Wednesday, April 8, 2020

⛪ . .It would be better. . .⛪

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The Gift of Love

The Cenacle, the room on the second floor spoken of by the Gospel, is one of the most treasured and beautiful places connected to our faith. The current walls of this cross-shaped room are thus not exactly the walls of the room Jesus was in. However, we do know that the uninterrupted tradition of the Church has recognized this place in which Jesus was together with his disciples on the last night of his earthly life for what we call the Last Supper. The foot-washing is the symbolic gesture through which Jesus prepared his disciples to think about the mystery of his death and to understand how the Eucharist is the renewal of that same gift of love. "Through my death, which is the gift of my body and blood, I am doing the highest service of life for you that can be done. I wash your life; I save it; I bring it into full communion with the Father." This is why Jesus threatens to exclude Peter from having any part in him if he rejects Jesus's gesture. This is the approach that every disciple of the Lord Jesus should take: mutual service through the gift of one's life for the salvation for brothers and sisters.

—from the book Encountering Jesus: A Holy Land Experience by Vincenzo Peroni


†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

O clement, O loving, O sweet Mother Mary,
We, your children of every nation,
Turn to you in this pandemic.
Our troubles are numerous; our fears are great.
Grant that we might deposit them at your feet,
Take refuge in your Immaculate Heart,
And obtain peace, healing, rescue,
And timely help in all our needs.
You are our Mother.
Pray for us to your Son.

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

"All creatures that exist are in the hands of God. The action of the creature can only be perceived by the senses, but faith sees in all things the action of the Creator. It believes that in Jesus Christ all things live, and that His divine operation continues to the end of time, embracing the passing moment and the smallest created atom in its hidden life and mysterious action."
—Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p.21
Abandonment to Divine Providence

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord."
Psalm 40:1-3


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(July 12, 1751 – April 8, 1816)
Born in Cuvilly, France, into a family of well-to-do farmers, young Marie Rose Julie Billiart showed an early interest in religion and in helping the sick and poor. Though the first years of her life were relatively peaceful and uncomplicated, Julie had to take up manual work as a young teen when her family lost its money. However, she spent her spare time teaching catechism to young people and to the farm laborers.

A mysterious illness overtook her when she was about 30. Witnessing an attempt to wound or even kill her father, Julie was paralyzed and became a complete invalid. For the next two decades, she continued to teach catechism lessons from her bed, offered spiritual advice, and attracted visitors who had heard of her holiness.

When the French Revolution broke out in 1789, revolutionary forces became aware of her allegiance to fugitive priests. With the help of friends, she was smuggled out of Cuvilly in a haycart. She then spent several years hiding in Compiegne, being moved from house to house despite her growing physical pain. She even lost the power of speech for a time.

But this period also proved to be a fruitful spiritual time for Julie. It was at this time she had a vision in which she saw Calvary surrounded by women in religious habits and heard a voice saying, "Behold these spiritual daughters whom I give you in an institute marked by the cross."

As time passed and Julie continued her mobile life, she made the acquaintance of an aristocratic woman, Fran├žoise Blin de Bourdon, who shared Julie's interest in teaching the faith. In 1803, the two women began the Institute of Notre Dame, which was dedicated to the education of the poor, young Christian girls, and the training of catechists. The following year, the first Sisters of Notre Dame made their vows. That was the same year that Julie recovered from the illness: She was able to walk for the first time in 22 years.

Though Julie had always been attentive to the special needs of the poor and that always remained her priority, she also became aware that other classes in society needed Christian instruction. From the founding of the Sisters of Notre Dame until her death, Julie was on the road, opening a variety of schools in France and Belgium that served the poor and the wealthy, vocational groups, teachers. Ultimately, Julie and Fran├žoise moved the motherhouse to Namur, Belgium.

Julie died there in 1816. She was canonized in 1969.

Julie's immobility in no way impeded her activities. In spite of her suffering, she managed to co-found a teaching order that tended to the needs of both the poor and the well-to-do. Each of us has limitations, but the worst malady any of us can suffer is the spiritual paralysis that keeps us from doing God's work on earth.


Wednesday of Holy Week
Lectionary: 259
Reading 1

Is 50:4-9a

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm

69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34

R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother's sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.


Mt 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."


Today's Meditation: Matthew 26:14-25

Surely it is not I? (Matthew 26:25)

Judas' betrayal looms large in the beginning of the story of Jesus' passion and death. In fact, the whole story is set in motion when Judas goes to the authorities and arranges to hand Jesus over.

Then in today's Gospel, we see Jesus predicting that one of his disciples will betray him—just before he offers them his Body and Blood. But notice how the spotlight is not so much on Judas' treachery as on Jesus' kindness and mercy. He knows what Judas will do, but he doesn't expose him or utter words of condemnation. He just gives a vague "You have said so" to Judas' question: "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" (Matthew 26:25). It seems that until the very end, Jesus held out hope that Judas would repent.

That's how Jesus treats you too. He has no interest in shaming you when you fall into sin, and he certainly doesn't want to condemn you. He wants to forgive and heal you. He wants to restore your dignity as a child of God. But he will never force you to do anything, including repent. God created you with free will, and so Jesus will always wait for you to freely choose to acknowledge your sin, to receive his absolution, and to be reconciled to himself.

In these last few days of Lent, why not seek his forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Ask yourself a few simple questions:

• Am I hiding any thoughts or deeds from the Lord?

• Am I denying my responsibility for any wrongs done to myself or others?

• Is my heart not fully open to the Lord in any area?

Bring your answers to the confessional. It's not too late! Just confess, and Jesus will show you the way forward from there.

Jesus is never too preoccupied—or too offended or too hurt by your weaknesses or failures—to forgive you. He has no intention of retaliating by subjecting you to shame or rejection. Acknowledge your sin and let him welcome you back with open arms. Confess your misdeeds and let him show you new ways to think and act. He waits to shower you with his forgiveness and kindness.

"Jesus, surely it is I who have sinned against you. Forgive me and show me the way forward today."

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34



Our existence must be a novitiate for eternity. The entire liturgical life of a monk prepares him for the final hours. When the monks depart, I ask them not to forget us once they are in Heaven. Sometimes, I tell myself that our brothers are so happy near God that they neglect us a little. We are in profound communion with our dead. We think of them every day.
— Nicolas Diat
from A Time to Die: Monks on the Threshold of Eternal Life


"Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled, have not turned back."
It was prophesied hundreds of years before, what would happen. Are there modern prophecies? Mostly we have heard Mother Mary prophecy. And to the tune of decades, not centuries. She always appears and the messages are of repentance...a turning away from self, and to turn to Christ. The apparitions, in the past centuries, seem to be more prevalent. The appearance of our Lord also, invites to something extraordinary, and that what we celebrate after Easter reveals the welcoming message from Heaven.


Today we pray: "I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive! For the LORD hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not." Lord, in your great love, answer me." During the Stations of the Cross, we go through various steps in the Passion of our Lord. Many details are left out, but we step through with Him, what pains...and what pains Him. Yet, the message from Heaven persists, and we remain obstinate...I know of an alcoholic that told me he wasn't ready to change...after losing his high position job, and losing virtually his family, he said "I still haven't hit rock bottom", and the darkness is blinding.


In the Holy Gospel, we are found always with our Lord in the Last Supper, the most blessed meal, and there, you find the traitor.

"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" And the time came when it was Judas to speak up, and so he followed the crowd "not I Lord?" just to appear good. How about us, do we show up to church to make an appearance? Do we say prayers or do we pray prayers?

Bishop Barron said today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel the Lord recognizes Judas as his betrayer. And after this he performs his greatest wonder.
In the course of the supper, Jesus identifies himself so radically with the Passover bread and wine that they become his Body and his Blood. Like broken bread, the Lord says, his body will be given away in love; and like spilled wine, his blood will be poured out on behalf of many.
How does this terrible gathering come to a close? They sing! Matthew tells us, "Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Can you imagine a condemned criminal blithely singing on the eve of his execution? Wouldn't there be something odd, even macabre, about such a display?
But Jesus knows—and his Church knows with him—that this joyful outburst, precisely at that awful time, is altogether appropriate. This is not to deny for a moment the terror of that night or the seriousness of what will follow the next day; but it is to acknowledge that an act of total love is the passage to fullness of life.
Reflect: Songs of thanksgiving always concluded the Passover meal. "Eucharist" means thanksgiving. How are you thankful for the events of today's Gospel? "

The sin of Judas began a chain reaction, pandora's box of evil opened wide. He had no intent perhaps to unfurl the wicked violence that was about to ensue, or did he rightly know? You see, sin unfurls wicked violence. There is no room in Heaven for sin. Any sin at that. Therefore, make no room for this darkness in your life. Do not pick sides, but the side of Christ, and there you will find Mary preaching repentance, for the sake of His sorrowful passion. I was once accused of being a "one world order guy", and it was a funny remark. Perhaps their intent was for me to choose country over God? That is called nationalism, and it is a false ideal, an idol even. But yes, we are called to fall under one flag. That sign I've been thinking of putting on my vehicle will have a flag. It will be a white flag, the flag of surrender, and the motto will be "I Repent". I surrender myself to Jesus Christ, and will avail myself to Divine Mercy. And all of this in hopes to be truly thankful, and this is the meaning of Eucharist, and holiness.

Lord, guide us there, see us through, let us turn to you and never look back.


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Random Bible verse from an online generator:

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


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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