Thursday, September 17, 2020

⛪ You Did Not Give Me .. . ⛪

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Finding Time

Here I am, Lord!
Help me to stay.
Still the ticking of my heart clock, my mind chimes, my footfalls.
Stay, still, stop, my soul.
Be seated, be slowed, be silent, be soft.
Here I am, Lord!
I set my watch to keep watch with you.
I wait upon your word.
I will be filled and my heart will rejoice.
I will know the time and I will keep it.

—from the book A Retreat with Saint Anthony: Finding Our Way, by Carol Ann Morrow


†Saint Quote

"The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace."
— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"You have never begrudged the martyrs their triumph but rather trained them for it. And so I am asking you to be consistent with the lessons you teach them. Just beg for me the courage and endurance not only to speak but also to will what is right, so that I may not only be called a Christian, but prove to be one. For if I prove myself to be a Christian by martyrdom, then people will call me one, and my loyalty to Christ will be apparent when the world sees me no more. Nothing you can see is truly good. For our Lord Jesus Christ, now that he has returned to his Father, has revealed himself more clearly. Our task is not one of producing persuasive propaganda; Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world."
— St. Ignatius of Antioch, p. 194
Witness of the Saints

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26


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St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) was born to a large and noble German family. She began to have mystical visions at the age of three which continued throughout her life. Her parents, promising her to the service of God, sent her to be educated at the Benedictine Abbey by an anchoress when she was about eight years of age. At the age of fourteen she became a consecrated nun attached to the Abbey, where she lived a quiet life of prayer for many years. At the age of 38, after the anchoress' death, she was chosen as the new leader of a growing group of nuns. Hildegard led a remarkable and unusual life for a woman of her day. She was an avid composer of sacred music and liturgy, in addition to poems and plays. She also wrote heavily on theology, natural medicine, and natural science. At the age of 42, at the command of God, Hildegard began writing down what she saw in her visions. Her works were widely read, even by the Pope, and leaders around the world sought her council. Her fame as a mystic and prophetess grew, earning her the name "Sibyl of the Rhine." More nuns flocked to join her, causing Hildegard to establish a new monastery at Rupertsberg. She wrote proficiently on the harmony of created nature and man's need to live in balance with it, especially in virtue, morality, and the love of God, which led Pope Benedict XVI to declare her the fourth female Doctor of the Church in 2012 alongside Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, and Thérèse of Lisieux. Because her works were far ahead of her time she is regarded as a historical phenomenon. Hildegard of Bingen is considered the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Her feast day is September 17th.


Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 COR 15:1-11

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.
For I am the least of the Apostles,
not fit to be called an Apostle,
because I persecuted the Church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.

Responsorial Psalm PS 118:1B-2, 16AB-17, 28
R. (1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
"The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord has struck with power."
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you;
O my God, I extol you.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Alleluia MT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
"If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner."
Jesus said to him in reply,
"Simon, I have something to say to you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days' wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?"
Simon said in reply,
"The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven."
He said to him, "You have judged rightly."
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The others at table said to themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
But he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


Daily Meditation: Luke 7:36-50

But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little. (Luke 7:47)

The Pharisee in today's Gospel is a curious seeker after truth. So he invites Jesus to his home to investigate who he really is. As he watches Jesus with this woman, he decides that Jesus must be a fraud. "If this man were a prophet," he concludes, "he would know . . . that she is a sinner" (Luke 7:39). But no, Jesus must be blind.

But in fact, this Pharisee is the one who cannot see. He is blind, both to the holiness of his guest and to his own sin—and therefore he "loves little" (Luke 7:47).

We never hear what became of this Pharisee. Did his heart melt when Jesus rebuked him? Were his eyes opened? Did he turn to God in humble repentance? We just don't know. What we do know is that every day God offers us a moment of grace similar to what he offered to this man.

So how will we respond to the holy presence of Jesus today?

It's easy to experience the same blindness as this teacher of Israel, a blindness to the holiness of God and to the way our sins offend his holiness. We can think, Jesus understands. It doesn't matter that I'm only going through the motions of praying. We might turn a blind eye to our sin and conclude, I'm a pretty good person. Jesus accepts me just the way I am. He's not judging me for yelling at my spouse.

But when we think this way, we become even more blind. Worse, we miss the grace that Jesus offers us—the gift of loving and being loved by the all-holy God. As a result, our love for God can grow cold. But the converse is also true: the more we see the holiness of Jesus and the sin that lives in us, the more we will love Jesus.

This woman saw what nobody else saw: the holiness and worthiness of Jesus. Even more, she allowed his brightness to blaze into the shadows of her heart. Her tears of repentance were her gift of love back to her Lord. And she walked away from dinner made new.

What do you see when you look at Jesus? Open your eyes today.

"Jesus, help me to see how holy you are. Despite my sins, I love you, Lord."

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 28



The sacraments are not some type of magic trick by which we can manipulate God. Christ established the sacraments so as to offer us graces, and in order to receive them we need to be disposed to live them.
— Matthew Leonard
from The Bible and the Sacraments


"For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins . . . "
These words are incomprehensible to an unbeliever. What does it mean that "Christ died for your sins?"
It doesn't matter to an an un-lover.

To a person who don't know-don't care, all this news means nothing. But what about you my child? Let's pay attention to this question as we read the Holy Gospel.


Let us pray: "You are my God, and I give thanks to you; O my God, I extol you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."
Isn't there a temptation in the world that always says "God is not good"? It's always lingering. It casts doubt. It casts shadows of despondence, grief, anxiety, and depression. Worries beyond belief. What is God? What is He doing? Where is He? Can He hear my prayers? Do you really want the answer? Because to get an answer, it is going to take something on our part. Let's go to our Lord's feet.


Our Lord spoke, about a huge debt forgiven and a small one and said "he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?"
If you owed someone a great debt and they forgave you, how would you feel? I've let people borrow money and they know I've forgiven them, and they are grateful. Our relationship was not based on money, but on love. Our relationship is strengthened. But what is key, is gratitude.

Simon the Pharisee was told something he probably didn't want to hear...that he was not as grateful as the sinful woman he was bashing in his thoughts, thinking he knew better than the Prophet. Ungrateful, means sinful. So the opposite could hold true, grateful means holy.
Now we are getting somewhere.

Watch what else He tells Simon and the rest of us sinners: "...the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
OUCH! Let's take this personal. Have I been forgiven very little? If so, why my friend? It is because you don't go for forgiveness. You do not forgive either, like Jesus. And you don't go to ask for forgiveness as you should. If this were actually happening, the confession lines would be huge, but as it stands, we remain like Simon the Pharisee, just observing and judging and forgiving little and dining with Jesus for appearances and favors. But when He asks you for something or tells you something you don't like...OUCH!

What is He asking for? Mercy. Mercy for you and mercy for others.
Last night, we did an unexpected choir practice. Walking in, I saw some people looking at the stained glass and talking about them.
I remembered the guy, he once ran into our Fr. on the street and said he was interested in coming to church. This was last year.
So I said hello, answered their questions and told them we were just practicing and he blurted "when's service? what time today?" He had a muscle shirt on and shorts. I told them what time. I invited him to sit with us and read scripture as we do in our Choir practice. He sat, with his mom. We all filled up one pew and read Sunday's Mass readings. It was the Gospel about the landowner who hired laborers at different times of the day and paid them all the same at the end of the day and the early birds were grumbling. I asked the young man "have you ever heard this story?" He said no. I said "then tell us what you captured from it" he said "it is about the love of God and is never too the man that died next to Jesus on the cross". "Yes" I said. Then his mom begins about a testimony about how Jesus had appeared to her. I said "Then it is no accident that we are sitting here together, God has brought us together".

In the same manner, we must look at today's Gospel.
Jesus forgave that woman, just like Dismas on the tree of crucifixion.
Here, I won't teach you how to be successful in finances, or how to live happy and worry free.
Here, we have the truly Good News, that God is merciful. And this changes things. It changes the world, one person at a time.
Have you ever wanted to wash the feet of the Father? I have.
Have you though, ever wanted to anoint His feet with oil and wash them with your tears? I have not. And so I remain like Simon, don't we? When we are not that grateful. And I'm being honest with you.
I try hard, but I'm very observant and keenly aware of what is expected in true holiness...true humility.
These folks walked into church yesterday, they haven't been to church in years. I don't know if they wanted to see us again, but I do want to see them again. I told them we need each other. They need my knowledge of God and I need...their loving humility.

I've had to teach people this week to realize humility. They were saying how much they were disrespected by the church. When I hear this kind of talk, I hear pride talking. Whence I heard, I prayed, and whence I prayed, things changed to love, and perhaps, love for God is taking root in their heart.
What's the greatest spiritual shield we got my friend? The Rosary? No, that's a sword. The all important shield is what defends us from wicked attacks. What is it? Do you really want to know?

It is humility. How do you get it? You surrender my friend, and that takes faith.
And you have to let your heart break. And you have to stop being you. That guy's mom was like "and I'm afraid I'm not showing God to the world".


Lord, we are relentless, and I'm sorry.
Sure we can see with eyes of loving care, but do we really care about You our Lord? What is humility my Lord, than doing your Holy will with great love...Your Great Love....


Random Bible verse from online generator:
EPH 1:3
Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,


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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