Tuesday, November 6, 2018

⛪ time for the dinner

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Imagine Another Future

St. Francis enable us to imagine another future that gives us hope; for hope is the grace to imagine a future more positive, more loving, and more joyful than the world we now find ourselves in. As St. Francis used to say to his brothers, "Let us begin to do good, for up to now we have done nothing."

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis


Saint Quote
"Guard against anger. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason."
— St. Ambrose

"No creature ever loved Jesus Christ more ardently, nor showed more perfect submission to His will, than Mary, His mother. If then, this Savior, immolated for us sinners, gave His mother to us, an advocate and intercessor for all time, she cannot but comply with His request, and will not refuse us her assistance. Let us, then, not hesitate to implore her pity; let us have recourse to her with great confidence in all our necessities, as she is an inexhaustible source of blessing, bestowing her favors in proportion to the confidence placed in her."
— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli, p. 152
Spiritual Combat

"This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
John 6:40


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Saint Nicholas Tavelic and Companions

(1340 – November 14, 1391)

Nicholas and his three companions are among the 158 Franciscans who have been martyred in the Holy Land since the friars became custodians of the shrines in 1335.

Nicholas was born in 1340 to a wealthy and noble family in Croatia. He joined the Franciscans, and was sent with Deodat of Rodez to preach in Bosnia. In 1384, they volunteered for the Holy Land missions and were sent there. They looked after the holy places, cared for the Christian pilgrims, and studied Arabic.

In 1391, Nicholas, Deodat, Peter of Narbonne, and Stephen of Cuneo decided to take a direct approach to converting the Muslims. On November 11, they went to the huge Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem and asked to see the Qadix—Muslim official. Reading from a prepared statement, they said that all people must accept the gospel of Jesus. When they were ordered to retract their statement, they refused. After beatings and imprisonment, they were beheaded before a large crowd.

Nicholas and his companions were canonized in 1970. They are the only Franciscans martyred in the Holy Land to be canonized. The Liturgical Feast of Saint Nicholas Tavelic and Companions is November 14.

Francis presented two missionary approaches for his friars. Nicholas and his companions followed the first approach—live quietly and give witness to Christ—for several years. Then they felt called to take the second approach of preaching openly. Their Franciscan confréres in the Holy Land are still working by example to make Jesus better known.


Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Phil 2:5-11

Brothers and sisters:
Have among yourselves the same attitude
that is also yours in Christ Jesus,

Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and, found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 22:26b-27, 28-30ab, 30e, 31-32
R. (26a) I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him.
The lowly shall eat their fill;
they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
"May your hearts be ever merry!"
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the LORD;
All the families of the nations
shall bow down before him.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
For dominion is the LORD's,
and he rules the nations.
To him alone shall bow down
all who sleep in the earth.

R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
To him my soul shall live;
my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
the justice he has shown.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.

Alleluia Mt 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 14:15-24

One of those at table with Jesus said to him,
"Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God."
He replied to him,
"A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
'Come, everything is now ready.'
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
'I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.'
And another said, 'I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.'
And another said, 'I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.'
The servant went and reported this to his master.
Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.'
The servant reported, 'Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.'
The master then ordered the servant,
'Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'"


Meditation: Philippians 2:5-11

Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:11)

This one sentence, made up of just four words, has changed the hearts of millions of people over two thousand years. What is so special about them? They are a summary of the entire message of Christianity, and that message is just as exciting today as it was in Paul's time. Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, is alive and wants to rule us as the merciful, powerful, loving, and patient Lord that he is.

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household, has said that when this message is proclaimed simply and clearly, it puts people "in direct contact with Christ and makes them experience the power of his Spirit." It gives them the opportunity "to renew their own baptism, consciously choose Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior, and commit themselves actively in the life of the Church" (Advent Sermon, December 2, 2005).

Most of us were baptized as infants and received our first sacraments as children. We may have never heard the message of Christianity proclaimed in a way that asked us for a mature, adult response. But that's the whole purpose for the proclamation of the gospel—to invite us to embrace it.

Even if you have been following the Lord for years, this message still has the power to move your heart and help you commit your life to the Lord in a new way. So spend some time reflecting on what God has done for you through Jesus. Here is a very brief summary of that message:

God, who created us in love, continued to love us even when we had fallen into sin. Rather than leaving us enslaved to sin, he decided to save us. So he sent Jesus to rescue us by freely sacrificing himself on the cross. Now risen from the dead, he offers us the opportunity to let him rule us as Lord. He invites us into a relationship of love, in which his Spirit continues to set us free.

Dwell on these truths today. Tell Jesus that you want him to be Lord in your life. You might even want to write out your commitment as a pledge to him.

Each day, we are faced with a choice: will I live under the reign of Jesus? May we always respond with a resounding yes!

"Jesus, I believe that you are Lord and Savior. Help me say yes to you again and again."


2 cents :
"...he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross." What if life is a venture, to find out what one thing matters? It should be, what matters. What if I proposed that this road was called humility? Oh, my dear one, it is so often overlooked, it is an ugly and bumpy little road, less traveled. I once drove past it. It looked tempting to take on. I'm on this big superhighway. But it looks peaceful in a way. There are weeds growing in the middle of it, as many dirt roads do when not used. I could've sworn I saw some pretty flowers way down the road. Ahh, but who gots time for all that. Right? Shall we go on?


Let us pray: " I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people. I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him. The lowly shall eat their fill; they who seek the LORD shall praise him: "May your hearts be ever merry!" When Jesus speaks, He says the word "may" a whole awful lot. So your soul "may" be saved. So they "may" listen. It's actually terrifying to think God says this. "May" be He is speaking nothing but truth.

The truth Speaks, our Lord speaks. We just prayed about fulfilling vows in front of those who fear Him. We just prayed about those who would eat and be merry. But it is only for the lowly. The forgotten, the path less traveled. I would like to say, this forgotten way, it is strange. Stranger to the world. God loves the unborn child. The world is hostile to the unborn child. God loves the elderly. The world treats elderly as used junk, providing euthanasia to them instead of love. The same with the unborn. We provide a knife to their throat instead of a warm crib and loving arms. All because they are a "mistake". God does not make mistakes. A life is not a mistake. Not yours, not that person you hate. We make mistakes, but God does not. Let's take this into consideration for once. Think of those making mistakes in your life. Those "numbskulls". Those "idiots". Those "stupid" people. Consider the path less taken to these people. You have identified a problem. Great. Now, what are you going to do about it? Jesus hung out with fools and stupid people, they followed Him around always asking stupid questions. Now, am I being harsh? No. Jesus calls them fools and even said the like word to stupid. Why are we so dumb? Why do we like the superhighways that let you go 100 mph? Why the deadly road? Because it is smoother? Gets you from point A to B faster? Why do you want to get there so fast? B is for beyond. We are speaking about the great beyond now.

Jesus invites us to His banquet. God the Father, Our Father, invites us to the banquet of Jesus. My rant will continue until I see a change: I go to daily Mass and I am the only man there. I see in daily mass some older women, one of them is a CCD teacher, been one for over 40 years. What's this rant all about? It's crazy. The Gospel is true. It's TRUE! God presents a feast from Heaven, HIS Kingdom. Dinner is being served. And on that altar, He serves His Only Son. Precious PRECIOUS Food. But, 2 out of 3 excuses to Him today were about business, some ox to tend to, some fields to look at, busy business, 100 mph. The same is true today. One out of the 3 said he had to tend to his new wife!? Is that a goddess? Is your family more important? The world teaches you it is. Priority number one: JESUS.

So, how do we tend to Jesus? Ahh. Another scary part.

I am about to embark on another retreat starting Thursday, for 3 days with prisoners. At first it sounds like a big deal. Who goes with hardened prisoners? Some of them are killers. You see them, they got tattoos everywhere, you can barely make out some of their faces. I get to go through a little bit of that road less taken. Remember those flowers I thought I saw once? It was there. I think I saw hope too. I don't know what these guys get out of being at a retreat, but for me, it is phenomenal. So how do I tend them? I just sit with them. I sing to them. I serve them. I wash their feet. All while my kids and wife sit at home. I am partaking of a Heavenly banquet while my work has to wait. I am sacrificing. I do this quite often. Like, daily Mass. I am writing to you so you join me. While I am away, my children and wife pray. We are one together. While I am away, my boss knows well, and they too pray. I am an ambassador for my people. I bring my representation of a whole. Now. As for you, I am inviting you, yes to pray, but, you must bring your family to God. I could not do this if my family was not on board. Priority is God first.
Then Family.
Bring God to Family. It is the path less traveled nowadays. Few are teaching them kids about God. It is a less traveled path. Few are teaching the importance of life from conception and life to natural end. I am amazing students about this teaching, they had no clue on euthanasia, or abortion. It has been dehumanized. But we are called to be humus. Dirt. Lowly. I think my name means fertile soil. I am manure then. I become one with dirt and flowers and grass begin to grow. How? I am attached to the Sacraments, HARD. I've gone to confession twice within this last week. Once at cursillo, then a few days after. I'm not about to lose grace to disgrace. I am encouraging you to do the same. Evil does not sleep. It will never stop, it is not an earthly being. But neither is our Lord in Heaven. His Holy Spirit cheats and beats evil. His Spirit is more spontaneous, more available to us than evil. His Mercy is Johnny on the spot. RIGHT Here, RIGHT Now. Let's do this! Work is never done. My house is never complete. Neither is your soul finished. Only when we unite ourselves intimately with our Savior, then we can let Him say when it is finished. Until then, the banquet meal is an eternal invitation. I'm among a bunch of "stupid people". All those forgotten. I'll be locked up with them for who knows how long (I'm not referring to physical jails). Jesus went to prison. This path never taken, comes with a promise.

Can you take this beaten path? It's not even a road now, just a beaten up way to living. Being a Christ follower is not for the faint of heart. You have to learn how to take punches to the gut, and to the face. Sprinkles of spit of hatred. This must be how dirt feels. And then fruit comes. Life comes. Flowers come and give glory to God.



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