Tuesday, October 30, 2018

⛪ Man took and planted

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The Path of Love

Jesus shows us the path to follow Him: the path of love.… It is a real path, a path that leads us to come out of ourselves and go towards others. Jesus showed us that the love of God is realized in love for our neighbor. Both go hand-in-hand. The pages of the Gospel are full of this love: adults and children, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, just and sinners all were welcomed into the heart of Christ.

—from Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis


Saint Quote
"Don't spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: Lift up your spirit, and love God."
— St. Padre Pio

"We should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, and do, and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better or for worse. So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death."
— Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

"In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:13-14


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Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez

(1533 – October 30, 1617)

Tragedy and challenge beset today's saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter, and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business, and with his young son, moved into his sister's home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation.

At the death of his son years later, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits' college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations.

His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including Saint Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus' life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but centuries later he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems.

Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.

We like to think that God rewards the good, even in this life. But Alphonsus knew business losses, painful bereavement, and periods when God seemed very distant. None of his suffering made him withdraw into a shell of self-pity or bitterness. Rather, he reached out to others who lived with pain, including enslaved Africans. Among the many notables at his funeral were the sick and poor people whose lives he had touched. May they find such a friend in us!

Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez is the Patron Saint of:


Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Eph 5:21-33

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R. (1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

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 13:18-21

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and 'the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'"

Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened."


Meditation: Ephesians 5:21-33

The two shall become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)

When Paul talks about two becoming one flesh, he is referring back to the story of creation in the Book of Genesis. It's a beautiful image, one that describes the kind of love and single-mindedness that God wants for every married couple. But as lovely as the sentiment is, we know that no marriage is perfect. All couples have their ups and downs. Nobody agrees all the time, and some marriages are on the verge of collapse because of disunity.

So what does unity in marriage mean in real life?

First, unity means developing a common heart and mind. Virtually every self-help manual focused on marriage emphasizes the need for good communication—and for good reason. If they don't discuss their goals, husbands and wives risk going in different directions. This takes patience. It takes a lot of listening. It also takes flexibility and a willingness to compromise. But it is well worth the effort. Not only is there unity in the family, but the husband and wife are drawn that much closer to each other.

Second, unity means a readiness to forgive. When one person offends the other, they should make it their number one priority to seek reconciliation. Choosing humility over pride has a special power to melt the other person's heart. It invites the Holy Spirit to come and help the couple choose mercy over judgment.

Finally, unity means loving sacrificially. It can sound grandiose, but sacrificial love usually shows itself in the small things: helping with the dishes, listening attentively when your spouse has had a hard day, going out of your way to give your spouse a break from the kids when you are both tired. Gestures like these never go unnoticed—by your spouse or by the Lord.

Of course, none of this is easy. That's why the greatest way to build unity is simply to pray. Ask God to bless you and your spouse. Don't pray that your spouse become everything you expect them to be; pray instead for the grace to love your spouse right now and to continue to lay down your life for them.

In the end, unity is a precious gift from God. It's a gift embedded in the Sacrament of Marriage that God gives to everyone who turns to him.

"Lord, bless all marriages with love and unity."

Psalm 128:1-5
Luke 13:18-21


2 cents :
The Word opens up to us today: "Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ."
This goes to everything. Husbands and wives. Priests and Church. Workers and bosses. I've learned one thing in the spirit; that the more you want to lead, the more you have to serve. There are those who want to lead, and that's it. And so they wind up hating the people they lead. But if you serve, you'll love. If you serve the church, you'll love the church, if you serve your wife, you'll love her. What's more, if you strive for her holiness, you'll love her even more, you will be holy first to give. Don't wait for others to serve, beat them to it, serve love first! And God is love, amen?


Let us pray: "Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored." Ahh, we want favor? Favor Him first. What good is a favor if it is returned? It's not a true favor. Favor is giving and love is giving one way. How can you make a return to God for all the good He has done for you? How? Thanksgiving. We lead to Christ, in the Eucharist. Amen?

In the Holy Gospel today, our Lord approaches us: ""What is the Kingdom of God like?" Two answers He says; first, it is like a seed. Second, it is like yeast. These things are designed for a purpose, to grow. They lose themselves, they change their form. They transform. But they need another ingredient to grow, they need nutrients, substance, amen? That is the Kingdom. Already there. At hand, just like our Lord says. It has been handed to us. Handle it with care. It is though, not like any other seed. This seed is so powerful, it is so ready to grow, it will latch on to the tiniest bit of dirt (a person) and flourish for a minute, an hour, a day, a month, a year, or even....a lifetime. But wait, there's more! It can grow into eternity. It can inside of you. Do me a favor, don't tune into the news of the world, take it with a grain of salt. Add salt. Be salt to the world. Tune into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you want joy, everlasting joy, join the cross bearing life of doing God's will. Everyone asks "Lord what do you want of me?". It is a common question. And the answer is simple, from heaven the voice proclaims this: All Of You. That's the answer. All of you. I met a wonderful man last week, and he told me his life story over dinner. He learned he was adopted and was adopted into a wealthy family. Once he was about 20 years old, he wanted to meet his "real" mom. He found her. He called her. First thing she says to him over the phone was "WHERE ARE YOU". That's all she wanted to know, nothing else. Just like when God asks in Genesis "where are you". That's all God wants to know. That's a book of theology by the way, not history. Anyway, back to the story. The mother wants to know where he is so she can fly immediately to him, and she did, somehow, the next day she about flew halfway across the country to meet him. And the young man had tears in his eyes. He goes to his adopted mother...and is disowned. No more wealth. No more happiness. But the man has joy. That's what God offers. In the world, you can find happiness. But joy? Be that joy. Be that seed. Be that yeast that makes the bread grow. And this bread growing is the body of Christ. This man is finding joy now in the Catholic Church. And the world hates it. I'd say most divisions in the world are a direct attack against the mother Church. Why? Because truth hurts. I tell people how it is in their face. And it gets me in trouble, I need to learn how to tell people with grace the truth. That's why I told my 11 yr. old son at a men's conference a couple months ago, when he asked me "dad, what does humble mean?". I said "son, let me find out, and I'll get back to you". I've yet to tell him. But we got clues. Its about a seed no longer being a seed. Yeast no longer being yeast. It becomes something greater, and gives fruit to the world to eat. It seems as though the Eucharist giving life has something to do with it. Something so little, being something so great.



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