Monday, September 10, 2018

⛪They Became Enraged

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Live as Jesus Lived

The New Evangelization calls us to open our eyes to those who might say they have no one. Most likely they won't cry out for help, yet can we befriend those we see each day? Can we stop and notice them as Jesus did? Can we share the good things God has done for us after we have accepted his love and committed ourselves to him? It's not easy. It's easier to get on a plane, fly to Israel, and walk where Jesus walked than it is to stay at home and live as Jesus lived.

—from the book Jesus the Evangelist: A Gospel Guide to the New Evangelization


"Heaven could not span its Creator, but the faithful soul, and only it, becomes its dwelling place and seat, and it becomes so in virtue of charity of which the impious lack."
— St. Clare of Assisi

"In contemplating a beautiful work of creation consider that, in itself, it is nothing. Let your thoughts soar to the great Hand that produced it; place all your delight in Him saying: "O my God! Sole Object of my desires! Universal Source of all good things! How delightful it is to consider that the perfections of creatures are but a faint image of Thy glory!" When you behold the verdant trees or plants and the beauty of flowers, remember that they possess life only through the will of that Divine Wisdom that, unseen by all, gives life to all things. Say to Him: "O Living God! O Sovereign Life! Thou delight of my soul! From Thee, in Thee and through Thee all things on earth live and flourish!" The sight of animals should lift your mind and heart to the Author of sensibility and motion. Say with respect and love: "Great God, Unmoved Mover of all things, how I rejoice when I consider the eternity of Thy existence, incapable of the slightest change!" When the beauty of mankind impresses you, you should immediately distinguish what is apparent to the eye from what is seen only by the mind. You must remember that all corporeal beauty flows from an invisible principle, the uncreated beauty of God. You must discern in this an almost imperceptible drop issuing from an endless source, an immense ocean from which numberless perfections continually flow. How my soul is ravished when I consider that Eternal Beauty, the Source of every beautiful thing!"
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p.68
Spiritual Combat

They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.
John 14:21


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Saint Thomas of Villanova

(1488 – September 8, 1555)

Saint Thomas was from Castile in Spain and received his surname from the town where he was raised. He received a superior education at the University of Alcala and became a popular professor of philosophy there.

After joining the Augustinian friars at Salamanca, Thomas was ordained and resumed his teaching–despite a continuing absentmindedness and poor memory. He became prior and then provincial of the friars, sending the first Augustinians to the New World. He was nominated by the emperor to the archbishopric of Granada, but refused. When the see again became vacant he was pressured to accept. The money his cathedral chapter gave him to furnish his house was given to a hospital instead. His explanation to them was that "our Lord will be better served by your money being spent on the poor in the hospital. What does a poor friar like myself want with furniture?"

He wore the same habit that he had received in the novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but they could not convince him to change. Several hundred poor came to Thomas's door each morning and received a meal, wine, and money. When criticized because he was at times being taken advantage of, he replied, "If there are people who refuse to work, that is for the governor and the police to deal with. My duty is to assist and relieve those who come to my door." He took in orphans and paid his servants for every deserted child they brought to him. He encouraged the wealthy to imitate his example and be richer in mercy and charity than they were in earthly possessions.

Criticized because he refused to be harsh or swift in correcting sinners, Thomas said, "Let him (the complainer) inquire whether Saint Augustine and Saint John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop the drunkenness and blasphemy which were so common among the people under their care."

As he lay dying, Thomas commanded that all the money he possessed be distributed to the poor. His material goods were to be given to the rector of his college. Mass was being celebrated in his presence when after Communion he breathed his last, reciting the words: "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

In his lifetime Thomas of Villanova was already called "the almsgiver" and "the father of the poor." He was canonized in 1658. His Liturgical Feast Day is September 22.

The absent-minded professor is a stock comic figure. Thomas of Villanova earned even more derisive laughs with his determined shabbiness and his willingness to let the poor who flocked to his door take advantage of him. He embarrassed his peers, but Jesus was enormously pleased with him. We are often tempted to tend our image in others' eyes without paying sufficient attention to how we look to Christ. Thomas still urges us to rethink our priorities.


Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Cor 5:1-8

Brothers and sisters:
It is widely reported that there is immorality among you,
and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–
a man living with his father's wife.
And you are inflated with pride.
Should you not rather have been sorrowful?
The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst.
I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit,
have already, as if present,
pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed,
in the name of our Lord Jesus:
when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit
with the power of the Lord Jesus,
you are to deliver this man to Satan
for the destruction of his flesh,
so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not appropriate.
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 5:5-6, 7, 12
R. (9) Lead me in your justice, Lord.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
You hate all evildoers.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
But let all who take refuge in you
be glad and exult forever.
Protect them, that you may be the joy
of those who love your name.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.

Alleluia Jn 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up and stand before us."
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
"I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
"Stretch out your hand."
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.


Meditation: Luke 6:6-11

Stretch out your hand. (Luke 6:10)

Critics play an important role in the music world. They help the public to evaluate what is good, and by doing so, they set standards for music. But critics can also be closed to anything new or different. For example, one of Bach's students called his music "turgid and confused." A contemporary of Mozart called his music "overloaded and overstuffed." One critic said of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony: "It was hard to figure out what all the noise was about."

You could say that some Pharisees of Jesus' day had become like those critics. In their zeal to preserve the Law, they had attached their own limited expectations to it. One of those limitations was that they taught that curing the sick was forbidden on the Sabbath—unless the sick person was in danger of death. The man whom Jesus healed in the synagogue had only a withered hand, so that clearly didn't qualify. These Pharisees weren't willing to admit that God could go beyond their assumptions of what the Law was all about.

This attitude can affect us as well. We can view our own assumptions about God as being the only thing that matters, and end up limiting him as a result. But our heavenly Father wants to take us beyond our expectations, both of who he is and of who we can become. He is not interested in healing you just enough so that you can squeak your way into heaven. He is a generous Father. He wants to fill you with so much grace that you dance through his gates joyfully, bringing countless people behind you whose lives you have touched!

Do you think it's possible that you can know the Lord even more deeply than you do right now? Do you think it's possible that you might be able to pray with someone and see them healed? Don't be like those music critics with their limited expectations! God has great plans for you. So go ahead and stretch out your hand in faith and see how God fills you with his life, his love, and his power.

"Lord, open my eyes. Help me to see how much you have blessed me in the past, so that I can be open to receive your grace in the future."

1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Psalm 5:5-7, 12


"For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

It is possible to have received our Lord in the Eucharist, in Mass, and leave, and nothing changed in your life. You received...nothing, because you desired nothing, nothing inside was open to Him. The line to our confessional, is practically non-existent. The Church even teaches that confessions are at least mandated like communion once a year. But this is an incomplete teaching for canon law also says " It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins." What's more, when our Mother appears she asks for monthly the more, the better. In a particular matter, a small creature the size of an ant makes its way into your home. Months and years later the hole is suitable for bigger critters, cockroaches, and lizards, soon enough poisonous snakes make the home their home. The same in the spirit world, your unchecked little sins lead to an infestation. An infestation is no place for the Lord to reside. Sacrifice. Jesus taught us. Bacteria is used for bread, but God asks us to eat the bread of the Passover, unleavened, as if one in flight, a journey through this life, not settled.

Let us pray: "Lead me in your justice, Lord. For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you; the arrogant may not stand in your sight. You hate all evildoers." Jesus taught good. But what if your idea of goodness contradicts His? Nowadays it is the same story. People think their idea of good religion is best. It supersedes even what Jesus taught. So when God does something good, it is perceived as bad. What if your pains you went through were for the greater good? What's crazy is that you could be living an evil lifestyle and calling it good, because many "good people" I know refuse to step foot inside any church. They, in a sense, call it evil. Pointing fingers. "I'm not like them hypocrites" and they live life bashing the bible...albeit, unknowingly and living the life evil desires. This is the attitude Jesus encounters.

In comes our Lord: "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" A withered man is brought up. This man with one withered hand was the subject of today's lesson from Heaven. What fault would he have in Jesus being persecuted? It is a question to be reckoned with....for Jesus would be persecuted for doing good. Isn't it like that for one who stand up for life of the unborn? They are persecuted, or those who stand up for traditional marriage, brought before tribunals for persecutions nowadays. So nobody opened their mouth when Jesus said "Stretch out your hand." The man's hand came alive. The man could now be free to work, but better yet, was freed from sins and past sins, because Jewish thought was that diseases and such were manifestations of evil, and sinful lives. But no. They didn't see this, for they hated the truth. They saw only what they wanted to see. Isn't it like that with you? You see things that are unnerving like scandals in the church but you don't see the whole picture, only what the evil media feeds. So, my priest cries in his homily yesterday, in front of the whole congregation, a Nigerian priest often discriminated and hated, why? Because he doesn't walk like us, he doesn't talk like us, and you can't understand him. So people reject him. And he said "I had no plans on coming here to the U.S., but I had said yes to our Lord as a missionary, to be sent where He says". And he came alone, and to suffer.

Jesus came alone and suffered. For the ones He loved.
It is easier for me to go be with prisoners and preach and teach and love than my own family who seemingly hates me, I am not invited into their homes the same way as a retreat with prisoners. I am not invited to their parties. I do not fit their lifestyles. I am rejected. Think Jesus. Think of how He has been rejected from your life.

In the Eucharist, Jesus wants to come fully, heart, mind, and soul, with His Blood, Body and Divinity. But to an unrepented and dirty soul, He is told to come in, forced. And nothing happens. His love disintegrates in your mouth, your filthy mouth, because of your mind, your filthy mind, and that because of your heart, your heart full of itself, in now lowly state for the lowly. Humility. I took my boy to a mens' conference this weekend so he'd play the drums. He saw me writing notes on my phone and I asked about where I wrote "you go to fight to be humble" and I said "I will tell you in a minute"
And I've yet to find the answer to his question "what is humble".
I am now studying the life of Christ.
I am confounded and compelled to find the answer....I'll get back with you on that....



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