Friday, February 5, 2021

⛪ I Want You To Give Me . . ⛪


The Great Yes to Life

Out of gratitude comes the great yes to life in its wondrous diversity. Gratitude inspires us to bring beauty to our relationships, local and global. Our yes to life joins us with others. Let us, like Mary of Nazareth when she was confronted by the angel Gabriel, say yes to God's invitation to do greater things than we imagine and pass our gifts on to others with every breath and action. Our yes inspires us to move from gratitude to justice and compassion. Our privilege becomes the catalyst to shared experiences with the vulnerable and the willingness to let go of our wealth for the well-being of those around us.

—from the book Walking with Francis of Assisi: From Privilege to Activism
by Bruce Epperly


†Saint Quote
"No act is charitable if it is not just."
— St. Bruno

"Man threw away everything he had—his right to speak freely, his communion with God, his time in Paradise, his unclouded life—and went out naked, like a survivor from a shipwreck. But God received him and immediately clothed him, and taking him by the hand gradually led him to heaven. And yet the shipwreck was quite unforgivable. For this tempest was entirely due, not to the force of the winds, but to the carelessness of the sailor. Yet God did not look at this, but had compassion for such a great disaster. … Why? Because, when no sadness or care or labor or toil or countless waves of desire assaulted our nature, it was overturned and fell. And just as criminals who sail the sea often drill through the ship with a small iron tool, and let the whole sea into the ship from below, so when the devil saw the ship of Adam (by which I mean his soul) filled with many good things, he came and drilled through it with his voice alone, as if it were an iron tool, and stole all his wealth and sank the ship itself. But God made the gain greater than the loss, and brought our nature to the royal throne."

— St. John Chrysostom, p. 19
A Year with the Church Fathers

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:58


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St. Agatha (231-251 A.D.) was born in Sicily into an affluent family. At a young age she made the decision to devote herself to Christ, resisting every offer of marriage. Struck by her beauty and wealth, a magistrate named Quintian desired to marry her. He plotted to use his political power to force her hand, and threatened to prosecute her for the crime of Christianity unless she accepted his sexual advances. When she refused, he forced her into a brothel. Even there, she refused to relinquish her chastity. Furious, Quintian imprisoned and tortured Agatha, ordering her breasts to be cut off. Upon this barbaric treatment, God sent St. Peter the Apostle to Agatha in a vision, and he healed her wounds. St. Agatha's torture continued until an earthquake caused her captors to flee, and she died shortly after. St. Agatha is the patroness of rape victims, torture victims, martyrs, nurses, and against breast cancer. She is one of the seven women, besides the Virgin Mary, mentioned by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. Her feast day is February 5th.


Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

Reading I Heb 13:1-8

Let brotherly love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled,
for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.
Let your life be free from love of money
but be content with what you have,
for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence:

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not be afraid.

What can anyone do to me?
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Responsorial Psalm 27:1, 3, 5, 8b-9abc
R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;

whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;

of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Though an army encamp against me,

my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,

even then will I trust.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
For he will hide me in his abode

in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me in the shelter of his tent,

he will set me high upon a rock.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;

do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Alleluia See Lk 8:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart,
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:14-29

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
"John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
That is why mighty powers are at work in him."
Others were saying, "He is Elijah";
still others, "He is a prophet like any of the prophets."
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
"It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up."
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
Her mother replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


Daily Meditation: Hebrews 13:1-8

Do not neglect hospitality. (Hebrews 13:2)

What comes to mind when you think about hospitality? Perhaps it's fixing a nice dinner for friends or hosting a party for your neighbors. Or perhaps it's making your home ready for guests to stay over for a few nights. All these are good examples, but the essence of hospitality is not about a lot of fancy preparations. It's an attitude of the heart. It's about making others feel welcome—even if they are not technically our "guests."

How do we cultivate such an attitude? Remember how God has welcomed you—and not only welcomed you but adopted you into his family! As St. Paul wrote about the Gentiles, we are "no longer strangers and sojourners," but "members of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19). Just as God has welcomed us, he wants us to welcome all people into his kingdom. Notice that right after the author of Hebrews tells us not to "neglect hospitality," he calls us to be mindful of prisoners and those who are mistreated (13:2, 3). Everyone deserves our welcome!

The more we adopt this attitude of welcome, the more opportunities we will find to put it into practice. That's because an attitude like this is more than what we usually consider hospitality. It's a way of being that permeates our facial expressions, our gestures, and our speech. All that we do and say communicates to others that we are happy to be with them and eager to get to know them better.

This can happen anywhere or anytime. It can happen as you pass a neighbor in the grocery aisle. It can happen after Mass, when you spot a family you haven't seen at church before. It can happen as you chat on the phone with a housebound relative. What's important is not what you do but the way you do it.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, you are surrounded by people who want and need to feel welcomed. Ask the Holy Spirit to point them out to you. You never know how far a simple act of kindness can go toward bringing someone closer to God!

"Holy Spirit, who needs my welcome today?"

Psalm 27:1, 3, 5, 8-9
Mark 6:14-29



Work is a good thing for man -- a good thing for his humanity -- because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes "more of a human being."
— Pope Saint John Paul II
from Laborem Exercens


"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."
And just as you are thinking of a leader you are considering to imitate, read the next verse as St. Paul brings up the leader to follow: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Think about all His followers and their outcome. Like today's saint. Brutally tortured for choosing God. Consider your leader, and consider what it will take to follow. If your leader don't ask much of you, then that leader hates you. And now I'm speaking of light and darkness.


Today we pray: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?"
I just helped at a funeral this week, and this was the exact Psalm I sung by Crandal (click to hear). It is a beautiful prayer, for the deceased, and for all of us left behind. It asks for us to be with God, to not be afraid. Let us take refuge and hope in His Holy Word, and invitation to His Way, and His Life.


Today we heard what St. John the Baptist said to Herod, causing ultimately his own death by Herodias and family. What did he say? It was a truth, and in today's world, it would be cast off as a mere opinion. But freedom of speech is killed by the devil and so long as we give it the right, we give it the freedom to do so. And so innocent blood will be shed.

Today, our Holy Church is scorned by the spirit of Herodias, for teaching about what is lawful in God's eyes. About marriage. About adultery. About contraception. About marriage between one man and one woman. These are all things the world of Herodias desires to change to suit their lifestyle. What's the matter with this? Everything. It is to say I'm above God's laws. And even laws of nature itself. When we want the world to bow before us, that is, to change for us, to be customized for us and our life choices, then we make ourselves gods. And our Lord commanded that we have no other gods before Him. And so, innocent blood is shed. St. John the Baptist had broken no laws. He had no possessions. He was a poor holy Man in the wilderness that was drug in chains into the city laws. And in a drinking and dancing party, he became the object of satisfaction of one's ego...Herodias desired his death. Death to others, before death to self is the mantra. Pride. The very mantra of abortion, against a holy matrimony, and every law against family that we face today.
So remember what St. Paul said: "Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."
Who is your leader? In our Christian faith, the Catholic faith, we are called ultimately to live and die for Jesus our Lord and King. He is our true leader, and true because He is the very source of all life and Truth. In Him there is no duplicity, no guile, no sin.

Lord, it seems a daunting task for me to surrender my entire will, my body, my very soul for You. I ask, I pray that I may have the desire to live and die for You alone, out of pure love for You O God in Heaven.

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse:

Proverbs 15:22
22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


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God Bless You! Peace

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