Friday, March 13, 2020

⛪ . .It is wonderful in . .⛪

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The Stone Rejected by the Builders

The ecological dream is to produce new energy by reprocessing all waste. Whatever has been thrown away or rejected is then reintegrated into the economy of life and a sense of equanimity and balance is achieved. But this is as hard to do in the inner life as at the global level. Whenever something is thrown away (waste) or labeled as useless (rejected), there is an accompanying feeling of failure, or of a missed opportunity, or of incompleteness. The deepest human instinct is for meaning, wholeness, connection and integration. Nothing should ever be seen as separated from the whole simply because it can't be separate. We all have memories or relationships that we want to exclude because they don't fit in with the desired pattern of our life. We need to realize that rejection never works. It only entangles us more with those aspects of a memory we dislike. Eventually it returns (as the rejected Jesus did) and is seen very differently. The rejected stone becomes the foundation stone.

—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB


Saint Quote
"We are born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more."
— St. Joseph Cafasso

"Knock. Persevere in knocking, even to the point of rudeness, if that were possible. There is a way of forcing God and wresting his graces from him, and that way is to ask continually with a firm faith. We must think, with the Gospel: 'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,' which he then repeats by saying, 'Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened' (Luke 11:9-10). We must, therefore, pray during the day, pray at night, and pray every time we rise. Even though God seems either not to hear us or even to reject us, we must continually knock, expecting all things from God but nevertheless also acting ourselves. We must not only ask as though God must do everything himself; we must also make our own effort to act according to his will and with the help of his grace, as all things are done with his support. We must never forget that it is always God who provides; to think thus is the very foundation of humility."
— Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p.35
Meditations for Lent

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3


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St. Euphrasia (380-410 A.D.) was the only child of noble Christian parents serving the court of the Christian Emperor Theodosius I, their relative, in Constantinople. After her birth her parents vowed to remain celibate in order to commit their lives fully to prayer and penance. Her father died soon after, and Euphrasia moved with her mother to Egypt near a large monastery of nuns. At the age of seven Euphrasia vowed her virginity to Christ and desired to join the monastery. Her mother gladly presented her to the abbess, and then died soon after. When the Emperor heard of her mother's death, he sought out Euphrasia for an arranged marriage. Euphrasia denied the offer due to her vow, and requested that her large estate be sold with the money given to the poor, and all her slaves freed. The Emperor was greatly pleased with her chosen course in life, and did all that she asked. As a nun Euphrasia did great penances. In order to resist temptations to sin, she would perform difficult manual labor, often lifting heavy stones and moving them from one place to another for days on end, and other such drudgery. She was known to perform miracles both before and after her death at the age of thirty. Her feast day is March 13th.


Saint Leander of Seville

(c. 534 – March 13, 600 or 601)
The next time you recite the Nicene Creed at Mass, think of today's saint. For it was Leander of Seville who, as bishop, introduced the practice in the sixth century. He saw it as a way to help reinforce the faith of his people and as an antidote against the heresy of Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. By the end of his life, Leander had helped Christianity flourish in Spain at a time of political and religious upheaval.

Leander's own family was heavily influenced by Arianism, but he himself grew up to be a fervent Christian. He entered a monastery as a young man and spent three years in prayer and study. At the end of that tranquil period he was made a bishop. For the rest of his life he worked strenuously to fight against heresy. The death of the anti-Christian king in 586 helped Leander's cause. He and the new king worked hand in hand to restore orthodoxy and a renewed sense of morality. Leander succeeded in persuading many Arian bishops to change their loyalties.

Leander died around 600. In Spain, he is honored as a Doctor of the Church.

As we pray the Nicene Creed every Sunday, we might reflect on the fact that that same prayer is not only being prayed by every Catholic throughout the world, but by many other Christians as well. Saint Leander introduced its recitation as a means of uniting the faithful. Let's pray that the recitation may enhance that unity today.


Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 234
Reading 1

Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a

Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons,
for he was the child of his old age;
and he had made him a long tunic.
When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons,
they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.

One day, when his brothers had gone
to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem,
Israel said to Joseph,
"Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem.
Get ready; I will send you to them."

So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan.
They noticed him from a distance,
and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him.
They said to one another: "Here comes that master dreamer!
Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here;
we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
We shall then see what comes of his dreams."

When Reuben heard this,
he tried to save him from their hands, saying,
"We must not take his life.
Instead of shedding blood," he continued,
"just throw him into that cistern there in the desert;
but do not kill him outright."
His purpose was to rescue him from their hands
and return him to his father.
So when Joseph came up to them,
they stripped him of the long tunic he had on;
then they took him and threw him into the cistern,
which was empty and dry.

They then sat down to their meal.
Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead,
their camels laden with gum, balm and resin
to be taken down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers:
"What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?
Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites,
instead of doing away with him ourselves.
After all, he is our brother, our own flesh."
His brothers agreed.
They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.

Responsorial Psalm

105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21

R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

Verse Before the Gospel

Jn 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son;
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.


Mt 21:33-43, 45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.


Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28

2nd Week of Lent

Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons. (Genesis 37:3)

Since its earliest days, the Church has recognized a harmony between the Old and New Testaments. The apostles sought to understand how the ancient Hebrew Scriptures pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. The early Church Fathers then recognized that the mystery of Christ that is hidden in the Old Testament comes fully alive in the New.

Saints and scholars alike have seen that many elements of the Old Testament—people, events, and places—anticipate realities fully revealed in the New. They call them "types," or prefigurements, of Christ.

The Old Testament story of Joseph gives us one of the most stirring Old Testament types of Jesus. Joseph, a favorite son of Jacob, was despised by his brothers, who decided to sell him into slavery in Egypt. But Joseph eventually became the instrument God used to save his family from famine: "Even though you meant harm to me," Joseph later told his brothers, "God meant it for good" (Genesis 50:20).

It's not hard to see why many Church Fathers read Joseph's story as a foreshadowing of Jesus' life and God's plan of salvation. Just look at the many parallels between the two. Both were favored sons of a loving father. Both experienced rejection from some of their own people. Both were sold for silver. Both were falsely accused and imprisoned. Both were unexpectedly exalted—Joseph to Pharaoh's right hand and Jesus to the throne of God. And both provided salvation for the Jewish people as well as the Gentiles around them.

Learning how people, prophecies, and events in the Old Testament find fulfillment in Jesus can help us come to a clearer understanding of the marvelous plan of God. It can also help us come to a deeper grasp of the salvation he has won for us and the love that moved him to save us.

As you continue to pray through the Scriptures this Lent, look for Jesus' "footprints" in the Old Testament readings. As you do, you'll see how much God loves his people—including you. You'll see that God has planned glorious things for you. Your life is secure in him!

"Jesus, you are Lord of history. Thank you for opening my eyes to your wonderful plan of salvation!"

Psalm 105:16-21
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46



If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed.
—Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
from The Ultimate Relationship


"When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him."
This son, was not of their blood, but was still their brother, right? When Jesus came, He was not of their blood, and and is still...the favored one of God. And the brothers hated Him, and they decided to kill Him. And so, they tossed Him away, and sold Him for some pieces of silver. Brutal brothers. It is a horrible story...of our Lord. So how does this horrible story apply to us today? Stay tuned, the Holy Gospel from our Lord's lips will reveal the truth.


But first, we pray today: "When the LORD called down a famine on the land and ruined the crop that sustained them, He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave. Remember the marvels the Lord has done...".

Now we are going beyond the story of Joseph's abuse and into triumphant victory. The one where mercy comes into play. Famine came, and people came on their knees...even the bad brothers.


In today's Holy Gospel, our Lord tells us about a vineyard. It's a business and way of life, isn't it? So why the hostile takeover? Why did the men not want anyone to come and tell them how to run their business? Their...lives? Because that's the story of the vineyard, isn't it? Death to anyone who'd come in and tell them how to be! It's the death story of our modern day culture. "That doesn't apply to me" is the mentality. You see, the people made the vineyard a Utopia by making it a Usurp-ia. They usurped the power. What does usurp mean anyway? -To seize and hold (office, place, functions, powers, etc.) in possession by force or without right. Is that happening today? With the world's major tragedy of abortion...yes, it is. Once that facet is taken over...all other facets of life are hinged on that very fact...who has control, who has power, who has the say so. Easily, all things against life are following...doctors decide if you live, family not so much, and euthanasia is seen as a "health alternative". But more comes too, contraceptives are maxed out with a homosexual lifestyle. Should I speak lighter and nicer? Will I too be rejected for speaking truth?

You see, in the world, in the modern generation, they say kids are starving...spiritually for truth. But what do you feed a starving child? You can't feed them solid food can you? They need milk, soft foods, and much tender loving care. But who cares? The vineyard is still alive. God's vineyard has been rightfully taken back. Jesus is the master of the vineyard. Now, the choice is yours, if you will accept or reject Him personally.

I know for us reading, we are faithful, it takes much to digest what has just been said. But the daily task comes in, because we desire Eutopia where everything is perfect, but in reality, it is not. Things will not be perfect in this world, perfection here is fleeting, yet, God calls us to be perfect. The Master has asked us to be perfect. Jesus said "Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." What does that mean? Taken with context, it means be mercy. Be the living embodiment of mercy. And if Jesus is the favored one, then we have a model to follow.

Today, God is asking for surrender, to do His Holy will. To do as He says and to do as He does.

"Lord, you know I love you..."
Said the repentant Peter

And we approach Him in need and on our knees....


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Random Bible verse from an online generator:


Proverbs 10:12

12 Hatred stirs up strife,

but love covers all offenses.


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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