Wednesday, September 19, 2018

⛪We Played The...

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The Power of a Changed Heart

Love is the greatest power for the transformation of reality because it pulls down the walls of selfishness and fills the ditches that keep us apart. This is the love that comes from a changed heart, from a heart of stone that has been turned into a heart of flesh, a human heart. And this is what grace does, the grace of Jesus Christ which we have all received.

—from the book Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis


"The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes."
— St. Teresa of Avila

"Prayer is the duty of every moment. We ought always to pray, said our Lord. And what He said, He did; therein lay His great power. Action accompanied His words and corresponded with them. We must pray always in order to be on our guard. Our life, both of body and soul, our natural and supernatural life, is like a fragile flower. We live surrounded by enemies. Ever since man rejected the Light that was meant to show him the way, everything has become for us an obstacle and a danger; we live in the shadow of death."
— Dom Augustin Guillerand, p. 9
The Prayer of the Presence of God

"One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple."
Psalm 27:4


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St. Januarius (d. 305 A.D.), also known as San Gennaro, was the Bishop of Benevento, Italy. Little is known of his early life. He was arrested and imprisoned for his faith while visiting other Christians in jail during the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian. Many attempts were made to kill him, but one after another they failed. He was thrown into a fiery furnace, but he came out unscathed. He was then thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheater, but they did not attack. He was finally beheaded, and his blood was collected by Christians and kept in a sealed glass vial for veneration. The vial of blood is still kept today in the Naples cathedral, and it has continually demonstrated miraculous properties for which no scientific explanation has been offered. St. Januarius' blood liquefies and becomes fresh on particular occasions throughout the year, especially his feast day, for which the saint has become famous. This phenomenon has been occurring with regularity for centuries, and is one of the "blood miracles" that is historically well-documented among the relics of certain saints. He is the patron saint of blood banks and the city of Naples, Italy. St. Januarius's feast day is September 19th.


Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 445

Reading 1 1 COR 12:31-13:13

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 AND 22
R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. 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.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Alleluia SEE JN 6:63C, 68C
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life,
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."


Meditation: 1 Corinthians 12:31–13:13

Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr (Optional Memorial)

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

Paul's beautiful hymn of charity, as this passage is often called, paints the picture of a mature love filled with spiritual vitality. It's not the textbook definition of love that we find in a dictionary, but a soaring hymn that expresses what Christian love looks like as it is lived out day by day. This love is patient and kind rather than irritable; it serves the needs of others and does not insist on its own way; it is not quick-tempered; and it doesn't brood over injuries (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5).

Paul wrote this vigorous call to love to the Corinthians, a community that had been touched by the Lord in a powerful way, but that was also plagued by division, competition, and immorality. And so he urged them to let the love of Christ that they had experienced so powerfully at their conversion overcome their faults and heal their divisions. By appealing to love, Paul wanted to help the Corinthians recognize their own deepest desires. He knew that this was the one sure way to help them overcome their sins and grow in holiness.

As he wrote about growing from childish ways into mature faith, Paul surely had his own life in mind as well as the Corinthians' lives. Paul had started out as a zealous young Pharisee who persecuted Christians. It took some time, even after his conversion, for him to calm down. But over time, he grew in his love for Jesus and became a more effective force for reconciliation and unity.

So make it a goal to grow in love. If you find yourself getting impatient, ask the Lord for the grace to be patient. If you find yourself getting consumed by anger, try to put on gentleness. If you find yourself getting puffed up by pride, ask the Spirit to give you a greater share in the gift of humility.

As we yield to God's love in these ways, we can grow in our love for the Lord and for one another. Our love will mature, and we will naturally seek ways to live not only for ourselves, but also for everyone around us.

You can walk in Christian charity—if you keep walking with Jesus.

"Jesus, light the fire of your love in my heart, so that I can love you and love others with your own love aflame in me."

Psalm 33:2-5, 12, 22
Luke 7:31-35



Today, our Lord says "Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts." And He goes on to speak about Love. The world tries to tell you what love is, but it is wrong. Love is what God says Love is. He designed true love. True love is shown on the cross. Sacrificial love. Not love of temporal things but things above. In your ministry and family care, think about what kind of love you are showing them. If you are a teacher, what are you teaching? If you are a boss what are you demanding? If you are a mere slave, what are you serving? Most in business are in services, what are you serving? I hear musicians play music in church, and some, all I hear is good notes, good rhythms, but no heart. People want to see heart. In talent shows, most are moved by heart. Hearts make the difference. That's where Love is.. And God is...

We pray: "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. For upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full." Trustworthy. Ahh. Can you really trust God with your life? Most of us have a hard time with that. It's as if, we trust ourselves more. We are afraid to give. To give it up. To go all in. We are reserved, holding back as He holds our hand and gently calls "come on now, follow, let's go!"

In comes our Heavenly Lord who was granted the world for salvation: ""To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.' What generation is our Lord talking about? The generation He lived in? No, it is generation "Now". Not generation X or Y or who knows what they call them today. To Him it is Generation NOW! The music is being played for you to dance to His tune, follow His tune. Or at times a sad song of lamentation is played in your life, to see if you will then turn and follow Him. I've seen it, a couple friends have lost a teenager in a car accident, and now, out of sadness, they turn even more to the Lord, now one is in formation to be a deacon and another is already a deacon. But I've seen others completely lose faith in God. That's a dirge for you. And the happy tunes are those tunes you hear of our Lord calling, like in a Cursillo, a retreat, or daily Mass, tunes are put on for you to follow Him. I've sung some songs that are meant to have dance moves go along, but nobody is dancing! I wish so much I could just put my guitar down and shout "do this! dance like this!". But the music doesn't move them. It's like I'm singing to statues. And I'm trying hard to make you break out of the mold, that hardened shell you've built up. King David sang and danced and acted "the fool" for the Lord. So did Jesus. He came and was found feasting at weddings and dinners with all sorts of people. He ate and He drank wine. Many protestants frown on Catholics for drinking alcohol, but even Saint Paul said to have a little wine. Why? Question is, why do we take some of these things and abuse them, like alcohol, food, and God's children?

I know of a family that is said to be homeschooling. But the teacher is falling behind. Some would call this an abuse. An abusive mother (and father). Right? Torture of children. Neglect. Horrible, right? Who are you to judge now? Do you know the mother's story? Nope. But I bring up the story for a reason: I know of another family who said "we are no longer taking our children to catechism classes (or to church)". Is anyone going to call this abuse? Neglect? Torture? Probably not. But it is. To those who have, more will be given. There is a great responsibility of souls on us. We are entrusted so long as we live to the care, the shepherding of souls. And for this, Love is required. It is a requirement for the Kingdom of Heaven because that is what it is centered on. How much do you really love these kids? They deserve everything...that is good. What is good? God. If you don't believe it, you won't present it to the kids. But if you believe it, that's all you will want for your children, amen? Have I painted a grim and serious picture? Or is it an enlightenment? Have I issued a threat, or have I opened a window of opportunity? Indeed, the Word is a double edged sword, sharp, that cuts to the heart.

You have to become a nuclear powerhouse. A nucleus of the church is the family. How is your home church going? Is it a house of prayer? Or is it a house of something else? Poker nights, game nights, movie nights, book nights, or party nights? Jesus enjoyed things with us, but that's not what Jesus lived for. See the difference? Jesus lived and died for God His Father, our Father. Just like His mom did. And just like all the prophets before Him did. He came to be the final say in all things salvation. DO THIS. He commands. Do what?
Take His Body.
Eat His Body.
Share His Body.
Because His Body is made of love. It tastes good and is light, for the journey.
He commands to go, preach (repentance), baptize, and heal the whole world.
Then He'd return Body, Blood, Soul, And Divinity.
But He loves us so much that He is not gone.
He left us His blood, just like today's saint. And He left us His forever body.

It is the Eucharist. We are entrusted with God's child. You will either love Him...or neglect Him

How could we neglect Him who gives His life for you?
How can we neglect Him who has given us everything?
How can we neglect Him who offers an eternal love?
Somebody loves you more, it's has always been Jesus



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