Wednesday, May 22, 2019

⛪That You Bear Much ⛪

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Hope in God's Goodness

Luke's Gospel tells us Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was barren for many years. I can picture Elizabeth averting her gaze and hastening past the crowd outside the gates as the years got long and the hope faded. I can understand how she might have grown weary of the journey—tired of the eyes that watched her and wondered what she could possibly be hoping for, tired of the whispered questions and growing assumptions. I know that tiredness. But I know too that, in that silence, there is a hope that even if God has not answered us the way we wished, he is still good. I know that there is a reality beyond my own dreams that is eternal, a reality that God's will for me is always leading me back to him, even when it may not look like every dream of mine come true. This hope in God's goodness is more than hope, really. It is a lifeline, as vital as our next breath. It keeps our quiet hearts going when it seems we cannot bear the looming question over our lives for one more moment. It is a hope I have often clung to in quiet conversation with God.

—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels, by Colleen Mitchell


Saint Quote
"See, my children, we must reflect that we have a soul to save, and an eternity that awaits us. The world, its riches, pleasures, and honors will pass away; heaven and hell will never pass away. Let us take care, then. The saints did not all begin well; but they all ended well. We have begun badly; let us end well, and we shall go one day and meet them in heaven."
— St. John Vianney

"The greatest suffering of the souls in purgatory, it seems to me, is the awareness that something in them displeases God, that they have deliberately gone against His great goodness. I can also see that the divine essence is so pure and light-filled—much more than we can imagine—that the soul that has but the slightest imperfection would rather throw itself into a thousand hells than appear thus before the divine presence."
— St. Catherine of Genoa, p.41
Hungry Souls

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Colossians 3:16-17


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St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) was born in Italy during an era of violent strife between cities and warring family tribes. As a child she repeatedly requested to enter the convent, but instead her parents arranged her marriage to a rich, ill-tempered, and violent man. He became physically abusive, yet she met his cruelty with kindness and patience. During her eighteen years of marriage she bore two sons whom she loved deeply. After many years of persistent prayer she eventually won her husband over to greater civility and kindness. When he was murdered, her sons plotted a bloody vendetta against the culprits. St. Rita labored to guide her children into forgiveness, without success. She earnestly prayed that God would change her son's murderous intentions, or allow them to die rather than commit a mortal sin. God heard St. Rita's prayers, and soon both of her sons became ill and died. St. Rita was then free to join the convent, however, she was rejected due to her family's connection with the local violence. She finally obtained entry only after much prayer, humility, patience, and perseverance. St. Rita's life in the convent was marked by heroic charity and penance as she closely united herself and her life of deep suffering to Christ. While praying before a crucifix, St. Rita mystically received a thorn in her forehead (stigmata) from Jesus' Crown of Thorns. St. Rita is the patron saint of impossible causes, difficult marriages, and abuse victims. Her feast day is May 22nd.


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
"Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved."
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law."

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5

R.(see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:4a, 5b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."


Meditation: John 15:1-8

Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious (Optional Memorial)

I remain in you. (John 15:4)

Throughout the Old Testament, we see times when God revealed himself to his people in a dramatic way. He dwelled in a tent (Exodus 27), a pillar of fire and a cloud (Exodus 13:21), and the Temple (1 Kings 6). There was no question that God was close to his people.

As wonderful as those manifestations of God were, Jesus reveals in today's Gospel that it wasn't enough for God to simply be near us. God wants to dwell in us. As Jesus told his disciples, "Remain in me, as I remain in you" (John 15:4, emphasis added).

This is one of the most comforting truths of our faith. From the beginning, God created each of us and called each of us by name so that he could dwell in us. He sent his Son, Jesus, to earth to proclaim the good news of his mercy. On the cross, Jesus poured out his life for us and then rose from the dead—all so that he could dwell in us.

The Hebrew word for "remain" is yashab, which means to "abide," "settle," "stay," or "dwell." In other words, Jesus is here to stay. He is not moving out. He wants to be with you forever.

As you ponder this amazing truth, you might be tempted to think "But I'm a sinner. I'm not worthy for the Son of God to dwell in me." But Jesus didn't come to abide in you based on your worthiness. He came to abide in you because he loves you. So even if you struggle until the end of your life with the same sin, he won't abandon you. He is infinitely patient, always ready and waiting for you to come to him for mercy and grace.

That's why Jesus kept telling his disciples to remain in him (John 15:4, 6, 7). He's sticking around, and he doesn't want you going anywhere either! The more you abide in him, the more he can pour his grace into your heart. Then his life in you will touch those around you. His presence in you will soften hearts that don't know him.

So rejoice with Jesus. He's right where he wants to be!

"Jesus, thank you for loving me enough to live in me forever."

Acts 15:1-6
Psalm 122:1-5



Many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are very familiar to us (wisdom, counsel, love) while others are somewhat foreign (healing, prophecy, tongues). Whatever our experience, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for all Christians, and no one should think that the gifts are not for them.
from The Wild Goose (Episode 6)



"...telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brethren." The conversion of a soul causes great joy on earth...but in much more.

Let us pray: "I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the LORD." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord".
Heaven is a special place, for special people. God created Heaven forever, and it is always new and precious. Renew your faith daily and now to begin the taste of Heaven.


Our Lord says to us today: "Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine..."
In ME!
As He REMAINS in us. You can not extinguish Him. His light is eternally there. He simply asks that we allow Him to grow through us. He is the trunk and we are the branches of life. Can you let life through you so it gives the end? Yes of course you can. Will you? I bet you want to. How can we remain?

It becomes a battle of wills and a battle for faith. It is an inner struggle. But it is a struggle for life. To allow life to flow through you. To tap into the source of life, Jesus. How? Ask Him. I can't tell you. And if you ask Him to come me a favor...go open the door. He can't open it for you. We do our part, he does His. "But I thought you said He's inside?". Right?

Can you shut someone out that is on the inside? If I let someone in my life, do I really let them in? I've had people stay for months in my house and I don't seem to have any sort of connection with them. How does that work? I offer them a roof, food, anything...but there is not connection. You see?
It's going to boil down to real acts of sincere love...that sheer will that the Lord wants to prove through you



hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Colossians 3:1-2 (Listen)

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Thank You Jesus

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