Wednesday, July 10, 2019

⛪ ...To the Lost Sheep .. .⛪

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Are We Afraid of Weakness?

If the God who became one of us saw the necessity of accepting weakness and suffering in order to be fully human, doesn't that tell us something about what we're meant to do? It's easy to accept this intellectually, but hard to live it. We'd much rather find a way to live the spiritual life while keeping the scary parts of our past locked away. For many of us, acknowledging and accepting all of our past may be one of the hardest things we ever do, especially if we have things buried so deep that they are not immediately within reach. But the insights of psychology, the experience of Jesus and the saints, and the stories of the Bible seem to suggest that this is a necessary step. Indeed, I don't believe that it's possible to advance in the spiritual life without it. If we truly desire to know what the God who loves us desires for our lives, we not only need to pray, but we also need to be able to look at the entire story of our lives.

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


†Saint Quote

"God does not fit in an occupied heart."
— St. John of the Cross

"I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion. And together with confusion would come the devil, who has caused it, under color of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy. This is one of the subtle devices with which the Devil deludes My servants, and, in order to escape from his deceit, and to be pleasing to Me, you must enlarge your hearts and affections in My boundless mercy, with true humility. You know that the pride of the Devil cannot resist the humble mind, nor can any confusion of spirit be greater than the broadness of My good mercy, if the soul will only truly hope therein."
— St. Catherine Of Siena, p. 94
Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

"Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it."
Matthew 16:24-25


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Saint Veronica Giuliani

(December 27, 1660 – July 9, 1727)

Veronica's desire to be like Christ crucified was answered with the stigmata.

Veronica was born in Mercatelli, Italy. It is said that when her mother Benedetta was dying she called her five daughters to her bedside and entrusted each of them to one of the five wounds of Jesus. Veronica was entrusted to the wound below Christ's heart.

At the age of 17, Veronica joined the Poor Clares directed by the Capuchins. Her father had wanted her to marry, but she convinced him to allow her to become a nun. In her first years in the monastery, she worked in the kitchen, infirmary, sacristy, and also served as portress. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress, a position she held for 22 years. When she was 37, Veronica received the stigmata. Life was not the same after that.

Church authorities in Rome wanted to test Veronica's authenticity and so conducted an investigation. She lost the office of novice mistress temporarily and was not allowed to attend Mass except on Sundays or holy days. Through all of this Veronica did not become bitter, and the investigation eventually restored her as novice mistress.

Though she protested against it, at the age of 56 she was elected abbess, an office she held for 11 years until her death. Veronica was very devoted to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart. She offered her sufferings for the missions, died in 1727, and was canonized in 1839. Her Liturgical Feast Day is July 9.

Why did God grant the stigmata to Francis of Assisi and to Veronica Giuliani? God alone knows the deepest reasons, but as Celano points out, the external sign of the cross is a confirmation of these saints' commitment to the cross in their lives. The stigmata that appeared in Veronica's flesh had taken root in her heart many years before. It was a fitting conclusion for her love of God and her charity toward her sisters.


Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a

When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt
and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread,
Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph
and do whatever he told them.
When the famine had spread throughout the land,
Joseph opened all the cities that had grain
and rationed it to the Egyptians,
since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt.
In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain,
for famine had gripped the whole world.

The sons of Israel were among those
who came to procure rations.

It was Joseph, as governor of the country,
who dispensed the rations to all the people.
When Joseph's brothers came and knelt down before him
with their faces to the ground,
he recognized them as soon as he saw them.
But Joseph concealed his own identity from them
and spoke sternly to them.

With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to his brothers:
"Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man.
If you have been honest,
only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison,
while the rest of you may go
and take home provisions for your starving families.
But you must come back to me with your youngest brother.
Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die."
To this they agreed.
To one another, however, they said:
"Alas, we are being punished because of our brother.
We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us,
yet we paid no heed;
that is why this anguish has now come upon us."
Reuben broke in,
"Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy?
But you would not listen!
Now comes the reckoning for his blood."
The brothers did not know, of course,
that Joseph understood what they said,
since he spoke with them through an interpreter.
But turning away from them, he wept.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19

R.(22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Alleluia Mk 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
"Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"


Meditation: Matthew 10:1-7

14th Week in Ordinary Time

Make this proclamation: "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7)

What a tall order! Jesus summons his twelve apostles so that he can send them out to proclaim that, through him, the kingdom of God has come. And just as Jesus has done, he wants his disciples to speak boldly and with great confidence and authority.

Put yourself in the shoes of the apostles and imagine how they must have felt. Up until this point, Jesus had been guiding them, teaching them, and showing them by his example how to share the good news of his kingdom. Now they will have to navigate the way themselves. But Jesus doesn't say, "I know this sounds pretty intimidating, so don't worry if you don't feel ready yet. You don't have to go if you don't want to." He has prepared them, and he has every confidence that they can do what he asks. And so he issues them a challenge rather than making a suggestion.

Did you know that Jesus wants to do the same thing for you? It doesn't matter if you don't feel particularly gifted or highly trained for whatever job he has given you. Whether he is asking you to teach young children about the faith, share a Scripture passage with someone who is struggling, or join a parish prison ministry, you won't be doing it on your own. Like the first disciples, Jesus is sending you out with his authority (Matthew 10:1). Through his Holy Spirit, he will give you all the gifts you need.

Of course, you'll probably make some mistakes and fumbles along the way. You may fumble your words, or you may need to learn to take time to listen. But that's okay. If your limitations don't bother Jesus, you shouldn't let them bother you. The history of the Church is filled with the stories of very human characters who managed, in spite of themselves, to proclaim God's word and do his work in the world.

So when you feel God asking you to do something you don't feel equipped for, don't let the fear of failure or inadequacy stop you. Step out in faith and do your best—because your best is always good enough for the Lord!

"Jesus, thank you for placing your confidence in me!"

Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24
Psalm 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19



There is nothing "progressive" about sin, even when it is promoted as "enlightened."
—Cardinal Francis George
from Glorious Lives


"On the third day Joseph said to his brothers:
"Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man."
And then the commands came, a seemingly impossible task, moving mountains. Isn't that the appropriate task, for a sinner? A slave? They wailed, and they suffered something, but God would see to it, that if they obeyed, they would be blessed, even though they had "blood" on their hands. Mercy is relentless. God has written an autobiography from Heaven. It is all about Love and Mercy. See to it that we fulfill the pages of His book.

Let us pray:

"But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you."
There's times when I lose focus, I only have one prayer: Lord have mercy on me. I call upon the Savior, if I have strength, if I have the heart, if I've asked for strength and the heart it would be better. Let us turn to the Lord.


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord says some powerful words, as always: "Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
Does this apply to us on this modern day? Of course, right? We are to go to the "lost" sheep of the house of Israel. What? Say who? For sure, our Lord was doing something with the Old Covenant, and making it New, right? Many disheartened souls were in the times of our Lord, many carried away from their beliefs, from the way the Lord desired for them. And these were people that had at one time been reckoned, learned the ways of our Lord. you know anybody right now that has "fallen away?". I bet you do! And probably more than a handful too!

So we are to go out to "them" and say what?

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Now, if you're like me, you are probably wondering what this means, amen? We have an inkling, we kind of know, right? It is a power packed message though. For yours truly, writing to you in the Spirit of our Lord, and as we share the message, it means for certain, God's Kingdom of Heaven (and who knows how many Kingdoms He has!) is being availed to us and we are to take to it. Amen?

It is an offering.

The body of Christ is Heaven on earth. Uhh, figuratively speaking? A metaphor?

I've been communing in daily Mass for years now, and why do I keep going back? Because, it is amazing. Mind boggling. A huge transcending mystery. The body of Christ is availed. Not fully revealed to a sinner, but it is availed to the sinner...this sinner. Is that justice? Is that right?

Back to Mercy.
Back to God's book, His autobiography.
Back to charity.
Back to Christ on the cross.
It is a message from Heaven.
Heaven reached the earth. And He says I will always be with you.
Heaven is availed. Through Him we can enter Heaven. He is the gate. He is the way.
My task is a formidable one. The task of saying with my life "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand".
Ever been amazed and sensed God's presence? God has more in store than the world has to offer. Sights unseen. Colors unseen. Smells never smelled. Sounds never heard.

I want you to be an amazing part of God's heart.
His Kingdom is being revealed. One day we will all say goodbye to this world. And then a whole new life will begin. A new life where you would not even think of going back. Sounds like Heaven? is, when a sinner converts. Ahh, wouldn't you like this for yourself and everyone else!!!!!


hear it read


Random Bible Verse1
1 John 3:2 (Listen)

2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears [1] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Thank You Jesus

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