Friday, December 14, 2018

⛪Vindicated By Her...

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Prepare the Way

Then as he was walking through the forest joyfully singing in French and praising God, he was suddenly set upon by robbers. They threatened him and asked him who he was but he replied intrepidly with the prophetic words, "I am the herald of the great King." Then they beat him and threw him into a ditch full of snow, telling him, "Lie there, rustic herald of God." With that they made off and Francis jumped from the ditch, full of joy, and made the woods re-echo with his praise to the Creator of all. God's love was so deeply rooted in Francis that he was not deeply shaken by an incident such as this one. He wanted them to know what a great inheritance they were ignoring and patiently tried to get that message across to all people. A herald prepares people for the arrival of a more important person. In that sense, John the Baptist was a herald for Jesus. If people want to look down on the herald's role as demeaning, they have already set themselves on a dead-end path because they will almost certainly claim what does not belong to them.

—from the book Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi


"Only he will receive, will find, and will enter who perseveres in asking, seeking and knocking."
— St. Louis de Montfort

"Jesus has many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few cross-bearers. Many desire His consolation, but few His tribulation. Many will sit down with Him at table, but few will share His fast. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few will suffer for Him. Many will follow Him to the breaking of the bread, but few will drink the bitter cup of His Passion. Many revere His miracles, but few follow the shame of His cross. Many love Jesus when all goes well with them, and praise Him when He does them a favor; but if Jesus conceals Himself and leaves them for a little while, they fall to complaining or become depressed. They who love Jesus purely for Himself and not for their own sake bless Him in all trouble and anguish as well as in time of consolation. Even if He never sent them consolation, they would still praise Him and give thanks. Oh how powerful is the pure love of Jesus, when not mixed with self-interest or self-love!"
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 88-89
Imitation of Christ

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save."

Isaiah 46:3-4


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St. John of the Cross (1542–1591) was born to a poor family in Old Castile, Spain. His father married below his rank and was disinherited as a result. After his father's early death, John was raised in poverty by his mother. He studied and served at a local hospital while committing himself to severe penances. Uncertain of his life's direction, he was told in prayer that he should enter religious life in order to bring reform. John joined the ancient Carmelite Order and received permission to observe their original rule of life, quickly earning a reputation for his humility, obedience, and religious fervor. He later met St. Teresa of Avila, a reforming Carmelite abbess who recognized the greatness of John's virtue and requested his assistance to found a monastery of friars under the primitive Carmelite rule, as she had done for her nuns. Together they founded the Discalced Carmelites, a contemplative order of strict religious observance. His reforms began to spread, and as a result John was captured, imprisoned, and physically abused by his fellow friars. His sufferings helped him to write his most famous work, Dark Night of the Soul. After nine months he made a miraculous escape and he went on to found and govern several Carmelite monasteries. St. John of the Cross became an authority on the spiritual life, and his profound writings and poetry are considered among the greatest of all Spanish literature. Because of his invaluable writings he was named a Doctor of the Church and the patron saint of mystics, contemplatives, and Spanish poets. His feast day is December 14th.
. . .
In his life and writings, John of the Cross has a crucial word for us today. We tend to be rich, soft, comfortable. We shrink even from words like self-denial, mortification, purification, asceticism, discipline. We run from the cross. John's message—like the gospel—is loud and clear: Don't—if you really want to live!

Saint John of the Cross is the Patron Saint of:


Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Is 48:17-19

Thus says the LORD, your redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
and those born of your stock like its grains,
Their name never cut off
or blotted out from my presence.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
R. (see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord will come; go out to meet him!
He is the prince of peace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare this generation?
It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said,
'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by her works."


Meditation: Matthew 11:16-19

Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. (Matthew 11:17)

When Jesus came announcing the kingdom, many people complained about his habit of socializing with tax collectors and sinners. But as far as Jesus was concerned, these people were missing their opportunity to join in the dance of the good news. He preached a message of God's love and mercy, but they didn't want to hear it.

Jesus didn't let their rejection get the best of him. According to him, "Wisdom is vindicated by her works" (Matthew 11:19). The miracles he performed, the healings and the casting out of demons, the sermons and parables—all of these combined to testify to the truth of his message. Seeing the sick healed, the dead raised, and the poor receiving the good news, his detractors should have seen that God was doing something new and important in Jesus. They should have seen all of these as signs of how good and generous God is, and that he was welcoming everyone to come to him.

The miracles didn't stop with Jesus. They continue even today. Every day, people are surprised by signs of God's love and faithfulness. Years of built-up bitterness have dissipated, and the way to reconciliation has opened—because people are looking for God. Chains of addiction and substance abuse are being loosed, and the road to recovery is being started—because people are seeing the Lord's help.

Wisdom has even more works and miracles in store for us! Just as Jesus wanted a deeper connection with the people of his day, he longs for a closer relationship with us. Every time we pray, we have the opportunity to touch the hem of Jesus' garment and experience his presence in our hearts. Every time we reach out to someone who is hurting, we have the opportunity to vindicate Jesus' words by our acts of love and kindness. We can make a difference for them because we are letting God make a difference in us. And if we don't feel much in prayer on a given day, we can always let God's past work in our lives vindicate the wisdom of our persevering.

Jesus is calling you, so get up and join him in the dance!

"Lord, I cannot deny all you have done in my life and in the world. Help me to join all the saints in celebrating your kingdom today."

Isaiah 48:17-19
Psalm 1:1-4, 6


2 cents :

"If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea". There are Psalms that give so much praise and love for the "law of the Lord", I believe it is the largest if not one of the largest compendiums on such books. Love the law, love the Lord. You are free to live your life in the world or in eternity. Choose eternity. That is true freedom. Relish the law, teach others the law of God, and you will be called holy, but only if you teach with your life, as Jesus. He taught the greatest of laws from the cross, of what it means to lay down your life for God and for one another.


Let us pray: "Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes."
What is the "life" we just heard about? Eternity. Right to life. Those who follow Jesus, our Lord will have the right to life. When a friend or family member of mine do not go to Mass, I know they have sinned. I know they could lose the right to life.

Is it not an act of love to invite them to life? Evil in the world teaches the contrary, for you to hush, to not say anything, to just "let them be". Be what? Caught in sin? Did Jesus not come for sinners? Are we not the body of Christ? Do you REALLY love your own? If so, why do you not fight tooth and nail for them to have the right to life? Ahh, this is why you read this, for encouragement, and Jesus is here.


In comes our Lord from Heaven and says: 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.'

John came with all holiness and sanctity, as much as humanly possible. Many did not care for it, did not care to dance. Jesus came eating with all the worst of sinners, drinking wine with them, to be one with us, and they did not care for it, it did not make a difference, they did not care to mourn not even His death. Jesus came with all divinity from Heaven, wrapped up in a human body. He spoke with great care. He wept. He danced. He showed us there is a time for everything, and now is the appropriate time to turn from our ways and turn to Him.

In the picture depicted where two fingers are about to touch, I believe painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine chapel, it is a very good depiction of man and God. God with all His angels attempt to touch man, and man is so lackadaisical about his efforts to meet God, so passive, that it would seem aggressive in its passion-less heart. I been telling my students, that I hope that if they are asked to do the Passion of Christ play in church, not to be so passion-less. They make it seem like a comedy, giggling and faking like they care about the play. No passion. No passion for the Lord. And it shows. Holding the body of Christ, the girls giggle. As the Roman soldiers whip Christ, it's as if they were about to yawn and sound so quiet and monotone, no passion for either side. Not for darkness, and not for light. So gray. So boring. Thus, this is how the world is portrayed. Man, lackadaisical. The finger of man not even lifting, just limp. As if unable to even if he tried. The flutes play on every day. The dirge plays. Last night, I was asked to lead a rosary for a 2.5 month old baby named Grace. I looked on her little face before I led the rosary. It was as if looking at an angel. Baby Grace. I knew I would be facing many non-Catholics in prayer. I looked hard for a microphone so I wouldn't have to stand up on the pulpit. But alas, I had to use the pulpit. I began to sweat. It's as if I can sense room tensions and spirits. It happened on our Lady of Guadalupe, in the morning we were singing and dancing full of joy to our Lady Mother of God, and that same evening, I could hardly sing, sweating, messing up on almost every song. It's one thing to sing to people who want to sing, and another to sing to people who don't want to sing and even worse...don't want to hear it.

So I lead the prayers regardless. Teaching teachings of our Church, you almost have to during a Holy Rosary for it is proclaiming the life of Christ through the eyes of Mary, the Holy Soul created by God. So I prayed on and I played my guitar between mysteries. It's as if you can hear a pin drop, and you can hear my nervousness. Why? Why what? For one thing, I noticed some there were just talking the whole time, when I was praying

In solemn meditation, they were talking to each other, when I was playing the guitar in joyful mode, they were talking to each other. Careless. Nothing seemed to move them. I tried to shake their hand after coming to pray for them, and play for them, and try to help them in their faith, and they didn't seem to want to shake my hand. Think Jesus.

The grandfather caught me on my way out, as I was leaving the rosary, and he tried to give me some cash. I said no, "you asked me to come pray". So, he put his money away and hugged me, and boy was that hug worth a million bucks, the kind of hug that you can feel my heartbeat against yours.

That is touching and moving and gratefulness, that my dear loved one, is EUCHARIST. When you are moved by my sufferings, you are Christ. When one's sufferings mean something, that is holiness.

As for those who are talking and not paying attention, or are lackadaisical, what of their souls? LOL, I have no clue!! I will continue to do my part, my part of the heart with angels from Heaven.

In spanish my mom says "que alcavo hay mas tiempo que vida". (anyhow, there is more time than there is life). Our timing is not God's. His is all the time and eternity. My time with Him though, that matters. A rich man told me "I've been giving money, but never any time". I said time is worth more, because then money is worth less, and easier to give. I've asked other rich men to have lunch with me, been asking for a couple years, to no avail. Money? Yes. They give. Time? That is stretching it. But in the LIFE (eternal), things are inverse. Time is non existent, so what can you give then? Money is non existent. These things only exist in the world. There is alot of rejoicing and praising going on in Heaven. Things that take time and money on earth. Investments? That's why Saints, they give up all and are vindicated by their works of great love. Some protestants say that you don't have to lift a finger once you are saved. You can do whatever in the hell you want, basically, and this all sounds to me like the devil's lies. Jesus calls for works, preaching repentance, preaching and baptizing, preaching and healing, preaching and reaching, preaching and laying down one's life. I tend to lay things real thick...and rich.

Rightly so, for I am dining on the richness from heaven, Holy Mass.

Lord, help us have a heart for You alone...
Lord, helps make our way Your Way....




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