Thursday, October 18, 2018

⛪ what is offered to you

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The Constant Is God's Love

The contours of the journey of love are pretty much the same; the particulars depend on the personality and character of the one who falls in love with God. The image that works best for me—and there are many images—is that of a small boat at sea, which is me, traversing calm to stormy seas, with every weather in between. The constant is not God's power, but God's love, no matter how well or poorly I navigate those seas.

—from Mystics: 10 Who Show Us the Way of God


"Faith and love are like the blind man's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden."
— St. John of the Cross

"Therefore, when God gives spiritual comfort, receive it with thanksgiving, but know that it is the bounty of God, not thy merit. Be not puffed up, be not overjoyed, nor vainly presume, but rather be the more humble for this gift and the more cautious and fearful in all thine actions; for this hour will pass away and temptation will follow. When comfort shall be taken away from thee, do not presently despair; but wait with humility and patience for the heavenly visit, for God is able to restore thee a greater consolation. This is no new thing, nor strange to those who have experienced the ways of God: for the great saints and ancient prophets have often felt this kind of variety."
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 64
Imitation of Christ

"Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them."
Psalm 91:14-15


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St. Luke the Evangelist (1st c.) was a well-educated Greek physician and a native of Antioch in Syria. He was one of the earliest converts to Christianity, believed to have been one of Jesus' seventy disciples. He was a follower of St. Paul the Apostle and spent most of his life evangelizing with him in Asia Minor up until the time of Paul's martyrdom in Rome. Luke wrote a canonical account of his apostolic journeys with Paul (the Book of Acts) as well as a biography on the life of Christ (the Gospel of Luke). The two books of Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles were originally a single work. The intimate accounts contained in Luke's gospel of the early years of Christ's life (the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, etc.) lead many scholars to believe that one of the eyewitnesses he interviewed was the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. According to tradition he was also a skilled artist and painted the first icons of Our Lady with the Child Jesus. Several of these icons are still venerated today, the most famous of which hangs in the Church of St. Mary Major in Rome. St. Luke is the patron saint of many trades including artists, painters, doctors, surgeons, and bachelors. His feast day is October 18th.


Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist

Reading 1 2 Tm 4:10-17b

Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial Psalm ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Alleluia See Jn 15:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, 'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"


Meditation: Luke 10:1-9

Saint Luke, Evangelist (Feast)

The Kingdom of God is at hand. (Luke 10:9)

Did you know that St. Luke wrote more than 25 percent of the New Testament? In addition to the Gospel that bears his name, he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles.

In the Book of Acts, Luke offers a clear historical account of the birth and growth of the early Church. His Gospel, which follows a loosely constructed historical outline, focuses much more on telling us about Jesus' message. Let's look at a few of Luke's favorite themes.

First, the message of Jesus is one of joy (Luke 1:14, 44, 47, 58). Luke alone tells the stories of the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Luke is also the only one who speaks about the joy that erupts in heaven when the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son are found (15:1-32).

Second, Jesus' message is one of mercy. Luke tells how Jesus comforted a repentant woman who anointed his feet with perfume and how he shared a meal with Zacchaeus, a notorious tax collector (7:36-50; 19:1-10).

Third, Jesus' message is about caring for the poor. Luke tells us that Jesus was born into poverty. He warns us about the dangers of riches (Luke 6:24). And he warns us not to get ensnared by the desire for wealth (12:16-21). His parable about the rich man and the poor Lazarus gives us a chilling image of what can happen if we close ourselves to the needy (16:19-31).

Fourth, Jesus' message is about prayer. Luke depicts Jesus as praying at every important moment in his life: at his baptism (3:21), when he chose his apostles (6:12), at the Transfiguration (9:28-29), and in the Garden of Gethsemane (22:41).

Finally, Jesus' message is about being filled with the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist, Mary, Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Simeon were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Just before he ascended into heaven, Jesus promised that we too will be filled (Acts 1:5, 8).

Joy. Mercy. Caring for the poor. Prayer. The Holy Spirit. These are all ways that Luke has told us that God's kingdom is "at hand" (10:9). Let's take hold of that kingdom today!

"Lord, fill us with your joy as we live for you today."

2 Timothy 4:10-17
Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18


2 cents :

"But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed...". People abandoned St. Paul. Some caused him great harm. But one remained firm. That was St. Luke. We all need a St. Luke in our lives. Someone that is faithful. Someone that cares. When you don't see him, it is the Lord. Who else do you need to stand by you and give you strength?

Let us pray: "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might." Ahh, let the faithful bless God. God loves blessings. How do we bless Him? Doing His will. What a blessing. One can feel the love, righteously.

In the Holy Gospel our Lord sends out 72 pairs, always in pairs. You need to realize that God doesn't intend for you to be alone in faith. Right now, I am paired up with you. But you need to have friends in Christ. Christ friend. 2 or 3 gathered in His name, and there He is. This is the beauty of the movement in the world called "cursillo". If you follow through, it will not leave you alone. I am living proof of it. But after being at it for over 14 years, I'll tell you, a faithful friend is hard to find. As faithful as I may be, I've yet to find a friend to last me all these years. Friends have come and gone. For spurts, I go at it alone. Some have died. Some have gone cold, no longer even going to church. Some have moved away. Some, like St. Paul said "Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me...". What happens is some fall in love with the world. To tell you the truth, the more I fall in love with Christ, the less I love the world. Don't get me wrong, I see Christ in the world, but the world does not see Christ. I asked the kids last night what songs are about, popular songs, and the same as it was for me back then, answers came "sex, drugs, and more". Movies and internet viewings are anything but Christ. Only one glimmer of hope shined, someone seen "Miracles from Heaven". I said, "this is the only venue to have an opening to the truth of God". This, is our family.
So, we are sent by our Lord in pairs. Our Lord says ""The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." If you are involved in ministries for our Lord, you will often feel this truth from Heaven. I experienced it this weekend in our family festival, very short handed. I had to be at a dozen places at once, all day long. But, oddly enough, I knew I would be short handed. I've actually grown into this lifestyle. I am alone in many ministries. But this year, I had a secret weapon: Angels. I do ask for help of earthly people, trust me, I ask, and I ask, and I pray. But, this year, I ran out of people, and so I called on angels. Marvelous works ensued. An army ensued if needed. This is to prove again the truth, yes, the laborers are ask the Master to send laborers.

But our Lord goes on: "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves." We are among wolves when we are working for our Lord. Wolves are bad spirits. At the end of the exhausting day, I had walked already about 20 miles, and I heard volunteers wanting to quit, and argue, and they sat there mouthing off while I was exhausted picking up things, wishing they'd just hush and keep helping. Beware of the big bad wolf. He can devour...the weak. Pay no attention to evil. Give a little to evil, give some weakness, and you will be taken advantage of...think of Eve.

"Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household. If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you." Last night during Holy Mass (daily) Father said something that is revealed at Cursillo at times; we can bring the Word and pour it onto you, but if you are like a rock, it will just pour all around, nothing will soak in. The same with God's peace, grace, mercy, and love. I told the kids last night "look around at these empty seats, these kids didn't come, I can not love them because they are not here, if they do not show up, how can they receive?". It is like that in Heaven. Yes God reaches out to everyone, but not everyone wants Him. Too many cares in the world. Too busy. No time to pray as a family. There's hardly time for Mass. There is just no time to study about God, much less give. Bless God. We must bless God. We must present ourselves. We need peace. God brings peace and healing. But if we reject God, we reject peace and healing. Some just want healing and no God. Some want peace and no God. This is the world, and the wolves we face.

For those that accept "'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
The Kingdom of God has manifested itself before your very eyes. The Kingdom is for you to enter, to be a part of, to participate, to enjoin and to enjoy. So, I spent countless hours and still am on the family festival. In the last two weeks, the only beautiful day with weather was that very day. All that week, bands called me "are we still going to go?", I said "Yes we have to". Volunteers called me "what's the weather going to do Adrian?" I said "I don't know, but I know we must keep going". And all week, stress, people cancelling, things rented not available suddenly, including a petting zoo which I had posted in the city newspaper already. It was in my heart, as if I was building Noah's Ark. Something told me to just keep going, keep building, indeed it was the Lord our Father. So this happened:
The torrential rains stopped the day of the festival early morning, the skies opened up, the sun shined for us that day. I remember as if in a dream someone stopped me during the festival and said "look, the sun is shining". I remember it like a hazy dreamy memory. Like glory.
And this happened: A local car show cancelled due to weather, postponed suddenly. Now, I could use their stage, I had no stage really set up the day before. Not only that, many of their cars came to our car show, and it was really neat to see a variety of cars from a 1934 to a new viper. It is God's work, isn't it?

And this happened: The day before the festival, the petting zoo came through, said they were on their way, but the day before that, our Lord had told me that they were coming, not to worry. So when she called, I wasn't really surprised, but was reassuring to get the call.
Can you begin to see angels at work? Can you begin to see faith at work? And there are more stories I've yet to here on God's providence.

But this perhaps will reassure you of God's faithfulness, to one slaving at being faithful...faithfully His. And it begins with a man on his knees. Praying. Inviting Him in. Come be with us Lord. If anybody should be there, it should be my best friend, my faithful friend, my friend that really truly loves. Friends come and go I said, but Jesus has always been. Among the friends. He changes clothes and He looks different. And I'm just so happy to see Him again....and again.
I Am with you, He says. I just have to be faithful, show up, be like Him. Keep being a laborer of love.
Every year, after the festival, I feel so inadequate. The feeling is like a did a horrible job, it wasn't enough. Like I messed it up. Just like last night teaching 9th grade kids. Kids not reading along, kids trying to get up and walk out as class which was close to ending. I get home and I get a text "my kid said you are the best teacher ever". Whoa, ok? I'm just pouring myself out. That's all.

And so, I've decided, after many years of writing "my2cents", I will no longer be calling it my2cents. I realized something during my rosary yesterday, about this faith part sharing: It's God speaking through me, I'm just a tool, that lets himself be used. It is now going to be called simply 2 cents. A pair. Me with our Lord. Me with you.
God I love you
Peace be with you
The Kingdom of God is at hand



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