Tuesday, February 4, 2020

⛪ . .Why This Commotion .. .⛪

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Jesus Does Not Want Masks

Jesus does not want masks. He does not want projections of our superficial selves that bear no resemblance to who we really are. When he calls us to follow after him, he does not want the person we wish we were or the person we pretend to be. No, when he calls us, he wants the person he created, the person we are becoming in his love, our truest selves. If we want to follow after him, we must strip ourselves of everything that is superficial, inauthentic, forced, or pretend. We need to let go of all those partial and superficial selves. They just get in the way.

—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM


Saint Quote
"When one has nothing more to lose, the heart is inaccessible to fear."

— St. Théodore Guérin

"In the spiritual life there are two great principles which should never be forgotten: Without grace we can do nothing; with it we can do all things. Sometimes it anticipates our desires; ordinarily, God waits till we ask for it. This is a general law thus expressed by Our Lord: 'Ask, and it shall be given to you.' Prayer is, therefore, not only a precept, it is a necessity. God places the treasure of His graces at our disposal, and its key is prayer. You desire more faith, more hope, more love; 'ask, and it shall be given to you.' Your good resolutions remain sterile, resulting always in the same failures: 'ask, and it shall be given to you'. Precepts are numerous, virtue painful, temptation seductive, the enemy ruthless, the will weak: 'ask, and it shall be given to you.'"
— Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey p. xv
The Ways of Mental Prayer

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."
Romans 8:15-17


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St. Jane of Valois (1464-1505) was born to French King Louis XI and Charlotte of Savoy. Much of her life was marked by neglect and emotional abuse. Her father resented her because she was a sickly and deformed female child. He sent her away to a remote country home where she was carelessly raised before being married off at the age of nine to her cousin, the Duke of Orléans. Her husband likewise despised and publicly humiliated her, and their marriage was never consummated. Jane had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary from a young age, especially in the mystery of the Incarnation. One day Our Lady appeared to Jane and told her that in the future she would found a religious community. Through her veneration of the Blessed Mother, Jane found the strength to be a loyal and devoted wife during her painful twenty-two year marriage. When her husband became king, he had their marriage annulled. This left Jane free to found the Order of the Annunciation dedicated to imitating Mary's virtues, as Our Lady foretold. She also gave her Order the duty of constant prayer for the souls of her father and husband who both mistreated her. St. Jane of Valois' feast day is February 4th.


Saint Joseph of Leonissa
Saint of the Day for February 4
(January 8, 1556 – February 4, 1612)

Joseph was born at Leonissa in the Kingdom of Naples. As a boy and as a student in early adulthood, Joseph drew attention for his energy and virtue. Offered a nobleman's daughter in marriage, Joseph refused and joined the Capuchins in his hometown in 1573 instead. Avoiding the safe compromises by which people sometimes undercut the gospel, Joseph denied himself hearty meals and comfortable quarters as he prepared for ordination and a life of preaching.

In 1587, he went to Constantinople to take care of the Christian galley slaves working under Turkish masters. Imprisoned for this work, he was warned not to resume it on his release. He did and was again imprisoned and then condemned to death. Miraculously freed, he returned to Italy where he preached to the poor and reconciled feuding families as well as warring cities which had been at odds for years. He was canonized in 1745.

Saints often jar us because they challenge our ideas about what we need for "the good life." "I'll be happy when. . . ," we may say, wasting an incredible amount of time on the periphery of life. People like Joseph of Leonissa challenge us to face life courageously and get to the heart of it: life with God. Joseph was a compelling preacher because his life was as convincing as his words.


Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 324
Reading 1

2 Sm 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30–19:3

Absalom unexpectedly came up against David's servants.
He was mounted on a mule,
and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth,
his hair caught fast in the tree.
He hung between heaven and earth
while the mule he had been riding ran off.
Someone saw this and reported to Joab
that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth.
And taking three pikes in hand,
he thrust for the heart of Absalom,
still hanging from the tree alive.

Now David was sitting between the two gates,
and a lookout went up to the roof of the gate above the city wall,
where he looked about and saw a man running all alone.
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said,
"If he is alone, he has good news to report."
The king said, "Step aside and remain in attendance here."
So he stepped aside and remained there.
When the Cushite messenger came in, he said,
"Let my lord the king receive the good news
that this day the LORD has taken your part,
freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you."
But the king asked the Cushite, "Is young Absalom safe?"
The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king
and all who rebel against you with evil intent
be as that young man!"

The king was shaken,
and went up to the room over the city gate to weep.
He said as he wept,
"My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom!
If only I had died instead of you,
Absalom, my son, my son!"

Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom;
and that day's victory was turned into mourning for the whole army
when they heard that the king was grieving for his son.

Responsorial Psalm

86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (1a) Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.


Mt 8:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
"My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live."
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to him,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
"Do not be afraid; just have faith."
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep."
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3

4th Week in Ordinary Time

The king was grieving for his son. (2 Samuel 19:3)

The messenger who brought King David news of Absalom's death thought he was delivering good news. After all, Absalom—David's third son—had rebelled and tried to wrest the kingdom from his father. But David saw it only as horrible news. All he could do was weep.

David's relationship with Absalom was certainly rocky. Absalom had killed his older brother, Amnon, as revenge for having raped Absalom's sister Tamar. Then, disgusted at the lenient way David had treated Amnon, Absalom set himself up as a rival king and led a rebellion against him. Despite all David's efforts at reconciliation and peace, the story ended tragically.

We have probably all experienced crushing disappointments like David's. Things don't always seem to turn out for the best. A terminal illness strikes. A daughter decides to stay with an abusive spouse. A dear friend sinks deeper into addiction. It's a mystery why such things happen. We try to trust that God will not abandon us, but sometimes we feel alone. Well-meaning friends may try to cheer us up, but sometimes tears are the only possible response.

When we pour out our hearts like that, we are in good company. Jesus himself grieved. When his friend Lazarus died, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). Countless saints too suffered losses that caused them grief and agony. But when they poured out their hearts to God, he came into their grief. He might not have taken it away, but he walked through it with them.

Grief is authentic, and expressing it can sometimes be the best thing for us. David grieved over Absalom, and it was right. Jesus grieved over Lazarus, and it was right. You should feel free to grieve your losses. But don't grieve alone. Bring your sorrow to the Lord; lay it before him and let him grieve with you. Let him remind you that he promises "to comfort all who mourn" (Isaiah 61:2). Let him remind you that your Father is "the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement" (2 Corinthians 1:3). Then, when you have poured out your heart, rest in him and let his love wash over you.

"Jesus, you were well acquainted with the grief that weighs me down. Help me to join my tears with yours."

Psalm 86:1-6
Mark 5:21-43



When great masterpieces of art are restored, layers and layers of the overlay are removed before the real painting is found. So it is with our sins. We ask God to take off one coat after another of sin and pretense until his real image is visible again.
— Mother Mary Francis
from A Time of Renewal


"If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!"
King David wept for his rebellious son, a son that killed a son, a son that wanted to overthrow him as king. This cry was a lamenting of all transgressions. If only....


Today we pray: "Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Listen, Lord, and answer me."
When does a prayer like this come to heart? When do we earnestly pray "have mercy on me, O Lord"? When contrition is taking root, right? When true cutting sorrow enters the heart. If only...


In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord is bombarded with people, tons of people with needs. We only heard of two that were touched. One bleeding lady, and one church official who's daughter was dying. These were serious cases. Cases of life and death. Cases of restoration. In the first case, the lady launches herself to Christ. She thinks something that the Lord hears "If only...".
Many times, I find myself writing. And much of this seems like computer coding, "if, then". One thing hinges on another. If only. If what? Only. Only one thing is necessary. And she chooses the better part. If only, she says. That's all it will take, she says. She is sure, and she is confident. Is she afraid? They say, where there is a will, there is a way. Her priority was one of many fronts. She was considered impure, she was rejected for being impure, but more than that, she was, for all she knew, dying. She was bleeding uncontrollably, and nobody could help her stop bleeding to death.

Just touch Jesus, she says. Somewhere, someone had told her, or she heard, that just touching Jesus was enough to be healed. Maybe a first hand account told her how they were healed. Tons and tons were pressing in on Jesus, and we heard of only one that touched Him. If only....

If only we could touch our Lord.
If only we could reach Him sincerely. Is there a real life tassel to touch today? His vestment? Can you still touch Him physically today?

Yes. But very few touch Him. For example, millions and millions visit Our Lady of Lourdes (by the way, a novena has started a couple days ago for her), and there are special times when they have a healing hour with the Blessed Sacrament, with a priest walking with the monstrance, our Lord in the Eucharist, and then he touches dozens of people on wheelchairs, and sick people on stretchers. Not all heal. A one here or there, ever so often gets healed. There are many recognized miracles, officially maybe 70, unofficially, maybe hundreds. Why don't all get healed? Is there no faith?

Take this example home now. Some parishes offer healing hours, and charismatic prayer groups, although, these seem to be disappearing. Have we lost a need?

I myself grew up in charismatic groups, and being exposed to healing and the Holy Spirit. I've prayed for many, not all heal. Some have. Why is there a difference?
If only...
If only we knew, right? LOL.

I felt called to randomly open the book IMITATION OF CHRIST for the answer and this is what comes:

"If only you could remain humble and little in your own opinion and keep the motions of your soul under control, you would not quickly fall into presumption or despair."

So, whatever happens, faith is realized, or a deeper faith is called for, one that says to God, "whatever your will, I'm totally yours".

If only.....


click to hear a message

->Random Bible Verse 1<

7 But the LORD sits enthroned forever;

he has established his throne for justice,
8 and he judges the world with righteousness;

he judges the peoples with uprightness.

Thank You Lord


If one day you don't receive these, just visit my website, surely you'll find me there. God Bless You! Share the Word. Share this, share what is good

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