness. They are immutable, and this immutability excludes weariness and disgust. The life of an elect soul is one succession, without end, of desires ever arising and ever satisfied, but desires without trouble, satiety or lassitude. The elect will always see God, love God, possess God and always will wish to see Him, love Him and possess Him still more. This beatitude is the end destined for all; God has given us time only in order to merit it, being and life only to possess it. Reflect seriously on this great truth, and ask yourself these three questions at the foot of the crucifix: What have I done hitherto for heaven? What ought I to do for heaven? What shall I do henceforward for heaven?"
— St. Ignatius of Loyola, p. 179
Spiritual Exercises

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
John 6:51


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Saint Margaret of Scotland

(1045 – November 16, 1093)

Margaret of Scotland was a truly liberated woman in the sense that she was free to be herself. For her, that meant freedom to love God and serve others.

Not Scottish by birth, Margaret was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. She spent much of her youth in the court of her great-uncle, the English king, Edward the Confessor. Her family fled from William the Conqueror and was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. King Malcolm befriended them and was captivated by the beautiful, gracious Margaret. They were married at the castle of Dunfermline in 1070.

Malcolm was good-hearted, but rough and uncultured, as was his country. Because of Malcolm's love for Margaret, she was able to soften his temper, polish his manners, and help him become a virtuous king. He left all domestic affairs to her, and often consulted her in state matters.

Margaret tried to improve her adopted country by promoting the arts and education. For religious reform she encouraged synods and was present for the discussions which tried to correct religious abuses common among priests and laypeople, such as simony, usury, and incestuous marriages. With her husband, she founded several churches.

Margaret was not only a queen, but a mother. She and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. Margaret personally supervised their religious instruction and other studies.

Although she was very much caught up in the affairs of the household and country, she remained detached from the world. Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She and Malcolm kept two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas. During these times she always rose at midnight for Mass. On the way home she would wash the feet of six poor persons and give them alms. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults.

In 1093, King William Rufus made a surprise attack on Alnwick castle. King Malcolm and his oldest son, Edward, were killed. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days after her husband.


There are two ways to be charitable: the "clean way" and the "messy way." The "clean way" is to give money or clothing to organizations that serve the poor. The "messy way" is dirtying your own hands in personal service to the poor. Margaret's outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. Although very generous with material gifts, Margaret also visited the sick and nursed them with her own hands. She and her husband served orphans and the poor on their knees during Advent and Lent. Like Christ, she was charitable the "messy way."


Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Wis 7:22b–8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175
R. (89a) Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Alleluia Jn 15:5
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
"The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, 'Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.'
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you."

Then he said to his disciples,
"The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
'Look, there he is,' or 'Look, here he is.'
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation."


Meditation: Luke 17:20-25

Saint Margaret of Scotland (Optional Memorial)

The kingdom of God is among you. (Luke 17:21)

Do you like to rearrange furniture? Some people are very good at imagining a room in a different way, then moving things around to match their vision. They may notice a gap and go shopping for an accent piece that will alter the feel of a whole room. But sometimes they will determine that all a room needs is different lighting. Whether it's pendant lights, wall sconces, or the softer glow of lamps and candles, a new source of light can show everything that's already present to its best advantage.

This can be true in our spiritual landscape as well. Sometimes we try to add things or move them around when all that's really needed is more of God's light to help us to see what's already there. That's why Jesus told these Pharisees to open their eyes and look. The kingdom of God was already in their midst. They just needed to see it!

When we let Jesus shine his light on our everyday lives, we may first notice the empty spaces. We aren't perfect. We aren't as cheerful or prayerful or generous or forgiving as God wants us to be. These are good insights, and the Lord wants us to work with him to make the necessary improvements.

At the same time, however, God wants us to see ourselves in the light of his love. He doesn't just want to point out the empty spaces. He wants to show us all the full spaces as well—all the areas where he is already at work, all the areas where he rejoices in our love and faithfulness. He wants to shine a light on the signs that his kingdom is already present among us.

Realizations like these may come suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, or they may dawn on us gradually, like the sunrise. But they will come if we ask for them. Jesus doesn't just want to show us where to improve. He wants to tell us how much he loves the work we have already done in his name. He wants to tell us how proud of us he is.

So open your eyes today. Look for the signs of God's kingdom. It's all around you. It's within your heart!

"Jesus, shine your light into my heart. Help me to live in the light of your love today."

Wisdom 7:22–8:1
Psalm 119:89-91, 130, 135, 175



The First Holy Word says at one point: "For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion, and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity." Wisdom is a gift that pervades from our Lord in Heaven. Wisdom is something that comes after knowledge as explained by Jeff Cavins in his Sunday Reflection for this past Sunday, you can check it out at the Great Adventure Blog he gots, it is a great eye opening quick reflection. You can know a lot of things and have no wisdom. And if you have no wisdom, you have no understanding.
We pray today "Your word is for ever, O Lord. The revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple." One word of the Lord, began everything. One word from us can begin something. Today, (I get alot of reflections LOL) one shared an image:


From Proverbs 15:
"* A mild answer turns back wrath, a but a harsh word stirs up anger." and it goes on to say: "The tongue of the wise pours out knowledge, but the mouth of fools spews folly." And one more line later says "The fool spurns a father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent." Boy they just keep coming, you should read all of Proverbs 15! And our Father instructs us to Heaven. When our Lord says "do this" it is not a suggestion. Our Father is instructing us, and following His instructions is prudence. Sadly, we take His instructions as "advice" or suggestions. The commands then become "suggestions" and so we live a life that does not give fruit. And the fruit goes back to the Spirit and the Spirit includes wisdom.

In comes the Lord, the giver of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit to us today "... behold, the Kingdom of God is among you." And He continues to say "... just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day." He is among us. This should be the greatest sensation in the world. And it is, even if you don't know it. He is alive. He somehow, some way, is living among each and every soul. More evident in the willing soul to love Him dearly. I want you then, please, to watch your mouth. Watch your words, read Proverbs 15 again, watch what every word can do in the world. Pope Francis said we need to stop gossiping.

Start spreading good news, THE Good News, God Newness in you, all of "yous" LOL. I can envision two worlds to live in. One is false and dark, and the other is truth and light. I would dare even say something incredible, like, we can start a generation of light that can last 700 years. It is impossible to the negative nay-sayers in the world. But with God, nothing is impossible. Because LOL, even the word impossible spells "I'm Possible". One brother told me that the teenager who took his life was his boss's neighbor and he felt bad saying "I feel like I could've done something". We all feel guilty when something bad happens. I know it happens with me when someone quits a ministry I'm serving alongside with them. I'm like "was it because of me?" But the devil has a funny way of making you feel bad. Rightly so, one of the devil's titles is "the accuser". What can one make of these accusations? Pay attention. There are many realities happening in an accusation. Firstly, consider that something good is going on and therefore bad wants to disrupt it. Secondly, take it as constructive criticism. I hate that we can't tell nobody nothing in our modern day world. The devil gots everyone walking on eggshells. But, we can't spew truth without great love and even greater amounts of prayer and fasting first, lest your truth becomes twisted gossip. Remember: Love comes first.
Our Lord appears and disappears. He always has as long as we live on earth. Be on guard. Be alert. For you do not know when He will appear any day of your life, if not every single day of life. Because I consider every day a new world, and so we must make every day a new gift to our Lord....and make it truly the "present" to be presented.....

Glory To God,

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