Wednesday, June 26, 2019

⛪ ...A Good Tree...⛪

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We All Want to Be Loved

My suspicion is that if you were to ask most people what they had the hardest time with, and they all answered honestly, the majority of people in contemporary American society would say "being loved." For most of us, it has something to do with our drive to be independent and self-sustaining and to at least appear as if we can make it without anyone else's help. What we don't realize is that this, as much as anything else, gets in the way of the desire for love in our lives. We are a love-obsessed people with a love handicap. We have to recognize our vulnerability. However, this very word illustrates the problem. We tend only to speak of our vulnerability to bad things. These days, for example, we hear a lot about our vulnerability to attack. But how often do hear people speak about our vulnerability to love? It even sounds wrong, but it shouldn't. Vulnerability to love should actually be seen as our greatest gift.

—from the book Already There: Letting God Find You, by Mark Mossa, SJ


†Saint Quote
"Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember that he of whom you are speaking is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation, God can make him a saint, in spite of his present weakness."
— St. Thomas of Villanova

"One of our sure guides along the path of life is that we do not know when earthly life will come to an end. How important that our repentance for past and present transgressions be a daily practice."
— Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy, p. 36
Inspirational Thoughts for Everyday

"But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8


click to read more



St. Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) was born in Spain, one of six children of a devout Catholic family. Growing up, he observed his parents faithfully endure painful family trials (the death of three of their young children and devastating financial setbacks) and this had a profound effect on his own faith. As a teenager he discovered his vocation to the priesthood when he saw the path of footprints in the snow left by a barefoot Carmelite friar. He then experienced a radical conversion: he gave up his intended career as an architect and entered the seminary. He spent most of his life studying and teaching in universities, earning a doctorate in civil law and theology. Saint Josemaria Escriva's lasting impact lies in the foundation of Opus Dei ("The Work of God"), an organization of laity and priests dedicated to the universal call of holiness and the belief that ordinary, daily life is an authentic path to sanctity. Today Opus Dei has over 80,000 members worldwide. His famous written work is The Way, a collection of spiritual and pastoral reflections on the gospels and their application to everyday life. On June 26, 1975, after glancing at an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in his office in Rome, St. Josemaría died suddenly of cardiac arrest. He was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II. His feast day is June 26th.


Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn15:1-12, 17-18

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

"Fear not, Abram!
I am your shield;
I will make your reward very great."

But Abram said,
"O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be,
if I keep on being childless
and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?"
Abram continued,
"See, you have given me no offspring,
and so one of my servants will be my heir."
Then the word of the LORD came to him:
"No, that one shall not be your heir;
your own issue shall be your heir."
He took him outside and said:
"Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be."
Abram put his faith in the LORD,
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him,
"I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans
to give you this land as a possession."
"O Lord GOD," he asked,
"how am I to know that I shall possess it?"
He answered him,
"Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat,
a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
Abram brought him all these, split them in two,
and placed each half opposite the other;
but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses,
but Abram stayed with them.
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram,
and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark,
there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch,
which passed between those pieces.
It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
saying: "To your descendants I give this land,
from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River the Euphrates."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R.(8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
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 Mt 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them."


Meditation: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

12th Week in Ordinary Time

Fear not, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great. (Genesis 15:1)

When Abram was seventy-five years old, God made a covenant with him and promised that he would become the father of many nations (Genesis 12:1-4). In today's reading, years have passed, and Abram is still waiting for these promises to be fulfilled. When he voices his concerns over the delay, God assures him that his promises are unchanging. He will have so many descendants that like the stars, he will be unable to count them (15:5)!

Abram had many reasons to doubt. He was already up in years when God first called him, and he and Sarai were only getting older. How could they have a child, and how could they ever possess a land that was already occupied? And yet because he believed that God would keep his covenant, Abram persevered in hope.

You may sometimes feel like Abram did. Maybe you are waiting for a loved one to be healed, a broken relationship to be restored, or a wayward child to return to God. As time passes and you wait for signs that your prayers will be answered, it can be hard to keep hope alive. Sometimes you may wonder if God has forgotten you. Or you may even question whether he is really faithful to his word.

But God has made a covenant with you, and you can count on him. His faithfulness and his promise of an eternal reward are unwavering. He may not work in your preferred time frame or exactly the way you expect, but he will answer you.

Keep in mind that waiting on the Lord does not mean being passive. It takes active, patient endurance as you recall God's faithfulness and say, "Yes, I trust in God's plans" over and over again. It requires countering fear and doubt with faith and hope. It also means not trying to push ahead in your own way and in your own time.

So while you're waiting on the Lord, remember Abram. Follow his lead and put your faith in the God who keeps his promises—always.

"Father, help me persevere in faith and hope for the reward you are preparing for me."

Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Matthew 7:15-20



There is a world of difference between personality and individuality. A piece of chalk is individual, not personal. When you go to the grocery store to buy oranges, you may say to the grocer, 'This is a bad one. Give me another.' When a tube burns out in your television set, you buy another. In other words, individuals are replaceable. Persons are not. No one can take the place of another.
—Ven. Fulton J. Sheen
from Life is Worth Living


"Fear not, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great." Who knows how many times our Lord said this to Abram. He'd probably heard it in various forms throughout. But, Abram kept believing. Abram kept having faith. Eventually, and in very old age, they will have a son. But not before mistrusting, and a mishap, and twisting things to our own way. But God proves mercy. God proves His promise is more than what we try to take hold of.

And all it would take, would be one son. One son to make descendants like the stars. Descendants of the promise!

Let us pray:
"He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations— Which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac."
What would that oath look like? A covenant. An eternal promise, that is, an eternal word. A word that gives life. A word that changes everything, like a yes, rather than a no. The Lord proves once and forever, mercy is alive and will never leave. And that word is an eternal promise, lights in the dark sky for sure!


In the Holy Gospel, we heard: ""Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them." Yesterday, I heard some devastating things about a "religion" called "Luz del Mundo". They said its founder and close followers were found to be pedophiles. It was engrossing news indeed, many followers, and one or two in relatives I got, were heard to be devastated. Because they always wanted to be separatists and pure, always kept to themselves. I remember my cousin, my age, many years ago, was in this religion when he died in a tragic train wreck accident. The people there did not sing like we do, at the grave site, I tried to sing a couple songs, but they interjected their songs, so I stepped aside, as if rejecting even my prayers. I heard that my cousin was dejected at seeing one of the big leaders in a city, with his plush home and off-putting message. Why do I go on and on about this? Because, we must be on guard always and watching the fruit. Even today's saint's organization has been caught up in "scandal". All sects in government are in scandal too. Most of it, sexual. They say the pornographic epidemic is still as high as it has been for years. Have I veered from the subject of fruits and false prophets? We are good at pointing out problems and faults, but what about solutions? Is calling on saints and holiness too much to ask for?

Our Lord said "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit...".
A good tree bears good fruit. So let's work on a healthy tree...your soul. It was no accident that a man being healed of blindness by Jesus, saw people as walking trees. Trees are a good symbol of our spiritual life. They need nourishment (Eucharist) and they need pruning (confession) a changing of ways and the way it grows. Let's prune off bad thoughts and even temptations to bad thoughts. What are bad thoughts? Unholy things. Things of sin. Things uncharitable and impure. How can we change thoughts?

A solution was proposed by a priest to help break from addiction, in this case, pornographic. He proposes that you pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be at the top of every hour for at least 40 days in dedication of your life to God. It calls for a conversion, doesn't it? True freedom, and life.
On another note: Right now, I've been trying to do a 3 year long daily prayer for the blood drops of Jesus because of its promise of mercy. It has been hard, especially when on vacation, my mind was completely in another zone, in another world it seemed. I am pretty sure I forgot the daily devotion on some days while away. I felt so bad because I've been at it faithfully for a couple months, off to a great start since Good Friday.
But God is a great promise keeper. The keeper of the stars knows we will fail. But He loves the start of a new life and a new life with Him.
He always makes things new. His faithfulness proves through generations. The fruit of Abram...became Abraham, which became Isaac, and from there generations of faithfulness...not perfect, but faithfulness has endured until this day.

And the word "until" does not change things. It will be a pact for 1,000 generations. And let's say, only about 100 or so generations have passed! We are still in the promise made to Abraham! Have FAITH!! God loves you so much!
Think confession, and Jesus offering Himself there and the Eucharist.

Now these promises from God are transformational.
Pruning and nourishment for a tree to bear good fruit.
Funny how fruits work, they will travel long distances, and the seeds are carried within the fruit that is devoured.
Eventually trees of the same start growing....
let that be Jesus seeds living through you


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
Psalm 136:1-3 (Listen)

136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever. . . .

Thank You Jesus

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