Wednesday, June 24, 2020

⛪ . "They Made Signs ... ."⛪

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Seeing Reality with Compassion

There's a moral realism in healthy and grounded people. They're not ideological, on the left or the right. They can accept people whom others have judged for one reason or another. They don't move up in their head and form great big explanations for why something is wrong or right. You can never shock them. They do not read reality, first of all, with their moral compass, but with the eyes of compassion. They don't bring answers down from above, but find them within and evoke them from below. Also, for some reason, they don't compare. They take what is right in front of them on its own, self-evident terms, giving each person the benefit of the doubt.

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


†Saint Quote

"Christ is my Spouse. He chose me first and His I will be. He made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve."
— St. Agnes

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.

"Habits are being formed here under the pressure of temptation and difficulty that unfold in perfect form and beauty when the soul that has developed these habits passes into its true home. Those very temptations that made it so difficult to persevere were really the means of developing these powers. The spirit of prayer and worship grew on; hampered and oppressed by the distractions of life, it fought its way in spite of them and thus gained strength; then, when all these were removed, it opened out unhindered in its perfect growth. Now, there is one fundamental principle of the spiritual life that has to be learned and practiced here, mostly with suffering, often with the very keenest suffering, although so closely associated with it that it almost seems a necessary part of it, is indeed only accidental, and one day will altogether cease, while the grace that has been fought for and developed in so much agony will live on forever, and be the delight of the soul through eternity."
— Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 44-45
Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Hebrews 11:6


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A family relation of Jesus, St. John the Baptist is called "the Forerunner" because he was sent by God to "prepare the way of the Lord" ahead of Jesus' public ministry. The birth of St. John the Baptist to his elderly and previously barren parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, is recorded in St. Luke's Gospel. His birth was announced to his father Zechariah by the Archangel Gabriel, who also brought the news of Christ's birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. John the Baptist's nativity is one of only three birthdays celebrated by the Church, along with the nativities of Jesus and Mary. Though not an official dogma, according to ancient tradition St. John the Baptist was freed from original sin at the moment his mother heard the greeting of the Blessed Virgin at the Visitation, causing John to leap in his mother's womb through the action of the Holy Spirit. So, like Jesus and Mary, St. John would have been born without sin, and therefore his birthday is also worthy of special honor. Because Christ praised John the Baptist so highly by saying "Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist," he was one of the most highly venerated saints in the ancient and medieval Church. He has two feasts: his nativity on June 24th and his passion on August 29th.

Saint John the Baptist's Story

Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him: "I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John…." But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: "[Y]et the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Luke 7:28).

John spent his time in the desert, an ascetic. He began to announce the coming of the Kingdom, and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life. His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. His baptism, he said, was for repentance. But one would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John was not worthy even to untie his sandals. His attitude toward Jesus was: "He must increase; I must decrease" (John 3:30).

John was humbled to find among the crowd of sinners who came to be baptized the one whom he already knew to be the Messiah. "I need to be baptized by you" (Matthew 3:14b). But Jesus insisted, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15b). Jesus, true and humble human as well as eternal God, was eager to do what was required of any good Jew. Jesus thus publicly entered the community of those awaiting the Messiah. But making himself part of that community, he made it truly messianic.

The greatness of John, his pivotal place in the history of salvation, is seen in the great emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. John attracted countless people to the banks of the Jordan, and it occurred to some people that he might be the Messiah. But he constantly deferred to Jesus, even to sending away some of his followers to become the first disciples of Jesus.

Perhaps John's idea of the coming of the Kingdom of God was not being perfectly fulfilled in the public ministry of Jesus. For whatever reason, when he was in prison he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. Jesus' answer showed that the Messiah was to be a figure like that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. John himself would share in the pattern of messianic suffering, losing his life to the revenge of Herodias.

John challenges us Christians to the fundamental attitude of Christianity—total dependence on the Father, in Christ. Except for the Mother of God, no one had a higher function in the unfolding of salvation. Yet the least in the kingdom, Jesus said, is greater than he, for the pure gift that the Father gives. The attractiveness as well as the austerity of John, his fierce courage in denouncing evil—all stem from his fundamental and total placing of his life within the will of God.
Saint John the Baptist is the Patron Saint of:



Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 587
Reading 1

Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm

139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading 2

Acts 13:22-26

In those days, Paul said:
"God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.
From this man's descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.'

"My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent."


See Lk 1:76

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
"No. He will be called John."
But they answered her,
"There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name,"
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
"What, then, will this child be?"
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,

and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 49:1-6

The Lord called me from birth. (Isaiah 49:1)

The Church has always seen today's first reading, one of the four "Servant Songs" from the Book of Isaiah, as a foreshadowing of Jesus, the Servant-King who came to save us. So why does it use this passage for today's feast celebrating the birth of John the Baptist? Perhaps it's because John was another servant of the Lord through whom God has shown his glory (Isaiah 49:3).

It's clear from Luke's Gospel that God had called John from birth and given him a special name and a special mission (Luke 1:5-20; 57-66; Isaiah 49:1). John's strong words urging people to repent must have felt like a "sharp-edged sword" or a "polished arrow" to anyone who heard him (49:2). He was the "servant" who prepared the way for Israel to return to God and become "a light to the nations" (49:5, 6).

But these words don't apply only to John and Jesus; they apply to you as well. God created you and called you from birth. He knows you by name—which means he knows you deeply—and he has given you a mission that only you can fulfill. That mission is to be a herald like John. God wants you to help prepare people for the coming of the Savior into their lives, and you can do that by sharing what God has done for you in Christ.

The words John spoke were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Believe that the Spirit can inspire you with words that can pierce the hearts of your family members, friends, and coworkers. To that lapsed Catholic in your office, perhaps you can share how much God wants to comfort him at Mass. To your atheist daughter, you might want to talk about a particularly difficult time in your life when you saw God's grace working in you. You never know how your words will be received, but neither did John. He was intent only on doing what the Lord asked of him—and God took care of the rest!

"St. John the Baptist, pray for me to be a herald of Jesus' coming, as you were."

Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Acts 13:22-26
Luke 1:57-66, 80



The books of the Bible do not merely form an historical collection of texts. They contain the Word of God that he is speaking to us here and now.
— Fr. Michel Remery
from Tweeting with God


"The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name....You are My servant...."
We were born to serve. That is how we are served. By serving, others are served, and by others serving, I am served. We are then, servant's of Christ and Christ serves through servants. When precious hands serve you, it is Christ. When my hands serve Christ, it is something never to be forgotten. And the intent is where it begins...this is where Love can begin, free and true love of God.


We pray today: "Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works."
These are words typically found in the pro-life movement. Yes, there is actually a good and peaceful movement across the world, calling for the defense of the truly innocent, the most innocent in the world, the most vulnerable, the most in need, the unborn and the newly born. We have now the birth to consider, yours is always remembered, and also the joyful Holy Spirit encounter with Jesus our Lord and John the Baptist.


We heard in the Gospel: "Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her."
That is, she was pregnant, that is, she would endure the hardships of birth, that is what they considered a blessing. Most commonly now, children that are unplanned, are considered a burden, and nearing a curse, and they want it "taken care of", like mobsters, young mothers are herded to abortion clinics where the unborn are devoured and incinerated, just like in the times of old, all those offering to the god Ba'al and Molech. Most often the furnace was shaped like a bull. Horns, evil looking really. Always back to the darkness. Why is the world tended that way? The tendency to sin is always there, and the sad part is to have twisted lies say that a blessing is a curse, like saying the Bible is a burden, and that is liberalism at its fundamentalism. To be liberated from all, and for human law to be king, socialism at its best, and in secrecy, communism, a most detrimental state of being, a true prison, a King-less nation.

At the sum of the matter, we have the truth revealed. Just like when John the Baptist was revealed, the true name, chosen by angels, everyone asked:
"What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit..." John is his name. The name John is a theophoric name originating from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yôḥānān), or in its longer form יְהוֹחָנָן (Yəhôḥānān), meaning "YHWH has been gracious".
God is gracious. He graced Elizabeth and John was born. Mother Mary was FULL of grace and Jesus was born. You have been born graciously, thought of in particular by God. How amazing it is to realize, you are not an accident. You are planned. You are destined. You have been granted to know about being and about the Almighty Being that fathered you, created you, and desires what's best for you. Thus, the cross comes to mind. And I'm thinking how every one of us has a particular purpose and cross. What is the cross? Suffering? Not entirely, it is obedience. A burden? Depends how you cherish the cross. Let's say, like a deacon I know, he was tasked with bathing and feeding his elderly father, when all the rest of his siblings wouldn't. The man had a full time job, and full time ministry as deacon, how in the world could he take care of his suffering father? He did. He did his best, and now his testimony about taking care of his father is his best, I say. Somehow God makes things happen...for the willing soul. You say yes, and He takes care of the rest.

Have faith my child. Have faith my child.
Today, traditionally, in Mexico, you get splashed with water in celebration of St. John the Baptist. Feel free to splash your face and others "Feliz dia de San Juan!". Remember your baptism, your incorporation, your making way for self and others to the Kingdom of Heaven. This is an incorporation and a day to remember...the day your Spirit was born to Christ. Look up your baptismal date and cherish it. This is the day that counts most. They asked St. John Paul II what was the most important day of his life, and he said..."my baptism".

That's when God enters. And now we can enter into His life with the more Sacraments....grace....


Random bible verse from an online generator:
Mt 5 43
Love Your Enemies

43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.


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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