†Saint Quote "To join two things together there must be nothing between them or there cannot be a perfect fusion. Now realize that this is how God wants our soul to be, without any selfish love of ourselves or of others in between, just as God loves us without anything in between." — St. Catherine of Siena
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, mud and washing. The sick try to touch him, 'for power came forth from him and healed them all'. And so in the sacraments Christ continues to 'touch' us in order to heal us. Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases'. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the 'sin of the world', of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion." —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1504-05 AN EXCERPT FROM Catechism of the Catholic Church
†VERSE OF THE DAY "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible."" Matthew 19:23-26
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ST. ORONTIUS OF LECCE
St. Orontius of Lecce (1st c.) was the son of the Roman imperial treasurer in Lecce, Italy. Upon his father's death he inherited the position. Orontius was converted to the Christian faith along with his nephew, Fortunatus, by Justus, a disciple of St. Paul the Apostle. Orontius was later denounced to the authorities as a Christian and was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan gods. He refused and was arrested, removed from his office, tortured, and exiled to Corinth together with Fortunatus. In Corinth the pair met St. Paul the Apostle, who consecrated Orontius as the first bishop of Lecce. When Orontius and Fortunatus returned to Lecce they were persecuted and imprisoned again, but were released and ordered to stop preaching. They continued to preach in the surrounding cities, and were arrested a third time and executed. St. Orontius' feast day is August 26th.
Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 428 Reading I
1 Thes 3:7-13
We have been reassured about you, brothers and sisters, in our every distress and affliction, through your faith. For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before our God? Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith. Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.
90:3-5a, 12-13, 14 and 17
R. (14) Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! You turn man back to dust, saying, "Return, O children of men." For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Mt 24:42a, 44
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant's master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 24:42-51
Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. (Matthew 24:42)
There's a popular bumper sticker that says, "Jesus is coming. Look busy." In other words, we should keep up the appearance of activity so that we don't get in trouble.
You might be tempted to think that Jesus is saying something similar when he tells us to stay awake in today's Gospel. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The "look busy" attitude comes from a fear or suspicion that Jesus is trying to trip us up. It assumes that he's looking to catch us unawares so that he can punish us. And so we measure how ready for his coming we are by the number of things we are doing for him.
When we think that way, we're missing the important point that Jesus is not a harsh judge trying to trap us. He loves us and wants to be with us. He became one of us, died for us, forgave our sins, and sent us his Spirit, all to make it possible for us to enjoy eternal life with him. So why would he be looking for an excuse to condemn us? And even more to the point, why wouldn't we want to spend every minute of our lives in joyful anticipation of his return in glory?
Of course, that will affect how we behave—but not because we dread being condemned. No, it affects our behavior because we want to be ready to greet Jesus joyfully when he comes again. That's why we spend time with him in prayer and read his word. It's why we look for ways to share his love with the people around us, whether by doing works of service or by striving to be as merciful as he is.
It's true that you do not know on which day your Lord will come. But you can wait in joyful anticipation. You don't have to look busy. You just have to stay awake—awake to God's love poured out in your life and awake to opportunities to share that love with the people you encounter.
"Lord, I can't wait for your return! Awaken my heart to serve you now so that I will be ready when you come."
1 Thessalonians 3:7-13 Psalm 90:3-5, 12-14, 17
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From St. Paul: "Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen."
That's all one verse! And wow! Praying non-stop? Abounding love? Strengthening hearts? Being blameless in holiness before God!?
Being prepared before He comes for us? That's what we are doing here as we avail ourselves to His Holy Message! Be encouraged, you are loved.
We pray the Holy Psalms: " Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!" I actually shared this exact psalm in an infographic to some young men yesterday, a few days ago. How can we count our days...especially if you do not know the day, nor the hour when your day will come? Wouldn't it be better to be perfect by the end of today...the present? Yes!
Our Lord says to us: "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
Our Lord Himself says to be prepared for we do not know the hour! Who is breaking into your house, your home, your temple, your spirit, and your soul? How many are actually prepared? That to me is scary, and a terrible thought. As Catholics, we do not believe all peoples will prance straight into heaven no matter what sin one has committed, yet that is what the worldly are teaching and preaching.
I'm learning the gravity of one venial sin, one little sin. One bad word, one bad look, one act against charity goes further than we would ever like to admit, or see how far it actually goes. But the opposite is also true my friend. You should see how far a smile goes, a good word, an act of charity. The act might even hit Heaven itself! Always be on this charitable side, with all you meet, and greet, and deal with. Continuous charity. Do not be stingy. Do not be irritable. Do not let your pains and sorrows fall onto others, but take on the pains and sorrows of others and turn them into sacrificial offering, that leads to joy, to Jesus. This is compassion. And true love involves true sacrifice.
Just look at the cross. Just look at true love...of God, and His creation.
Our Lord speaks: "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property."
Let's pray: Lord, my God, my Father, our Father, I want to be faithful, I want to be prudent, I want to be found ready. This is why I go to confession frequently. This is why I pray all day in my head. This is why I am connecting with You right now! Please see our willingness to step towards You, and reach out to us right now...and help us walk on water.
Help us have our oil in the lamp ready. Help us be vigilant. Help us be militant in our Church, that is, obedient, as we all reply with a sincere fear and love, "Yes My Father in Heaven".
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator:
1 Samuel 2:2
2 "There is none holy like the LORD:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
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