Wednesday, June 10, 2020

⛪ . ".Whoever Obeys . . ."⛪




A Sense of Community

The hunger for meaning and the need for hope in this deconstructed society cannot be satisfied by merely private choices. Corporate evil can only be overcome by corporate good. For this reason, and many others, I'm very happy to see the growth of small groups in church and in society. As I have said since the early days of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, we cannot think ourselves into a new way of living; we must live ourselves into a new way of thinking. It is lifestyle choices that finally change us and allow us to see in new ways. We have to create structures and institutions that think, and therefore act, differently. We have no past evidence to prove that gospel individuals alone can fully exemplify the Reign of God. This is the church's own form of individualism, while it often condemns individualism in the world. Until we question our very lifestyle, nothing truly new is going to happen—or, as Jesus said in a perfect metaphor, if we put "new wine into old wineskins," both will be lost (see Mark 2:22). That's a rather clear statement about the need for gospel structures to support gospel individuals. Up to now, we have largely tried to evangelize individuals while the structures have remained monarchical and unaccountable. "Put new wine in fresh wineskins, and both are preserved" (Matthew 9:17).

—from The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM


†Saint Quote
"The most deadly poison of our time is indifference. And this happens although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise him to the greatest extent of our powers."
— St. Maximilian Kolbe

"If, then, we wish to persevere and to be saved—for no one can be saved without perseverance—we must pray continually. Our perseverance depends, not on one grace, but on a thousand helps which we hope to obtain from God during our whole lives, that we may be preserved in his grace. Now, to this chain of graces a chain of prayers on our part must correspond: without these prayers, God ordinarily does not grant his graces. If we neglect to pray, and thus break the chain of prayers, the chain of graces shall also be broken, and we shall lose the grace of perseverance."
— St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 201
The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori

"And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."
John 3:19-21


click to read more



St. Olivia (448 – 463 A.D.) was the beautiful daughter of a noble family living near Palermo on the island of Sicily. She desired to serve God through her life as a consecrated virgin, and gave her wealth to the poor. When the King of the Vandals invaded Italy and came to Palermo, many Christians were martyred at his hands. The young Olivia would visit and encourage the Christians in prison. Her piety, which was greatly admired, caused the local authorities to send her to Tunis to face the governor. There she converted many to the Christian faith, and as punishment she was banished into the wilderness to starve to death or be devoured by wild beasts. She was later found alive by hunters, and upon being brought back to civilization she continued to convert many pagans with her zeal. She was again sent to the governor for punishment and was cruelly tortured. After being dipped in a vat of hot oil and miraculously suffering no harm, she was finally beheaded. In Tunisia there was an ancient Christian basilica dedicated in her honor and built on the site of her tomb; today a mosque rests on the site, yet it retains her name and the memory of her relics. St. Olivia is a virgin martyr venerated especially in Sicily and Tunisia. Her feast day is June 10th.


Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 361
Reading 1

1 Kgs 18:20-39

Ahab sent to all the children of Israel
and had the prophets assemble on Mount Carmel.

Elijah appealed to all the people and said,
"How long will you straddle the issue?
If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him."
The people, however, did not answer him.
So Elijah said to the people,
"I am the only surviving prophet of the LORD,
and there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal.
Give us two young bulls.
Let them choose one, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood,
but start no fire.
I shall prepare the other and place it on the wood,
but shall start no fire.
You shall call on your gods, and I will call on the LORD.
The God who answers with fire is God."
All the people answered, "Agreed!"

Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal,
"Choose one young bull and prepare it first,
for there are more of you.
Call upon your gods, but do not start the fire."
Taking the young bull that was turned over to them, they prepared it
and called on Baal from morning to noon, saying,
"Answer us, Baal!"
But there was no sound, and no one answering.
And they hopped around the altar they had prepared.
When it was noon, Elijah taunted them:
"Call louder, for he is a god and may be meditating,
or may have retired, or may be on a journey.
Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened."
They called out louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears,
as was their custom, until blood gushed over them.
Noon passed and they remained in a prophetic state
until the time for offering sacrifice.
But there was not a sound;
no one answered, and no one was listening.

Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me."
When the people had done so, he repaired the altar of the LORD
that had been destroyed.
He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob,
to whom the LORD had said, "Your name shall be Israel."
He built an altar in honor of the LORD with the stones,
and made a trench around the altar
large enough for two measures of grain.
When he had arranged the wood,
he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood.
"Fill four jars with water," he said,
"and pour it over the burnt offering and over the wood."
"Do it again," he said, and they did it again.
"Do it a third time," he said,
and they did it a third time.
The water flowed around the altar,
and the trench was filled with the water.

At the time for offering sacrifice,
the prophet Elijah came forward and said,
"LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
let it be known this day that you are God in Israel
and that I am your servant
and have done all these things by your command.
Answer me, LORD!
Answer me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God
and that you have brought them back to their senses."
The LORD's fire came down
and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust,
and it lapped up the water in the trench.
Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said,
"The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"

Responsorial Psalm

16:1b-2ab, 4, 5ab and 8, 11

R. (1b) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
They multiply their sorrows
who court other gods.
Blood libations to them I will not pour out,
nor will I take their names upon my lips.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
O LORD, my allotted portion and cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.


Ps 25:4b, 5a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Teach me your paths, my God,
and guide me in your truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."


Daily Meditation: 1 Kings 18:20-39

Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, "The Lord is God!" (1 Kings 18:39)

Extravagant birthday parties have become commonplace in some parts of the world. But recently, some parents have even begun celebrating their child before birth! At these "gender reveal" parties, the parents-to-be announce the gender of their baby—in elaborate ways. They might delight their guests with cupcakes with pink or blue filling inside or even a display of pink or blue fireworks. These celebrations allow the parents to "go big" and share their excitement in a very public way.

In today's first reading, Elijah is planning his own dramatic "God reveal." He is hoping that his spectacular event will convince the Israelites that the Lord is the one true God. He hopes that they all will believe and turn away from worshipping Baal. Hopefully the drought will then be over. God responds to Elijah's prayer with a powerful gust of fire that quickly consumes the meat offering and the wet wood—and the people bow down and acknowledge the Lord.

Many of us can understand Elijah's frustration in trying to bring people back to God. We all have people in our lives—children, siblings, or friends—who don't believe in God and find themselves stuck in a spiritual drought. If only we could have an amazing "God reveal" the way that Elijah did! Maybe that would help our loved ones to begin to believe in him.

Why not ask? Notice how Elijah went big with his "God reveal." He didn't just recite rote words or hold his tongue. He prayed for the Lord to do something dramatic—and believed that God would follow through. Now, we shouldn't set up some life-or-death showdown like Elijah did, but we can go big with our prayers: "Lord, reveal your love to this person, and bring their faith alive." "Holy Spirit, make your presence known to this person in a tangible way." "Jesus, I believe you can heal my friend of cancer."

So go big in your prayers. Ask God for powerful solutions, always knowing that he will answer in his own way, in his own timing. You never know what might happen until you try!

"Lord, I pray boldly: please reveal yourself to my loved ones!"

Psalm 16:1-2, 4-5, 8, 11
Matthew 5:17-19



The inviolability of marriage is conspicuous in this world. We're surrounded by impermanence. Friendships are lost when people are hurt. Jobs are lost when someone acts irresponsibly. Homes grow quiet when parents are forgotten. This world is filled with the passing away. Permanence, though, is steady. Permanence is strong. Permanence is godly. These are the qualities we want in the marital union of man and woman.
— Dan and Danielle Bean
from Manual for Marriage


"..let it be known this day that you are God in Israel
and that I am your servant..."
And they filled up the trenches with water, they poured water all over what was supposed to catch on fire. An impossibility was proposed, like David and Goliath. Goliath laughed. I'm sure the prophets of Baal were baffled. What kind of opposition do you find yourself in? Elijah had the whole world turned against him. Elijah moved forward. What would be poured on with water would be consumed with fire. Think John the Baptist, and Jesus the Holy Spirit. He consumes an acceptable offering. Think Abraham and Isaac. Think sacrifice from the heart. This is where me and you come in...we are the opposite of the world. Baal followers cut themselves, and these carry bad spirits. Cuttings are signs of death. And we are pro-life, that is why we are pro-family.


We pray today: " Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope."
The path to life. Who will show us there? I pray things eternal, and by exhorting you to remain faithful, every single day, I pray for God to show us the way to eternal life, and this means eternal Jesus, the Way.


In the Holy Gospel, our Lord says "I have come not to abolish but to fulfill."
Read those words as if they come from within your heart and issuing your life statement and mission.
"I have come not to abolish but to fulfill."
".... whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
I teach commandments, but words only go so far. What counts is my life teachings. The only reason we hear about saints is because we hear about how they gave their lives to God. Not about a one thing they did, but about their whole life. I don't know what to make of those who say they "used to help at church" and then whatever reason made them quit usually follows. Quitting community is super dangerous. Oh sure, they pray. Sure they worship on their own. But whence you ask them to come be in a bible group or take a class for Sacraments, boy, it's like you open a can of worms. And rightly so, because dead people are worm food. And I'm speaking about the spiritual life. Jesus was community. He was always with others, yes, prayed much alone, but that's not what communal life is about.

And you teach others by your life.
"... whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven."
There are some who say they don't hate God, but they won't say they hate going to church. Simply not going is on the side of hatred. How mean of a statement is that? Well, God invites us to a banquet where He sacrifices Himself in Holy Mass.
He prepares the meal Himself. He gives life sustenance to the soul.

If I were going to give my life and offer it on an altar, what would be my feeling of those who turn away? If it's love, it will be love, and love knows mercy well. But the feeling would be sadness, with eternal hope. Because when someone hates you, they are turning away from you, turning their backs on you, no longer for you, but against you.

When the people of Baal couldn't decide what to believe, they were wishy washy, on the fence. Elijah's life long pleadings and struggles culminated to this point. Would God prove Himself? Yes, He did, and Yes He will... to the faithful, and the righteous. St. John the Baptist had to ultimately trust Jesus had words of eternal life, and then they took his life. But John had given it first.
In life in ministry, you see many people come and go. Some follow priests, not Jesus. Some priests follow their own ways more than Jesus, as do some bishops. These are some, not all. Just like there are some bad cops, not all are bad. Just like there are bad teachers, not all. What makes some turn bad? Bad spirits, given permission to act.

And so I have a question...who taught you your faith? Are you self taught and self motivated? Or are you always needing motivation, and teachers? What drives your life? Who drives you? Some say they are driven insane...that's because you let them drive.
The question boils down to authority. What are you teaching others about faith? About life? Are you teaching the world that faith is life?

Meditate with me:
I have come not to abolish...but to fulfill everything that Jesus has said, because He is the Word, and He is the Word turned into flesh, and so it is that I turn the Word into flesh, I will become the embodiment of CHRIST!


click to hear

Random bible verse from an online generator:


Ephesians 5
Walk in Love
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


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

Like   Tweet   Pin   +1  
Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®