†Saint Quote ""A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul." St. Therese of Lisieux
†Today's Meditation "The beatitude of the saints is immutable, like that of the Son of God. . . Add ages to ages; multiply them equal to the sand of the ocean or the stars of heaven; exhaust all numbers, if you can, beyond what the human intelligence can conceive, and for the elect there will be still the same eternity of happiness. They are immutable, and this immutability excludes weariness and disgust. The life of an elect soul is one succession, without end, of desires ever arising and ever satisfied, but desires without trouble, satiety or lassitude. The elect will always see God, love God, possess God and always will wish to see Him, love Him and possess Him still more. This beatitude is the end destined for all; God has given us time only in order to merit it, being and life only to possess it. Reflect seriously on this great truth, and ask yourself these three questions at the foot of the crucifix: What have I done hitherto for heaven? What ought I to do for heaven? What shall I do henceforward for heaven?" — St. Ignatius of Loyola, p. 179
An Excerpt From Spiritual Exercises, p179
†Daily Verse "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." John 6:51
click to read more
St. Gertrude the Great
St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), also known as Gertrude of Helfta, was born on the feast of Epiphany in Thuringia (modern Germany). She was sent to be educated at the Benedictine monastery in Helfta at the age of four or five, possibly as an orphan or as a child dedicated to God by her parents. She proved to be an extremely bright and determined student who became engrossed in her secular studies, but was negligent of her prayer life. She remained in the monastery and made her profession as a nun. At the age of 26 she entered a time of spiritual crisis, after which she began to receive visions of Christ who chastised her for not leaving room for God in her academic pursuits. This caused Gertrude to abandon her secular studies in total devotion to Sacred Scripture and the works of the Church Fathers. These theological studies, along with continued visions and messages from Jesus, became the basis of her work as one of the great writers and mystics of the 13th century. St. Gertrude had a lasting impact on the Church in an age where academic and religious literature was dominated by men, and she is the only female saint to earn the title "The Great." She was one of the early saints who, along with her companion in the monastery, St. Mechtilde of Hackeborn, spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Teresa of Avila chose St. Gertrude the Great, the patron saint of nuns, as her model and guide. Her feast day is November 16th.
Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 498 Reading I
2 Mc 6:18-31
Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes, a man of advanced age and noble appearance, was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork. But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement, he spat out the meat, and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture, as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life. Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately, because of their long acquaintance with him, and urged him to bring meat of his own providing, such as he could legitimately eat, and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice prescribed by the king; in this way he would escape the death penalty, and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him. But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner, worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age, the merited distinction of his gray hair, and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood; and so he declared that above all he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.
He told them to send him at once to the abode of the dead, explaining: "At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense; many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar had gone over to an alien religion. Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life, they would be led astray by me, while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age. Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men, I shall never, whether alive or dead, escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws."
Eleazar spoke thus, and went immediately to the instrument of torture. Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed, now became hostile toward him because what he had said seemed to them utter madness. When he was about to die under the blows, he groaned and said: "The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him." This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation.
3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (6b) The Lord upholds me. O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
Many rise up against me! Many are saying of me,
"There is no salvation for him in God." R. The Lord upholds me. But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head! When I call out to the LORD,
he answers me from his holy mountain. R. The Lord upholds me. When I lie down in sleep,
I wake again, for the LORD sustains me. I fear not the myriads of people
arrayed against me on every side. R. The Lord upholds me.
1 Jn 4:10b
R. Alleluia, alleluia. God loved us, and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
Daily Meditation: Luke 19:1-10
Zacchaeus . . . was seeking to see who Jesus was. (Luke 19:2, 3)
At the high points in Jesus' ministry, he was surrounded by large crowds of people. We can assume that many had heard about his deeds or listened to his preaching without fully—or perhaps ever—catching sight of him. In a time without television, photography, or the printing press, most people probably didn't expect to "see" Jesus. People like him gained notoriety through word of mouth as much as by public appearances.
So it's a bit comical and curious that short-statured Zacchaeus—who, given the height of the average man in ancient times, was probably well under five feet—desperately wanted to see Jesus in the flesh. Most other people would have been content just to be part of the crowd.
Today, we may not have to climb trees, but depending on how good we are at visualization, we may have to put in a little extra effort to "see" Jesus in our mind's eye. If you're wondering why this is important, consider the payoff that Zacchaeus received. Because of his efforts, he moved past seeing Jesus to encountering him. He began a living friendship with Jesus that day, one that blessed Zacchaeus and delighted Jesus.
As you can see, it's worth thinking about our own "seeking" after Jesus. Like Zacchaeus, you might try new, creative ways to get a closer look at him. For example, have you ever pictured Jesus' hands? Maybe they were strong and calloused from working with tools and carrying wood and stone. What else might you learn by calling to mind the sound of his laughter or his posture in prayer?
As you imagine Jesus in his everyday life, you'll probably discover unexpected things that draw you to him. You may want to start with a Gospel passage or a favorite image of Jesus that you've come across. Rest assured, it won't just be your imagination at work. Whenever anyone seeks Jesus, the Holy Spirit cooperates with that person to reveal new aspects of his life and love. Remember, Jesus is your friend, and you were created to be united with him.
"Jesus, show me who you are in the flesh and in the Spirit."
2 Maccabees 6:18-31 Psalm 3:2-7
From Today's Holy Scripture: "The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that, although I could have escaped death, I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging, but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him."
Eleazar is a representation of man, and the Son of Man. He is mankind, in that he is tempted. He is like the Son of Man, in that (like our Lord) chose righteousness, to deny the world, rather than to deny God. Eleazar was bribed and tempted, to spare his life, but like our Lord, He chose God's will, God's law, and the law is now of extreme and pure love.
We pray in Psalms: "The Lord upholds me. O LORD, how many are my adversaries! Many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, "There is no salvation for him in God."
There is an atheistic nation always attempting to trump the believer. The nation rising up denies eternity, therefore denying God Himself. This nation preaches that you are to make your ego rise above all, that your name shall be made great by suppressing all others. There's a name for this...pride. Many choose this. I see their nose up in the air "you will never talk bad about ME!!" and the onslaught of demonics ensues. Where is the lowly? Who are the lowly? Lord, help us choose Your Holy Will.
We heard in the Gospel today: "So (Zach) he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." _ And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."_
Short Zach was shrewd. He knew how to get ahead in life. He had money. He knew even how to get above others' heads...to see our Lord. He just wanted to see! You too must be shrewd as we hear our Lord say in Mt 10:16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." There are shortcuts to see God, my friend. Or you can just stand around and kinda hope to see our Lord. What shortcuts or trees can you climb to see our Lord in action? Many are waiting at home for the Lord to come to them, as they sit on their couch. It will be hard for those that don't lift a finger to see our Lord. But there are those who get up, go down the street, look for the Lord, in church and in the poor, and they eventually see Him.
You see, Jesus Christ the King and General of the Military for the Kingdom, He is at the battlefront, and this is where you will see Him. And where is the battlefront? Often, in places few dare to go, like prisons, nursing homes, praying in front of child sacrifice places called abortion mills, and the list goes on. Where else can you see Him? Really want to know? Another abandonment place is the Confessional. Throngs go to Communion, but the way less taken is to confession. Yet there He is. At the battle front of the soul. His Kingdom, His realm is here. Other denominations refuse to believe this, but it is at hand. This is why He told our first Pope Peter, that whatever he bound on earth would be bound in Heaven. This means one thing...lay your life for the flock. You become the doorstep. You become the human punching bag. You become the white and red martyr.
So we have a lesson from Zach. To advance, be not afraid. Be not afraid to be ridiculed. Be not afraid to be seen by God and known by God. Be not afraid to take Him into your home and feed Him and give back all you got to Him for His Kingdom.
Zach repented. God relented.
Let's pray: My Lord, sometimes I don't feel like I repent.
I know this because I don't run to you and look for you in the most forgotten places on earth...at the altar, at the confessional, at the foot of the poor, and the ones in need, the church in need. Help me repent, help me to seek You, help me climb the tree too, so You will enter my home, my heart, dearest Lord, and work your pleasure in it...My House, My temple is YOURS
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
click to hear
Random bible verse generator:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace