Thursday, May 23, 2019

⛪My Joy Might Be ⛪

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The Blessed Virgin in the Early Church

How important was the Blessed Virgin to the faith of the early Church? She was essential. Writing in the middle of the third century, Origen of Alexandria evoked the scene at the cross, as the Beloved Disciple stood with Mary, and Jesus said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother," and said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son" (John 19:26–28). Origen commented that no one could understand the gospel—no one could be Jesus's "beloved disciple"—"unless he has reclined upon the breast of Jesus and received from Jesus Mary to be his mother, too."11 When the Fathers preached about Mary, they preached in a memorable way. They called her Spouse of Joseph, Mother of Christ, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Mother of All Living, Ever Virgin, Virgin Mother, and New Eve. All of those titles emerged from the piety of the ancient Church.

—from the book Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady Through the Ages by Mike Aquilina


Saint Quote
"Go forth and set the world on fire."
— St. Ignatius of Loyola

"[Joseph] loved her so exceedingly, with a love like what the heavenly spirits feel for each other, and would have readily given his heart's blood for her: and as yet he knew not her incomparable dignity! Yes, he loved her exceedingly, and we may hold for certain that Joseph, as he was the first, so was he the most devoted servant of Mary—the most loving, the most faithful, the most assiduous, the most constant. … no less was the love and reverence which the Virgin had for him. She rejoiced to serve him as her lord, respect him as her tutor and guardian, and tenderly love him as her spouse, treating him with all the honour with which Scripture records that Sara treated Abraham, telling us that she called him 'lord', implying thereby much more than the mere words express."
— Edward Healy Thompson, p. 149
The Life & Glories of Saint Joseph

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39


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St. William of Rochester (d. 1201), also known as St. William of Perth, was born in Perth, Scotland. He was a wild youth who matured into a devoted man of God. He became a baker, and out of his charity he would always set aside bread to feed the poor. One day, while walking into the church for Mass, he found an abandoned baby boy on the church steps. He adopted the child, raised him, and taught him his trade. Years later St. William made a vow to visit the sacred sites of Our Lord's life on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, along with his adopted son. The two set out on their journey. While traveling through England his son deceived him, slit his throat, and stole the money he had saved for their pilgrimage. William's abandoned body was discovered and mourned over by a mentally deranged woman. She made a crown of flowers and placed it on the head of William's murdered corpse, then afterwards put the garland on her own head. Upon doing this, she was immediately cured of her mental illness. The local monks learned of this miracle and carried William's body to the Rochester cathedral to give him the proper burial of a saint. His shrine later attracted many pilgrims. St. William of Rochester is the patron of adopted children. His feast day is May 23rd.


Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
"My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they."
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
"My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10

R.(3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.

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 Jn 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.

"I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete."


Meditation: John 15:9-11

5th Week of Easter

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love. (John 15:10)

Lots of people would pay a fortune for the secret to the complete joy that Jesus promises in today's Gospel reading. Shelves and shelves of self-help books in shops around the world are living proof of that. So too are the countless lifestyle gurus whose seminars consistently sell out. It's a good thing that Jesus gives it away for free!

You will have joy that is "complete," Jesus promises, if you remain in his love (John 15:11). And just how do you do that? "Keep my commandments . . . just as I have kept my Father's commandments" (15:10).

So there is a catch after all! Obedience is such a chore.

Well, not really. Instinctively, we all sense that we're happy when we're doing what God wants—even when it's difficult. If nothing else, we know this from how we feel when we aren't doing his will. Cardinal John Henry Newman made this point in one of his sermons:

Can't you recall, at some time or other, having done something you knew to be wrong? Don't you remember what a piercing bitter feeling came on you afterwards? Isn't the feeling of a bad conscience more distressing than any other?

Why is it so distressing? Because God created us to be happy by abiding in him. So when we choose our way over his, we are going against our very nature. We are disrupting the flow of love that sustains us and gives us such joy.

The truth is, obedience to God is the exact opposite of wearisome duty. It's the golden key that unlocks room after room of spiritual treasures. Every saint knew this. Even when obedience was painful and costly, the saints tried to hold fast to God's will. They knew it would open the way to the deepest longing of the human heart—to be with Jesus. They knew what Cardinal Newman knew: that living like this isn't burdensome. Instead, as Cardinal Newman tells us, it brings "indescribable joy and gladness."

What does obedience mean for you? Does your golden key need a little dusting off?

"Jesus, help me to walk through this day with the key of obedience in my hand so that I can open the doors of holiness and intimacy with you."

Acts 15:7-21
Psalm 96:1-3, 10



The greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The living God gives the gift of himself to those who are baptized.
from The Wild Goose (Episode 10)


"...we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they."

That is how we are to respond when protestants ask us if we have been saved, we should say "we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus". Not by a formula of words, or by faith alone. But, by grace. If grace saves, how about obtaining graces from God? The Holy Sacraments are channels of grace. Baptism opens wide the possibility of Heaven. Confession absolves us of our sin and opens further the possibility of Heaven. The Eucharist seals the deal with grace we have opened ourselves to for it is Christ Himself with the Bride. And these Sacraments bring healing, like anointing of the sick. And how can Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders bring grace? That's where you and I come in, called to bring grace to the world. We've to look at Mother Mary and great St. Joseph, to see how we can bring grace to the world. To fulfill God's will. To reach the world and bring souls to the world. How amazing is that in procreation? How amazing is that when a priest baptizes? God is not stingy with the gift of life. Not at all.

Let us pray: 'Announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.' Day after day do what? ANNOUNCE! Every single day? YES. What do we say? Speak of His glory to all Nations to all peoples His wondrous deeds. We did just that last night in a large group reunion. There a black young man sat with us, who is from Vietnam but was born and mostly raised in Germany, yet lived in China for several years, and now came to us to hear what we said about our Lord in living testimony. He thanked us for our testimonies. When asked about his relationship with God, this baptist said "I haven't spoke with Him in quite a while". I said "His line is always open". You see...every day we have an opportunity for grace, for salvation.


Our Lord said to us today:

"As the Father loves me, so I also love you."
This is to love with an amazing love. When you wake up, if you are married, do you wake up saying to your spouse "O how I love you my dearest love" ? If so, why not to God our Father who loves us dearly? He tells you He loves you. He sings to you through birds, and speaks in the wind, and shows you the flowers He made you all along your way through the day. Every day. That my child, is an amazing love, beyond comprehension, this love would make you float and carry you through all and all.

"Remain in my love." Back to grace. When He asks you to remain in Him, He asks you to always remain in love with Him. Why? Because He loves you. He LOVES YOU. Is that clear? A man kept telling me I think yesterday, somewhere at work or a guy I met at a store "I don't know why He still loves me" he said, "but He does!". So remain. For the sake of love...true love, which is truly forever!!! AMAZING.

"If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love". Boom! There it is! He tells us how to remain. Be true to Him in His commands. Commands make a child happy. New age societal thinking says to let kids raise themselves. That is to say "let them do whatever in the heck they want." Right? They soon realize they are unhappy. And turn to worldly happiness, concoctions, dozes and ideas. They will not remain because you do not remain. How can I bring back a wayward child? It's as if you have to pay for all your disobedience through them. Now, you are charged with becoming the saint God created you to be. And what a charge! He is saying "Now love me more than ever before and do not look back!".

"...just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love."
Our Lord kept Our Father's commands and remained in His love. He did not disobey God and man said He disobeyed...their laws. It is the same story of thousands of years. Man makes laws and the laws outlaw the son of Man. It's as if we turn on our very selves!

God loves us so much He did 2 things

1.) He gave us life and a will
2.) He gave us His Love, His only Son


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
1 Timothy 1:17 (Listen)

17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. [1] Amen.

Thank You Jesus

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