†Saint Said: "Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God." — St. Vincent Ferrer
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "And so, in the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of 'birth from the Holy Spirit'. Thus she who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes—by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit—present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: 'Woman, behold your son!'; 'Behold your mother.'" — Pope St. John Paul II, p. 94 AN EXCERPT FROM Mary: God's Yes to Man
†VERSE OF THE DAY "For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite."" Isaiah 57:15
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ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS
St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 125 - 203 A.D.) was born in Asia Minor at a time when the direct memory of the Apostles was still alive. He was well educated in Sacred Scripture, theology, philosophy, and literature. He became an astute disciple of St. Polycarp, who himself was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, one of the Twelve Apostles who belonged to Jesus' inner circle. St. Irenaeus is therefore an early witness of the authentic teaching of the Apostles preserved and handed down in both the written and oral tradition. St. Irenaeus was ordained a priest and became bishop of Lyons in modern-day France. He was one of the Church's first great theologians and apologists, writing his famous and important work 'Against Heresies' to combat the heresy of Gnosticism which greatly threatened the early Church. He is also an early witness of the primacy of Peter over the other Apostles, and thus the authority of the Roman See over the whole Church. St. Irenaeus is one of the most important early Church Fathers and is a Doctor of the Church. His feast day is June 28.
Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr Readings for the Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, bishop and martyr
Reading I Gn 18:16-33
Abraham and the men who had visited him by the Terebinth of Mamre set out from there and looked down toward Sodom; Abraham was walking with them, to see them on their way. The LORD reflected: "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, now that he is to become a great and populous nation, and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him? Indeed, I have singled him out that he may direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD may carry into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him." Then the LORD said: "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out."
While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said: "Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty, so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?" The LORD replied, "If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Abraham spoke up again: "See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?" He answered, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there." But Abraham persisted, saying, "What if only forty are found there?" He replied, "I will forbear doing it for the sake of forty." Then Abraham said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?" He replied, "I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there." Still Abraham went on, "Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?" He answered, "I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty." But he still persisted: "Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?" He replied, "For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it."
The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.
Responsorial Psalm 103:1b-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful. Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. R. The Lord is kind and merciful. He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion. R. The Lord is kind and merciful. Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever. R. The Lord is kind and merciful. Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes. For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Alleluia Ps 95:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 8:18-22
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But Jesus answered him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead."
DAILY MEDITATION: MATTHEW 8:18-22 Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead. (Matthew 8:22)
One thing is clear from today's Gospel: Jesus doesn't sugarcoat the cost of discipleship. For Jesus' followers, it might just mean not having a place to sleep at night or not being able to say good-bye to a dying parent. Countless Christians over the centuries have even paid the ultimate price with the sacrifice of their lives. So when we read these words today, we feel more than a little anxious. "If I follow Jesus wholeheartedly, what will it cost me?"
If you think about it, however, you are probably already paying a price. Following Jesus means that you have to battle temptations to sin, maybe daily. It might also mean a less prestigious career path that enables you to spend more time with your family or to serve your parish. It might mean living more simply so that you can give generously to those in need. In all these ways and more, we make sacrifices to follow Jesus.
So why would anyone decide to be a disciple? For the same reason that so many people in Jesus' time chose to follow him: they couldn't resist him. His look radiated God's unconditional love and mercy and his words spoke to the deepest desires of their hearts. We too know that there's nowhere else where we will find what we are really looking for: the love that covers a multitude of sins; the joy of being known, accepted, and forgiven; and the hope of living forever with God in heaven.
Even so, there will be days when the demands of discipleship will cause you to wonder whether it's worth it. It's tempting to look at people on the wide road and wonder why you're plodding along on the narrow path (Matthew 7:13-14). Following Jesus always means, in one way or another, following him to the cross. But just as he triumphed in the end, so will you when you join him in heaven. In the meantime, you can count on Jesus to be with you, pouring out his love and grace to help you follow him, no matter what the cost.
"Thank you, Jesus, for inviting me to follow you. Help me to respond today without counting the cost."
Genesis 18:16-33 Psalm 103:1-4, 8-11
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my2cents: "If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Eventually Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. What happened to the innocent? There weren't 50. There weren't 30? Eventually we will read that Lot is commanded to run from the place, with his family, and to NEVER LOOK BACK. This is a lesson. Flee from sin and places of sin, and never return!
We pray Psalms: "Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. The Lord is kind and merciful." What if I told you that Heaven is a place of eternal thanksgiving? What are you thankful for? Let's turn to our Lord for signs that call for gratefulness.
In the Holy Gospel we hear: "When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore." Many times we hear of our Lord crossing and commanding a crossing. And what happens on the cross? What happens on the journey and what happens on the other side? Many things happen, but the important thing...is the encounter, the encounter with our Lord, from there, everything changes. Let's continue:
"A scribe approached and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But Jesus answered him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead." We didn't hear what happened next, right? Did the scribe follow? Did he go back to his family? What did he choose? Did he choose Christ? Did he choose to sacrifice for Christ?
The story in a way, is left open ended...for you to make that decision. Will you choose Christ? Will you choose to sacrifice? What does it feel like to choose Christ? I'm sharing my faith. Choosing Christ is liberating. I'm looking to be more and more free...from the world and more and more into Christ. With Him, everything is different.
What's it like to be more free? Be Holy.
Let's pray: Lord, Thank You for calling me. What must I do to earn eternal life? I will seek Your Holy will and fulfill Your Holy Desires on earth! We pray for Your Grace to live in Your Holy Light!
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
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