Wednesday, December 5, 2018

⛪Where could we ever get enough

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We Are All Mothers of Our Lord

In his Letter to all the Faithful, Saint Francis writes, "We are mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ when we carry him in our hearts and in our bodies, lovingly, and with a pure and sincere conscience, and give birth to him through the working of his grace in us which should shine forth as an example to others."

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


"To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement."
— St. Augustine of Hippo

"They who are bent on sensible sweetness, labor also under another very great imperfection: excessive weakness and remissness on the rugged road of the cross; for the soul that is given to sweetness naturally sets its face against all the pain of self-denial. They labor under many other imperfections, which have their origin here, of which our Lord will heal them in due time, through temptations, aridities and trials, elements of the dark night."
— St. John of the Cross, p. 28
Dark Night of the Soul

"He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Matthew 22:37-40


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Saint Sabas

Saint of the Day for December 5
(439 – December 5, 532)

Born in Cappadocia, Sabas is one of the most highly regarded patriarchs among the monks of Palestine, and is considered one of the founders of Eastern monasticism.

After an unhappy childhood in which he was abused and ran away several times, Sabas finally sought refuge in a monastery. While family members tried to persuade him to return home, the young boy felt drawn to monastic life. Although the youngest monk in the house, he excelled in virtue.

At age 18 he traveled to Jerusalem, seeking to learn more about living in solitude. Soon he asked to be accepted as a disciple of a well-known local solitary, though initially he was regarded as too young to live completely as a hermit. Initially, Sabas lived in a monastery, where he worked during the day and spent much of the night in prayer. At the age of 30 he was given permission to spend five days each week in a nearby remote cave, engaging in prayer and manual labor in the form of weaving baskets. Following the death of his mentor, Saint Euthymius, Sabas moved farther into the desert near Jericho. There he lived for several years in a cave near the brook Cedron. A rope was his means of access. Wild herbs among the rocks were his food. Occasionally men brought him other food and items, while he had to go a distance for his water.

Some of these men came to him desiring to join him in his solitude. At first he refused. But not long after relenting, his followers swelled to more than 150, all of them living in individual huts grouped around a church, called a laura.

The bishop persuaded a reluctant Sabas, then in his early 50s, to prepare for the priesthood so that he could better serve his monastic community in leadership. While functioning as abbot among a large community of monks, he felt ever called to live the life of a hermit. Throughout each year—consistently in Lent—he left his monks for long periods of time, often to their distress. A group of 60 men left the monastery, settling at a nearby ruined facility. When Sabas learned of the difficulties they were facing, he generously gave them supplies and assisted in the repair of their church.

Over the years Sabas traveled throughout Palestine, preaching the true faith and successfully bringing back many to the Church. At the age of 91, in response to a plea from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sabas undertook a journey to Constantinople in conjunction with the Samaritan revolt and its violent repression. He fell ill and soon after his return, died at the monastery at Mar Saba. Today the monastery is still inhabited by monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Saint Sabas is regarded as one of the most noteworthy figures of early monasticism.

Few of us share Sabas' yearning for a cave in the desert, but most of us sometimes resent the demands others place on our time. Sabas understands that. When at last he gained the solitude for which he yearned, a community immediately began to gather around him, and he was forced into a leadership role. He stands as a model of patient generosity for anyone whose time and energy are required by others—that is, for all of us.


Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Reading 1 Is 25:6-10a

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
"Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
"My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way."
The disciples said to him,
"Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?"
Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"
"Seven," they replied, "and a few fish."
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.


Meditation: Matthew 15:29-37

1st Week of Advent

They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full. (Matthew 15:37)

Here's a question to ponder. If Jesus is the all-knowing perfect Son of God, why didn't he give the apostles exactly the right amount of food for this crowd? Why did they end up with extra bread? Maybe he thought that the disciples might get hungry again. Or maybe he anticipated more people showing up later. More likely, Jesus used the leftovers to teach his disciples something.

The number of baskets remaining—seven—can give us a clue. In Jewish tradition, seven was an expression of perfection, the kind of perfection found only in God. It took God six days to create the world, and then he rested on the seventh. It was a day of satisfaction and plenty. It was a time to enjoy his creation. In the same way, the bread that Jesus provided satisfied the crowd in a way that no earthly food could (Matthew 15:37).

The number seven also shows us God's limitless generosity. Isaiah lists seven gifts of the Spirit (11:2-3). The Book of Proverbs describes divine wisdom as having seven pillars (9:1). Jesus told Peter to forgive "seventy-seven times," that is, always (Matthew 18:22). He knew that Peter could be so forgiving because God's mercy is boundless.

Notice also that the apostles started with seven baskets, and they finished with seven baskets. It was Jesus' way of saying that whenever we rely on God's resources in our giving to someone, we will never run out. These fragments weren't really leftovers. They were part of his endless supply of blessings!

All of these elements apply in a special way to the Eucharist, the Bread of Life that Jesus gives us every day at Mass. This bread, which is his Body, is unlike any other food we could ever eat. It is perfect, lacking in nothing. It is full of God's eternal, unlimited blessings. When we receive this bread in faith and surrender our hearts to Jesus, he fills us with everything we need. He satisfies our hearts' deepest desires. And he gives us plenty of "leftover" grace to share with everyone we will encounter. What a generous, loving God he is!

"Lord, I trust that your Body and your Blood can satisfy the deepest desires of my heart."

Isaiah 25:6-10
Psalm 23:1-6


2 cents :
"On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines".
What mountain? Zion? The mountain the Lord chooses for sure. Imagine what He provides from this mountain, and how blessed those who go up the mountain. Like lambs on the mountainside, by the sea of endless mercy. It is amazing. What's more amazing? What is being provided. What the lambs are fed. For that, let us go forth.


Let us pray: "I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul." He leads to the edges of the Sea of Galilee. Beside waters he leads and refreshes souls. To strengthen, to make anew. This is what He does when He feeds us. What does He feed? The best of foods and wines, the kind that lasts forever. Take this from a daily Mass guy, I walk in hungry and leave hungry no more. Literally in every sense of the word, both physical and spiritual. Amazing.


Let us turn to our Lord. And get ready because this gets very deep in revelation:
1.) "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd..." God speaks. He loves those who are near Him, and has pity on them. He sees them and is moved with great compassion. He heals them, and sees they are hungry and wants to feed them. But what will we feed?

2.) "...for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat." God speaks. He is already speaking of the 3 days He will leave the world when He offers Himself on the cross as the lamb of God for the sacrifice. If He leaves, He won't leave us to starve to death.

3.) "I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way." So He leaves us with bread from Heaven. Spiritual nourishment. You shall not die of hunger. Never. His food gives energy that compounds and compounds into an eternity.

He took 7 loaves of bread. Some say this is the perfect number but theologians say it is the number of Sacrament and that 10 is the perfect number. Regardless, Jesus takes 7 upon 10 and 7 upon 7. He multiplies over and over. Perfection revealed Sacramentally.

So what is the purpose of feeding on the mountain? Who will go up the mountain? Holy souls. Souls not afraid to be ridiculed. Souls desiring humility. Do you want that? Did you read the 12 steps of humility yesterday? I sent a link below. This trait is very hard to come by, it is not "natural" in a world we live in, but it is natural by the Spirit we partake. We need this in our world. We need afflicted souls. The kind that go up a mountain and serve their very lives for food for the world. On that note, our Lord serves as the Chief Priest to the priests to this day in Holy Orders: "gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. " To this day this happens.

But there is a hidden key that transformed a few loaves into thousands. Jesus " took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves", this was the great miracle. Thanksgiving means Eucharist. Giving thanks multiplies. Why do I go to daily Mass? To give thanks. Because I don't know how else to give my life to God. Do all those on the mountain go to Heaven? Holy souls will. I write to you to be holy, you and I. How? Humility. How? LOVE GOD. That's what I write every day, no? Step aside. Let Him be KING.
Isn't that the purpose of Advent, our new year in the Church?

Make room, the best room...
and the light in that room will transform the house...your temple

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