Wednesday, February 6, 2019

⛪ "Without Honor in HIS....


A Grand Humility

In these "Praises of the Lord God Most High" are contained Francis's experience of God. This is who this God he has loved late and long has become for him. These praises say, "O God, this is your song, you who are beauty so old and new. Late have I loved you." And through it all Francis has tried to return such incredible love, a return of love that, Francis being Francis, was a great, though humble, love. As he sang at the end of his "Canticle of the Creatures," we are to praise God "con grande umilitate," with grand humility, not a puny, wimpy humility but a paradoxically huge, grand humility. For all his littleness and humility, there was in Francis something big, a heart full of largeness and largesse. Once Francis knew God's love, he knew, as well, what St. Augustine put so beautifully. "And you see, you were within, and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things you have made."

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis


"I see clearly with the interior eye, that the sweet God loves with a pure love the creature that He has created, and has a hatred for nothing but sin, which is more opposed to Him than can be thought or imagined."
— St. Catherine of Genoa

"Love is a strong force — a great good in every way; it alone can make our burdens light, and alone it bears in equal balance what is pleasing and displeasing. It carries a burden and does not feel it; it makes all that is bitter taste sweet. ... Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing higher, nothing stronger, nothing larger, nothing more joyful, nothing fuller, nothing better in heaven or on earth; for love is born of God and can find its rest only in God above all He has created. Such lovers fly high, run swiftly and rejoice. Their souls are free; they give all for all and have all in all. For they rest in One supreme Goodness above all things, from Whom all other good flows and proceeds. They look not only at the gifts, but at the Giver, Who is above all gifts."
— Thomas à Kempis, p. 108
The Imitation of Christ

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:1-2


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Saint Paul Miki and Companions

(d. 1597)

Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, immediately killing over 37,000 people. Three and a half centuries before, 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers, and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits, and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans, and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his Church.

Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: "The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ's example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain."

When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.

Today, a new era has come for the Church in Japan. Although the number of Catholics is not large, the Church is respected and has total religious freedom. The spread of Christianity in the Far East is slow and difficult. Faith such as that of the 26 martyrs is needed today as much as in 1597.


Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

Reading 1 Heb 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:

My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as "discipline";
God treats you as his sons.
For what Ason" is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a
R. (see 17) The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children's children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Alleluia Jn 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.


Meditation: Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (Memorial)

Strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. (Hebrews 12:12)

Isn't it awe inspiring to watch Olympic weight lifters heft hundreds of pounds? Of course, you know that none of them began by hoisting barbell-bending weights. They started with the barbell itself and slowly increased the weight as they grew stronger.

So it is in our struggle against sin. None of us start out as Olympic weight lifters. We have to start out gradually and build ourselves up over time. Now, you may already be nearing Olympics caliber when it comes to battling sin, or you may be just starting out. Regardless of where you are, it's always helpful to review some of the basics.

First, start your training by getting into the practice of examining your conscience each evening. "Where have I fallen short today? In what areas am I committing the same sins over and over? Who may I have hurt today by my words or actions?" Then ask God—and any person you may have offended—for forgiveness. Don't forget to make sacramental Confession a regular practice. It will give you that extra burst of grace you need the next time you encounter a strong temptation.

Remember that sometimes you have to put something down in order to grip the barbell in front of you. That might mean separating yourself from the things that weaken you. It could be that Internet site that sucks you in for hours. It could be that extra glass of wine or that bowl of ice cream in the evening or the gossip you trade with your coworker each morning.

Sometimes there's already sufficient weight on the barbell, and you need only to increase the number of times you lift it. That might mean spending a few extra minutes praying or reading Scripture, attending daily Mass once or twice a week, or occasionally substituting a saint's biography for the current best seller.

Lifting weights is hard work, and so is battling sin. But you're not doing it alone. God knows how you are made. He knows the things that weaken you and the things that strengthen you. So think of Jesus as your coach. He is standing right beside you. Let him show you what to lift up and what to put down. He is always ready to help you with his love and grace.

"Lord, I want to be strong enough to resist sin. Show me today how I can grow stronger."

Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18
Mark 6:1-6


"Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord." This was the verse before the last verse of the 1st Holy Scripture: "See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled." Why is there bitterness? I see it in various ministries. People are being people. Childish at times but at time very bold and faithful. You got to take the good with the bad, meaning, be merciful as your Father is merciful. Meaning, sacrifice, meaning pure love, meaning ultimately holiness with which only Holy souls can live with God in eternity. Let's let go of the Protestant lies that says "do whatever you want and you'll be saved", because of "once saved always saved". No. This is one of their first lies from hell. It is to say "forget about being perfect". Yet, Jesus calls us to be perfect, "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Mt 5:48. And this means holy. Perfect: in the gospels this word occurs only in Matthew, here and in Mt 19:21. The Lucan parallel (Lk 6:36) demands that the disciples be merciful. "For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment" James 2:13. So, can we be perfect? OH YES. Stop falling for lies, you can be perfect, merciful and guess what else? HOLY.

Let us pray: "The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him. But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity to eternity toward those who fear him, And his justice toward children's children among those who keep his covenant." Fear God. I wish we would fear God more. Not be afraid of Him but honor Him. That's the kind of people that belong in Heaven. That's the kind of honor that is needed in Heaven, God For God.

In the Holy Gospel, Jesus carries on to the same aspect as yesterday, where people surround Him, faithless people. Are we that kind of person? Surrounding Him but without Faith? It is possible. The reason we don't see Him or Hear Him is because it could be our lack of faith! YIKES!! What does that mean? It means we don't have ears for Him. Holiness. It means we don't want to hear His message, often deflecting it. Don't do that. Many ministries are struggling. Because of deflector people. They serve God but don't serve God properly...Love. God for God. True Love for True Love. Someone needed help at the church this week. I went. As we were fixing things at the church, he said "I admire you bro". I immediately prayed in my head "get behind me Satan". And then I said aloud "I don't know how to answer to that". And I went on to say what it takes to be faithful, receive Jesus daily, especially in the Eucharist, rosary, and if you're going to serve in a ministry, check your feelings at the door, because in this side of the world, you can forget all about yourself, it is not longer about you and what you feel, but what God wants and needs and desires....His Holy Will.

So Jesus was rejected by His people, in His town, and why? They had Him all figured out, judged, stereotyped, as a simple carpenter, a poor man from a couple they knew very well. So Jesus was not able to do great deeds, because of their lack of faith. And you? Do you got God figured out? That's why He doesn't do great deeds in your life! If you only knew! God does great deeds. I promise. God can do even greater deeds if we'd only allow ourselves. The people asked themselves "where did He get all this?"

As if it couldn't come from within.

God lives in hearts.
Fearful hearts.
Humble hearts.
Servile hearts.
Loving hearts.
We need a revamp of joy and prayer and faithfulness in our world. YOU make this happen. And I'll join you in spirit. I will encourage you. I will pray for you. I will be right there on the front lines with you. Because Jesus is with us, and if we are for Him, who could be against us? Let us go forth...God awaits in triumphant Glory.


an audible random bible verse


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