Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I Am Coming To You

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Love Boldly

I was very moved when, after Mass, I visited a home for children without families. How many people work in the Church to make that home a family! This is what it means, in a prophetic sense, to build a family.

You may be poor yourselves in material ways, but you have an abundance of gifts to offer when you offer Christ and the community of his Church. Do not hide your faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into the world and offer the witness of your family life!

—from The Blessing of Family: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis
franciscan media


"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them, every day begin the task anew."
— St. Francis de Sales

"Let us not fancy that if we cry a great deal we have done all that is needed—rather we must work hard and practice the virtues: that is the essential—leaving tears to fall when God sends them, without trying to force ourselves to shed them. Then, if we do not take too much notice of them, they will leave the parched soil of our souls well watered, making it fertile in good fruit; for this is the water which falls from Heaven. ... I think it is best for us to place ourselves in the presence of God, contemplate His mercy and grandeur and our own vileness and leave Him to give us what He will, whether water or drought, for He knows best what is good for us; thus we enjoy peace and the devil will have less chance to deceive us."
— St. Teresa of Avila, p.147
Interior Castle

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God."
Job 19:25-26


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Saint Isidore the Farmer

(1070 – May 15, 1130)

Isidore has become the patron of farmers and rural communities. In particular, he is the patron of Madrid, Spain, and of the United States National Rural Life Conference.

When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint—Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child.

Isidore had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long.

He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore's supplying them miraculously with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals.

He died May 15, 1130, and was declared a saint in 1622, with Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as "the five saints."

Many implications can be found in a simple laborer achieving sainthood: Physical labor has dignity; sainthood does not stem from status; contemplation does not depend on learning; the simple life is conducive to holiness and happiness. Legends about angel helpers and mysterious oxen indicate that his work was not neglected and his duties did not go unfulfilled. Perhaps the truth which emerges is this: If you have your spiritual self in order, your earthly commitments will fall into order also. "[S]eek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness," said the carpenter from Nazareth, "and all these things will be given you besides" (Matthew 6:33).

Saint Isidore the Farmer is the Patron Saint of:


Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 20:17-27

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
"You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God's grace.

"But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 68:10-11, 20-21
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
Your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 17:1-11a

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
"Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

"I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you."


Meditation: Acts 20:17-27

I am not responsible for the blood of any of you. (Acts 20:26)

What a poignant meeting this must have been between St. Paul and the believers in Ephesus. He had lived and worked with them for three years, and they had become dear to his heart. But now he had come to say goodbye. There were embraces and tears, sadness and hope. Doesn't it strike you as odd—and maybe a little bit cold—that Paul would end this emotional encounter by washing his hands of responsibility for them?

Maybe it would help if we looked at this story from a different angle. Given Paul's history with the Ephesians, it's not possible to imagine him just walking away. What Paul is doing here, rather, is placing them in the hands of the Lord. Looking back over his time with them, he probably saw ways he could have done better, so he commended them to Jesus with the prayer that he would make up for any lack on Paul's part. In the end, Paul was at peace with what he did and didn't do. He refused to rehearse what might have been and directed his gaze to the future instead.

What a valuable lesson for those times when we look back over our lives! We fret over how this or that situation worked out. We worry whether we did or said enough. But worrying never helps. All we can do is ask whether we were trying to say yes to God—and leave the rest to him.

Ultimately, God is the One who is in control. We can entrust our friends and families to him because we know that God cares about them. We know that he loves them and will see them through every peak and valley in their lives long after we are gone.

Is what we do important? Yes, but it isn't all up to us. God is above everything, and we can't always see what fruit will come from our words or actions. So take a lesson from St. Paul. Trust that as you are trying to be faithful to what God is asking, he will take care of the rest.

"Lord, I put my family and friends into your hands. Help me to be faithful to you and trust you to take care of them."

Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
John 17:1-11



"... the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God's grace." The Holy Spirit told Saint Paul that hardships and more was awaiting him...especially if he went to Jerusalem, the center where prophets were killed. The very place our Lord Jesus would be hung after being tortured. It is as if Jesus had come in the Holy Spirit and went back to Jerusalem through Saint Paul. He keeps coming back! He keeps trying. He keeps trying to show the world, I AM here. I AM in action through my faithful. I AM the ministry, I AM bearing witness, I AM the Gospel of Grace! I AM...alive!

So we pray: " Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. Blessed day by day be the Lord, who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation. God is a saving God for us; the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death." When Abram and Isaac went up the mountain, Isaac bore the wood (think of the cross) for the sacrifice. Abram (think of God the Father) sacrificing His only son. Abram was stopped by an angel. He was told "God Will Provide". And He did. A couple thousand years later, Jesus is provided. And here we are a couple thousands years later after that, and now who will provide the covenant promise to be kept with God? Me? God needs someone to give to...His promise. To do His part, is it you?

In comes our Lord:

"Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God".

Mary said to the Archangel: But how can this be since I do not "know " man?

This meant, she was not intimate, and had even promised to be a virgin for God. Intimacy. She was intimate with God, and she got pregnant with His only Son on earth. Light from light. Watch what God does with a willing and holy soul.
"I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do."
My child, give glory to GOD! He gives work, and this work is an honor. Take this forever with you, "God's work, is an honor". It is ultimately, a cross. A gift. Work. I wonder always, what "work " God has for us in Heaven. I really do wonder this. Will they need a gardener? A housekeeper? I'm getting good at sweeping, I sweep sand off my driveway weekly, wheelbarrows and tractor loads full at times with the help of other men. I told a brother in Christ "you know, I was thinking as I was sweeping the other hasn't rained much and I do pray for rain, but, I see this sweeping as a blessing opportunity, it gives me physical work to do, and it is good". My wheelbarrow fell apart, wore out, time for another, for more work. What will God need in the new world? I don't care. Because He told us this today "Eternal life is this, knowing God". Being intimate with Him. What does scripture say about Heaven? It says several things. We need to have education on Heaven. We need to have a goal in our lives. LOL, I studied business in a university. There's only a couple things that stuck to me, one of them being "strategic planning". The other thing was how much I disliked theories especially in economics, LOL.

But we do have to have a plan, a work plan. Take today's saint, Isidore, we know his plan was to see his only son in Heaven, the son he had lost as a child. Again, be intimate with our Lord. Intimately in love. Know Him. Scripture brings Him to life, but you know what does even more? Real life, real love. Theologians who don't practice faith are like fat cows who do not expend energy. And those who are pious and don't know books, like today's saint, they know much more, of this intimacy that people read about. This eternal life begins now.
You have read this far to know; To know Him more. To know what awaits us if we finish the race, finish the course as Saint Paul says today. He writes the scriptures with his blood. If I have a testimony for you it is because I have lived for God, testified to God. Faith is action, because love is action. There's a song that says "God is on the move" and this is eternally true. There is a burning furnace of charity in Heaven. Offerings are made on earth and they help fuel the fire. What fuels it? What gives light? Ultimately God does...Love does.
God is moved. To tears. To giving life again. To going to Jerusalem, that place most fear. That place where God belongs. On top of the world, foremost in our hearts...



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