Tuesday, May 5, 2020

⛪ . "Among My Sheep" .⛪




Embracing God's Plan

Christians sometimes submit to the Lord's will begrudgingly, as if it were something burdensome—a sacrifice we must make for the kingdom of God. However, as we grow as God's children, we begin to realize that his plan for our lives always corresponds to our heart's deepest longings, to what will truly bring us fulfillment. Though at times very demanding and involving great sacrifices, God's will is not simply an ethical test we must pass or an external code of behavior to which we must submit. Ultimately, God's will is written on our hearts and is meant to lead us to a profound peace and happiness, even in the face of trials and sufferings. May we, like Mary, actively desire God's will to be fulfilled in our lives. May we joyfully embrace his plan for us, not simply as a religious rule to obey but ultimately as the divine pathway to our hearts' deepest and most noble desires.

—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth by Edward Sri


†Saint Quote
MAY 5, 2020
"What great faith our Lord Jesus Christ asks of us—and how just that is. Do we not owe him such faith? It looks impossible to us, but Jesus is Master of the impossible."
— Blessed Charles de Foucauld

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.

"Beloved brothers and sisters, we must strive with all our strength to repel the enemy of our soul, with full attention and vigilence, as he rages and aims his darts against every part of us that can be assaulted and wounded. This is what the Apostle Peter, in his epistle, warns and teaches us about, saying: 'Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour' (1 Pt. 5:8)."
— Paul Thigpen, p.150
Manual for Spiritual Warfare

"This Jesus is 'the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:11-12


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St. Judith of Prussia (13th c.), also known as St. Jutta, was born to a wealthy family in Thuringia in what is now Germany. She desired to model her life after another noble saint from her country, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who lived in the previous century. Judith was married at age fifteen to a man of equal rank, and together they raised a family. Despite their great wealth, Judith desired that they should live in a simple way and share their fortune generously with the poor. Her husband was at first displeased with her because he desired a lifestyle according to their means and rank. However, Judith persevered and eventually won him over to join her in a life of greater humility and piety. Her husband later died while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, leaving Judith to raise her children alone. Once her children were grown, she rid herself of her costly clothes, jewelry, and other possessions and joined the Third Order of St. Francis. She committed herself to serving the poor and the sick, for which she incurred mockery due to her noble rank in society. In the final years of her life she relocated to Prussia to live as a hermitess in a simple hut. There she spent her days in prayer and penance for the conversion of the pagan Prussians. After she died many miracles occurred at her grave, and she became the patron saint of Prussia. Her feast day is May 5th.


Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 280
Reading 1

Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm

87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
"This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.


Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."


Today's Meditation: Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution . . . went . . . , preaching the word. (Acts 11:19)

There is an adage that says, "God writes straight with crooked lines." It means that God has a way of accomplishing his plans through—and perhaps despite—the twists and turns of human history. Surely, when the severe persecution arose, it looked like a premature and swift end to the Church. How could this band of believers survive such violent opposition?

But not even the passion and rage of man can defeat God. As Paul told the Corinthians, had the rulers of Jesus' day understood God's wisdom, they would never have crucified Jesus—but God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead (1 Corinthians 2:8). Similarly, though the persecution in Jerusalem was meant to put an end to these upstart followers of Christ, it actually spread the proclamation of the Gospel, first to Jews, then to the Greeks, so that "a large number of people was added to the Lord" (Acts 11:24).

The same is true in your life. Twists, turns, and crooked lines are sure to occur. Maybe they weren't in your plans. Yet none of them can thwart God's ultimate plan for you. No matter what developments arise in your life, he is infinitely creative and always able to bring about his deepest desires. He wants you to live with him forever, so he will do everything to help you get there.

But what can you do when all that you can see is the bend in the road?

Start by reminding yourself as you face that curve: God always has an answer in mind. Hold fast to what you know, despite what you can't see ahead of you. Those early believers, though hounded out of Jerusalem, continued to proclaim the good news. In the same way, you can continue to love and serve the Lord, wherever you are, whatever has happened. Cling to the truths you do know even as you wait for God to show you the next steps he has planned for you. Listen, as you pray, for the Lord's gentle encouragement. He will help you negotiate life's curves.

"Lord, I can't see where you're leading me right now, but I trust that you are working out your good will in my life."

Psalm 87:1-7
John 10:22-30



In their strength, intelligence, power, and beauty, our bodies point to God's strength, power, intelligence, and beauty. In their goodness, they testify to God's goodness. In their capacity to create and build and grow things, they echo a God who is the Creator of all. And, in their ability to bring forth new life, they image a God who is life-giving love.
— Dr. Scott Hahn
from Hope to Die


"When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart..."
What does it mean to see the grace of God? What does it mean to see the Spirit at work? Something beautiful is seen. Marvelous works. We need that don't we? We need to see? Let us ask Christ for grace, and seek grace.


We pray today: "They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: "This man was born there." And all shall sing, in their festive dance: "My home is within you." All you nations, praise the Lord."
God came back to life. No thing can defeat Him. He passes through walls, and passes through you. Radiation passes through you. Can we grasp what can radiate through us? To capture that energy of life? And He asks to make His residence in you, at the heart of matter.


They approached our Lord at the Portico of Solomon: "If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
I'll never forget when a loved one asked me for proof, and miracles to believe in God. It is tough, to believe, for the unbeliever, because you ask for something that takes faith. How to raise the dead, or how to walk on water...or how to feed thousands with almost nothing. How my friend? "Prove yourself" is what they were saying. Because He had already told them plainly. "The works I do in my Father's name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep."
So there are two kinds of sheep:
A. The Believer Sheep
B. The non believer sheep.

"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish."
What they wanted was a Messiah that would fulfill all their fantasies as they pictured a hero should be. On the contrary, He was too nice and earthly, that is...too real. When I gaze at the Eucharist, it is almost too real. "Show yourself!", right? We want to see Eucharistic miracles, or feel different, or see something that would appease or appeal to our senses...but no, it's just right there, right in front of you...the Body of Christ.

Maybe we shouldn't look for smoke and mirrors, glitz and glamour.

Maybe we should look to the real presence of Christ.
Maybe we should wait for the Lord and hear for His calling. Waiting means patience. Waiting means serving. Waiting means joyful expectation, all things hope.

And then, in the silence and room, a clean room for Him in our hearts, He will enter, and make His residence, and your life begins to radiate His life, compassion, humility.
What does the Messiah look like? I always stare at a hologram on my desk before writing to you, and above it, a picture I took of the Blessed Sacrament. I pray. I ask Him to inspire us. The holographic picture is the face of the shroud of Turin and then the artistic rendition of what He'd look like if that rendition was alive. But the image of the shroud speaks more, with its light speckled lines and formations and shadows. He paints with light. He hides in light. What seems like blood is light. The head brings an image of electronic radiations, thunderbolts even. All that where the crown should be, and one image reminds me of a musical note and another looks like a 3. Zoom out and He looks like a King and a Father. He looks calm and yet stern, but a complete guide as a rightful shepherd should be. He looks out of this world but He is in this world. I can't be mad at Him, because He is Our Father. I can't ignore Him because He made me. I can't imagine life without Him because there is not life without Him. Hell wouldn't even exist, and even there He has total authority. You see, there is not escaping the reality of where He is and who He is. He created something phenomenal, and in Genesis He called it....good.

Lord, let us turn to you always, let our faces and angel's faces always turn to you, help us truly be yours, and hear our words and pleas for the greater good...


Random Bible verse from an online generator:

John 4:13–14
13 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.1 The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."


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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