Friday, July 5, 2019

⛪ ...Got Up And .. .⛪

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A New Civilization of Love

A bronze statue of Blessed Junipero Serra by sculptor Arthur Putnam stands on the grounds of the Presidio Hill in San Diego July 27. Serra chose the spot for the first Alta California mission in 1769. The mission was later moved a few miles away from the presidio. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) St. Junipero Serra was a Franciscan who truly echoed the reverent and grateful spirit of St. Francis. And surely the profound respect and spiritual power the Native Americans saw throughout the earth and the wondrous praise of God offered by the followers of St. Francis can together bring about a renewed world today. As we follow in the way of St. Junipero Serra and enjoy the beautiful California missions, the questions before us have become the challenges of our discipleship today. Can the divine sparks still alive from missionary California come to flame today to bring about reconciliation and abundant life for the people of this land? Can the missionary past be transformed into something new that speaks powerfully and challenges the era in which we live? The rich spirituality of pilgrimage in the Camino of St. Junípero can arouse within Christian travelers today a deep desire to hope, work, and pray for a new civilization of love.

–from Saint Junipero Serra's Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions by Stephen J. Binz


†Saint Quote
"Let us never forget that if we wish to die like the saints we must live like them."
— St. Théodore Guérin

"He that sacrifices to God his property by alms-deeds, his honor by bearing insults, or his body by mortifications, by fasts and penitential rigours, offers to Him a part of himself and of what belongs to him; but he that sacrifices to God his will, by obedience, gives to Him all that he has, and can say: Lord, having given you my will, I have nothing more to give you."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 191
The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguiori

"Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made."
Romans 1:20a


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Saint Anthony Zaccaria

(1502 – July 5, 1539)

At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18, and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22, and while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist, and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men, one for women, and an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious, and lay people.

Greatly inspired by Saint Paul—his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint—Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions, and was not ashamed of doing public penance.

He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion, and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. His holiness moved many to reform their lives, but as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated.

While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.

The austerity of Anthony's spirituality and the Pauline ardor of his preaching would probably "turn off" many people today. When even some psychiatrists complain at the lack of a sense of sin, it may be time to tell ourselves that not all evil is explained by emotional disorder, subconscious and unconscious drives, parental influence, and so on. The old-time "hell and damnation" mission sermons have given way to positive, encouraging, biblical homilies. We do indeed need assurance of forgiveness, relief from existential anxiety, and future shock. But we still need prophets to stand up and tell us, "If we say 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).



St. Zoe of Rome (d. 286 A.D.) was a noblewoman married to a Roman court official during the reign of the infamous Emperor Diocletian. For six years she suffered from a condition that left her unable to speak; when she met St. Sebastian she fell at his feet so that he would heal her. St. Sebastian made the Sign of the Cross over her, and from that moment her speech miraculously returned. As she was being healed she had a vision of an angel standing next to St. Sebastian holding a book in which was written everything that St. Sebastian preached. Her first words were ones of thanks and praise to God, and many witnesses of the miracle were brought to faith in Christ. Zoe and her husband then received baptism at the hands of St. Polycarp, along with many others who had come to believe in Christ through St. Sebastian's miracles. Of this new group of Christians, St. Zoe was the first to be martyred for her faith. She was greatly devoted to St. Peter the Apostle, and was arrested while praying at his tomb. She was martyred by being hung from a tree by her hair, with a fire lit under her feet. After her death her body was thrown into the Tiber River. She then appeared in a vision to St. Sebastian, who was in prison awaiting his execution, to tell him of her martyrdom and subsequent glory. St. Zoe of Rome's feast day is July 5th.


Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67

The span of Sarah's life was one hundred and twenty-seven years.
She died in Kiriatharba (that is, Hebron)
in the land of Canaan,
and Abraham performed the customary mourning rites for her.
Then he left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites:
"Although I am a resident alien among you,
sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground,
that I may bury my dead wife."

After the transaction, Abraham buried his wife Sarah
in the cave of the field of Machpelah,
facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.

Abraham had now reached a ripe old age,
and the LORD had blessed him in every way.
Abraham said to the senior servant of his household,
who had charge of all his possessions:
"Put your hand under my thigh,
and I will make you swear by the LORD,
the God of heaven and the God of earth,
that you will not procure a wife for my son
from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,
but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred
to get a wife for my son Isaac."
The servant asked him:
"What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land?
Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?"
"Never take my son back there for any reason," Abraham told him.
"The LORD, the God of heaven,
who took me from my father's house and the land of my kin,
and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me,
'I will give this land to your descendants'–
he will send his messenger before you,
and you will obtain a wife for my son there.
If the woman is unwilling to follow you,
you will be released from this oath.
But never take my son back there!"

A long time later, Isaac went to live in the region of the Negeb.
One day toward evening he went out . . . in the field,
and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching.
Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him,
she alighted from her camel and asked the servant,
"Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?"
"That is my master," replied the servant.
Then she covered herself with her veil.

The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent;
he married her, and thus she became his wife.
In his love for her, Isaac found solace
after the death of his mother Sarah.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 106:1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5
R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD,
or proclaim all his praises?
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Visit me with your saving help,
That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of your people,
and glory with your inheritance.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Alleluia Mt 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
He heard this and said,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."


Meditation: Matthew 9:9-13

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (Optional Memorial)

Follow me. (Matthew 9:9)

Imagine yourself in Matthew's shoes today. You've heard stories about this Jesus, a miracle worker who people believe might be the Messiah. He opens the eyes of the blind, speaks about God's forgiveness, and treats the poor and outcast with kindness. Now he's coming toward you, and at first it seems as if he is going to walk right by you.

But then he stops, looks right at you, and says, "Follow me." You're caught off guard: Why would he say this to me? I've never even met him before.

Other questions begin to flood your mind: Why me? What about all my sins and failings? Surely Jesus must know who I am and all that I've done. If nothing else, he would know me by the company I keep.

But as you look into his eyes, you begin to feel peaceful. You're not exactly sure where the peace is coming from, but you realize that you don't need all the answers before you say yes to Jesus. There's something about this man—you just trust him.

And it's funny, because as soon as you realize you don't need answers, they begin to form in your mind: Jesus is choosing me because he loves me. Yes, he knows all the things I've done. How I have looked to my own needs above others. How I have hurt people by my words and actions. And yet still he is asking me to join him.

He must be inviting me to follow him because he knows I can change. He says his Father is full of mercy and that if I repent and believe his message, I can actually enter the kingdom of God. When I first heard that, I didn't believe him. How could God forgive me? But now I do believe him. Now I know that I can become like him: loving, kind, and generous. I know that I can join him on his mission to reach out to other people just like me.

Yes, I'm ready to turn away from my old life. I want to follow Jesus. I want to give my life to him.

"Jesus, just as you invited Matthew to follow you, you are also inviting me. I renew my yes to you."

Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
Psalm 106:1-5



The New Manna [Eucharist] is a foretaste of the Promise Land. It's a foretaste of the life of the world to come. Just as the Israelites in the Old Testament received the Manna every day as a pledge of their future entry into the Promise Land, so to we receive the Eucharist as a pledge of our Resurrection.
—Dr. Brant Pitre
from Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist



I want to do something different.

Today, read this and think of Matthew the Tax Collector, sitting at his post as Jesus is coming towards him. And this from today's first Holy Scripture:
"Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?"
"That is my master...."
The bride was asking who the Descendant was, the King.
She seemed to recognize him from afar.
She covered herself, a sign of reverence and respect. And He would unveil her. He would marry her. He would taker her to his house.

Let us pray:
"Blessed are they who observe what is right, who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good." Always do what is just. And then, you will be favored. So many want favor without doing justice to the Lord. All the good with no effort. Hard lessons come when we live that way. But if we live the other way, easier lessons come. The hard things are made easier. Such is grace. Such is actual grace with habitual grace. Such then is saving grace.
Lord remember us, and how much we yearn for you and need you.


Our Lord is coming towards Matthew, and as he approaches Matthew, two words flow from His lips, "Follow me."
Love Me.
Be with Me.

Let us be one together.
Now you are mine.

And in the next scene, just like Isaac and Rebekah are in the home, Matthew and Jesus are found at table in his house. A feast. A dinner. Jesus is found at many feasts and dinners. Think Eucharist. And this time the new covenant sets in with the ensuing conversation with my added 2cents:

"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" ** (People like me and you).

He heard this and said,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. (People like me and you.)

Go and learn the meaning of the words, (we are called to learn and apply His Way)
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. (It is easier to sacrifice things and others, rather than self. Being merciful calls for a sacrifice of self)

"I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." (He came for me and you Matthew!)

The New Covenant has been born of blood with blood for blood.
Today, the Lord proves love. For every time He heals a soul and saves a soul, it would cost a drop of blood, and to the tune of millions and billions. Every day we have the sacrifice of the Mass, is the dinner with a sinner.
In that mingled blood, the dominant trait wins.
Let Him dominate you.
Let Him take you to His house.
He has crossed the fields of letters and words and paragraphs to reach inside of you at this moment to say "my love" Follow Me.
You are Mine

I already love you.
You already have made my heart glad.
I want you to be mine.....forever


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
1 Peter 2:11 (Listen)

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Thank You Jesus

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