Monday, April 9, 2018

You Will Find Something

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God's Will, Our Reward

With a life in Jesus as our foundation, God's call to us and our ultimate purpose in life tend to look very different. Thinking less about the decisions themselves and more about the life those decisions effect, we realize that what matters most to God is ultimately not what we choose but the amount of love that those decisions create in our lives; where we go to school, what we do for a living, and our familial life matters to God only to the extent that what we choose enables us to live as Christ-like as we can. All that God wills and all that God calls us to be is his adopted sons and daughters. That's it.

—from Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God
franciscan media


The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life."
— St. Thomas Aquinas

"We may have become careless in being faithful to our spiritual commitments such as attendance at daily Mass, our daily time of prayer, spiritual reading, and so on. Or we may have become careless in valuing the gifts God gives us, or in rejecting or dallying with temptation. Or we may have begun to allow distractions, entertainments, and engagement in worldly activities to deaden our hunger for God . . . Dryness experienced as a result of negligence, lukewarmness, and infidelity—and whatever stage of the downward spiral it may have led to—have only one solution: repentance. This dryness is self-induced; the solution to it is to return to fidelity in our spiritual practices."
— Ralph Martin, p.166
The Fulfillment of All Desire

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ... For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
Romans 9:33,36


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Bl. Katarzyna Celestyna (Catherine Celestine) Faron (1913-1944) was born in Zabrzez, Poland. At the age of five she was orphaned and raised by pious, childless relatives. Desiring the religious life, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in 1930. She served in the community as a kindergarten teacher and catechist. After the breakout of World War II she became the leader of her religious house, ran an orphanage, and helped the poor. She was eventually arrested by the Gestapo, charged with conspiracy against the Nazis, and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp on the feast of Epiphany in 1943, where she was assigned to manual labor digging ditches. She praised God in all her suffering and resigned herself to following his will. Due to the poor conditions she developed typhoid fever and tuberculosis. Because she completed the nine First Fridays devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she trusted that she wouldn't die without Holy Communion, as Our Lord promised. On December 8, 1943, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, she received Holy Communion as viaticum which was secretly brought to the camp by a prisoner priest. While on her deathbed she prayed intensely for various intentions on a rosary made of bread. According to witnesses she offered her sufferings for the conversion of a priest who had fallen away from the Church, who later did return to the true Faith. Bl. Katarzyn finally died from her illness on Easter morning. She is one of the 108 beatified Polish Catholic Martyrs killed during World War II by Nazi Germany. Her feast day is April 9th.


Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Reading 1 Is 7:10-14; 8:10

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
"I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means "God is with us!"

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11
R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2 Heb 10:4-10

Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:

"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, 'As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'"

First he says, "Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in."
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, "Behold, I come to do your will."
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Alleluia Jn 1:14ab
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us;
and we saw his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.


Meditation: Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity)

Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you.

"Holy Mary, we are in awe of the grace that God has given you. You said yes to his angel even though you knew so little about how God's plan would work out. Thank you for setting an example of trust in the Lord! I try to manage every detail in my life. I have a hard time trusting that Jesus is in control. Mary, pray that I can trust that God has power over every circumstance that life throws at me.

"Mary, you showed such courage! Though you were aware of the persecution you might experience, you had the courage to accept God's will. Thank you for bravely choosing God's plan despite the danger. I sometimes struggle to be bold in my faith, especially when I fear that people might disapprove of the way I am following your Son. It is often easier to listen to their opinions rather than to stay true to the Lord. Mary, pray for me to have the courage that you had. I want to be brave enough to take the same leap of faith you did.

"Mary, you put aside your own plans to do God's will. Though everything seemed to be set for your future with Joseph, you chose to embrace something new, different, and challenging. Thank you for your selflessness! I can struggle setting aside my plans when I sense that the Lord is calling me to something bigger and better. I want to be more flexible with my time. I want my plans to be the Lord's plans. Mary, pray for me to be open and flexible. Pray that my plans and the Lord's plans would grow to align with each other.

"Mary, at such a young age, you delighted to do God's will! You didn't just accept his plan, you found joy in it—even in those parts of his plan that remained a mystery to you. Thank you for giving us an example of what it means to love and serve God so fully. I find myself reluctant when I am trying to follow God's plan for me. There are times when I want to go another way. Mary, help me to show the same love you showed God in your yes to his angel!

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!"

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Psalm 40:7-11
Hebrews 10:4-10


From the 1st Holy Scripture today:
"...the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us!" Do you think our Lord Jesus had a middle name? Like, Emmanuel? Or is it that Emmanuel is WHO He is...? Because the prophet Isaiah said she would name Him Emmanuel. Indeed, Mother Mary did proclaim this with her life, as you should in yours...proclaim: GOD IS WITH US!

We pray: "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come." What if God said something like "thank you for your time, tithe, and may I please have your heart?" That is what I learned in our Good Friday retreat. A real eye opener. How about this "obedience" then?

In the Holy Gospel, something terrible happens in the world. A special announcement from a special agent from Heaven, an archangel. If an archbishop came and announced something in our little parish, something that would change it permanently, it would be a big deal. Well, this happened for the whole world. Jesus changed the whole world. God did with one word. How important it is to be faithful to the Word. Faithful in being. Not just recognizing. I don't know why I've been pondering the encounters with these angels, like it happened with our Beautiful Mother. Something intriguing, something so amazing that you can't even look straight at the face of the angel. What is this fear? It is like when the Disciples, the Apostles were startled at the revelation of Christ resurrected. They are seized with fear. "What are you?" As if to question "WHO are you?".

By the way, who are YOU anyways?
This questioned is aimed for one reason: does Jesus know you?

Most in our Protestantism world would say "of course" he knows you.
But that is a shallow answer. Let us turn to Mt7
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'
Back to a sacrificial offering.
Our heart.
Mother Mary's heart was offered to God, and THEN the angel appeared. She had, as Sister Anne Emerich said, had been praying to be a part of God's salvation history, to make a true difference in the world, and then, the Archangel appeared. And she would not turn to look at the angel, but would just obey. Humility, true fear of the Lord, blind belief. How many times did our Lord heal the blind? More than were mentioned in the bible. Not everything is stated in the bible. But enough.
You are now on this earth, as was one time the prophets, Mary, Jesus our Lord, and the saints.

In Heaven, prayers are heard. Millions and Trillions of angels exist. Enough to heal the world forever with the message of God. Yet, our Lord says wait.
"Who loves Me?"
"Who are you?"
"Who is this person coming to me?"
Is it the Lord?
Faith will answer the question. And our hearts will burn with the Truth
the Life



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