Wednesday, October 24, 2018

⛪ Much Will Be required

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Actions Great and Small

It is precisely Christ's love that the Holy Spirit pours into small everyday actions, actions of closeness to an elderly person, to a child, to a sick person, to a lonely person, those in difficulty, without a home, without work, an immigrant, a refugee…. Thanks to the strength of the Word of Christ, each one of us can make ourselves the brother or sister of those whom we encounter. Actions of closeness, actions which manifest the love that Christ taught us.

—from Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis


"The soul hungers for God, and nothing but God can satiate it. Therefore He came to dwell on earth and assumed a Body in order that this Body might become the Food of our souls."
— St. John Vianney

"In the old days, people demanded 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' and to repay evil for evil. Patience was not yet on the earth, because faith was not on the earth either. Of course, impatience made full use of the opportunities the Law gave it. That was easy when the Lord and Master of patience was not here. But now that he has come and put the grace of faith together with patience, we are no longer allowed to attack someone even with a word—not even to call someone a fool without facing the danger of judgment. The Law found more than it lost when Christ said, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven' (Matthew 5:44-45). This most important commandment summarizes in a word the universal discipline of patience, since it does not allow us to do evil even to people who deserve it."
— Tertullian , p. 104
A Year with Church Fathers

"For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone."
Psalm 91:11-12


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Saint Anthony Mary Claret

(December 23, 1807 – October 24, 1870)
The "spiritual father of Cuba" was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen's chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop, and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris, and to the First Vatican Council.

In his spare time as weaver and designer in the textile mills of Barcelona, Anthony learned Latin and printing: The future priest and publisher was preparing. Ordained at 28, he was prevented by ill health from entering religious life as a Carthusian or as a Jesuit, but went on to become one of Spain's most popular preachers.

Anthony spent 10 years giving popular missions and retreats, always placing great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was said that his rosary was never out of his hand. At age 42, he founded a religious institute of missionaries beginning with five young priests, known today as the Claretians.

Anthony was appointed to head the much-neglected archdiocese of Santiago in Cuba. He began its reform by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions, and suffered bitter opposition mainly for opposing concubinage and giving instruction to black slaves. A hired assassin—whose release from prison Anthony had obtained—slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony succeeded in getting the would-be assassin's death sentence commuted to a prison term. His solution for the misery of Cubans was family-owned farms producing a variety of foods for the family's own needs and for the market. This invited the enmity of the vested interests who wanted everyone to work on a single cash crop—sugar. Besides all his religious writings are two books he wrote in Cuba: Reflections on Agriculture and Country Delights.

He was recalled to Spain for a job he did not relish—being chaplain for the queen. Anthony went on three conditions: He would reside away from the palace; he would come only to hear the queen's confession and instruct the children; and he would be exempt from court functions. In the revolution of 1868, he fled to Paris with the queen's party, where he preached to the Spanish colony.

All his life Anthony was interested in the Catholic press. He founded the Religious Publishing House, a major Catholic publishing venture in Spain, and wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets.

At Vatican I, where he was a staunch defender of the doctrine of infallibility, Anthony won the admiration of his fellow bishops. Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore remarked of him, "There goes a true saint." At the age of 63, he died in exile near the border of Spain.

Jesus foretold that those who are truly his representatives would suffer the same persecution as he did. Besides 14 attempts on his life, Anthony had to undergo such a barrage of the ugliest slander that the very name Claret became a byword for humiliation and misfortune. The powers of evil do not easily give up their prey. No one needs to go looking for persecution. All we need to do is be sure we suffer because of our genuine faith in Christ, not for our own whims and lack of prudence.

Saint Anthony Mary Claret is Patron Saint of:


Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Eph 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God's grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial Psalm Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
R. (see 3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Alleluia Mt 24:42a, 44
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Then Peter said,
"Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?"
And the Lord replied,
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
'My master is delayed in coming,'
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant's master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master's will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."


Meditation: (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6

Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (Optional Memorial)

I am confident and unafraid. (Isaiah 12:2)

Confidence. It's something we all want and need. But what's the source of our confidence? The world says it's because of who we are and what we are capable of doing. But as Christians, we believe it's because of who God is and what he has already done for us.

In today's psalm response, Isaiah declares that he is confident because his "strength" and "courage is the Lord" (12:2). And in the first reading, Paul says we have confidence through our faith in Jesus (Ephesians 3:12). Of course, it's easy to say that our confidence comes from God. But how can we make this spiritual truth affect the way we live each day? Here are a few suggestions.

Our true confidence lies in knowing, deep down, that we have a Father in heaven who loves us and is always with us. We can lean on him at all times, and trust that he will supply all that we need. So try to get into the habit of thanking God for his love and faithfulness. The more you consciously express your gratitude, the more confident you will become that God always has your back.

It's easy to feel confident when things are going well. But when we face challenges that we don't know how to handle, our confidence can quickly shrivel up. Again, you can make the conscious decision to surrender the situation to God. Even if you don't "feel" any different, even if you keep taking back your surrender, keep it up. God sees your faith, and he will find a way to show you that he is still with you to help you and to guide you.

Finally, you can build your confidence in God by recalling stories about his faithfulness in the Scriptures and the lives of the saints. Remember how God parted the Red Sea when the Israelites were literally up against a wall (of water). Remember how God helped David defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17:46). Remember how Mother Teresa pressed on against enormous odds to keep caring for the poorest of the poor. Tell yourself, "God helped them, and he will help me."

We can never exhaust God's strength and courage. So be confident that you can rely on the One who will give you all you need!

"Father, you are my strength!"

Ephesians 3:2-12
Luke 12:39-48


2 cents :
"You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit...". If you are an active and faithful Catholic, a Christian follower, you are called to be steward of God's gifts, and here, we are talking about grace. Grace is a gift of God. It is a proper calling. You for reading this, are called to be that one properly distributing God's goods, namely, His vast mercy and love.


Let us pray: "You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation. Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name." Some new guy we hired yesterday said "I will be thankful" for all we'd do for him. But the real power here is in the one being thankful. Thankfulness is what is key. Thanksgiving means Eucharist. To be confident and unafraid to do what then? To give thanks. To be thankful. Being thankful makes all the difference. Gratitude....grace.

In comes the Lord of Thanksgiving, our Lord and teacher and master and Father and Spirit: "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." These words haunt me. They do. But also the words that He said before that "Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property." More awaits to those who are being faithful. More what? God's reward is more work then? More slaving away?

If you live in a world as I do, slaving for the Lord, you begin to see opportunities to serve the Lord as an honor. But be careful not to be an honor hog. But you will know when you should serve. God's heart pulls, but we pull away like a horse that does not want to reign. So we have to learn humility. Boy, this one is tough. To be a faithful steward of God's gifts we need humility. St. Paul was stricken, and humility was he now had to serve for food. And it is proper. For Christ is what we are to eat. Humble pie. But if you eat humble pie with pride? It does not mix. Like water and oil. A spanish reflection ended today properly: "I conclude by recalling the response that Fr. Claret gave to a person admired for his immense capacity for apostolic work, who asked him: "How is it possible that you can do so much? Father Claret replied: "Fall in love with Jesus Christ and your neighbor and you will do greater things." There is the challenge: to be vigilant to welcome that love that is able to focus, fall in love and commit ourselves fully to the construction of the Kingdom of God."




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