Monday, February 8, 2021

⛪ As Many As Touched It . . ⛪


What Do We Expect?

Despite knowing from the onset that following Christ means two sure things—God is ultimately in charge, and nothing we can say or do will prevent God's plan from being successful in the end—we have certain expectations, even certain demands, for the way things should go. Sometimes, even when we know these two constants, we find ourselves on the road to the kingdom but instead of being filled with joy, we're frustrated and disappointed. Often we discover that our hopes are not of the kingdom at all, but of our own creations and fantasies. If we want to follow Jesus, we must let go of our hopes and expectations, our visions for the future, our demands for the present, and remain radically open to what God is doing right in front of us.

—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship
by Casey Cole, OFM


†Saint Quote
"If a tiny spark of God's love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out… Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter… Do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself."
— St. Charles Borromeo

"A spiritual Communion acts on the soul as blowing does on a cinder-covered fire which was about to go out. Whenever you feel your love of God growing cold, quickly make a spiritual Communion.' 'Quickly!' There's a sense of urgency here. The saints are trying to tell us that we should not limit our union with Christ in the Eucharist to sacramental Communion once a week, or even once a day. We need Christ's living presence in our lives moment-by-moment to nourish us and protect us from sin, so we need to renew our union with Him regularly, especially any time we feel ourselves drifting away. Christ is not merely present in the Eucharist during Mass! The Eucharist is an ongoing fulfillment of Christ's Gospel promise to remain with us: 'Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)."
— Vinny Flynn, p. 98-9
7 Secrets of the Eucharist

"I love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies."
Psalm 18:1-3


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St. Josephine Bakhita (d. 1947) was born into a wealthy Sudanese family near Darfur. She was kidnapped when she was nine years old and forced into slavery. Her kidnappers named her Bakhita ("fortunate" in Arabic). She was sold and resold, beaten and tortured by her "owners" until 1883 when she was purchased by an Italian consul who treated her well. He brought her to Italy to work as a nanny. In 1889, the Italian courts ruled that Bakhita was enslaved illegally and declared her a free woman. She became enamored with the Catholic faith and chose to stay in Italy. Bakhita was baptized in 1890 and received her First Holy Communion from the future Pope St. Pius X. She took the Christian name of Josephine, and in 1896 entered the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity. She was affectionately called "Our Black Mother" by the Italians, as her amiable spirit and warm heart won the admiration of many people during her fifty years of religious life. She was known for her charity towards children and the poor, her indomitable spirit during the hardship of slavery, and her joy in religious life. St. Josephine Bakhita is the patron of Sudan, and her feast day, February 8th, has been designated the International Day of Prayer to Stop Human Trafficking.


Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 329
Reading I

Gn 1:1-19

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Then God said,
"Let there be light," and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."
Thus evening came, and morning followed–the first day.

Then God said,
"Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other."
And so it happened:
God made the dome,
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome "the sky."
Evening came, and morning followed–the second day.

Then God said,
"Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear."
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land "the earth,"
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it."
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth that
bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed–the third day.

Then God said:
"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,

and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth."
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights,
the greater one to govern the day,
and the lesser one to govern the night;
and he made the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed–the fourth day.

Responsorial Psalm

104:1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35c

R. (31b) May the Lord be glad in his works.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!

O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,

robed in light as with a cloak.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation,

not to be moved forever;
With the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;

above the mountains the waters stood.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.
You send forth springs into the watercourses

that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;

from among the branches they send forth their song.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!

In wisdom you have wrought them all—

the earth is full of your creatures;
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. May the Lord be glad in his works.


See Mt 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 6:53-56

After making the crossing to the other side of the sea,
Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret
and tied up there.
As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him.
They scurried about the surrounding country
and began to bring in the sick on mats
to wherever they heard he was.
Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed.


Daily Meditation: Genesis 1:1-19

Then God said. . . . And so it happened. (Genesis 1:6, 7)

We are surrounded by words. There are our own words; the conversations going on around us; and the words spoken on television, radio talk shows, commercials, and podcasts. But God's words are different. They have divine power, and they make things happen.

Just think. God spoke, and the earth, seas, stars, and all of creation came to be. His words are powerful enough to bring something out of nothing. Not only did life arise when he spoke then, but it continues in the great expanse of life that we see around us every day. And just as he spoke then, God continues to speak now. His words are just as life giving and filled with promise and hope.

How does God speak? Look at the Scriptures for some examples. He called childless Abraham and promised him countless descendants (Genesis 17), and it happened. He called Elijah to be a prophet and bring King Ahab back to God (1 Kings 18), and it happened. Jesus spoke over the loaves and fish to feed the multitude (Mark 6:41-44), and it happened. Jesus spoke healing and forgiveness to people in need, and it happened. And don't forget that God spoke your name, and you happened.

In every sacrament, God speaks words that bring you grace for the journey. Count on it: regardless of how you might feel, what you might perceive, or even what you want, God's word is still making things happen. In Confession, when you hear I absolve you of your sins, your guilt is actually removed, and you receive freedom and grace. At Mass, when the priest says, This is my body, given for you, the bread actually becomes the Body of Christ. When you go to receive Communion and hear The Body of Christ, you are hearing the divine, powerful truth that Jesus is right there before you in the Host, waiting to fill your heart with his presence.

The next time you hear God's words, expect that something will happen. God's word is powerful. Let him accomplish something great in you.

"Lord God, it is your words that bring me life. Open my ears to hear your voice. Open my heart to receive your grace."

Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 35
Mark 6:53-56



Let's take a closer look at the people Jesus loved in the Gospels. It wasn't just the cleaned up, spiritually open, nicely behaved people. Jesus loved the ones with scandalous sexual sins, the perfectionists, the dirty outcasts, the cheaters, the ones who were lying to themselves, and the ones who spent most of their lives ignoring him.
— Lisa Brenninkmeyer
from her devotional Rest: 31 Days of Peace


"Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light."
And so, when you speak, give a command, to your waiter, or to your child, or to your fellow worker, you speak and it happens. It is done. The command becomes flesh, so to speak. But God's work, makes things come to being. From out of nothing! Have faith, the Word is among us.


We pray "How manifold are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all—the earth is full of your creatures".

Have you ever thought of something, a world, and created it, from the smallest atoms, to the great oceans and lands, to the millions of diverse creatures in it? Probably not! But our Lord did. And He let the creatures create and pro-create. And so, we are called to be like Him in a sense. But we limit ourselves, when we choose not to be with Him and in Him, for it is through Him that we can create.


In the Holy Gospel we heard: "..they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed."
Have you ever touched a tassel like that? Let me open your eyes to the tassel. In our Holy Church, we have what they call "Eucharistic Processions". They used to be much more common than the last few years. In these processions, our Lord is processed in the Holy Eucharist, of course with proper reverence and handling and prayers. In retreats I've seen Him processed and His presence is known. In places like Lourdes, the sick and those on stretchers are all laid out to wait for Him to pass by them. Many lame, mute, paralyzed, physically, mentally, and spiritually are waiting to be touched and healed. And some actually are. And some are not. And many who are, become great evangelizers, spreading the good news of what our Lord has done. So when's the last time you touched His tassel?

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, today's Gospel reports Jesus healing many people at Gennesaret. We hear that people brought the sick from all over the region and all of them were cured. "Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed."
An awful lot of contemporary theologians and Bible commentators have tried to explain away the miracles of Jesus as spiritual symbols. Perhaps most notoriously, many preachers tried to explain the multiplication of the loaves and fishes as a "miracle" of charity, with everyone sharing the little that he had.
But I think it's hard to deny that the first Christians were intensely interested in the miracles of Jesus, and that they didn't see them as mere literary symbols! They saw them for what they really were: actions of God, breaking into our world."

Do you need to touch the tassel? What does this mean? For some it means needing a miracle. For some it means feeling the touch of Christ's power. For some it means what it is intended to be...Salvation. I think I reach out to touch the tassel more often than an average person. I've reached out to Him in dire moments of life and death. I've reached out to Him when I myself am facing temptations from hell. I've reached out to Him when I feel like I am getting cold in the faith. I've reached out to Him when I've been laid flat on my back in the hospital. I've reached out every single time in the Holy Eucharist, "Lord I am not worthy, but only say the Word and...." I shall be healed. Only say the Word that brought life to earth. Only say the Word and I will live with You Lord forever. Only say the Word, and Lord, You become flesh among us.

Lord, I believe. I believe more and more of us need to reach for Your tassel, to be transformed into the New with You. To be consoled into Holiness....

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse:
Proverbs 1:7
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

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