Friday, July 17, 2020

⛪ . "Something Greater Than . . ."⛪

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We Need God—and One Another

Francis' giving up of material things was only a sign of that deeper self-emptying. But it is even more than self-emptying. Having an abundance of things gives one the illusion of independence—illusion, because we are all interdependent and dependent on God, who made us, saved us, and sanctifies us. The security that material possessions give us makes even the thought of God something we have to be reminded of, whereas, if we are poor, it is easier to turn to God in praise and thanksgiving for even the smallest gift.

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality


†Saint Quote
"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace in the world."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"There is, actually, only one person in all humanity of whom God has one picture and in whom there is a perfect conformity between what he wanted her to be and what she is, and that is his own mother. Most of us are a minus sign, in the sense that we do not fulfill the high hopes the heavenly Father has for us. But Mary is the equal sign. The ideal that God had of her, that she is, and in the flesh. The model and the copy are perfect; she is all that was foreseen, planned, and dreamed. The melody of her life is played just as it was written."
— Archbishop Fulton Sheen, p. 15
A Year With Mary

"Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
James 1:12


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St. Alexius (d. 417 A.D.) was a native of Rome, the son of a distinguished Roman senator. His parents arranged a marriage for him, but he had a divine calling to a higher vocation. On the night of his wedding, with permission from his fiance, he secretly fled to Edessa in Syria to live in poverty and obscurity as a holy ascetic. He disguised himself as a beggar, unrecognized by all, even accepting alms from his own servants who were sent to look for him. St. Alexius lived in this way for seventeen years. A vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the church near his dwelling identified him as a "Man of God." When the fame of his sanctity spread in Edessa, he moved back to Rome so that he could continue his hidden life. He lived as a beggar under the very stairs of his father's palace, his true identity completely unknown to anyone. He lived in this way for another seventeen years. He was befriended by other Christians, shared his alms with the poor, and taught catechism to children. It was only after his death that his identity was revealed through a document that he secretly carried on his person. He was then venerated as a saint, and his father's palace was converted into a church in his honor. St. Alexius' feast day is July 17.


Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

When Hezekiah was mortally ill,
the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him:
"Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order,
for you are about to die; you shall not recover."
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD:
"O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly
I conducted myself in your presence,
doing what was pleasing to you!"
And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go, tell Hezekiah:
Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David:
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.
I will heal you: in three days you shall go up to the LORD's temple;
I will add fifteen years to your life.
I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria;
I will be a shield to this city."
Isaiah then ordered a poultice of figs to be taken
and applied to the boil, that he might recover.
Then Hezekiah asked,
"What is the sign that I shall go up to the temple of the LORD?"
Isaiah answered:
"This will be the sign for you from the LORD
that he will do what he has promised:
See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun
on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz
go back the ten steps it has advanced."
So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.

Responsorial Psalm Isaiah 38:10, 11, 12abcd, 16
R. (see 17b) You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.
Once I said,
"In the noontime of life I must depart!
To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned
for the rest of my years."
R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.
I said, "I shall see the LORD no more
in the land of the living.
No longer shall I behold my fellow men
among those who dwell in the world."
R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.
My dwelling, like a shepherd's tent,
is struck down and borne away from me;
You have folded up my life, like a weaver
who severs the last thread.
R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.
Those live whom the LORD protects;
yours is the life of my spirit.
You have given me health and life.
R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

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.

Gospel Mt 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
"See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to the them, "Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

The sun came back the ten steps it had advanced. (Isaiah 38:8)

Hezekiah, the king of Judah, was desperate. Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, had declared war on all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. Now he was heading toward Jerusalem, the capital and Hezekiah's home. And to make matters even worse, Hezekiah was facing a mortal illness. He turned to God in fervent prayer, and the Lord sent Isaiah with a message: Hezekiah would be healed, and the Lord would rescue the city.

Could this word be true? Hezekiah humbly asked for a sign. And what a sign he received: God actually changed the course of the sun!

It might be hard to believe, but God was not offended by Hezekiah's request. On the contrary, he was happy to oblige. He wanted to show Hezekiah—and all the people of Jerusalem—his love and faithfulness.

Throughout Scripture, God has spoken through dramatic signs. Gideon saw the morning dew dampen only the ground and not a fleece blanket he had laid out (Judges 6:39-40). Balaam heard God's message through a talking donkey (Numbers 22). And Noah saw a rainbow in the sky as proof of God's covenant love (Genesis 9:11-17).

God is still sending us signs today. He can be very creative in these signs as he tries to get our attention. Maybe you feel a strong tugging in your heart urging you to call an old friend. You may have a dream that stays with you long after you have woken up. Perhaps you are in the middle of a project at work and suddenly feel prompted to pray for someone. Even rays of sunshine breaking through clouds can be his way of reminding you that he is with you.

So stay alert. God will be trying to get in touch with you as the day unfolds. Know that he will be sending you signs today. Some may be obvious, and others may be subtle. He may offer you guidance, or he may simply encourage you. All you need are open eyes, open ears, and an open heart. God will take care of the rest.

"Holy Spirit, I don't want to miss your signs today. Help me to stay alert so that I can hear you and see your work in my life."

(Psalm) Isaiah 38:10-12, 16
Matthew 12:1-8



I would not dare write or speak or try to follow the vocation God has given me to work for the poor and for peace if I did not have this constant reassurance of the Mass.
— Dorothy Day
quoted in the book Dorothy Day: An Introduction to Her Life and Thought by Terrence C. Wright



"So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced."
The Son came back. And this means mercy came.
Time not only stood still, but it went back to be a sign to come into the temple.
What if time went backwards for us? Would we enter the temple? Is it possible to go back in time and what would you do? God chose mercy. Mercy would change the world.


We prayed: " You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die. Once I said, "In the noontime of life I must depart! To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned for the rest of my years."
Lord, you are the only one we can turn to, when the noontime has come. What of that moment my Lord?


Our Lord said: "If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men."
Sacrifice is supposed to be mercy. Look at the cross. Jesus our Lord crucified explains everything. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does our Lord crucified mean to you? If He means anything to you, then that is the degree of the message. If He means nothing to you, it becomes a conflicting and confusing image. You would see pointless suffering. You would see waste. You would see nothing valuable if Christ is not treasured. And He is the finest of pearls. He is to be sought after. He is to be thirsted for.
He is to be hungry for.
He is to be sought out every day and every moment. Not only at noontime. Not only in the dark. Right now, news wants your attention, darkness calls, but you have come to the real news. This news ushers in a message of hope from above. And it will be ushered in through your precious heart. Mercy.
How much the faithful should honor Him. On the Sabbath, He wants to spend time with you. And so shall we yearn to spend time with Him.

My Lord, help us love thee more and more.

Teach us to love, to pray, to honor thee.
Teach us mercy. Teach us and open our minds and hearts to thee, and thy most precious blood.
That warm blood poured out onto the floor, onto the ground, given so freely, given with so much love...the world has never known nor seen so much love. And I thank Thee today, a Friday, always a day to sacrifice and remember what began at the noontime of your life and ended midday afternoon with a smell that filled the air....a bouquet of roses, an incense for souls....a lifting up of heart mind and soul to God in honor and love of our Creator. To heaven we shall go, on the petals of mercy...take us with Thee....


Random Bible verse from an online generator:


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.1 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.


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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