Monday, March 29, 2021

..You Always Have The .. †


The Servant of the Servant of God

"He shall bring forth justice to the nations. But he will not cry out or make his voice heard in the street...until he establishes justice on the earth.... I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of open the eyes of the blind, and to bring out prisoners from confinement." —Isaiah 42:1–2, 4, 7

In Isaiah we have the first of the rightly named "Servant Songs," which will continue throughout the week. In these four accounts hidden away in Isaiah, one either sees a foretelling of Jesus in brilliant analysis, or one wonders if Jesus was "modeled" to fit these lovely descriptions. The correlation is uncanny, at any rate. In the Gospel from John we have a woman acting as the "servant" to Jesus. (Maybe this is the connection?) We have Mary of Bethany again taking the fervent disciple's role instead of the hostess role of Martha. She anoints Jesus' feet with expensive nard, which is the anointing oil for death. My interpretation of this from all three varied Gospel accounts is that Mary is accepting the inevitability and necessity of death for Jesus (which Peter and the male inner circle cannot do!). "The whole house is filled with the fragrance." Judas is the spokesman in the story, and he pretends to prefer the poor to a simple act of love. That is the clear point. It is forever a judgment on what we might now call "ideology on the left," a good balance after the text has heavily criticized the ideology of religious zealots and Pharisees on the "right." Jesus' response appears to be directly from Deuteronomy: "There will always be poor in the land. I command you therefore, always be open-handed with anyone in the country who is in need or is poor" (15:11). Unfortunately, only the first phrase is quoted in the Gospel text, with the sad result that people have used this story to teach that religious piety is more important than social justice. As Paul will insightfully say later, "If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, or even if I give away my body to be burned, but do not have love, it is useless" (1 Corinthians 13:3). As always, love of Jesus and love of justice for the neighbor are just two different shapes to the One Love.

"God of love and justice, let me know and live that they are not separate. Loving people will do justice, and just people will do their work with love and respect."

— from the book Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent

by Richard Rohr, OFM


†Saint Quote
"Pray, hope and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer."
— Saint Padre Pio

"Free me from evil passions and heal my heart of all disorderly affections, that being healed and well purified in my interior, I may become fit to love, courageous to suffer and constant to persevere. Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone maketh light all that is burdened and makes all that which is bitter sweet and savory. The love of Jesus is noble and generous; it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect."
— Thomas รก Kempis, p. 89
Imitation of Christ

"For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him."
Philippians 1:29


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St. Berthold of Mt. Carmel (d. 1195), also known as Bartoldus of Calabria, was born in France, the son of a Count. He excelled at his studies and was ordained a priest. Berthold's brother, Aymeric, became the Latin patriarch of Antioch. The two joined together to participate in a Crusade to the Holy Land. While in the Holy Land, Berthold traveled to Mount Carmel and built a monastery and church dedicated to the Prophet Elijah. He gathered together a number of hermits scattered throughout Palestine to live together in imitation of the life of the great prophet as recorded in the Old Testament. Berthold became the group's superior and stayed with the community at Mount Carmel for 45 years until his death in 1195. It was the life and work of St. Berthold that laid the foundation for the Carmelite Order, whose rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226. St. Berthold's feast day is March 29.


Monday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 257
Reading I

Is 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold,

my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my Spirit;

he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting,

not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break,

and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;

the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,

who created the heavens and stretched them out,

who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people

and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,

I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you

as a covenant of the people,

a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,

to bring out prisoners from confinement,

and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Responsorial Psalm

27:1, 2, 3, 13-14

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.
When evildoers come at me

to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies

themselves stumble and fall.
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.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD

in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;

be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Verse before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our faults.


Jn 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
"Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages
and given to the poor?"
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, "Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.


Daily Meditation: Isaiah 42:1-7

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out. . . . I have grasped you by the hand. (Isaiah 42:5, 6)

Julian of Norwich lay deathly ill at age thirty when she received a series of mystical visions of Jesus' passion. In them, Julian beheld the sorrows and anguish Jesus experienced on the cross but also the profound joy he felt in suffering for her and for the whole human race. A few days later, she miraculously recovered and wrote down her visions in a book called Revelations of Divine Love. The title is apt because the visions illustrate God's immense—even overwhelming—love for us.

During one vision, Julian held in her hand something small, "no bigger than a hazelnut." But God revealed to her that it was "everything which is made." Imagine that—vast galaxies and cloudy nebulae all compressed into the size of an acorn! For a moment, Julian saw the universe through the Creator's eyes. Suddenly, she worried that because of its littleness, it might be harmed or suddenly collapse in on itself. But God reassured her that "it lasts and always will" because he loves it.

If it seems odd to be speaking of hazelnuts and the cosmos during Holy Week, remember Jesus' words: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16). God loved something so small—something that fits in the palm of his hand! God loved us so deeply that he gave his only Son to rescue us! Isn't it staggering that Jesus would suffer on the cross for us?

In her visions, Julian saw that through the cross, Christ "wraps us" and "encloses us" in his tender love. Through the cross, he grasps us by the hand (Isaiah 42:6). He lifts us up from the pit of sin. And he embraces us. That's the headline for Holy Week: "God is love!"

This week, as you accompany Jesus on the way to Calvary, remember Julian's vision of the hazelnut and God's staggering love. Like Julian, you can ask for your own glimpse into the passion—a glimpse of the suffering of Christ and of the deep joy in the heart of God. And you can ask for the grace to see the world through the lens of Jesus' love.

"Lord, I open my heart to receive the vastness of your love, which you have wrapped around me."

Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14 | John 12:1-11

Suggested Tracks: "5. Lord Have Mercy" (Lyrical) & "6. Red Sea" (Instrumental)



God wants us to receive His mercy and, in turn, be merciful to others through our actions, words, and prayers. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He extends love and forgiveness to us.
— Fr. Chris Alar, MIC
from his book Understanding Divine Mercy


"I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations...".
We are a big deal to our Lord. Who else would He entrust with His Covenant? His promises? You. Think no further of other people. You are being asked to be the light of the world. Hope where there is none. Holiness where all you see is evil. Joy where all you see is sorrow. Faith where you do not see any.


"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?"
Of whom should I be afraid. That is not a question, but a statement. Who are you afraid of? What are you afraid of? If our Lord is our refuge, then what calamity are you fearing? Yet fear thrives and it is a tactic that evil uses most often, to paralyze souls. To seize souls. The most common fear though, is one left unchecked. The fear of coming closer to our Lord. Trusting in our Lord. To trust ourselves completely in Him, with our sins, our failures, and to trust that He will save us from those atrocious acts that bring about fear of death.


Our Lord spoke today: "Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."
And to this day we have people accusing the Church of "wasting money and being greedy". Watch who points the fingers. often those with accusations are the ones involved in the very act That is why you too should watch who is gossiping to you. A high alert flag should go off in your head "watch out, this person will also gossip about you as well". So can we confide and trust in people? We have to right? But don't trust your whole heart and soul in people. We can only trust our whole heart and soul in God. People will fail, because sin prevails. But we can gain confidence in the faith that we share and dive more deeply into our Lord. And this is the purpose of Holy Week.

Enter the holiest week of the year.

Lord, Thank you for bringing us to the brink of the Holiest week of Your life. May we dive into this unfathomable experience of such great sacrifice for true Love.

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:

Isaiah 1:18

18 "Come now, let us reason1 together, says the LORD:

though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red like crimson,

they shall become like wool.


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God Bless You! Peace

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