Wednesday, September 5, 2018

⛪ I Must Proclaim

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The Perfect Family Does Not Exist

More than anywhere else, the family is where we daily experience our own limits and those of others, the problems great and small entailed in living peacefully with others. A perfect family does not exist. We should not be fearful of imperfections, weakness or even conflict, but rather learn how to deal with them constructively. The family, where we keep loving one another despite our limits and sins, thus becomes a school of forgiveness. A child who has learned in the family to listen to others, to speak respectfully and to express his or her view without negating that of others, will be a force for dialogue and reconciliation in society.

—from the book The Blessing of Family


"Mary was the most perfect among the saints only because she was always perfectly united to the will of God."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

"Walking by faith, let us do good works. In these let there be a free love of God for His own sake and an active love for our neighbor. For there is nothing we can do for God. But because we have something we can do for our neighbor, we shall by our good offices to the needy gain the favor of Him Who is the source of all abundance. Let us then do what we can for others; let us freely bestow upon the needy out of our abundance."
— St. Augustine, p. 144
Augustine Day by Day

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24


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Saint Teresa of Calcutta

(August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997)

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the tiny woman recognized throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor, was beatified October 19, 2003. Among those present were hundreds of Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded in 1950, as a diocesan religious community. Today the congregation also includes contemplative sisters and brothers and an order of priests.

Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia, Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu was the youngest of the three children who survived. For a time, the family lived comfortably, and her father's construction business thrived. But life changed overnight following his unexpected death.

During her years in public school, Agnes participated in a Catholic sodality and showed a strong interest in the foreign missions. At age 18, she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. It was 1928 when she said goodbye to her mother for the final time and made her way to a new land and a new life. The following year she was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. There she chose the name Teresa and prepared for a life of service. She was assigned to a high school for girls in Calcutta, where she taught history and geography to the daughters of the wealthy. But she could not escape the realities around her—the poverty, the suffering, the overwhelming numbers of destitute people.

In 1946, while riding a train to Darjeeling to make a retreat, Sister Teresa heard what she later explained as "a call within a call. The message was clear. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them." She also heard a call to give up her life with the Sisters of Loreto and instead, to "follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor."

After receiving permission to leave Loreto, establish a new religious community, and undertake her new work, Sister Teresa took a nursing course for several months. She returned to Calcutta, where she lived in the slums and opened a school for poor children. Dressed in a white sari and sandals–the ordinary dress of an Indian woman–she soon began getting to know her neighbors—especially the poor and sick—and getting to know their needs through visits.

The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Others helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, and the use of buildings. In 1952, the city of Calcutta gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging, and street people.

For the next four decades, Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor. Her love knew no bounds. Nor did her energy, as she crisscrossed the globe pleading for support and inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 5, 1997, God called her home. Blessed Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.

Mother Teresa's beatification, just over six years after her death, was part of an expedited process put into effect by Pope John Paul II. Like so many others around the world, he found her love for the Eucharist, for prayer, and for the poor a model for all to emulate.


Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Cor 3:1-9

Brothers and sisters,
I could not talk to you as spiritual people,
but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.
I fed you milk, not solid food,
because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now,
for you are still of the flesh.
While there is jealousy and rivalry among you,
are you not of the flesh, and walking
according to the manner of man?
Whenever someone says, "I belong to Paul," and another,
"I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?

What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul?
Ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
He who plants and he who waters are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
For we are God's co-workers;
you are God's field, God's building.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
From his fixed throne he beholds
all who dwell on the earth,
He who fashioned the heart of each,
he who knows all their works.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Alleluia Lk 4:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases
brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God."
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, "To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent."
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.


Meditation: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
View NAB Reading at | Wrong date? Set your time zone

22nd Week in Ordinary Time

We are God's co-workers. (1 Corinthians 3:9)

When you look at a great cathedral, it's natural to feel inspired and lifted up to God. Imagine the decades, even centuries, of hard work and the hundreds of artisans, builders, and laborers who gave their talents to create this beautiful place of worship. Think of all the different strengths and abilities that came together to craft this structure, from those who quarried and carted the stones to those who prepared food for the laborers. Much of their work was hidden, yet each one had an essential role to play.

The kingdom that Jesus is building on earth is far more glorious than the most magnificent cathedral—and he has invited each one of us to work on this project with him. He has invited you.

You may be tempted to think that the more prominent members of the Church—ordained ministers, gifted singers, and trained catechists—are more important, but that's not how God sees it. In his mind, every Christian plays an essential role in his vast intricate plan.

Over the centuries, the Church has been built upon the work of beloved saints, but also upon the efforts of countless unsung heroes. It's built by a prison inmate inviting his cell mate to a Bible study. It's built by a widow praying her Rosary alone in a nursing home. It's built by a mother and father raising their children in the faith. It's built by you! You play a vital role.

Your work can seem inconsequential, but St. Paul has an answer to that: "Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:7). Even when you are doing "mundane" work, God is at work with you. He is behind the scenes, pouring out his grace and blessing. He is blessing you for your faithfulness, and he is blessing the people you are caring for. It's not all about what you do; it's also about what God does, hidden, in the hearts of the people around you.

So keep on building! Whether your role is big or small, hidden or noticeable, it's essential to the construction. You are no less than a co-worker with Christ himself.

"Lord, I want to build your kingdom alongside you. Help me to discern your presence and your blessing in every situation I face today."

Psalm 33:12-15, 20-21
Luke 4:38-44



Saint Paul says "He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor." We are one in this body of Christ. Therefore, it kinda hurts to see someone not laboring for Christ. It kinda hurts to see a loved one just floating along, letting currents take them. You shout and yell for them to paddle this way, but they can't hear, and it seems that the further they drift, the harder it is to hear. But, they remember. They will remember. It is hard to taste Christ and ever forget His Body. His precious Body. His loving Body. For sure one thing connects us...His Spirit and our prayer.

Let us pray: "Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down; he sees all mankind." Our Nation was founded on God. It was people seeking freedom from oppression. Wasn't it? Or was it like here at work, people catch on, learn some things, and then go off and do their own thing? LOL. Same thing in Mexico, independence from Spain which will be celebrated in a few days. Now they do their own thing. What of all this? Foundations on God is the principle. Are we doing our own thing? What about God? Isn't He the founding reason? The Lord looks down and sees all mankind. From beginning to end. His will has already been accomplished. Believe it or not. So what about our will right now? Is it His...too? I certainly hope so.

In comes our Lord: "I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent." and off He went to other towns. Town after town, teaching, preaching, healing, touching, and praying. Always praying. And off he'd go into deserted places to pray, as if to recharge, as if to be one with Him, our Father. How often do you recharge? Mother Teresa of Calcutta was off to a retreat, to recharge in a sense, and then, that's when a life changing experience happened. One time someone asked me what retreat they should go to, and I said to just go to the next one they were invited. It's not so much about the content, but to retreat itself. I don't think people get it. God is there. Just like in the confessional, or in the Adoration chapel, or the Blessed Sacrament. God is there. Like in the places nobody cares to go to. God is there in the deserted places. That's why some people are so inspired by scenic views. God is there. But there is a huge difference in the Sacramental visits. He is there to do something amazing once the two are connected in a special way. Jesus laid hands on people. People were healed. In the Sacraments, hands are laid on you. I have been brought up in a charismatic world of retreats, songs, and dance, and Holy Spirit life. I am not a typical Catholic. I believe in the Holy Spirit in a unique way. Everyone can and is touched by the Holy Spirit once they let themselves be touched. And we need this touch always. They say two babies were studied. One was fed, and the other was not, but the starving baby had the loving touch, held and comforted. Soon the fed baby began to show rapid signs of detriment. His touch means more than food. Yet, He feeds us with Himself, a special touch with double impact.

Are you starving?
Are you spiritually starving?
Are you hungry for more?
I think you are.
God wants to touch you. He wants to hold your hand in the good and the bad. And the bad seems to make us hold His hand tighter. And He loves it.
Why? Because He knows the will He has designed. A will of great good and great love.
Mother Teresa found this out in the poorest of the poor. She had a keen sense, she could spot a person in the garbage. Some even were converted. A few were saved. And millions were impacted. How does this sense come about? It doesn't happen overnight. And it happens with a yes. A call. first the yes. And then the call. Most want a call to say yes. But it is God's will, remember? We must be found in it.....



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