Monday, November 5, 2018

⛪ Do not invite your...

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Light Moves within Our Darkness

Like most people, I would prefer to escape deep loss and to avoid hard and challenging times. Yet the dark has given me gifts that are immeasurably deep. It was because I wrestled with the dark that I learned to see beyond what was happening on the surface of my life, and grew to understand that everything is more than it appears to be. In time I knew that the dark is not absent of light. Light moves within the dark at a great depth. With this realization came a glimpse of the inordinate beauty and power just beyond our sight.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night


Saint Quote
"We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people, and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion which is truly the spirit of God."
— St. Vincent de Paul

"When uncertain about God's will, it is very important that we tell ourselves: 'Even if there are aspects of God's will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.' These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God's will on an important question . . . we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God's will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full."
— Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 55
Interior Freedom

"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Matthew 5:11-12


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Saint Peter Chrysologus

(c. 406 – c. 450)

A man who vigorously pursues a goal may produce results far beyond his expectations and his intentions. Thus it was with Peter " of the Golden Words," as he was called, who as a young man became bishop of Ravenna, the capital of the empire in the West.

At the time there were abuses and vestiges of paganism evident in his diocese, and these Peter was determined to battle and overcome. His principal weapon was the short sermon, and many of them have come down to us. They do not contain great originality of thought. They are, however, full of moral applications, sound in doctrine, and historically significant in that they reveal Christian life in fifth-century Ravenna. So authentic were the contents of his sermons that some 13 centuries later, he was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII. He who had earnestly sought to teach and motivate his own flock was recognized as a teacher of the universal Church.

In addition to his zeal in the exercise of his office, Peter Chrysologus was distinguished by a fierce loyalty to the Church, not only in its teaching, but in its authority as well. He looked upon learning not as a mere opportunity but as an obligation for all, both as a development of God-given faculties and as a solid support for the worship of God.

Some time before his death around A.D. 450, Saint Peter Chrysologus returned to his birthplace of Imola, in northern Italy.

Quite likely, it was Saint Peter Chrysologus' attitude toward learning that gave substance to his exhortations. Next to virtue, learning, in his view, was the greatest improvement to the human mind and the support of true religion. Ignorance is not a virtue, nor is anti-intellectualism. Knowledge is neither more nor less a source of pride than physical, administrative, or financial prowess. To be fully human is to expand our knowledge—whether sacred or secular—according to our talent and opportunity.


Monday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Phil 2:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also everyone for those of others.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother's lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia Jn 8:31b-32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 14:12-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees.
He said to the host who invited him,
"When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."


Meditation: Luke 14:12-14

When you hold a banquet, invite the poor. (Luke 14:13)

When the time came for Chuck and Linda to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary, they decided to do things a little differently. Instead of the usual big party, they invited their family and friends to the Catholic Charities soup kitchen in their city. They had arranged for all their guests to join them in preparing and serving hot lunches to the homeless and needy in the area. Rather than asking for anniversary gifts, they asked for coats, hats, and gloves for the people they would be feeding. "God has given everything to us, and we can never repay him," Linda told a friend. "So why not try to do the same for other people?"

This story shows us what it might look like to live out Jesus' words in today's Gospel. It's not a stretch to say that Jesus was probably speaking literally here. Over and over in the Gospels, we see him telling us to show a special love for the poor and needy, the victimized and the marginalized.

We may not be able to do something quite so radical as Chuck and Linda did, but we can follow their example in small ways. They took an event that they were already organizing and turned the focus on people in need. So think about something you are already doing. What is already on your schedule that you could adjust to include people who cannot repay you?

Maybe you host a regular dinner for your extended family once a month. Think about spending a little time before the meal praying for the people who have nothing or less to eat. Ask the Lord to send someone to care for them—or maybe even to send you! Or maybe make more than enough for dinner, and take the extra to a neighbor who is recovering from surgery or is homebound. Rather than going out to dinner one evening, you could take the money you would have spent and make bagged lunches to hand out to the poor. Look closely, and you're sure to find opportunities.

The key is what Linda explained to her friend: by offering his life on the cross and pouring out his Spirit, Jesus has been extremely generous with us. He has blessed us in ways we could never repay. Now he asks us to go and do likewise.

"Jesus, give me a more generous heart."

Philippians 2:1-4
Psalm 131:1-3


2 cents :
"...complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart...". Jesus our Lord and Savior left us to do just we would complete Him. And how many bodies, how many souls, how many of us will it take to complete Him? Infinity. There is so much space, such a void being created, such room, this is why life is precious. Every life is needed. This is why creating with God is awesome...angels are born. The unborn. This is ground zero. Does God need that fulfillment? Not so much as we do. We need to fulfill our role of love, this creation, this unity with Him. Everybody would like to get along in the world, but...not really. Everybody says they love in the world, but not really. Not until Christ is the center of our lives will love be made true...complete.


Let us pray: " In you, O Lord, I have found my peace. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me." What is peace like? The Lord's peace is not the same as the world's peace. So what is it like? His peace. Peace of mind and soul. Peace in grace. Peace in living in His will. Then, your peace is unshakable. Then, you'll not live with haughty eyes, nor be too busy or too little. People with this peace are always available...for love.

In the Holy Gospel, our Lord says things that are out of this world. As real as this world seems, the world that comes in Him is even more real. This is all momentary. Everything is momentary. You make little problems big. You make big problems little. Some suffer life long depressions for little things. But with Christ, the biggest of problems are made little. This happens when you are yoked with Him. Our Lord speaks: "Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you." I've been telling many lately, that love is a one way street. Don't expect anything back...and that is love. I'd go even further, don't expect to be repaid in Heaven. For we are but mere servants, that is our duty. What do we serve? God's gifts. You don't provide gifts, you serve gifts that He provides. When people thank me for this and that, I just remind them we are mere instruments of the Holy Spirit. You should thank God, not me. So give to those who can not give back. Give what? Oh, the hard stuff, like forgiveness to some. Mercy. And if you dare, Love.

Then you can move on to the smaller things like giving money. That's easy to give. Most think of money when thinking about giving. Money is important, but it isn't everything. I've served homeless meals. I've talked with homeless ones on the streets. Yes, money might help for a time, yes that meal makes them ok for the day. But what goes longer than all that? Love. Serve love. You know what kind of love is really good? Mmm, it tastes so good, it's called genuine love. Authentic. The kind that is already lived out before you meet them. This takes daily discipline. To be a disciple of Christ, you must have discipline. When God gives, He expects nothing back. You too, when you give, don't expect back. Oh, you apologized? Great. They didn't apologize back!? Even greater. Oh, you were forgotten after all you did for people? Yeah...look at the cross, the crucified Messiah. What makes you any better or different? Unless we have been nailed to the cross for loving God our Father with all our hearts, minds, and souls, we can not begin to complain about ungrateful people. Jesus prayed all the way to the end of His fleshly earthly life, for love, for mercy. Who dies like that? Only the supreme being of the world...our King, our Master. Our everything. If we could only have a taste of this kind of love....and we do, if we are open to Him when we receive Him....



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