Monday, January 18, 2021

⛪. Fullness Pulls Away ⛪


Living in a Transitional Age

Living in a transitional age is scary: It's falling apart, it's unknowable, it doesn't cohere, it doesn't make sense, it's all mystery again, and we can't put order in it. Yet there is little in the biblical revelation that ever promised us an ordered universe. The whole Bible is about meeting God in the actual, in the incarnate moment, in the scandal of particularity, and not in educated theories—so much so that it is rather amazing that we ever tried to codify and control the whole thing. The Bible seems to always be saying that this life is indeed a journey, a journey always initiated and concluded by God, and a journey of transformation much more than mere education about anything. We would sooner have textbooks, I think. Then the journey would remain a spectator sport. The transformation model risks people knowing and sharing "the One Spirit that was given us all to drink" (1 Corinthians 12:13). So sad that we have preferred conformity and group loyalty over real change! But chaos often precedes great creativity. Darkness creates the desire for light. Faith actually precedes great leaps into new knowledge. That's the good news. Our uncertainty is the doorway into mystery, the doorway into surrender, the path to God that Jesus called "faith."

—from The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder
by Richard Rohr, OFM


†Saint Quote
"Humility, obedience, meekness, and love are the virtues that shine through the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. O my Jesus, help me imitate you!"
– St. Anthony Mary Claret

"Some people imagine that in order to be holy you have to cultivate the sad side of life, choosing the darker prospect whenever the alternative comes up. Surely what holy people choose is the will of God, whether it happens to be dark or light. Holy people know—and know it better than others—that suffering must anyway occupy a fair slice of life. They accept this as normal, meeting their sorrows as calmly and cheerfully as they can."
—Fr. Hubert van Zeller, OSB
The Mystery of Suffering

"Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace."
Acts 20:24


click to read more



St. Margaret of Hungary (1242–1271) was the daughter of King Bela IV of Hungary, and niece of the famed St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Her royal parents made a vow to God that if Hungary was saved from the Mongol invasion they would dedicate Margaret to religion. God heard their prayer and the country was saved. The king and queen then entrusted four-year-old Margaret to be raised and educated in a Dominican convent. At the age of ten Margaret was transferred to the Convent of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents, built on an island her parents named after her. Margaret spent the rest of her life there, dedicating herself to prayer and severe penances. She opposed her father's attempts to arrange her political marriage with the King of Bohemia, even though her suitor obtained a dispensation from the pope to release her from her religious vows so that she could enter into matrimony. Margaret made her solemn vows as a Dominican nun at the age of eighteen. Although a beautiful princess, she took the most menial tasks in the convent and dedicated her life to serving the poor and sick. She was considered a saint during her life and after her death. Many miracles, especially the curing of illnesses, were attributed to her intercession. She died at the age of 28. Her feast day is January 18.


Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 311
Reading I

Heb 5:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:

You are my Son:

this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place,

You are a priest forever

according to the order of Melchizedek.
In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand

till I make your enemies your footstool."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:

"Rule in the midst of your enemies."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
"Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;

before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:

"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.


Heb 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia


Mk 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
"Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them,
"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."


Daily Meditation: Mark 2:18-22

New wine is poured into fresh wineskins. (Mark 2:22)

Today begins the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and today's Gospel reading certainly is appropriate.

Jesus wanted to show the people that he was doing something new and exciting, even though it didn't fit what many of his fellow Jews were expecting. Surely many people wondered who this upstart was and why he wanted to upset the status quo. But Jesus simply continued preaching the good news, healing the sick, and delivering the oppressed.

Jesus wasn't trying to upset anyone by breaking with the practice of rigorous fasting that was common among the more devoted Jews. No, he was demonstrating what life should be like now that he, "the bridegroom," had come and ushered in the kingdom of God (Mark 2:19). Sure, it seemed risky not to rely so much on practices like fasting. Many people preferred to stick with the "safe" way they had learned from their ancestors. Better that than take a chance on an uncharted path in the hopes of deeper faith and greater intimacy with God.

In a similar way, God has been doing something new in the body of Christ: he has been drawing together divided churches and helping them overcome painful, centuries-old prejudices. Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists have come to agreement on the term "justification by faith." Orthodox and Catholics are talking together about the role of the pope. Even Catholics and Evangelicals are putting aside their suspicions and working together to promote a culture of life. So much is changing, and God is inviting us to embrace these changes as part of his plan.

As Christians, we may still disagree on doctrines like the papacy and the role of Mary. But we all agree on so many more: a loving, Trinitarian God; salvation in Christ; the gift of the Holy Spirit; the call to conversion and baptism; and the promise of heaven. Instead of emphasizing what divides us, let's focus on what we have in common.

All this week, as people from different churches pray together, let's ask the Lord to soften our hearts and open us up to this new path of greater unity.

"Lord, make us one!"

Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110:1-4



The Church has been abstraction until now for me. But now she's becoming more than uplifting sermons and challenging services—she's becoming personal. More than a collection of true, rich doctrines—the Church is becoming a living, breathing entity filled with faulty persons who are sick and needing a physican, all the while covered with the tremendous glory of God.
— Kimberly Hahn
from the book Rome Sweet Home


"Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him."
The Son, The Priest, the learned, the obedient, the suffering, became what the Lord desired.
They say that most priests are first born males of families. It is an offering to God, first fruits, from both the parents and the child.

And we need more. Nearly 50 million children were killed in the wombs of mothers in the year 2020 across the world. Why? There are doom sayers that declare it takes $1,000,000.00, that's one million dollars to raise a single child. Some see that lie of a figure and say "I'd rather take the million bucks...for myself". And they enter the cancel mentality that pervades the world right now. And for us who do have children, should they be the focus of our lives? NO. OOPS! I'm about to get unsubscribed like Jesus when He said "is this too much? will you also leave Me?". Today's St. Margaret had parents that offered their child to God. She became a saint. She became a light. A miracle worker. A beautiful child of God. They said God was more important, the very promise to God. She was made perfect...suffered, and died. I told my RCIA class yesterday, that I'm afraid God stuff makes me uncomfortable. It is unnerving. Especially the whole suffering and dying thing. Sure it is easy to die, many supposed "brave" men die. But I'm very afraid of what happens after this step. I'm very afraid of what God has asked...and I've not been able to do.


We pray: "The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent: "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek."
What is this whole Melchizedek thing about? A quick wikipedia says "The priesthood of Melchizedek is a role in Abrahamic religions, modelled on Melchizedek, combining the dual position of king and priest. " Not only is our Lord called to be THE King and THE Priest, but we too are baptized in a certain similar role, of priest, prophet, and king. We too are to follow the role of our Lord.


Our Lord asked: ""Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?"
What does this mean? It means it is the time of the Lord. It means Heaven's Kingdom has entered earth, our world. It means this is what it is to be with Him. Watch, even in Lent, we feast with our Lord on Sundays, the 40 day fast is disrupted for about 6 weeks, about 6 or 7 times to be with Him, in Holy Mass. And so Lent is not exactly 40 consecutive days. "Why do you not fast?" they asked Him. Because "I AM" the very reason you fast for!! He is revealing Himself, taking the wheat from their fields and using it to make an offering bread of Himself.

"But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day."
They thought He'd always be around, but He knew His time was limited on earth, this world we live in.

We all know we have limited time on earth, but He knew EXACTLY how much time, like 2 or 3 years, whenever this story took place. And so the feast, with condensed time, is now more special than ever. Kind of like a short lived saint, like today's St. Margaret. Short life made special.

"Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins...", like the new cloth sown on the old cloth, it doesn't work. But new wine is for new wine skin. What does this mean? Out with the old? No. Of course not. And that is the problem with modernism, they aim to cancel the old. He said new for new. And then it will become old in the old. And He never said the old was not good. For He Himself would take scripture from Isaiah, read it to the people, and declare "I AM the fulfillment of what you have heard!". Now this is something new. When the Word becomes flesh, it is new. And on our Altars, it is always the Good New. And the good new wants to be one with you, to make you the good new. But the good new will not fit in you if you will not let go of the old you. It doesn't work. Bring your hard sinful heart to the altar for His wine and when you consume it, the graces burst through, and you cannot contain His gift.

A new you is brought about in a sincere confession, a most sincere heart. Only then will you be able to be strong.

Lord, teach us to be new wine skins. Teach us how to be a new, with You! Help us with Your grace from heaven, dear Lord, help us love Thee as we ought.

from your brother in Christ our Lord,

Random online bible verse:

2 Timothy 1:7
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


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God Bless You! Peace

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