Thursday, January 11, 2018

Publicize the whole matter

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Rejoice with the Angels

O God, who created beings both visible and invisible, we praise you for the service and protection of your angels. Through the intercession of your archangel Raphael, guide us on our journey and guard us on our way. We pray for your merciful cure upon those mst in need of the care of your angel Raphael, and we implore your healing from all our afflictions in body, mind, and spirit. May we rejoice with all your angels and saints as we praise your glory forever. Amen.

–from the book Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions by Stephen J. Binz


"Love takes up where knowledge leaves off."
— St. Thomas Aquinas

"You judge me, O Lord, for, although no one 'knows the things of a man but the spirit of man which is in him,' there is something further in man which not even that spirit of man which is in him knows. But you, Lord, who made him, know all things that are in him. Although I despise myself before your sight, and account myself but dust and ashes, yet I know something of you which I do not know about myself. In truth, 'we see now through a glass in a dark manner,' and not yet 'face to face.' ... Let me confess, then, what I know about myself. Let me confess also what I do not know about myself, since that too which I know about myself I know because you enlighten me. As to that which I am ignorant of concerning myself, I remain ignorant of it until my 'darkness shall be made as the noonday in your sight.'"
— St. Augustine, p. 197
The Confessions of Saint Augustine

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16


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Pope St. Hyginus (d. 142 A.D.) was born in Athens, Greece, and became the ninth successor to the Chair of St. Peter. He reigned as pope for four years from about 138-142 A.D. Many of the details of his life have not been preserved, although various actions are credited to him: defending the Catholic faith against the Gnostic heresy which spread in Rome; beginning the practice of including godparents at infant baptisms to help the newborn child receive a Christian upbringing; and decreeing that all churches must be consecrated. Pope St. Hyginus is buried near the tomb of St. Peter on Vatican Hill. It is uncertain whether he became a martyr under the persecutions of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. His feast day is January 11.


Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Sm 4:1-11

The Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel.
Israel went out to engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer,
while the Philistines camped at Aphek.
The Philistines then drew up in battle formation against Israel.
After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines,
who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield.
When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said,
"Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today
by the Philistines?
Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh
that it may go into battle among us
and save us from the grasp of our enemies."

So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there
the ark of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned upon the cherubim.
The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of God.
When the ark of the LORD arrived in the camp,
all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth resounded.
The Philistines, hearing the noise of shouting, asked,
"What can this loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?"
On learning that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,
the Philistines were frightened.
They said, "Gods have come to their camp."
They said also, "Woe to us! This has never happened before. Woe to us!
Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods?
These are the gods that struck the Egyptians
with various plagues and with pestilence.
Take courage and be manly, Philistines;
otherwise you will become slaves to the Hebrews,
as they were your slaves.
So fight manfully!"
The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated;
every man fled to his own tent.
It was a disastrous defeat,
in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers.
The ark of God was captured,
and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the dead.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25
R. (27b) Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
Yet now you have cast us off and put us in disgrace,
and you go not forth with our armies.
You have let us be driven back by our foes;
those who hated us plundered us at will.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
You made us the reproach of our neighbors,
the mockery and the scorn of those around us.
You made us a byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
Why do you hide your face,
forgetting our woe and our oppression?
For our souls are bowed down to the dust,
our bodies are pressed to the earth
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.

Alleluia See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 1:40-45

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
"I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.


Meditation: Mark 1:40-45

He stretched out his hand. (Mark 1:41)

In Jesus' day, skin diseases like leprosy had a profound effect on people's relationships. Considered unclean and even contagious, lepers were cast out of their homes and villages. They were forced to keep their distance from anyone healthy. They could never spend time with their friends or embrace their children. They were alone, isolated.

Most of us have probably not experienced this kind of physical isolation, but we might have felt other kinds of isolation. Maybe we feel that no one understands us or our struggles. Or maybe we feel unworthy of God's love—or of the love of other people—because of past sins. But whatever isolation we may feel, Jesus wants to come to us and touch us, just as he did this fellow.

Imagine how he must have felt: separated from all he held dear, struggling under the common assumption that his sins had caused his disease. It's impressive that he even drew the courage to approach Jesus. "If you wish, you can make me clean," he says (Mark 1:40). He has no doubt that Jesus can heal him; he just isn't sure that Jesus wants to do it. You can imagine the thoughts behind his request: "I know you can make me clean, but you probably don't want to. You probably look at me with the same revulsion that my neighbors have toward me. I don't blame you if you decide to pass me by."

Of course, Jesus will have none of this. He stretches out his hand, touches the man, and heals him—both physically and spiritually. Through that one gesture of physical contact, he removes the man's disease and welcomes him back into his community. This man's heart must have thrilled at Jesus' embrace. At last, he felt like he belonged again!

Jesus says the same thing to us. "Of course I want to touch you and embrace you. Of course you belong. Of course you're good enough. Yes, I know you have sins and challenges to deal with, but so does everyone else. You're no different. Come, let me touch you and hold you close."

Jesus is always ready to touch us, to soothe our fears, to heal our guilty conscience. He is always ready to welcome us into his embrace. What a generous Savior we have!

"Jesus, I need your touch today."

1 Samuel 4:1-11
Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25



The First Holy Scripture had the people asking ""Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines?" And the answer is soon to come. They said go "...fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh
that it may go into battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies." Whoa! What kind of reverence was that? What kind of honor and glory to our Lord was that? "Go fetch him" they said. But wait.
Isn't that how you are? You ask "why" and you cry. And then you go for Him in your time of need. And then? You forget. You go back to your sinful self. And the vicious circle begins and regenerates when you come begging on your knees....
"The ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the dead." Why? The answer is revealed in time, and in healing, and in God's time of conquering.

Let us pray: "Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy. Why do you hide your face, forgetting our woe and our oppression? For our souls are bowed down to the dust, our bodies are pressed to the earth" Redeem us...there is no mercy without God...

In the Holy Gospel our Lord is approached by a man on his knees. The suffering soul was cast for a long time...suffering loneliness, can't even go to church to pray, can't feel anybody touch Him, been years. Watch this: ""If you wish, you can make me clean." Let me repeat: "if YOU wish". Not as I wish. If God wills. So often we say "see you later" or "see you tomorrow", and your response? It should be "Lord willing". This is a stark difference of using God for convenience. This is my own battle and daily struggle. Am I using Him? What does this ask? It asks "am I truly grateful? I read tons of reflections and today a spanish one said:
"Sometimes I think that if we are not better it is because we lack awareness of all the good received. Of what others and God through life have done for us. Knowing that no life is perfect. "From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks".
I invite you to think about everything you have received today. And that, from there, like the person of the Gospel, thank you. He led him to proclaim it to others. To you, what can it take you?
You have a good day.
Jesus forgives/heals. Jesus commands don't tell anyone. Jesus says "but go, show yourself to the priest". 3 impossible things.

1.) A healing of an incurable disease of that age. God does the impossible.
2.) He commands silence. Asking for the impossible from us. How can you walk into a church once a leper and cast off and expect not to say anything? Indeed, God puts us on the spot, doesn't He? And so, the whole world realizes what God has done, but fail many fail to see God in Jesus. Silence. Silence, the Pope, Pope Francis is asking for more silence in the Mass. Indeed, there should be moments of silence, like after the liturgy of the Word, after the homily, and after Holy Communion. Why? So God can speak for once. This is the beauty of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. God is there in total silence. And He speaks heart to heart.
3.) Show yourself to the priest. Why? Because God said so. Penance, a reconciliation into this community affair called His Holy Church. To be reunited. This is a heavenly reality. Show yourself, bring your sins. The other day, a worker brought in a little light bulb to me for one of our trucks. We go into a little room (tool room) and there, I trade a new one for his old one broken one. God wants a new life for you, bring your broken self to Him now.
So was it disobedience or God's plan? What good came out of 34,000 slaughtered soldiers in the first scripture? Wait for it. Soon enough a little shepherd conquers all...
All of your heart, all to a willing soul. How often do we desire a love's soul to be converted, right? A husband I know nowadays desires his wife to convert to be catholic, and for years and years they go to Sunday Mass and nothing.
I know the secret, and I will tell you how to convert must first convert.
Thank you for your prayers yesterday; I told people at the funeral services I spoke at " must be the change you want to see". Is it a dark world? Yeah? And? What about you being a light?

I am going long here, and I got to go sing at a funeral shortly, but I got to add this little happening. A couple days ago, I went to daily Mass about 35 miles from my town, a usual trip to the big city for parts. It was kind of full, different faces, like a Saturday Mass we went many unfamiliar faces in a different city. Anyhow. I walk in. I find a seat behind a little old nun. Staunch face. Short, blocky stature. I look at her. And again I look. And the thoughts hit, what of this life she has chosen? She is so stiff, look at her, so zoomed in, not looking around, unlike me. Strange. Devoted and consecrated. No family of her own, probably far away from blood family. But she is there. I told my group reunion brothers, "she came to me as a vision of a guiding post", one of those mile markers showing the way. "Here this Way". Devoted to the post. It was inspiring. God knows why. That's all I need to know. He also knows, when, where, and what! My life is to be focused on the guiding light and therefore guide more like that...this Way...



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