Tuesday, January 29, 2019

⛪ "...For whoever does..."

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We Can't Find God by Running Away

The mystics teach us that one who tries to know and love God sooner or later becomes aware that God is unknowable, but one can love God intimately despite God's ultimate unknowableness. With this awareness comes the further realization that all one's desire to know and love God has from the beginning been God's work and that, try as one may, two things are certain: You cannot find God who has already found you by running away from yourself, your own problems, your own unresolved fears; and secondly, everything you leave in order to respond to God's love is in the end redeemed, transformed and given back to you wholly new and in an unpossessive way.

—from Mystics: 10 Who Show Us the Way of God


"When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth."
– St. Bonaventure

"Prayer, considered as petition, consists entirely in expressing to God some desire in order that He may hear it favorably; a real desire is, therefore, its primary and essential condition; without this, we are merely moving the lips, going through a form of words which is not the expression of our will; and thus our prayer is only an appearance without reality. The way, then, to excite ourselves to pray, to put life and fervor into our prayer, and to make of it a cry which, breaking forth from the depths of the soul, penetrates even to heaven, is to conceive the real desire mentioned above, to excite it, to cherish it; for the fervor of our prayer will be in proportion to the strength of the desire we have to be heard; just as what we have but little at heart we ask for only in a half-hearted way, if even we ask it at all; so what we desire with our whole soul we ask for with words of fire, and plead for it before God with an eloquence that is very real."
— Rev. Dom Lehody, p. 4-5
The Ways of Mental Prayer

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near."
Philippians 4:4-5


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Servant of God Brother Juniper

(d. 1258)

"Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers," said Francis of this holy friar.

We don't know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210. Francis sent him to establish "places" for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo. When Saint Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her. He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity.

Several stories about Juniper in the Little Flowers of St. Francis illustrate his exasperating generosity. Once Juniper was taking care of a sick man who had a craving to eat pig's feet. This helpful friar went to a nearby field, captured a pig and cut off one foot, and then served this meal to the sick man. The owner of the pig was furious and immediately went to Juniper's superior. When Juniper saw his mistake, he apologized profusely. He also ended up talking this angry man into donating the rest of the pig to the friars!

Another time Juniper had been commanded to quit giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road. Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn't give the man his tunic, but he wouldn't prevent the man from taking it either. In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away.

He died in 1258 and is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome.

What can we make of Juniper? He certainly seems to be the first of many Franciscan "characters." No doubt some of the stories about him have improved considerably in the retelling. Although the stories about Juniper may seem a little quaint, his virtues were not. He was humble because he knew the truth about God, himself, and others. He was patient because he was willing to suffer in his following of Jesus.


Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Heb 10:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come,
and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect
those who come to worship by the same sacrifices
that they offer continually each year.
Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered,
since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer
have had any consciousness of sins?
But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins,
for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, As is written of me in the scroll,
Behold, I come to do your will, O God.

First he says, Sacrifices and offerings,
burnt offerings and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will.
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 10, 11
R. (8a and 9a) Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
"Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply,
"Who are my mother and my brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."


Meditation: Hebrews 10:1-10

3rd Week in Ordinary Time

We have been consecrated through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 10:10)

You've no doubt heard the beautiful sound of a violin playing in an orchestra. It's amazing, isn't it? That violin started out as tree in a forest, perhaps maple or spruce. Then it was cut down and turned into lumber. Then a craftsman got to work on it. All the pieces had to be cut, sawn, chiseled, bent, and glued into place. The sides, ribs, back, top, and neck all had to be shaped just right so that it would resonate properly. Imagine all the care that went into making just this one instrument!

Now think about the word "consecrated" in today's reading. To be consecrated means to be set apart, to be fitted for a special purpose. You could say that like that violin, you have been set apart for God's purpose and for his glory. Now, unlike that violin, which has already been created, you are still being formed and shaped by God—and you will be until the day when you finally see Jesus face-to-face.

Every time we respond to God's craftsmanship, we are giving him another opportunity to shape us for his purposes. These opportunities come to us all the time: when we say no to the temptation to shout at a rude driver or to eat that extra slice of pizza. When we drop something we are doing to go help someone else. These seemingly minor decisions are often far more important than we think. Each one bends us a little bit more. Each one chisels us a little bit more. Each one enables us to reflect our perfect Maker a little bit more.

God has a beautiful vision of you. He never gives up on you. You continue to be a work in progress because God's plan is to make you into a saint. As Pope Benedict XVI has said, "You were made for greatness!" And that is possible as you keep inviting God, the Master Craftsman, to form you and shape you. Never forget that "the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

"Lord, help me to surrender to you today so that I can live for your glory."

Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10-11
Mark 3:31-35


The first Holy Scripture said: "These are offered according to the law. Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will."
There are things we got to do (the commandments) and then there are things we are to do, God's will. The commandments are our daily prayer and gifts from God. Cherish them. Learn to love them, for the good of your soul. This morning I awoke, and a thought struck me on the things of God. Already worrying about souls, it went like this: "for that one that is not going to church (living in sin), the approach to them, the reproach should not be "You are not living right", but more like "you are stealing and keeping things from God (you, and your family)." God's will is that we are one with Him, that is, let ourselves be won by Him. Let Him conquer your soul. Let Him thrive in you. Let Him be Him through you, and this my loved one, this is an absolute honor.


Let us pray: ". Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come."
So how do you do God's will? You listen. You have open ears. Don't be plugged up. Don't have clogged ears to the Lord. How do they get clogged? When we turn away from our Lord in sin, when we turn away from our Lord in despair, when we get so caught up in ourselves, we focus all our listening into something else. I should know this, I've been suffering an ear thing since last year summer time. I hear double things when it gets bad, two tones. I've seen many doctors, got an MRI, seen an ENT, no cure as of yet. But it seems to get worse the more I focus on it. And believe me, as a musician, it causes extreme duress and stress, and with 7 screaming kids it turns to 14 plus all the other noises. I tell people that focusing on the issue makes it worse. What makes it better? Offering it up. It hurts, I'd rather it go away. But I give thanks. Giving thanks hurts, I'd rather not hurt. I remember for Christmas I offered it to God that Christmas night, I didn't care anymore, I sung for hours, posadas, two vigil Masses, and that morning I had offered the pain as a gift. And it was the most beautiful Christmas Eve. What was God's will? Could I hear better? Yes, I heard loud and clear, His Way is a beautiful blessing, because then you hear His voice say "I love you and you are mine". Don't you want to hear those words from our Father creator?

And so you will hear those words today. Jesus was in a huge crowd, imagine the rushing crowds pressing Him into a corner of a stuffed house; He'd just come down from the mountains having chosen the 12 disciples, and now healing and freeing people from demons, it was a full blown deal. His family was like "he's gone crazy! Let's go get Him before He gets Himself killed!". And so they took off, arrived, couldn't get in, and called for Him to get out. Jesus was in though. He was ALL IN. In the middle of all the commotion, of the waves of needy people. In the monsoon of debauchery, things that people have dipped and doped themselves into, now they herded to Him, flocked by the hundreds and at times thousands. Jesus says a reply to His blood mother and perhaps some cousins and friends (not blood brothers and sisters): " "Here are my mother and my brothers."
For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." Can I tell you something you might take offense at? Sometimes your own family will try to keep you from God. They will say and do things that will dissuade you from doing God's will. And although it may have a good intention, overall, it is not. Is it evil? Sometimes evil speaks through people, like Saint Peter when He told Jesus He shouldn't have to suffer and endure what HE was about to go through. Jesus said "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

I hate excuses for not following God's will. Watch these couple I've heard:

" I can't go to Mass because I got family over ".
" I can't go because I HAVE to work". So you lose your soul. Mortal sin. Yet, nowadays people say missing Mass isn't THAT bad.

Well, it is simply a top 3 COMMAND from God.
Do you remember earlier what I said about commandments?
And if you go to number 2 command "you shall not use the Lord's name in vain" and it gets deeper into love of God and honoring God, stop using God.
And if you go to command number 1, it gets the deepest , God is THE LORD OF ALL you shall have no other gods. May I remind you of the importance of honoring God's will. And you will hear it if you follow the commands and MORE. For the commands are at a minimum. If you desire to be perfect, hear God speaking "For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." These are the ones that are family of God. Whence a priest becomes true, He bears children with His bride. Spiritual Children.

A spanish reflection ended with " what you can, it may be little, very little. But that little is all your responsibility." And you are responsible for more than you think. This life is not longer simply all about you. Your sin involves family. That's why we have confession. Your sin is my sin. My sin is your sin. Whence my friend won't go to church, his wife and children won't go. And when He doesn't show the love of God, his family is reflected in him. They are a part of him and he is a part of them. "Oh those Catholics are all the same", then we are family. Ultimately, Mary and the disciples, except one, do God's will. She is His mother, and those are His brothers. In Heaven, today, yes, they are. Always. For what He binds is forever, and what we do is binding. Think Sacraments.

Today is a special calling for you my dear family that seeks God's will. You have come to the right place to see into things of eternity. God's word.

I desire one thing for you, and this is my prayer:
That we may enjoy God's immense love together.
That we may bask in His unfathomable mercy.
That we learn to give to God what is due to Him: Mercy, Love, Compassion, righteousness, holiness fulfilled in charity.
And it is charitable to give one mercy and desire heaven for their soul.
It is the call of every vocation, for the baptized, for the married, for the confirmed, and for Holy Orders....from God.


Listen to this verse, Chosen while Writing to you, randomly TODAY


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