Monday, May 6, 2019

⛪ You are looking for Me ⛪

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Giotto di Bondone - Scenes from the Life of Saint Francis - 6. St Francis before the Sultan Trial by Fire - WGA09313

Daring to Make Peace

Frances and the SultanIn 1219, in the midst of the Fifth Crusade, Francis went to Damietta to preach the Gospel of peace to the Crusader Cardinal Pelagius and to the Sultan, Malik al-Kamil. When the Crusaders dismissed him, al-Kamil received him into his camp and spoke with Francis for over two weeks. The two men recognized in each other a desire for peace and a devotion to their mutual sacred texts, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Q'uran. Al-kamil was a devout Suni Muslim, and Francis was, of course, a devout Christian. Francis had learned early on that God surprises us in unexpected places, like among the lepers, and now in the sultan's camp at the very court of Malik al-Kamil. Francis's daring to make peace with the Muslim forces was a radical departure from the ethos of the day, especially in the Church itself. Francis abhorred war, and he had come to see that those we call "the others," even those we consider our enemies, are really our brothers and sisters.

—from Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis by Murray Bodo


†Saint Quote
"We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation."

— St. Colette

†Meditation of the Day

"The glory of a good person is the evidence of a good conscience. Have a good conscience and you will always be happy. A good conscience can bear a great deal and still remain serene in the midst of adversity, while a bad conscience is fearful and easily ruffled. Only be glad when you have done well. Evil persons are never really happy, nor do they feel peace within them; for 'there is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord' (Isa. 48:22). Even though the wicked may protest that peace is theirs and that no evil shall harm them, do not believe them. For God's wrath will suddenly overtake them, and all they have done will be brought to nothing and their plans destroyed."

— Thomas รก Kempis, p.76

†Verse of the Day

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, 'The one who is righteous will live by faith.'"

Romans 1:16-17


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Saints Marian and James

(d. May 6, 259)

Saints Marian, an ordained lector, and James, a deacon, were martyred during the persecution of Valerian around the year 259. Few other facts are known about them.

It seems that while they were in prison, each had a vision regarding his martyrdom. They drew courage from these apparitions and were able to courageously face death. They were joined in their deaths by other Christians.

The old saying that the more things change the more they stay the same may apply to today's celebration. Two faithful people facing the hardships of life during persecution in the third century may have a lot in common with those facing persecution for their faith today.


Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 6:8-15

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyreneans, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Then they instigated some men to say,
"We have heard him speaking blasphemous words
against Moses and God."
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes,
accosted him, seized him,
and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
They presented false witnesses who testified,
"This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law.
For we have heard him claim
that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place
and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him
and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30

R.(1ab) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
Though princes meet and talk against me,
your servant meditates on your statutes.
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
I declared my ways, and you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Mt 4:4b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:22-29

[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
"Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered them and said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal."
So they said to him,
"What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."


Mass Reading & Meditation for May 6, 2019
Catholic Meditations
Meditation: John 6:22-29

3rd Week of Easter

You are looking for me . . . because you ate the loaves. (John 6:26)

The people don't seem to be learning their lesson, do they? You would think that after witnessing the miracle of the loaves and fishes—and after joining in the miracle by eating—they would want to know more about Jesus and his relationship to God. Yet it seems that they are interested only in bread that can fill their stomachs. How can they be so blind?

Apparently spiritual blindness isn't limited to first-century Palestine. Think about how easy it can be for our own spiritual vision to become dull. Every Sunday we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. With our physical eyes, we see the Host and the chalice. Yet the heart of Jesus—a heart that is overflowing with divine love—can remain elusive. We believe that it is Jesus we are receiving, but we have become so used to Communion that our expectations have declined. And if we don't expect something to happen during that time, we might very well return to our pews no different.

So how can you practice "seeing" Jesus in the Eucharist more clearly? One way is to try to place all your focus on him throughout the liturgy. Before Mass begins, take a few moments to offer him the activities of your day or week. Maybe that includes taking care of your children or completing a project at work. Offer him your prayer intentions as well—for a loved one who is sick or for God's wisdom for a challenging situation. Give these concerns to the Lord at the beginning of Mass, and try to leave them with him so that you can pay closer attention to the readings and the prayers.

Then, as you approach the altar, imagine Jesus standing before you holding all of the cares and concerns you have given him. Picture him looking at each of them with tender love and compassion. Then, as you receive him, let him give these cares and concerns back to you. Along with the bread and wine, they too have been transformed. They may look the same, but Christ is now in them. He is the living God, and he is at work, helping you face all your needs, desires, doubts, and fears.

"Take, Lord, and receive everything in my heart. Jesus, I entrust it to you."

Acts 6:8-15
Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30



A man truly loves his enemy when he is not offended by the injury done to himself, but for love of God feels burning sorrow for the sin his enemy has brought on his own soul, and proves his love in a practical way.

—St. Francis of Assisi from Sign of Contradiction

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"Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people."

We pray today " Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors."


Our Lord provides...eternal bread and life..Love.

From Bishop Barron today
"Friends, in today's Gospel Jesus tells the crowd, which he just fed, to believe in him and relate to him personally. Why is this so hard? Well, it is intellectually counter-intuitive. Why would this one figure, this Jesus, be the one and only? Why should I choose to relate to him and not the numerous other religious leaders and philosophers? Are all other religious people just lost or misguided? Wouldn't it just be easier to relate to Jesus' ideas and principles, to imitate his style of life? Yes, indeed it would, but that's not what he says.

Perhaps we could look at it from Jesus' side. Jesus wants to be friends: "'I no longer call you servants, but friends,' says the Lord." What if there were someone who wanted to be friends with you, and you were to say, "Oh sure! I admire you and would like to imitate your form of life, but I don't want to spend a lot of time with you." How would that strike your prospective friend?

What is unique to Christianity is that God is offering us friendship. You don't mess around with friendship; you don't turn it into something abstract; you don't compromise with it. You enter into it fully."



Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 143:8 | ESV

Thank You Jesus

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