Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Who has dipped

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Kiss the Cross of Christ

Jesus calls us to follow him on his own path of humiliation. When at certain moments in life we fail to find any way out of our difficulties, when we sink in the thickest darkness, it is the moment of our total humiliation, the hour in which we experience that we are frail and are sinners. It is precisely then, at that moment, that we must not deny our failure but rather open ourselves trustingly to hope in God, as Jesus did.

Dear brothers and sisters, this week it will do us good to take the crucifix in hand and kiss it many, many times and say: Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord. So be it.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek
franciscan media


"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits."
— St. Philip Neri

"True strength is not found in being stubborn or arrogant. It is found in allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in one's heart so that one might be open to the Spirit's promptings. It is that Spirit Who frees us from our selfishness, for the Spirit reminds us that God is supposed to be the center of who we are and what we do."
— Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p. 20
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows."
Matthew 10:29-31


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Saint Catharine of Bologna

(September 8, 1413 -March 9, 1463 )

Saint Catharine of Bologna's Story
Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity.

Born in Bologna, Catharine was related to the nobility in Ferrara, and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures.

At the age of 17, she joined a group of religious women in Ferrara. Four years later, the whole group joined the Poor Clares in that city. Jobs as convent baker and portress preceded her selection as novice mistress.

In 1456, she and 15 other sisters were sent to establish a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. As abbess, Catharine worked to preserve the peace of the new community. Her reputation for holiness drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She was canonized in 1712. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Catharine of Bologna is May 9.

Appreciating Catharine's life in a Poor Clare monastery may be hard for us. "It seems like such a waste," we may be tempted to say. Through prayer, penance, and charity to her sisters, Catharine drew close to God. Our goal is the same as hers, even if our paths are different.

Saint Catharine of Bologna is the Patron Saint of:


Wednesday of
Holy Week

Reading 1 Is 50:4-9a

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34
R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother's sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Verse Before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel Mt 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."


Meditation: Isaiah 50:4-9

Wednesday of Holy Week

He opens my ear that I may hear. (Isaiah 50:4)

Let's start with a few true or false questions for parents.

True or False: When my children come to me with a problem, I listen briefly, then I either make a joke or change the topic—anything to take their minds off of it.

True or False: When my children share their problems with me, I tell them not to worry; everything will turn out all right.

True or False: When my children tell me they are troubled, I immediately try to give some helpful suggestions.

If you answered, "True" to any of these questions, you may need to work on your listening skills. Studies have shown that responses like the ones above tend to be unhelpful in the long run. They may offer quick solutions, but they can also keep your children from opening up about what is truly bothering them.

One of the most important jobs any parent faces is to become a loving, careful listener. Listening tells your children that they are important to you. It tells them that you care for them. Listening carefully also helps you to suspend your own agenda and judgments for a bit so that you can put yourself in their shoes.

Just as he did for the prophet in today's first reading, God is always ready to open our ears, both to him and to the children he has given us. At the same time, he is asking us to work with him so that we can become good listeners. Here are a few steps to consider:

Pay attention to your children. Look for signs in their conversations and their actions that may point to a struggle they are having.

When you sense that your child is stressed out, upset, withdrawn, or more aggressive, ask them what is wrong, and then listen. Avoid quick responses. Don't interrupt, redirect, or try to smooth things over.

Try your best to hear both what they are saying and what they are trying to say. Pay attention also to what they are not saying.

If your children get the sense that you are really listening, they will feel comfortable talking more. And as they talk, they're more likely to find answers on their own—answers that bring them closer to the Lord.

"Lord, help me to listen closely—to you and to my loved ones."

Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25


"Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back." One thing runs across as I meditate and pray for our Lord to speak; one thing for sure we can teach by faithfulness. People are watching your faithfulness, how will you react to your failures and humiliations? People are watching to see if you fizzle out or burn for love of God. And I pray you are the light of the Son. I do pray for you, always. It is a strange world, where, we are free, and then told that God died for us, and God is here, and has come, and will come again...but most important, here is now.

"Lord, in your great love, answer me. I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:" Songs, I also thought of, what a strange thing, always been around, always will be. Songs seem to carry out, sometimes for centuries a particular message, a type of living. Songs lift spirits. Singing. I've seen it at the nursing home, I play my guitar and sing at Mass at the nursing home, and these people are so moved that it moves me. Once, as I walked the halls, an elderly lady in a wheelchair stopped me to ask me about my singing, and she said she could hear me in the halls and she so enjoyed it. I thought, how strange, how can you hear through these halls and walls. Surely it was an angel speaking, with the gift of encouraging. Surely the message comes from our Lord.

In comes our Lord, and says ""My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples." Read again "in your house I shall celebrate". Who let the disciples celebrate with Jesus in his home? Can it be you? Will you open your home? A couple hours ago, our safety guy said after our safety meeting that he has been doing the "via crucis" (way of the cross) and asked if I'd been doing it. I said yes, every Friday we do it at Church. He seemed a little baffled, and explained that he and a few others have been assigned "streets" to go do the "via crucis". Apparently this group goes down streets knocking on doors asking if they can pray the way of the cross with families. Some accept, some reject, some won't let inside the home but they pray outside in the front yard.

So can the Lord come in when He comes knocking? A life changing event happens. The first Holy Mass transpired this way. He offers Himself before the cross. He says "DO THIS in remembrance of Me". And as Catholics, we have been doing this since that day, until He comes again. It is a Holy Covenant, a pact, a promise, a swearing, a life, a whole life offering.

Jesus said "... woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed'. Forget Judas, read this for yourself. Woe to me if I betray Jesus.

Woe to me if I reject Him, close the door on Him, not let Him in my home, which means my heart, my life, my everything.
God will find a home to enter.

Our rejections are many. Simply sin, and take part in sin, and you have rejected Him. This is why in Mass we plea for Mercy over and over again.
Holy week is upon us.
What makes it holy? Jesus?

I told everyone in our safety meeting "la salvacion esta en cada uno de ustedes" (the salvation is in each one of you). Why did I say this? Because, with our willing spirit, we can help save our home, household, and lives that we cherish...if you truly love




Wednesday of Holy Week

"Sinners who have recovered the grace that they
had lost have three reasons for being full of
joy. They should rejoice that they did not die in
their sins and face everlasting punishment. They
should be glad because they have been restored
to God's favor though they merited it not. They
should rejoice that they will be brought to glory if
they persevere in this new-found friendship."

Anthony of Padua was constantly challenging
people who thought they were following a path to
freedom but who were, in fact, moving away from
God. They had come to regard their sins as "no big
deal." Only repentance could put them back on the
right track.

Praying with Saint Anthony

Lord, help us to see our lives as you see them—and
make whatever changes are needed.

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