Thursday, July 2, 2020

⛪ . "When the Crowds Saw . ."⛪

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We Can Become God's Children—Now!

Once we allow the love of God into our hearts, we are able to live no longer for ourselves but for him, with heartfelt charity and in genuine solidarity with other men and women. The better able we are to renounce ourselves, the better able we are to follow the Spirit. When our identity is fixed firmly on the solid foundation of Christ, we begin to experience our humanity in all its richness. We are able to see in Christ the image of the invisible God, and we become aware of our own exalted vocation to be sons and daughters of the Father. The Spirit is willingly sent by the Father and the Son in order to unite us with Christ and allow us to see ourselves as the Father knows us in the eternity of his mind. We can become God's children—now. We are adopted as sons and daughters of God. The Spirit imparts the graces we need in order to follow the example of Christ, to act rightly and do good deeds.

—from the book Inspired: The Powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Gary Caster


Saint Quote

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."
— St. Augustine


"If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way around. Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself."
— C. S. Lewis, p. 78
Mere Christianity

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20


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St. Bernardino Realino (1530–1616) was born in Italy to a noble family. He grew into an accomplished "Renaissance Man" of his day; he studied law and medicine, had a successful career as an attorney and judge, and served as the mayor of three cities. At the age of 34 he completed an eight-day retreat with Jesuit priests, and during this time he discerned a call to the religious life. He entered the Jesuit order and was ordained a priest in 1567. As a priest he preached, taught, and visited the sick and poor in the areas of Naples and Lecce. He was much loved and venerated by the people he ministered to, especially because of the miracles he performed. It was commonly believed among the people that he was a living saint. Even public scandal and civil strife were calmed due to his holy influence. While he was on his death bed, the city leaders of Lecce came to request of him that he become the official patron saint of their city once he entered heaven. After St. Bernardino's death, vials of his blood were kept for veneration, which were observed to liquefy and exhibit unusual phenomena for more than a century. St. Bernardino Realino's feast day is July 2nd.


Saint Oliver Plunkett

Saint of the Day for July 2
(November 1, 1629 – July 1, 1681)
The name of today's saint is especially familiar to the Irish and the English—and with good reason. The English martyred Oliver Plunkett for defending the faith in his native Ireland during a period of severe persecution.

Born in County Meath in 1629, Oliver studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained there in 1654. After some years of teaching and service to the poor of Rome he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. Four years later, in 1673, a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution began, forcing Archbishop Plunkett to do his pastoral work in secrecy and disguise and to live in hiding. Meanwhile, many of his priests were sent into exile, schools were closed, Church services had to be held in secret, and convents and seminaries were suppressed. As archbishop, Plunkett was viewed as ultimately responsible for any rebellion or political activity among his parishioners.

Archbishop Plunkett was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1679, but his trial was moved to London. After deliberating for 15 minutes, a jury found him guilty of fomenting revolt. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered in July 1681.

Pope Paul VI canonized Oliver Plunkett in 1975.

Stories like that of Oliver Plunkett seem to fit history. "Things like that don't happen today" is often our thought. But they do. False accusations, prejudice, anti-Catholic sentiments, racism, sexism, etc. are still an active reality in our day. Maybe a prayer to Saint Oliver for peace and justice may be appropriate.


Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 380
Reading 1

Am 7:10-17

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam,
king of Israel:
"Amos has conspired against you here within Israel;
the country cannot endure all his words.
For this is what Amos says:
Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel shall surely be exiled from its land."

To Amos, Amaziah said:
"Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!
There earn your bread by prophesying,
but never again prophesy in Bethel;
for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal temple."
Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet,
nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
Now hear the word of the LORD!"

You say: prophesy not against Israel,
preach not against the house of Isaac.
Now thus says the LORD:
Your wife shall be made a harlot in the city,
and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword;
Your land shall be divided by measuring line,
and you yourself shall die in an unclean land;
Israel shall be exiled far from its land.

Responsorial Psalm

19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (10cd) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.


2 Cor 5:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
"This man is blaspheming."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
"Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins"–
he then said to the paralytic,
"Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.


Daily Meditation: Amos 7:10-17

Go, prophesy to my people Israel. (Amos 7:15)

The prophet Amos had been warning the people of Israel that they needed to reform their ways, but no one wanted to hear him—especially not the king. So Amaziah the priest told Amos to leave the northern kingdom and go back to Judea and "there earn your bread by prophesying" (Amos 7:12). But Amos wasn't a professional prophet like the ones surrounding the royal Temple in Bethel, who were paid for their services. He was just "a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores" (7:14).

Amos' story shows us that God delights in calling the people we'd least expect to do his work. He chose David, the youngest of Jesse's eight sons and a youth at the time, to be the future king of Israel. He chose a young woman and a carpenter from the small town of Nazareth to be the parents of his Son. He chose simple fishermen to become his apostles and lead the Church. Clearly, God looks beyond professional accomplishments and résumé items. He looks instead into the hearts of his people. He is always looking for faith-filled men and women who love him and are willing to be obedient to his call, whatever that may be.

So don't be surprised if God calls you to do something for him that you don't feel equipped to do. Maybe he is asking you to teach CCD in your parish or to actively promote legislation that honors life or to support a couple preparing for marriage. You might see only what you lack, but God sees what you already have: a willingness to serve him. Be assured that he won't leave you on your own. He will give you the wisdom you need, he will lead you to the resources you are looking for, and he will send you people to help you. He will even supply you with courage and confidence.

One thing is for sure: if you are willing to do whatever God asks of you, he is certain to call you. So be alert to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit. May we all be like Amos and respond to God's call!

"Lord, I trust that you will give me all that I need to serve you."

Psalm 19:8-11
Matthew 9:1-8



Our faith is meant to be strong enough to understand everything: even hatred and unbelief. Then we will love the haters and the unbelievers and ask God to do His work.
— Adrienne von Speyr
from Lumina and New Lumina


Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores."

An outsider like John The Baptist was proclaiming and prophesying. What if an outsider came among us, and among you more specifically, and they declared that doom was coming...inevitable doom? Would you tell them they are wrong? Or would you hit your knees trembling?

My friend, doom is around everyone's corner. The inevitable is there already. Will you not turn around and hit your knees? Would you not now surrender everything to our Lord?


We pray: "The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever; The ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just."
The question is "is Heaven more full or more empty?". The answer is "it is not for you to know...eye..has not seen, ear has not heard...and always strive to enter". If you knew Heaven was mostly empty, would that make you strive harder? If you knew Heaven was more full, would that make you strive less? You see, in the world, Protestants lies say EVERYONE is in Heaven if you believe. So will you believe our Lord's words? Or worldly words that make you strive less? Strive harder. "The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just. And on the commandments and law we pray: "They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb."


Our Lord said some words that got Him in so much would actually cost Him His life on earth, and what was so bad that He said? What did we in the world tell Him was so wrong? He said ""Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
COURAGE! FORGIVEN! That's it. Yet that was enough to accuse Him of blasphemy, the worst of sins, punishable by death. And that's how the world operates, making their own death laws. But take courage my child, we are in the world but not of the world. You are not a worldly person. I met my alcoholic loved one yesterday when he asked me for $50 for the 3rd time and I kept putting it off because I don't want to be an enabler. Yet, I went, told him to meet me at the church. As I walked out the office to meet him, I told another loved one "it's hard not to judge a homeless person asking for money, because many won't give and say "they're just going to use it for drugs and alcohol". And I said "the bible says to give to anyone who asks". Can you imagine what you'll have to give if they ask you for forgiveness? Jesus did, He said ""Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." And by doing this, He ultimately gave His life for those who were healed. Have you been healed? Do you know what it cost to be healed? I know of a worker who's wife has undergone so many intestinal surgeries, that the bills are over $800,000.00 which I don't believe he'll ever be able to pay. But do you know what it will cost for one life to be saved...moreover, yours? Ask our Lord on the cross.

And so I met my alcoholic loved one. I purposely waited in the parking lot to invite him to go inside and pray. I watched a Fr. Mike Schmitz video until he arrived called "Are you doing the right things?" the video for the day. He pulls up, and I invite him to pray before taking the money. He said he couldn't, he had to do so many things. Not sure what kind of prayer he thought I invited him to, it'd be only one minute, but you know why we make excuses not to pray, right? Before you judge him, read on.

When he told me he couldn't, I reached into his truck, I grabbed his shoulder and massaging his muscle said "courage" and gave him a pep talk on not giving up, because he had once again said how much he wanted his family back, and as I talked on not giving up, he softened, and tears came out of the corner of his eyes. Something happened. Years of fasting and prayer for him finally working? I have no clue. But something happened. Was this the "rock bottom" he'd been saying he hadn't hit? I don't know. But that tear to me was a sign of good things to come....true repentance. Never before had I seen this hard party man shed a tear. It had always been words. He's homeless, why? "it's either pay my daughter's car or pay his trailer rent". Last year he lost his good job, a high position job he'd worked so hard for, why? Because of his addiction and partying. I heard on EWTN someone say yesterday "Sin is Self Love". But for the first time, I felt something unique. COURAGE my child. I am praying for you. I told him "I'm going to go inside to pray for you again. He drove off, and I walked inside alone to pray. But I'm not alone, many miracles happen because Jesus is there.

This morning, I'm very busy at work, I can't even get my2cents finished for you, and he calls me "Adrian, I want to thank you for your prayers. I was talking with my previous employer and they said they could really use, maybe some time soon". But I know he was thanking me for more than that. I said again "get rid of the problem, give the bottle the boot, you never want to go through this again". I always encourage him to give up...sin, and I always encourage him to give into HIM, our Lord in Heaven.
The story though, is not really about my loved on struggling, it's about all of us. How we need Jesus. How we need Him at the core and center of all lives.
How will that happen if it won't happen with you first? You are the fire He desires. Yours is the Heart He needs. Strive. Only when we strive will we thrive.

What happened as I was alone praying in front of the body of Christ in the Eucharist in the Blessed Sacrament? Something else, and unique that really should be a secret, but all secrets are revealed: One of my many prayers was turned into a mixed ball of emotions that turned into a lump in my throat, and my tears welled up in my eyes. What was that prayer? It had something to do with thriving and Heaven. My dream of a thriving parish, of harmonious unity and everyone WANTING to be together in church, joyful, and together, would I live to see the day or does this only happen in Heaven? That's what caused tears. There's this girl "Akiane" that paints pictures inspired by Jesus, and I remember a picture of a heavenly home, looks like a mansion, where everything is perfectly manicured, but there is nobody in sight, and when asked why, I think she said that she felt everyone was busy at our Lord's place. Sure you have a nice place, but there's somewhere more important to be at...His.
And so I leave you with that proposition, of abandoning yourself for Him.
When a paralytic gets up and goes home...He goes to Jesus' Home, and gives thanks, a new life, where you can go places.

I encourage you to be an encourager. That's what the Holy Spirit is and does. It is a gift from above...all things true love.

Jesus, thank you My Lord and my King, for healing, for peace, for joy that is unseen but I believe and I see.
I pray we can strive to thrive.
I pray we can be one with you more intimately, more than ever before....


Random bible verse from an online generator:

Isaiah 40:26
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:

who created these?

He who brings out their host by number,

calling them all by name;

by the greatness of his might

and because he is strong in power,

not one is missing.


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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