Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ransom For Many

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Loved Beyond Words

Mary believes in you. She believes in you, and she loves you more than you can imagine. You are special to her, and for that reason, she is always by your side whether you are aware of it or not. She knows the joy of being a child of God and she wants you to experience that same joy. Mary wants you to feel as though you are a child of God, loved and cherished by him.

—from Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace


"We are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has worked, we too have but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also."
— St. John Neumann

"When he was younger, St. Martin of Tours dedicated himself to military service. When he heard the call of Christ, he realized that his call was to fight a spiritual battle. His armor and weapons were vitrue and a life guided by the Spirit of God. Do I consider my spiritual life to be a type of battle against the forces of evil?"
— Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM, p.164
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

"Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord, the Lord lightens my darkness. By you I can crush a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him."
2 Samuel 22:29-31


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Saint Joan of Arc

(January 6, 1412 – May 30, 1431)

St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was born in Domremy, France to peasant farmers during the Hundred Years War between France and England. She was a pious child, and from age 13 she received visions of saints, most notably St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret of Antioch, and St. Catherine of Alexandria, who became her special patrons. Through these visions, voices, and other interior promptings, Joan understood that she was to help the King of France regain his throne. After overcoming her own reluctance, and that of the military and ecclesiastical authorities, she heroically led the French army in battle. With her leadership they recaptured Orleans and Troyes, which allowed Charles VII to be restored to the throne of France. All the while she wore the dress of a soldier to protect her virtue and modesty. The following year she was captured by the English, imprisoned, and placed on trial under accusation of heresy and witchcraft. She was treated unjustly and illegally during her captivity, and her trial became a circus. Under political pressure she was condemned and burned alive at the stake, even though she proved herself to be blameless and fearless in character and faith. As she burned she kept her eyes on a crucifix and repeatedly called on the name of Jesus. A second Church trial twenty-five years later nullified the earlier verdict and found her innocent of all charges, paving the way for her veneration as a saint. St. Joan of Arc is the patron saint of captives, rape victims, soldiers, and France. Her feast day is May 30th.

Saint Joan of Arc is the Patron Saint of:
Military Members


Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Pt 1:18-25

Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious Blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished Lamb.
He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

Since you have purified yourselves
by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love,
love one another intensely from a pure heart.
You have been born anew,
not from perishable but from imperishable seed,
through the living and abiding word of God, for:

"All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers,
and the flower wilts;
but the word of the Lord remains forever."
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Mk 10:45
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man cane to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:32-45

The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise."

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
"Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?"
They answered him,
"Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."
Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"
They said to him, "We can."
Jesus said to them, "The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared."
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
"You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Meditation: Mark 10:32-45

The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life. (Mark 10:45)

According to an old Chinese proverb, "If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody."

Similarly, St. Francis of Assisi said that it is in giving that we receive. Leo Tolstoy said that the sole meaning of life is to serve humanity. Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." Robert Louis Stevenson said, "You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving." And best of all, Pope Francis said, "Christ leads us to go out from ourselves more and more, to give ourselves and to serve others."

The value of giving ourselves—our time, talents, and money—is not just a nice proverb or a word of encouragement from a well-known figure. Research tells us that giving is a powerful means to personal growth and happiness. MRI technology has shown that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. The research shows that when we help someone who is in need, we ourselves experience deep pleasure. Not to mention, countless psychological tests reveal that the more generous a person is, the healthier and more productive he or she is.

Mother Teresa has told us, "It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." Many of us have limited money. But every little bit helps. We can all find a dollar a week to give away. We all have 168 hours in each week. Rich or poor, sick or healthy, we can all find some spare time to care for someone. Sacrificing our time and our money with a pure heart is the "much love" that Mother Teresa was speaking about.

Many people will say, "I am willing to give if I get something in return." But this kind of conditional giving limits the happiness we will experience. If we try to give in a way that imitates Jesus' generosity, we'll be a lot more content. In fact, we'll become a lot more like Jesus, who was the happiest, most peaceful person ever. So be Christlike! Be generous!

"Lord, help me be a cheerful giver like you."

1 Peter 1:18-25
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20



Saint Peter our first leader, said "...Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. You have been born anew...".

Let us pray: "He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
Praise the Lord, Jerusalem." Praise the Lord all you peoples! You praise the Lord! I must praise the Lord! Why? Because these words reached you, that's why, and it is good!

In comes our Lord: "the Son of Man
will be handed over...they will condemn him to death... will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death..." and what comes out of the mouths of some followers? They ask if they can sit by the throne of glory! WHAT? Why are we thinking of ourselves? Jesus has just said he's about to be tortured and we are wondering how we can sit pretty?

He asks them if they'll endure what He endures. They say yes. And they did. I must give credit though. These men and their momma weren't afraid to ask big. They knew they could ask for anything. But God says something powerful. He says "it has been prepared". There have already been seats appointed at the right and left of Jesus. They are, I would say, the Trinity. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Son is the center from our viewpoint. But the three are one. One in the Spirit. One in the Father. Oneness is everything. Therefore, if you learn to give, you become one. Jesus said "whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant". What's great about being a leader? I am a leader many times in various things, work, home, church. As a matter of fact, sometimes I think I am a born leader. I am the oldest of 4 children. I am the first to learn many things and therefore, I teach many things. But what I have learned the most from is Jesus our Lord is how to be a true leader. I am in the "school of leaders" for cursillos. I am in our pastoral council at church. I am a general manager at work. I am the father and husband at home. I am leader even on the guitar for choir. I lead alot! But the most important thing I've learned is this: the more of a leader I become, the more of a servant I become, let's say...slave!
At work: I wear more and more hats, the more of a leader, the more I have to do. It's not like you climb up and do less. That's wrong, to care less. You need to care more. That's what God wants.
At home: I believe my wife is the leader, I do try to lead, but she wears more hats, homeschool teacher, wife, mother, cleaner of everything. It takes a greater heart, and this role is extremely critical. For the home is the nucleus of structure of life. This is where most evil attacks happen, through tv, social media, extracurricular activities, problems, too busy to be a family. A 2nd grader wrote to her teacher "the worst invention out there is the cell phone, I hate it, I wish my mother didn't have one". We look away from our kids and tune into other things, don't we?

At church: The heart of the matter: Jesus. This is the focus of my life, or it should be anyway. How easy, in many ministries, does the focus go to other things, rumors, divisions, factions, nonsensical whims, chasing rabbits that never get caught and are distractions. Lose this focus, and you could lose your family, friends, and work. Your focus gets lost and everything else goes with it.

So once again, to lead, is to serve. And let's take it one step further:
Who are you serving? Christ.
What are you serving? Love
Who is Love? God!



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