†Saint Quote ""If you become Christ's you will stumble upon wonder upon wonder, and every one of them true." –St. Brendan
†Today's Meditation "The Passion is described as the mystery of Christ's suffering. It was a mystery at the time because people could not reconcile it with what they had expected. In the sense that we can never fully understand the idea of God suffering, the Passion is still a mystery. Now if our sufferings are somehow or other to fit into the Passion of Christ—and this is no fiction because this is where they belong—there will surely be an element of mystery about them. They will make demands on our faith." —Fr. Hubert van Zeller, OSB An Excerpt From The Mystery of Suffering
†Daily Verse "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult." –Psalm 46: 1-3
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St. John (Don) Bosco
St. John Bosco (1815–1888) was born in Italy to a poor farming family. His father died when he was two, leaving his religious instruction to his pious mother. At the age of nine he had his first of many powerful visions which would come throughout his life. In it Jesus and the Virgin Mary showed him that he was to instruct poor, wayward boys and bring them back to God. John eventually joined the priesthood, paying his way through school with odd jobs. As a priest he began ministering to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to desperate conditions in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Many of these street boys ended up in prison as teenagers. Don Bosco became a mentor and spiritual director to them, helping them to live a life of virtue and saving many from a future of crime and poverty. He met with them as a group – called the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales – and catechized them as a kindly spiritual father. He also established the Salesians of Don Bosco, priests and brothers who minister to and educate boys under the patronage of the great spiritual director, St. Francis de Sales. Don Bosco is the patron saint of boys, laborers, young people, students, and Mexican young people. His feast day is January 31st.
Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest
Lectionary: 323 Reading I
2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13
An informant came to David with the report, "The children of Israel have transferred their loyalty to Absalom." At this, David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: "Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us, then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword."
As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went.
As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul's family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came. He threw stones at David and at all the king's officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David's right and on his left. Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and wicked man! The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer." Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head." But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, 'Why are you doing this?'" Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants: "If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so? Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day." David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.
3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (8a) Lord, rise up and save 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. Lord, rise up and save 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. Lord, rise up and save 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. Lord, rise up and save me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!" (He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!") He asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us." And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, "Send us into the swine. Let us enter them." And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
Daily Meditation: Mark 5:1-20
The man . . . began to proclaim . . . what Jesus had done for him. (Mark 5:20)
Today's Gospel recounts one of the most dramatic exorcisms Jesus performed. The possessed man, described only by the "unclean spirit" that tormented him day and night, is a frightening presence among the Gerasenes (Mark 5:2). He frequently cries out and harms himself. His community tries to protect him and themselves by binding him with chains, but they are powerless to help. He simply breaks the chains and continues to be tormented and to torment others.
After some back-and-forth with the unclean spirits, Jesus sends them into a herd of swine, and the man is dramatically set free. Suddenly, his shame and his torment are replaced with a "right mind," and in place of his isolation and rejection, he receives a call to share his transformation with others: "Go . . . and announce . . . all that the Lord in his pity has done for you" (Mark 5:15,19). He doesn't just have a message—he is the message. And he uses his experience to tell everyone he meets that Jesus has come to deliver them too.
What has Jesus delivered you from? Probably not a demon, but maybe harassment or the lies of the evil one? Healing in your body or in your heart? Transformation in your mindset or in your marriage? Has Jesus given you his peace in place of anxiety? Forgiveness of your sins? If so, then you are the perfect candidate for sharing that good news with others!
You may not know quite what to say, but simply living out and sharing what Jesus has done in your life can give someone hope that he is still at work in the world today. And if you need healing, transformation, or peace, why not ask a priest or some close friends to pray for or with you?
Jesus longs to give you greater freedom. Just as the people in today's Gospel were amazed when the delivered man told them what Jesus had done for him, so too let the people around you know what Jesus has done for you. May they too be amazed and filled with hope!
"Jesus, thank you for all that you have done for me and for making me a witness to your deliverance."
2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13 Psalm 3:2-7
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day."
King David was tormented. He was already sobbing, pleading, and trying to defend his Kingdom, and yet the evil one came to torment him...but torments of darkness can be real eye openers...for the faithful.
We pray in Psalms: "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. Lord, rise up and save me."
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel: ""What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!"
What is this? Evil spirits talking? Or was it the man talking? And how is it that our Lord seemingly has mercy on the evil spirits and on the man himself too? For they were all delivered. Evil spirits were granted their wish to be thrown into swine and the man was set free. The swine apparently went crazy and went cliff diving, and the man went to our Lord's feet, desiring to follow Him forever. Like Mary Magdalene, who was at our Lord's feet, and our Lord said to go...and tell the good news.
"But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." And the man did so, and everyone was amazed. So, again, how can we amaze our Lord and the people? Do His will. Do as He asks. So many times we take things as suggestions. Spiritual advice as something to think about. We put it on the back burner of things that would be nice to do. But His will is not a suggestion. If we do it, amazing things can, and will happen.
Let's pray: Lord, Father in Heaven, You are merciful, even with evil spirits. How can this be? So much grace? So much mercy. Then I have hope. The we all have hope in mercy.
I thank you Lord for Divine Mercy. Our very life line to Heaven.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
Progress report, praying for the gunk in lungs to clear away in our Lord's name. He said he felt better yesterday. Doctors want him on his belly, so we pray for strength to do so, and be delivered soon, in our Lord's name. Pray with me at 3pm, during Divine Mercy hour, for this petition. As we pray also for the whole world.
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Matthew 7:7–8 Ask, and It Will Be Given
7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
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