Wednesday, August 26, 2020

⛪ . .. "You Bear Witness ... "⛪

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Great Love, Great Truth

God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is good. Nothing humans can do will inhibit, direct, decrease, or increase God's eagerness to love. That is the one absolute of biblical faith, as Pope Francis says, and all else is relative to it. All other claims to some theoretical "absolute truth," even by the Church, are all in the head, and that is not where we need truth.

For us, the word has become flesh. So we need to first find truth in relationships and in ourselves, and not in theories. Only great love can handle great truth.

—from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr


†Saint Quote
AUGUST 26, 2020
"To join two things together there must be nothing between them or there cannot be a perfect fusion. Now realize that this is how God wants our soul to be, without any selfish love of ourselves or of others in between, just as God loves us without anything in between."
— St. Catherine of Siena

"Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, mud and washing. The sick try to touch him, 'for power came forth from him and healed them all'. And so in the sacraments Christ continues to 'touch' us in order to heal us. Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases'. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the 'sin of the world', of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion."
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1504-05
Catechism of the Catholic Church

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.""
Matthew 19:23-26


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St. Orontius of Lecce (1st c.) was the son of the Roman imperial treasurer in Lecce, Italy. Upon his father's death he inherited the position. Orontius was converted to the Christian faith along with his nephew, Fortunatus, by Justus, a disciple of St. Paul the Apostle. Orontius was later denounced to the authorities as a Christian and was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan gods. He refused and was arrested, removed from his office, tortured, and exiled to Corinth together with Fortunatus. In Corinth the pair met St. Paul the Apostle, who consecrated Orontius as the first bishop of Lecce. When Orontius and Fortunatus returned to Lecce they were persecuted and imprisoned again, but were released and ordered to stop preaching. They continued to preach in the surrounding cities, and were arrested a third time and executed. St. Orontius' feast day is August 26th.


Saint Joseph Calasanz

From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz. A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.

When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, Joseph and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon, Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work, and in 1621 the community—for so the teachers lived—was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools—Piarists or Scolopi. Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.

A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo—a friend of Joseph—as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps. Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph's death were they formally recognized as a religious community. His Liturgical Feast Day is August 25.

No one knew better than Joseph the need for the work he was doing; no one knew better than he how baseless were the charges brought against him. Yet if he were to work within the Church, he realized that he must submit to its authority, that he must accept a setback if he was unable to convince authorized investigators. While the prejudice, the scheming and the ignorance of men often keep the truth from emerging for a long period of time, Joseph was convinced, even under suppression, that his institute would again be recognized and authorized. With this trust he joined exceptional patience and a genuine spirit of forgiveness.


Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 THES 3:6-10, 16-18

We instruct you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to shun any brother
who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us.
For you know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked,
so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that
if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.
May the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.
This greeting is in my own hand, Paul's.
This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 128:1-2, 4-5

R. (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia 1 JOHN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!"


Daily Meditation: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, would you bother working today? Scholars think this may have been the issue that the Christians in Thessalonica were struggling with. Believing that the Second Coming of Christ was near, some people had stopped working and began living off other people. This did nothing but stir up anxiety and division.

So Paul wrote to assure them that even though the end could happen at any time, they needed to continue living every day to its fullest. He pointed to his own example when he lived with them: "In toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you" (2 Thessalonians 3:8).

Paul understood that life can be a hard slog at times. He knew that it could be tempting to throw in the towel and just wait for Christ to come again. But he also knew the value of work as a way to practice the art of serving and caring for other people. He knew how important it was for everyone to contribute to the good of the people around them. For without this sense of accomplishment, without the blessings of responsibility and dedication that come from work, our minds can wander into darkness, and we can lose sight of our calling to be a light to the world.

Of course not everyone can work at a job. But that doesn't mean we should give up. There's plenty to do! Volunteering at our church or local community center can help us make a difference. Committing to keep in touch with family and friends can make us a voice of encouragement and blessing. And there's always the necessary and fruitful work of interceding, not just for loved ones, but for everyone!

Paul ended his letter asking God to pour out his peace on the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 3:16). We can look at this as a standard sign-off, but perhaps there's something more. Perhaps Paul took one final opportunity to remind them that peace is more likely to grow when everyone is actively committed to the work and vocation God has given them.

"Lord, help me focus on your promises as I to do your work on earth."

Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5
Matthew 23:27-32



The first essential habit of relational prayer is to acknowledge (notice, see, name, attend to, become aware of) the thoughts, feelings, desires that are moving in my heart ... This is a contemplative noticing, a gazing with love upon what is there: the good, the bad, and the ugly; the excellent and the messed-up.
— Father Scott Traynor
from The Parish as a School of Prayer


"...shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us."
In the faith, there is Tradition, and tradition. No matter where you go, even in the newest of non-denominationalists in protestantism, they carry some type of tradition. But in the Holy Catholic Church, Tradition has been passed on since the first Pope. It is the Holy Sacraments and the Holy Mass. Something good has been happening in the last hundred years as is evident by the millions of martyrs for faith. I hope somewhere in time we are at the climax for a fruitful jubilee in the faith. Jubilee is a time of mercy. For the faithful, we can already experience it, no need to wait decades or another century, we can already experience it, and the whole of it is contingent upon our decisions.


We pray today:

"Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of our handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored."
Who will eat the fruit of who? If I plant an orchard in my adult age, chances are, if it is tended to properly, your future generation would eat from the orchard. And so it is with God's vineyard. Our decisions make ways for the future generation. If we tend to God's ways, His orchard will feed.


Our Lord calls out all hypocrites (and don't hide from this message!): "...on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing."

One of my greatest fears in my life is to appear on judgement day and to hear those fretful words "get away from me you evil doer".

We need light into our souls to reveal the evil we do. Confessions. Sacraments. Holy Lives, all of these can help illuminate with God's grace.

We too have probably thought "if only". Like our Lord said about the Pharisees and scribes: ".. 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets' blood.'" And that Pharisaical line and thought is a lie. For they were the very ones plotting to kill the ultimate prophet. Let's not lie to ourselves. You should live if only. If you truly believe that you'd be different if you saw Jesus personally, and touched Him, you should do it today and now. If you truly believe that you would better believe, then do it now. Our Lord said to me that we would have a healing time in our church. I invited people to come and see. The sick were invited. They did not go. When will our Lord appear again? If only. I told a worker "take these safety vests, and tell all I want everyone to wear them on the job site". They were meant to reflect light, so you look bright when someone sees you from afar, or in the dark, to reflect light. The next day another operator sends a daily report picture and I zoomed in to see the very guy I asked to take vests and the message....he was not wearing it, and you can barely differentiate him from the background. Why do I bring this up? I bring it up to hypocrites.
I bring it up to me and you too.
The message God has given us today is real.
The message is meant to be lived and to be shared.

It is not for the others alone, it is for you as well and even more.
I hate hearing the truth, when someone tells me something I don't like to hear about myself. About how rude I am, or how ignorant, or how messed up I did something. Don't you?

We don't like to hear we are not perfect. When in your very eyes you think you are so good and so perfect (pride).
The Pharisees were pointing fingers.

Watch how people speak with you, they are pointing fingers, talking about themselves when talking about others. It is an inadvertent and invalid confession.
Jesus wants them to confess righteously. Jesus wants you to confess and expose darkness to His light.
What is His light? For us in the world, it is His blood.

Randomly opening the book right now by Thomas a Kempis The Imitation of Christ and it opens to this for all of us:

"Knowledge is a natural desire in all people. But knowledge for its own sake is useless unless you fear God. An unlearned peasant, whose contentment is the service of God, is far better than the learned and the clever, whose pride in their knowledge leads them to neglect their souls while fixing their attention on the stars.
True self-knowledge makes you aware of your own worthlessness and you will take no pleasure in the praises of others. If your knowledge encompasses the universe and the love of God is not in you, what good will it do you in God's sight? He will judge you according to your actions. "


Random Bible verse from online generator:

Galatians 5:24

"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.


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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