Friday, October 26, 2018

⛪ Why do you not know

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Pastor, Prophet, Martyr

The priest's task is to bring the people to God, and the prophet's to bring God to the people. The martyr's unique role is to display a devotion to God and the Kingdom so boundlessly loving that it reignites in the rest of us a faith that may have grown tepid or even cold. We look to the martyrs to remind us that some things are worth sacrificing our lives for, but that the love which motivates us to make those sacrifices is more powerful than death itself. This is the great truth embodied in the resurrection, and every individual martyrdom, including Romero's, is a reflection of it. Martyrdom is a victory, not a defeat, a loud proclamation of God's glory, not a silencing of God's Word, an affirmation, albeit a bittersweet one, that human wickedness can never win in the end.

—from Saint Oscar Romero: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr



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Saint Peter of Alcantara

(1499 – October 18, 1562)

Peter was a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, including Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross. He served as confessor to Saint Teresa of Avila. Church reform was a major issue in Peter's day, and he directed most of his energies toward that end. His death came one year before the Council of Trent ended.

Born into a noble family—his father was the governor of Alcantara in Spain—Peter studied law at Salamanca University, and at 16 he joined the so-called Observant Franciscans, also known as the discalced friars. While he practiced many penances, he also demonstrated abilities which were soon recognized. He was named the superior of a new house even before his ordination as a priest, was elected provincial at the age of 39, and he was a very successful preacher. Still, he was not above washing dishes and cutting wood for the friars. He did not seek attention; indeed, he preferred solitude.

Peter's penitential side was evident when it came to food and clothing. It is said that he slept only 90 minutes each night. While others talked about Church reform, Peter's reform began with himself. His patience was so great that a proverb arose: "To bear such an insult one must have the patience of Peter of Alcantara."

In 1554, Peter received permission to form a group of Franciscans who followed the Rule of St. Francis with even greater rigor. These friars were known as Alcantarines. Some of the Spanish friars who came to North and South America in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were members of this group. At the end of the 19th century, the Alcantarines were joined with other Observant friars to form the Order of Friars Minor.

As spiritual director to Saint Teresa, Peter encouraged her in promoting the Carmelite reform. His preaching brought many people to religious life, especially to the Secular Franciscan Order, the friars, and the Poor Clares.

Peter of Alcantara was canonized in 1669. His Liturgical Feast Day is September 22.

Poverty was a means and not an end for Peter. The goal was following Christ in ever greater purity of heart. Whatever obstructed that path could be eliminated with no real loss. The philosophy of our consumer age—you are worth what you own—may find Peter of Alcantara's approach severe. Ultimately, his approach is life-giving while consumerism is deadly.


Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 477

Reading 1 EPH 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace;
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6
R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia SEE MT 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds,
"When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You hypocrites!
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

"Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny."


Meditation: Ephesians 4:1-6

. . . striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)

Like many of the early churches, the Ephesian church was diverse. It included Jews and non-Jews, along with a mixture of slaves and free people (Ephesians 6:8). The Jews would have probably wanted the non-Jews to live according to the Law of Moses. At the same time, the non-Jews would have likely seen themselves as superior in education and social status to the Jews. Seeing the potential for rivalries and animosity, Paul urged them to overcome their differences by focusing on what they had in common.

But how was this possible in the face of profound and seemingly irreconcilable differences? Paul points to the need for humility, patience, and gentleness, and he wraps all of these virtues up in a call for them to strive for peace. And to fuel their determination, he reminds them of all they have in common as believers: "one body

. . . one Spirit . . . one hope . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father" (Ephesians 4:4-6). If they could keep their eyes on all these gifts, unity would be possible.

Today, we see divisions within our Church as well. Race, class, and politics are some of the more obvious dividing lines, but there can also be divisions between religious traditionalists and progressives, between converts and "cradle Catholics."

On the one hand, this is natural; we like to be around people who are like us. But on the other hand, we can hold too tightly to these dividing lines and rarely cross them. Staying within these boundaries keeps us from learning from one another. They keep us from discovering the many ways Jesus reveals himself. And they keep us from growing in the kind of all-encompassing love that draws people to the Lord.

St. Paul's words aren't just for the first-century Ephesians. They are for all of us. We are united to each other by bonds that go deeper than where we come from or how much money we make. We have the same Spirit living in us. We belong to the same God who loves us. We are indebted to the same Messiah who saved us.

May these truths break down every dividing wall!

"Lord, teach me to love everyone in my church."

Psalm 24:1-6
Luke 12:54-59


2 cents :
" Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism...". Our Lord came from Heaven, why? To become one with us, more intimately. WOW! No more days of Him being up in the clouds, in the smoke of sacrifice, but now, the incarnated word to dwell among us. What does "carne" mean in spanish? It has this word in incarnate. It means meat. I asked the students "when did our Lord become meat, flesh for us?" Some said on the cross, some said when he was born, some said when he was in the womb, and I said "yes, even at the point of conception, he was all there, all dna and formed in the mother's womb". Think now how we are one body in Christ.


Let us pray: "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob." Who longs to see His face? Where is the people that longs to see His face? Some say they can't see Him so they don't believe. Some simply yearn and long to see the day. Which person are you? Do you have to see to believe? Where does faith come in?

In comes our Lord: "You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?" People are smart. But we play dumb. It is right for our Lord to call people fools for being fooled and hypocrites for having 2 faces. "Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?" What is right? To live life right. I told the students that there is a grain of truth to YOLO (You Only Live Once) and I said "you only live once on this earth, so what would you have lived your life for?" Some give all their lives to something or someone that is not God, and sadly, the majority live for themselves. Inward implosions, and its a wonder why our people are so depressed, supposedly statistics say 1 out of 2 people face depression in some sort of way. No wonder drugs are in high demand, both legal and illegal. This is why our Lord comes in so strong with words. Settle up. If someone has something against you, boy oh boy, you better settle up. Did you mess up? Did you goof up? Better get it right and now! And then come to confession and then come to Holy Communion. I have been assigned a new RCIA class. I told the student that we have Catholics that rarely go to confession. I asked a family member when he was aggravated with me "when's the last time you went to confess to our parish priest!? " and he replied "i don' have to tell you that". As if to say "it's none of your business". So be it. But why hide the answer? Why is it so personal when I ask "when is the last time you seen OUR FATHER?". Because we are in this together, aren't we? You'd think I was talking to a little teenager, but this man is almost 70 years old! Ahh, these are my brothers. We have our spats, don't we? But mercy must win. I prayed with him later and we hugged. Settle up! LOL. It's not easy. I was the one and the only one that apologized. I was the one that went to him to hug him. I'm the one that plays the part of the loser. Is that right? Even if I was right? Yes. Settle up. Love must win.
Parishioners complain about the priest in the same way. Oh boy do these people want the priest to wash their feet and more. They want him to apologize for their feelings getting hurt. They want him to do this and that for them. But when he asks for help? Hardly anybody step up to the plate. Why? I told a godson yesterday "we are facing an estrangement from our Father". People become strangers to our Father. The disconnect is so great. That is why I ask people, "when's the last time you confessed?" That means this: When is the last time you sat down, intimately with our Father and poured yourself out and had a heart to heart conversation with Him who represents the body of Christ?"

I've asked many successful business men from church "will you go eat with me today?" No. Too busy. I've asked for years. And my whole intention is for a sit down and intimacy moment, it is a faith outreach, perhaps even...the Holy Spirit! This is what our Lord is offering on the altars.

The new RCIA student was flabbergasted when I said people hardly confess but we have long lines to communion (all over the world). He seemed to understand the gravity of the issue. It is a defilement of the Holy of Holies. Is it wrong? I've had discussions and read many things on the defilement of the Eucharist, like when bits and pieces fall, microscopic even falling to the floor. I read about a time in an exorcism the devil laughed hard stating how our Lord is stepped on, trampled underfoot during Mass. Some say that the Lord knows this, and is protected from this. Some say that if he enters defilement it won't defile Him, but what about the person defiled? Some say it is detrimental to the soul. Some say people have died because of this.

Why do I say all this?

So we are true. Not hypocrites.
So we learn to value the times, in this discernment period.
Some say there is hell to pay. Some say purgatory is like hell on so many levels. And our Lord says ".... you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." Is this a threat? Is this a promise? The word is like a double edged sword. It cuts to the bone, to the heart of the matter.
So we must learn to discern, either we love Him truly, or we do not...



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