Friday, January 4, 2019

⛪ Come and You will See

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We Crave Solitude

As our lives grow more pressured, as we grow more tired, and as we begin to talk more about burnout, we fantasize about solitude. We imagine it as a peaceful, quiet place, where we are walking by a lake, watching a sunset, or smoking a pipe in a rocker by the fireplace. But even here, many times we make solitude yet another activity, something we do. Solitude, however, is a form of awareness. It's a way of being present and perceptive within all of life. It's having a dimension of reflectiveness in our daily lives that brings with it a sense of gratitude, appreciation, peacefulness, enjoyment, and prayer. It's the sense, within ordinary life, that life is precious, sacred, and enough.

—from Prayer: Our Deepest Longing


"If I am distracted, Holy Communion helps me to become recollected. If opportunities are offered by each day to offend my God, I arm myself anew each day for the combat by the reception of the Eucharist. If I am in special need of light and prudence in order to discharge my burdensome duties, I draw nigh to my Savior and seek counsel and light from him."
— St. Thomas More

"Let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts, and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. When she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard."
— Blessed Pope Pius IX, p.84
Manual for Marian Devotion

"If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord."
James 1:5-8


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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774–1821) was born in New York City to a wealthy, virtuous, and influential family. She married a businessman, and together they lived on Wall Street. They attended an Episcopalian church where Elizabeth was very active in charitable works to the poor. When her father-in-law died, she became like a mother to her husband's six younger siblings, in addition to her own five children. During a trip to Italy she was introduced to Catholicism, and she converted to the Catholic Church following the death of her husband. After losing her family fortune, Elizabeth spent her life working to improve education and provide for the poor, as well as the needs of her family. She established the first Catholic school in the nation, and also founded the Sisters of Charity, the first American religious community. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be declared a saint. She is also the patron of widows and those who have lost parents or children. Her feast day is January 4th.


Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious

Reading 1 1 Jn 3:7-10

Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
No one who is begotten by God commits sin,
because God's seed remains in him;
he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 7-8, 9
R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy before the LORD.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD comes;
he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Alleluia Heb 1:1-2
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets:
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher),
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter.


Meditation: John 1:35-42

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious (Memorial)

Behold. (John 1:36)

Just a word, a suggestion, a nudge. That's what John the Baptist gave Andrew and his friend. But it was all they needed to take the step to look for Jesus. John didn't discuss Jesus' teachings. He didn't examine messianic prophecy. He just said Behold! There he is. Go take a look; check it out. Then, when Andrew approached him, Jesus was similarly concise. He simply invited him to "Come and see" (John 1:39). It was another call to look, to see, to observe.

It might seem anticlimactic; Andrew and his friend were introduced to Jesus in a very simple way. There was no drama, no lightning bolts or lengthy theological debate. Just one person suggesting that another person take a look. But that was enough.

It just goes to show, that simply pointing to Jesus can be a great form of evangelization. We don't need profound words or convincing arguments. Sometimes they can even get in the way, because people need to see Jesus for themselves. Our words, as good as they might be, are most effective when they help people seek out Jesus for themselves.

Look what happened to Andrew! After spending just one day with Jesus, he was convinced he had found the Messiah. Then he evangelized his brother Peter. How? By saying, We've found the Messiah. You've got to come see him!

So how can we point people to Jesus? We probably won't be able to point him out as he walks alongside a river, as John did. But we have seen the way he has touched our own lives and shown us his love and mercy. That's always a great place to start.

You'll likely have a chance to point someone to Jesus sometime this weekend. A friend might be going through a rough patch; you could try to encourage him by telling him how you see Jesus active in his life. Or you might have gone through something similar and could share how Jesus helped you—even if you saw him only after the fact. But that's just one example. Try to be open to all the opportunities that present themselves. And know that as you open a window on what Jesus means in your life, you're giving the people around you the chance to see him. You're inviting them to come to see more.

"Jesus, help me be a living sign pointing to you!"

1 John 3:7-10
Psalm 98:1, 7-9


2 cents :
"...the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother."

Today's 1st Holy Scripture says that whoever sins belongs to the Devil. That's a scary thought. Do you believe it? Or shall we play off sin as no big deal? Afterall, the world makes sin as no big deal. Turn on the TV and video games and movies and see adultery, fornication, and violence, and it almost seems normal. And all of this is flirting with disaster. What's more, most think they are OK and they deserve Heaven. They don't drink, they don't kill anybody or steal, they are in their own eyes, saints. So who has set that bar so low? Look no further than the devil! Because these folks also say "I don't need church, I don't need God, and I don't need anyone else telling me how to live". I would consider an atheist a very staunch protestant and puritan. They consider themselves so good that God is not. The truth is not. To them, truth is wrapped up in one word, "ME". Nothing else exists but what I say exists. If I can't measure it with my scientific wand, then it doesn't exist. Funny. So how do you measure morals? Sociological dilemmas? One we are facing now is the rapid declination of human beings. The fight for souls is going to intensify in the next few decades. Why? Because people are precious. How do you measure that? The correct way is God's way. Measure with His measure.


Let us pray: "Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God". Again with the singing! LOL, I am singing, alot! But this is "sing a new song to the Lord" means more. It calls for a conversion, away with the old, and in with the new, because Jesus is the new...ALWAYS.


So let us turn to our Lord today, and He asks you "What are you looking for?". There is a reason you have come here. What do you want? What do you want from me? They said to Him ""where are you staying?", in other words "Teacher, where are you going, we want to go, we want to see where you are going next, we want to follow and be with you". Jesus replies ""Come, and you will see." They stayed with him, and without delay, Andrew runs to Simon (Peter) to tell him the good news "We have found the Messiah,". Why do I bother copying scripture and repeating it? I do it so you will see where I am going. I am going to tell you a couple of things that pertain to the Word of God. And it has to do everything with what Jesus calls us for every single day. First of all, these are no ordinary men. These men were seeking the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior. These men were faithful lovers of God. Typical men would not do what these men did, whence they found the Messiah. I am saying this for you, yourself, not to be a normal seeker of Christ. You shall not be a typical human being. Yours is a special calling from God. They have an encounter that changes everything once they find Him. And secondly, they go out to the world to tell them that Christ is here. You are called to the encounter, even daily, and to go out and proclaim your new found love and faith. Sing a new song every day. This story goes well with the story of the new wine in old skins, and it goes well with the times our Lord said we must not love the world more than Him, even hate the world. Aren't you disgusted with the world? I turn on the news and all I hear is hatred for the president, and love for abortions and all things against natural conception of humans. The world has gone crazy by being lazy in faith. It has lost the warmth of the love of God. Hasn't it? In all my ministries, just a handful are there. But take heart. I write to you my handful of God lovers. I write to you on the 3rd point of today's Gospel, a life-changing following of Christ. Do you up and leave your job and family like the disciples did? That depends...on the Holy Spirit. For some, the vocation takes root, and it must be on Christ. What happens in a conversion? A new life begins. A new life with Christ, following Christ, doing what He says, not telling Him what to do. WHOA. I read a quote by today's saint that says "the gate of Heaven is very low, so only the humble can enter". It's hard to see a low lying gate. You have to be looking for it, to take to it, first: slow down, second: get on your knees...and third: you lay down...your life for CHRIST



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