Friday, June 29, 2018

For Flesh and Blood

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Live Outside the Walls

The two grand basilicas at each end of Assisi, during the lifetimes of Francis and Clare, lay outside the city walls: the Basilica of Saint Francis and the Basilica of Saint Clare. It is fitting that these two great saints of Assisi were buried outside the original city gates. They walked out of the city, a passage through a gate that symbolized their rejection of the commercial values that dominated their city. They "left the world," meaning the values of the city of their birth, to begin the new life that God had shown them among the poor and the rejected who lived beyond the protection of the city walls, those who lived on the margins of the society that Assisi represented.

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality


"Act as if everyday were the last of your life, and each action the last you perform."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

"People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, 'If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing.' I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at this moment is progressing to the one state or the other."
— C. S. Lewis, p. 92
Mere Christianity

"Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."
Hebrews 1:1-3


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Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Saint of the Day for June 29

Peter (d. 64?). Saint Mark ends the first half of his Gospel with a triumphant climax. He has recorded doubt, misunderstanding, and the opposition of many to Jesus. Now Peter makes his great confession of faith: "You are the Messiah" (Mark 8:29b). It was one of the many glorious moments in Peter's life, beginning with the day he was called from his nets along the Sea of Galilee to become a fisher of men for Jesus.

The New Testament clearly shows Peter as the leader of the apostles, chosen by Jesus to have a special relationship with him. With James and John he was privileged to witness the Transfiguration, the raising of a dead child to life, and the agony in Gethsemane. His mother-in-law was cured by Jesus. He was sent with John to prepare for the last Passover before Jesus' death. His name is first on every list of apostles.

And to Peter only did Jesus say, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:17b-19).

But the Gospels prove their own trustworthiness by the unflattering details they include about Peter. He clearly had no public relations person. It is a great comfort for ordinary mortals to know that Peter also has his human weakness, even in the presence of Jesus.

He generously gave up all things, yet he can ask in childish self-regard, "What are we going to get for all this?" (see Matthew 19:27). He receives the full force of Christ's anger when he objects to the idea of a suffering Messiah: "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do" (Matthew 16:23b).

Peter is willing to accept Jesus' doctrine of forgiveness, but suggests a limit of seven times. He walks on the water in faith, but sinks in doubt. He refuses to let Jesus wash his feet, then wants his whole body cleansed. He swears at the Last Supper that he will never deny Jesus, and then swears to a servant maid that he has never known the man. He loyally resists the first attempt to arrest Jesus by cutting off Malchus' ear, but in the end he runs away with the others. In the depth of his sorrow, Jesus looks on him and forgives him, and he goes out and sheds bitter tears. The Risen Jesus told Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep (John 21:15-17).

Paul (d. 64?). If the most well-known preacher today suddenly began preaching that the United States should adopt Marxism and not rely on the Constitution, the angry reaction would help us understand Paul's life when he started preaching that Christ alone can save us. He had been the most pharisaic of Pharisees, the most legalistic of Mosaic lawyers. Now he suddenly appears to other Jews as a heretical welcomer of Gentiles, a traitor and apostate.

Paul's central conviction was simple and absolute: Only God can save humanity. No human effort—even the most scrupulous observance of law—can create a human good which we can bring to God as reparation for sin and payment for grace. To be saved from itself, from sin, from the devil, and from death, humanity must open itself completely to the saving power of Jesus.

Paul never lost his love for his Jewish family, though he carried on a lifelong debate with them about the uselessness of the Law without Christ. He reminded the Gentiles that they were grafted on the parent stock of the Jews, who were still God's chosen people, the children of the promise.

We would probably go to confession to Peter sooner than to any of the other apostles. He is perhaps a more striking example of the simple fact of holiness. Jesus says to us as he said, in effect, to Peter: "It is not you who have chosen me, but I who have chosen you. Peter, it is not human wisdom that makes it possible for you to believe, but my Father's revelation. I, not you, build my Church." Paul's experience of the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus was the driving force that made him one of the most zealous, dynamic, and courageous ambassadors of Christ the Church has ever had. But persecution, humiliation, and weakness became his day-by-day carrying of the cross, material for further transformation. The dying Christ was in him; the living Christ was his life.

Saint Paul is the Patron Saint of:


Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - Mass during the Day

Reading 1 Acts 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
"Get up quickly."
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, "Put on your belt and your sandals."
He did so.
Then he said to him, "Put on your cloak and follow me."
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
"Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
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. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
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. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
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. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
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. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Reading 2 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion's mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Alleluia Mt 16:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


Meditation: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

Saints and Peter and Paul, Apostles (Solemnity)

The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. (2 Timothy 4:18)

Today we celebrate the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. In them we see heroic virtue. In them we see enmity becoming friendship. And perhaps most important, in them we see how someone's yes to God can change, not only their own lives, but the entire course of Christianity.

These two giants in the faith came from completely different backgrounds—one a fisherman, the other a scholar. One walked with Jesus personally for years, and the other encountered him after the resurrection. They didn't always see eye to eye. But their lives and their ministries had remarkable parallels. Their paths were not always easy: both were imprisoned many times. Both were miraculously released from jail (Acts 12, 16). Both dedicated their entire lives to building up the Church. And both were executed as martyrs for the faith.

What united them? They said yes to Jesus. In living out that yes, they strove every day to be faithful to God's call in their lives. And in response to that yes, they experienced God's faithfulness to them every day. As they poured themselves out for Jesus and his mission, shared the gospel with as many people as possible, and willingly suffered in Christ's name, they changed and grew. Each day, they became more and more like Jesus, and the more they became like Jesus, the better equipped they were to do his will in the world.

Take some time today to reflect on Peter and Paul's lives. Let their example show you how saying yes to God makes you more like Christ. Let them show you how your yes equips you to do his will on earth. Like them, you will surely face challenges. But like them, you will also experience God's grace, comfort, and wisdom to help you every step of the way.

Peter and Paul's yes to God changed the course of history. Ours can too! Let's use their feast day to inspire us on our journey.

"Lord, may Peter and Paul inspire me on my journey in faith. Help me to say yes to you today!"

Acts 12:1-11
Psalm 34:2-9
Matthew 16:13-19


Saint Peter our first Pope said: ""Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me .." after he came to his senses. For he had blindly obeyed, and trusted, without question, just did what he was told by the angel, he put on his belt, put on his shoes, put on his cloak and followed. When an angel appears, it is important, extremely important. It goes to show that no gates we put up will keep an angel out. No walls, no cells, no prisons. On our part...we must be faithful indeed.

Let us pray: "The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him. 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." Saint Peter must have only feared God, not men at this point. For by now, He had seen the risen Christ. By now, His was a true promise, a true covenant. A true and contrite heart. And so, an angel appears, as did to Mary, in the quiet cell/room. A light, an angel, and a command. And obedience. And light comes into the world.

In comes our Lord and our light, our salvation: ""Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" In the world, we still have the same answers over and over, "oh he was a great man" and "oh he was a good prophet" and "oh he is a fictional character in a book of morals which none is true". If you ask CCD catholic students this question "But who do you say that Jesus is?" you will get some quiet answers, unsure, insecure, and every once in a while you'll hear the right answer but rarely. And so, they grow up like this. Insecure. Unsure of who He is. And Who He is to you matters to the degree that He matters. For He created matter itself. So what's the matter? When people think of matter, they believe we are talking of physical matter, and so they believe that is all...that matters. But what matters here is essence of being. God is being. Not just a being...but being itself. Blows the mind how this works, but He IS. Be happy you are where you are for that matter! Be joyful. Peter our Pope didn't shed his blood for nothing. Paul converted from killer to saver, didn't give up his life for nothing. They found out what was the matter. The world needs Christ. That's the matter right now.

Therefore, to live for Him is honorable, to die for Him is honorable. And everything in between...for honorable.

And so the question still lingers "Who am I?" Well, what matters is who is asking the question. That is what kills some people. Some think they are gods. Some think they are worthless nothings. Some think they are here for crooked purposes. Some believe they are called to be saints. Who are you any ways? Well, it all begins with "what" am I? I am a creation of God in His image...called to be one in Him, perfect and holy. Then the "who" can slowly begin to be revealed. The "being". Being is everything in eternity. God is everything. Right now, we are a human "being". Right? And then? The matter will change matter. Beyond us how the Eucharist works but this is what matters! What is the Eucharist to you?

The question is answered by responding to "who is Jesus Christ to you".

or Nothing.
If everything, you will die for Him.
If nothing, you will die for self.

And the matter of fact is Love

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

He Taught Them

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Jesus Saves the Whole Human Person

Once we realize that Jesus came to save the entire human person and not just the soul, so much of the worry, stress, and burdens we heap upon ourselves dissipate. Each one of us is an embodied soul. It still confounds me how many devout believers forget this truth of the faith. I will be human for all eternity, my body glorified like Jesus's own body. So I say, why wait? Instead, why not do what Saint Paul suggests in First Corinthians 6:20, and glorify God with our bodies right now? The easiest way to do this is by inviting Christ to share in the whole of my bodily existence.

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


"Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God."
— St. Vincent Ferrer

"And so, in the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of 'birth from the Holy Spirit'. Thus she who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes—by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit—present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: 'Woman, behold your son!'; 'Behold your mother.'"
— Pope St. John Paul II, p. 94
Mary: God's Yes to Man

"For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite."
Isaiah 57:15


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Saint Irenaeus

(c. 130 – c. 202)

The Church is fortunate that Irenaeus was involved in many of its controversies in the second century. He was a student, well trained no doubt, with great patience in investigating, tremendously protective of apostolic teaching, but prompted more by a desire to win over his opponents than to prove them in error.

As bishop of Lyons he was especially concerned with the Gnostics, who took their name from the Greek word for "knowledge." Claiming access to secret knowledge imparted by Jesus to only a few disciples, their teaching was attracting and confusing many Christians. After thoroughly investigating the various Gnostic sects and their "secret," Irenaeus showed to what logical conclusions their tenets led. These he contrasted with the teaching of the apostles and the text of Holy Scripture, giving us, in five books, a system of theology of great importance to subsequent times. Moreover, his work, widely used and translated into Latin and Armenian, gradually ended the influence of the Gnostics.

The circumstances and details about his death, like those of his birth and early life in Asia Minor, are not at all clear.

A deep and genuine concern for other people will remind us that the discovery of truth is not to be a victory for some and a defeat for others. Unless all can claim a share in that victory, truth itself will continue to be rejected by the losers, because it will be regarded as inseparable from the yoke of defeat. And so, confrontation, controversy and the like might yield to a genuine united search for God's truth and how it can best be served.


Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

Reading 1 2 Kgs 24:8-17

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign,
and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.
His mother's name was Nehushta,
daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
He did evil in the sight of the LORD,
just as his forebears had done.

At that time the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
himself arrived at the city
while his servants were besieging it.
Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, together with his mother,
his ministers, officers, and functionaries,
surrendered to the king of Babylon, who,
in the eighth year of his reign, took him captive.
And he carried off all the treasures
of the temple of the LORD and those of the palace,
and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel,
had provided in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had foretold.
He deported all Jerusalem:
all the officers and men of the army, ten thousand in number,
and all the craftsmen and smiths.
None were left among the people of the land except the poor.
He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon,
and also led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon
the king's mother and wives,
his functionaries, and the chief men of the land.
The king of Babylon also led captive to Babylon
all seven thousand men of the army,
and a thousand craftsmen and smiths,
all of them trained soldiers.
In place of Jehoiachin,
the king of Babylon appointed his uncle Mattaniah king,
and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 79:1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9
R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
as food to the birds of heaven,
the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
They have poured out their blood like water
round about Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury them.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name's sake.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Alleluia Jn 14:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.


Meditation: Matthew 7:21-29

Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew. (Matthew 7:25)

As we do from time to time, we wanted to share a reader's testimony for today's meditation:

"Today's Gospel may seem like an unlikely reading for a wedding, but my wife and I were sure that this was the right passage for us. In spite of the blush of young love, we knew our married life would have ups and downs. So we wanted Jesus to be our foundation from the very beginning. And he has been!

"The rain fell. Like many newlyweds, we sometimes struggled to blend very different family traditions. My wife's family relished lively discussions, but mine was more reserved. When dinner conversations got stormy and led to hurt feelings, we tried to remember that we were forming a new family with Jesus as our foundation. Did we sometimes still feel offended? Of course. But we tried to let Paul's words from Philippians 2:3 guide us: 'Humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.'

"The floods came. I was in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, when a jetliner crashed into the building. I escaped unharmed, but the attack filled me with fear. Would God really take care of our family? As we grappled with these questions, we found strength in Romans 8:28— the promise that 'all things work together for good' has become a refrain for our family.

"The winds blew. Sending kids out into the world can whip your emotions around like a strong wind. "Is this the best place for our child? Can she afford to live on her own?" As we prayed, the same Scripture passage kept coming up: 'After three days they found him in the temple' (Luke 2:46). So when our son decided to go to school halfway across the country, we hung onto that truth: God was calling each of our kids, and even if they went on different paths, they would find him in the end.

"The house did not collapse. We've been married more than twenty years now. Things haven't always been picture-perfect, but we keep trying to trust Jesus. His word has helped us so far, and we're confident it will in the future."

"Jesus, you help us weather the storms of life. Keep us on your firm foundation."

2 Kings 24:8-17
Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9



"He deported all Jerusalem" we heard in the first Holy Scripture. The king took over the king. One exiled the other. Why? Because, it is said that the poor king was a bad king, had taken on the bad habits of those who went before him. They were all kicked out of "Jerusalem". Where God came to reclaim. And the bible speaks of the new Jerusalem. Heaven. And this is where we are to aim, our whole of life is geared towards this...isn't it? But, like many of my songs I write say, "what good what it be to go without you?". And here I am once again, reaching out to you. I want you there with me! I love you so much that THAT's what I want for you. Who loves like that? I shall not lose anyone the Father has given me to love and to hold.

Let's pray: " For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us. Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low." The whole of Mass is beautiful. Discover its beauty. At the core and center, are angels worshiping God, and God is at the center of the banquet. This is a heavenly glimpse. Very real. What you can not see in Mass is what the Spirit can see and desires...God. What do I see when I go to daily Mass? I look around, typically the same handful goes. Do I see God? I go, I pray, I lose focus, I refocus, the guitar I play. What do I see with these human eyes? My eyes see a priest, and what he holds in his precious hands, the precious body of Christ, that blessed those very hands. So precious to love and to hold. A love so quiet, yet so bold. So what do I see? I see what an offering does, an offering of love. One who gives his life, and the other life as a whole. I've been seeing something I've not seen eternity extending itself before me. And the most beautiful prayers start flowing from my heart and not from my teeth out, "Lord have mercy on me".

In comes our Lord: ""Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." And to reiterate the last words there He says again ""Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock." And funny how he called Peter the Rock. Listen and act. Make the Word come alive. If the Eucharist enters me, the Word enters me, I am to make Christ come alive, aren't I? A sincerity of love. Sure you can go to church...AND? Sure you can drive out demons...AND? What about it? Sure you can prophesy....AND? So what? Sure you can heal others in His name....AND? What do you want? A reward? As if to say, these actions deserve Heaven? WRONG.
Why? Why is it so wrong? Because, our Lord said "Get AWAY from Me! you EVILDOER! " As if a Father cried rending His garments. "What I want, you will not give!" I always compare this, a child grows up, life becomes busy, with work and family, and the child puts the parent in the nursing home. There, safely tucked away, the child pays money to keep them there, so the child offers money.
The child talks nicely about the father in the nursing home, yet hardly visits except a few times a year.
The child claims the father is loved. Meanwhile, the father thinks "what happened to my child?" My child no longer loves me, that child I held in my arms, and suffered for all those years. My child no longer loves me. I don't know who this person is! That's not the child I gave life to. That is not the child I knew many years ago. Get away from me! "

So it is with Our Father.
He gave us everything loved us and suffered for us.
And many of us have Him tucked away in a "special place".
That place is one of torment. I briefly visit a friend weekly in a nursing home. It is more of a hospital setting, nurses in and out, I have heard loud yells for help, nobody comes, they go on ignored. "Help Me" the forgotten yell, and the child is nowhere to be seen. "MIJA!" (My daughter) one yelled until he passed away in the nursing home. Imagine our Father, how we treat Him. Many don't go see Him but a few times a year. Many send donations, or tithe to church. Your money is nice. But it's not your heart. Your time is nice, but it is not your heart. Your actions are nice, but they are not your heart.
The 10 virgins waited for the groom. 5 were foolish. 5 were wise. The wise were ready. The foolish were not. The groom locks the door to the banquet room and tells the foolish "I don't know you".
They say sin disfigures the soul. You become a stranger to Him. That is hell. To live without God and God not knowing you. To "know" in the old age meant intimacy. Virgin Mary said "how can this be since I do not know man". She had promised to be a virgin forever. She was wise. They say the Eucharist is the most intimate thing you can do with Christ.
How sad it'd be to be having an affair and claim to love with all your heart...this Christ?
We have many loves to choose from in the world.
It'd be sad if you love yourself more than He.
It'd be more than sad, it'd be foolish.
Love God with all your heart, mind, strength, your soul. And only then will you begin to take the Way, the right path, the little forgotten path.
A deacon said he took care of his father, changed his pampers, suffered the results of an elderly man with dementia. He took care of him when nobody else would. He did not send him to a nursing home and paid a great sacrifice. I said to him one day after school of leaders, "that cross was a gift from God" it unites our love intimately. You will get to know God more by taking to this love. Fans say they know their idols. They meet and the idol knows nothing about the fan, yet the fan swears they know their idol. The idol will dismiss the fan as fanatic wacko and turns and walks away. This is how it is with God. If you don't personally spend time with Him in church, in study groups, in prisons, in hospitals, in the slums of the world, if you don't make the personal effort to meet him even in the needy of a home, He will never know you! Get involved.
Get heavily involved.
Get your hands dirty.
The ways of the world are deteriorating. A new sun is arising.

A new light is awaiting. A fresh love awaits. And it glimpses through these narrow slits, eyes of the soul. God is calling

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