How often does Love have to ask us: "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness…and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life. Welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won't be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don't be afraid. Trust him, be confident that he is close to you. He is with you, and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.
—from the book Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis
† QUOTE "Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do." — St. Thomas Aquinas † MEDITATION OF THE DAY "One of the most formidable obstacles to the conversion of a soul is the fact that God is a hidden God: Deus absconditus. But God, in His goodness, reveals Himself, in a certain manner, through His saints, and even through fervent souls. In this way, the supernatural filters through and becomes visible to the faithful, who are thus able to apprehend something of the mystery of God . . . make no mistake, there is a sort of instinct by which souls, without clearly defining what it is they sense, are aware of this radiation of the supernatural." — Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 124-5 AN EXCERPT FROM Soul of the Apostolate
† VERSE OF THE DAY "You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.'" Psalm 91:1-2
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Saint John XXIII
(November 25, 1881 – June 3, 1963)
Although few people had as great an impact on the 20th century as Pope John XXIII, he avoided the limelight as much as possible. Indeed, one writer has noted that his "ordinariness" seems one of his most remarkable qualities.
The firstborn son of a farming family in Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo in northern Italy, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was always proud of his down-to-earth roots. In Bergamo's diocesan seminary, he joined the Secular Franciscan Order.
After his ordination in 1904, Fr. Roncalli returned to Rome for canon law studies. He soon worked as his bishop's secretary, Church history teacher in the seminary, and as publisher of the diocesan paper.
His service as a stretcher-bearer for the Italian army during World War I gave him a firsthand knowledge of war. In 1921, Fr. Roncalli was made national director in Italy of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He also found time to teach patristics at a seminary in the Eternal City.
In 1925, he became a papal diplomat, serving first in Bulgaria, then in Turkey, and finally in France. During World War II, he became well acquainted with Orthodox Church leaders. With the help of Germany's ambassador to Turkey, Archbishop Roncalli helped save an estimated 24,000 Jewish people.
Named a cardinal and appointed patriarch of Venice in 1953, he was finally a residential bishop. A month short of entering his 78th year, Cardinal Roncalli was elected pope, taking the name John after his father and the two patrons of Rome's cathedral, St. John Lateran. Pope John took his work very seriously but not himself. His wit soon became proverbial, and he began meeting with political and religious leaders from around the world. In 1962, he was deeply involved in efforts to resolve the Cuban missile crisis.
His most famous encyclicals were Mother and Teacher (1961) and Peace on Earth (1963). Pope John XXIII enlarged the membership in the College of Cardinals and made it more international. At his address at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, he criticized the "prophets of doom" who "in these modern times see nothing but prevarication and ruin." Pope John XXIII set a tone for the Council when he said, "The Church has always opposed… errors. Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity."
On his deathbed, Pope John said: "It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have…were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead."
"Good Pope John" died on June 3, 1963. Saint John Paul II beatified him in 2000, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.
Reflection Throughout his life, Angelo Roncalli cooperated with God's grace, believing that the job at hand was worthy of his best efforts. His sense of God's providence made him the ideal person to promote a new dialogue with Protestant and Orthodox Christians, as well as with Jews and Muslims. In the sometimes noisy crypt of St. Peter's Basilica, many people become silent on seeing the simple tomb of Pope John XXIII, grateful for the gift of his life and holiness. After his beatification, his tomb was moved into the basilica itself.
Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Gal 3:1-5
O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard? Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain?– if indeed it was in vain. Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works mighty deeds among you do so from works of the law or from faith in what you heard?
Responsorial Psalm Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75 R. (68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to his people.
Alleluia See Acts 16:14b R. Alleluia, alleluia. Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 11:5-13
Jesus said to his disciples: "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.
"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
Meditation: Luke 11:5-13
Saint John XXIII, Pope (Optional Memorial)
Suppose one of you has a friend. (Luke 11:5)
In today's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a man who got out of bed and helped his friend primarily because of the man's persistence (Luke 11:8). Pope John XXIII, whose feast we celebrate today, gave the entire world years of service—but it was not because of our persistence. It was because John loved people.
Fifty-six years ago today, thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square in Rome for the opening of the Second Vatican Council. When evening came, the crowd was still there, many carrying torches. Worn down from the day's activities and feeling the effects of stomach cancer, Pope John was reluctant to meet the crowd.
"I don't want to speak!" he said. "I've already said everything this morning." But his heart went out to the crowd. He gathered himself, went to his window overlooking the square and gave what is now called the "Moonlight Speech." The speech, which was only about two minutes long, was impromptu and off-the-cuff. Nonetheless, it was Pope John at his best: warm, welcoming, caring.
Fifty years later, on October 11, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI offered some reflections on the Moonlight Speech. "I too was in this square, gazing toward this window where the good Pope, Blessed Pope John looked out and spoke unforgettable words to us, words that were full of poetry and goodness, words that came from his heart."
The Moonlight Speech, which is called the most famous address of John XXIII's pontificate, can be summed up in just a few words: peace, unity, and love. These words, broad in scope but spoken from the heart, encapsulated Pope John's hopes for the Church.
It wasn't just the Church as an institution that was on the pope's heart that night. It was the Church as the people of God, the family of God. "When you go home," he told the people, "give your children a kiss and tell them that it is from the Pope."
Today, as we honor Good Pope John, let's dedicate ourselves to fulfilling his hopes and dreams by the way we live: peacefully, lovingly, and in unity.
"Father, help us make today a great day of peace."
Galatians 3:1-5 (Psalm) Luke 1:69-75
my2cents: "I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard?" Our Lord is speaking through Saint Paul. God is revealing Himself in works. Yet, we choose to listen to other works, of human beings. As if our works are better, or greater. We stop listening to God. And you start listening to the flesh. You revert to sinful ways and thoughts. It is a disgrace. How can we avoid this pitfall? How can we help others avoid this pitfall? Jesus is speaking through His people.
Let us pray: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people. Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us." If you turn from your sinful ways, life is promised. And this is taken from your level to the national level. For a while, it seemed hatred was an onslaught against those who stood for Holy Marriage, a man, and a woman. If you didn't agree, you are hated. And they say you are the hater. I don't hate, I just can't agree with what is being proposed...a hatred of God's law, and of even Himself. If laws against matrimony persisted, they'd end up at the church doors...it is the devil's doings, trying to bring darkness and destruction. But Blessed Be the Lord. Jesus means Savior. He will deliver us. He Saves.
In comes our Lord in today's Holy Gospel: "For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.". And for crying out loud, don't ask to win the lottery! Ask for something better...His love, His Grace, His Faith, His love! Or...get this...ask for the Holy Spirit!! Every day I write to you, I look up to Heaven and ask our Lord for the Holy Spirit. Why? Because, I got nothing. I got nothing without Him. Before we sing in Church, as the lead guitar and even voice, you'd think the pats on the back I get make me feel good after Mass "good job sir". Yeah, no. I don't look forward to that. It's not me!! Top Secret here: I prayed with the choir before Mass!! Yes, I invoked the Holy Spirit. I am a mere instrument, a guitar for God. He did all the work. I just availed myself. Same thing in everything I do in ministry. I pray, ask God to come in and that's it! He comes! He does all the heavy lifting when we are yoked together. The same thing with this mind-boggling family festival this weekend, (pray for us). 100 hundred activities for thousands of people all at once. How do I prepare as the coordinator? With prayer. Do you know that the Holy Spirit loves to be invoked? To be invited? To be one with you? Do you know that prayers to the Holy Spirit are instantaneous? The spirit is way more available than evil spirits. And way more powerful at that! WHy? How? It is works of the Lord. Don't be silly anymore, put away childish things and likes. Our Lord is asking us to ask for Him to come in. If He ascended to Heaven it was to descend as the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus and it is beautiful and wonderful and amazing and so ready for you. It is a Holy Spirit of love and mercy and one that binds to unite us. It can transcend space and time and any heart. REALLY. Can it convert a heart? It won't force a conversion. But it can manifest itself...knocking at the door of the heart. HOLY SPIRIT: "Hey...can I come in?" Heart: "Who is it? Who are you?" HOLY SPIRIT: "It's Me. Don't you remember?" Heart: "I don't know who you are" HOLY SPIRIT: "If you open the door you will see Me and remember Me." Heart thinks to self "but I'm scared to open doors to strangers, yet the voice sounds familiar. What should I do?" HOLY SPIRIT: " I heard that. I will keep talking to you until you remember Me".
You see, God is talking. His love is a persistent knocking. He wishes you to knock. Knock on doors for Him. And knock on His door. Like my guitar and me being the guitar. Mere instruments of Love.
The Holy Spirit wants to shine the light in your house. There is much joy and strength to be had when He comes in. The man knocked asking for bread. Jesus would've opened up, His own side even, His own flesh even, given anything asked for... Knock He says. Do not be afraid to knock. Come to the doors and knock and ask for bread. Come to Church and ask for Him. He is Lord and God almighty, yes...but He is also Our FATHER
For questions or comments contact Adrian@going4th.com. For more go to www.Going4th.com