Thursday, July 9, 2020

⛪ . "If the house is worthy. ."⛪

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One Foot in Front of the Other

I told my family that there was nothing complicated about the Camino. All I had to do was get up each day and walk. At times it was very hard, while at other times it was a great joy. But it was never complex. This is the case in the spiritual life, too. If you want to receive the prize prepared for you from the beginning of time, you only need to keep walking. There will be times when it will be tremendously difficult, and every part of you will cry out for you to stop. But you mustn't. Take a moment and be still. Pray for the strength to go on, and begin walking again. The grace will be there, and you can do it. Small steps. One foot in front of the other. There will be other times when the walk will be filled with great joy and beauty. Whatever the case, God is present.

−from Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles with Jesus


†Saint Quote
"Young people need the light of watchful guides to lead them on the path of salvation."
— St. John Baptist de la Salle

"Heaven is the birth-place and home of love. Its blessed inhabitants love much, love forever, and love only what is worthy of love. Joseph, however, was blessed by anticipation, for he passed all his days in the exercise of divine love, and lived a life of love upon earth. The Evangelists do not record a single word of this great saint; he observed, indeed, a marvelous silence. Not, however, an ungracious silence. The silence of ordinary men, as well as their irrepressible flow of words, is often merely selfish. But Joseph's silence and his speech were alike prompted and regulated by the law of charity ... His words, indeed, were never superfluous, for they had their source in love, but they were also ruled by his will, not forced from him as the expression of his feelings."
— Edward Healy Thompson, p. 362
The Life and Glories of St. Joseph

"For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God."
2 Timothy 1:7-8


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St. Augustine Zhao Rong (d. 1815) was a Chinese soldier who was assigned to escort the captive Catholic bishop, John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse, to Beijing where he was to be executed by beheading. The bishop's faith made a strong impact on Zhao, who then requested baptism. He took the Christian name Augustine, and later entered the seminary and was ordained to the priesthood. During the continuing persecution of Christians in China, Augustine was one of thousands of Chinese Catholics who suffered martyrdom for the faith. He was arrested, tortured, and killed in 1815. St. Augustine Zhao Rong is honored with a group of 120 martyrs who were killed for their Catholic faith in China from 1648-1930. The group was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000. Of them, 87 were Chinese natives and 33 were Western missionaries. The feast day of St. Augustine Zhao Rong and the Chinese Martyrs is July 9th.


Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386
Reading 1

Hos 11:1-4, 8e-9

Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.

My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.

Responsorial Psalm

80:2ac and 3b, 15-16

R. (4b) Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken.
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see:
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted,
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.


Mk 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"As you go, make this proclamation:
'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words--
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town."


Daily Meditation: Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9

My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. . . . For I am God and not man. (Hosea 11:8, 9)

Well, of course he's God and not man—isn't that obvious? Still, our ideas about God can be colored by our experience of human relationships. We are parents or children; we are friends or siblings. We have been disappointed or angered or pleased by all of them. That can lead us to think that God will react to situations in the same way any of us would. But God likes to surprise us.

When Hosea prophesied in Israel around 750 BC, many of God's people were comfortable and prosperous—so much so that they had started drifting toward the idols that their neighbors and trading partners believed in. Now, if God were a man and not God, the people's infidelity could have moved him to abandon them or revoke their status as his chosen people. Their betrayal could have justified a harsh response. But he is God, not man. He offers relationship and redemption, not revenge and recrimination.

This is how God relates to you too. His heart is filled with love for you; he wants to draw you into an ever-deepening relationship with him. Why would he reject you? As Pope Francis once said, "Jesus never strikes. Jesus cleanses with tenderness, mercy, love."

Do we need to be cleansed? Of course. But how will Jesus go about it? Perhaps our experience of having been hurt or rejected in the past can lead us to expect Jesus to condemn us as well. But he won't; he came to save us, not to condemn us (John 3:17).

Try something different today as you reflect on this passage. Think of the worst thing you've ever done. Now, imagine that Jesus is sitting with you, looking into your eyes. Can you see the mercy and compassion there? What if he raised your face to his cheek or kissed you on the forehead as you might do to a child? Even if you didn't feel especially repentant, it wouldn't take long for your heart to melt in the face of such tenderness.

Let Jesus disarm you with his compassion today. Let him move you to repent. Let him cleanse you with his mercy.

"Jesus, your love can't be explained in human terms. Thank you, Lord, for embracing me!"

Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16
Matthew 10:7-15



Even in eternity itself God will not cease, in the freest self-giving, to be our fulfillment; so that even when we enjoy the vision of God we shall always be hanging on his every word, we shall always be listening to him.
— Fr. Hans Urs Von Balthasar
from Prayer


"Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer." All of today's first Holy Scripture is beautiful, but it was not written at a beautiful moment in the time of God's people. It was in a dark period, after much betrayal and suffering...the divided Kingdom, colored in black in Jeff Cavin's bible timeline (which I heavily suggest to study). I'm veering off, but you should see what happens in bible study groups...bonds form, of Christian unity. Community is critical. And right now we are divided with a pandemic. And we need beautiful words to call us back to one another. After the exile, there is a great return in the bible timeline. Our Lord's words are true, when He speaks of love and mercy, and healing. "Come back to ME" He says.


We pray: "Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see: Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved."
The Psalms were the life of Christ, and they still will always be until the end of time. This is God's vineyard. There is much work to be done, with the Son of Man at hand.


In the Holy Gospel we heard again "'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts".
He gave a litany of things to His vineyard

Cure the sick. Can you cure? Of course. Medicine, yes, surgery, yes, prayer? Please do. We do our best, God takes care of the rest.

Raise the dead. Can you raise the dead? Sure you can. Will you? Not without Christ, and not without faith. We do our best, God takes care of the raising.

Cleanse the lepers. God wouldn't ask you to do what He had not done Himself. Curing, raising from dead, and touching lepers. Touching a leper is a great act of faith, like St. Francis of Assisi. After He touched a leper, which he never thought he would do, being deathly afraid of them, he decided to do it in the name of Christ and for Christ...and you know what happened? He was touched by Christ as he touched Christ. As he rode away from the leper that needed him, he looked back to see him, and the leper had disappeared. This caused great joy in St. Francis. Cleanse the lepers. Tend to their wounds. Tend to the poor, forgotten and abandoned. Where are they ? LOL. Well, that's for you to find out! How did I see a prisoner in jail? How did I see the orphanage founders in a little city in Mexico? I actually looked for them. How did I feed homeless in the bushes in a nearby city? It was like an easter egg hunt. The findings were a real treasure....the lepers. You know which eggs are easiest to find? Those in hospitals and nursing homes. Super easy and just as sweet as the others. Not sweet in their personality, but the finding of a forgotten and dying alone. If only we had keen eyes...if only we had the heart of Christ.

Drive out demons. Yesterday evening, we had visit over, and I fired up my new grill for them. My college nephew was there, and us men were talking about Christ because I called a friendship meeting while we waited for food, this is a Cursillo method...COMMUNITY. It actually made for an interesting and productive meeting for the Kingdom, rather than talking worldly things. As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised, as I got "Spiritual goosebumps" at what was said. At one point though, I asked for clarification from the college student who doesn't really go to church and says he comes near God when he comes over and prays: I said "are you saying we have no power over evil?" He quickly explained that wasn't the case. Because I know we do have power. You can DRIVE OUT demons. Herd them out like swine, shoosh them away, because we do have power from on high to do all things Christ did....and more, for He said it Himself! Now, let's boil things down, is it easier to drive demons from others' lives, rather than your own life? Remember the log and the splinter in the eye? Let me tell you the easiest way to drive demons out of your life: the Holy Sacrament of Confession. And the next...prayers, and more importantly, prayers that help bring about grace. Confess, receive grace, pray, receive more grace. Grace will allow you to see evil more clearly, but more importantly, it will help you with actual grace, that what we need to overcome temptation. Grace upon grace is availed my friend. John 1:16 "16From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.…" and one with the other. The Law of God gives grace and Jesus full of grace, from Mary, gives Grace all His life and gushes it out on the cross. Last night in friendship my godson said 'grace is when that nail was going through one hand, and then the other, and there He was stretched out with open arms....". Unfathomable grace really. Only grace allows one to be stretched out on a cross. Only grace allows one to be whipped and virtually bled out alive. Only grace can bear a cross with little human blood left to pump through the heart...only grace speaks "Forgive them Father!" and grace gives Our Lady of Grace to the world "behold your Mother!". The final push was enough. His grace is enough to overcome the world.
Come for grace.
Pray for grace.
Jesus I come to you.
Our Lady, Mother, I pray to come to Jesus.
Of course I pray for the world but the world needs me to be Christ, no longer I, but Christ, I must be forgotten, and Christ must be remembered.
Let us be Holy, as He has called us to be, once and forever.


Random bible verse from an online generator:
Ps 84:11
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

the LORD bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does he withhold

from those who walk uprightly.


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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