Wednesday, March 16, 2022

† ". You do not know . ."


†Saint Quote
""My prayer is that the good God may establish His absolute reign in your heart and in the hearts of all."
–St. Julie Billiart

†Today's Meditation
"Jesus will turn your sorrow into joy. One can only imagine the shock and bewilderment the Apostles felt when the Lord told them he must go away. Though they could not understand it at the time, his departure was for their benefit. The same is true of the unexpected setbacks and tragedies we experience in this life . . . When I consider the times when I have been confounded by events that seemed so contrary to what I thought God wanted for me, I should be mindful that they were permitted by the Lord's inscrutable providence for my own good, as difficult as that might be to fathom."
—Patrick Madrid, p. 251

An Excerpt From
A Year with the Bible

†Daily Verse
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? "I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."
–Jeremiah 17:9-10


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†St. Abraham of Edessa

St. Abraham of Edessa (300-360 A.D.), also known as Abraham of Kidunaia, was a rich nobleman from Mesopotamia. He married according to his parents' wishes, despite his desire to give himself totally to God. After the wedding ceremony he fled to a cave and hid himself, leaving only a small window to receive food. He lived there as a hermit, and after the death of his parents gave his inheritance to the poor. The Bishop of Edessa ordained him as a priest and sent him to lead a notoriously sinful city. There Abraham was beaten and maligned for three years until his prayers prevailed and every citizen came to him for baptism. He then returned to his hermitage and lived there the rest of his life. After his brother's death his young niece was left to his care. He set her up to live as a religious in a cell next to his, which she did for twenty years until she succumbed to the seduction of a rogue hermit. She was so ashamed of her sin that she despaired of God's mercy and became a prostitute. St. Abraham prayed for his niece earnestly for two years; then, discovering her location, left his cell and came to her disguised as a suitor. When they were alone he revealed his identity to her, and, pleading with her throughout the night, prevailed upon her to return with him to her life of prayer and penance. She came back to her cell, which Abraham relocated directly behind his own for her protection, and became St. Mary of Edessa. St. Abraham's feast day is March 16th.


Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 232

Reading I

Jer 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word."

Heed me, O LORD,

and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil

that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you

to speak in their behalf,

to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial Psalm

31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,

for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;

you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,

as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;

I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me

from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before the Gospel

Jn 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.


Mt 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Daily Meditation: Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16

I say, "You are my God." (Psalm 31:15)

The words of the responsorial psalm today echo Jeremiah's heart in the first reading. Faced with injustice and persecution by the very people he is trying to help, Jeremiah winds up being thrown into a pit of mud and left there to die. Despite trying to do the right thing and to speak on God's behalf, he is ignored, verbally attacked, and physically hurt. Yet like the psalmist, Jeremiah declares his trust in God. He is honest about his feelings of hurt, but after a heartfelt prayer about his situation, he decides to do what God has asked him to do.

What about you? When your reputation is tarnished or your circumstances seem hopeless, how do you respond? Perhaps you feel the need to take control of the situation and try to resolve it right away. You may want to retaliate, in the name of "justice," or dig your own way out of the mess, whatever the cost. Perhaps you think, "I can't trust anyone else to take care of my needs. If I don't act, and act quickly, nothing will happen. I must find a solution—now!"

Today, God's word invites us to imitate Jeremiah. We can start with an honest prayer—"God, this feels really unfair" or "Lord, I don't see any way out of this mess." We can follow up with a simple declaration: "You are my God" (Psalm 31:15). As we offer this prayer, we can invite God to help us see the situation through his eyes so that we can surrender the outcome to him. We may not be delivered immediately, but as we surrender our lives and our circumstances to the Lord, we are reminding ourselves—and those around us—that God is indeed worthy of trust.

God is more than able to help you through any challenge that comes your way. You can always trust that, in his own way, he will bring about the healing, the deliverance, the wisdom, or the redemption that you most need. So try your best to look beyond the difficult circumstance you or a loved one is facing. Fix your eyes on the Lord. He is faithful and the source of all our hope.

"Lord, like the psalmist, I proclaim, 'You are my God.' Help me to trust in you always."

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Matthew 20:17-28


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life?"

Have you ever heard a rumor about someone, something pretty bad, or the lifestyle they are choosing perhaps, one of sinfulness? Have you ever noticed a bad apple hanging around the church? There's a couple of ways to deal with this. One, be indirect and avoid them or the issue. The other, be direct and bring up the issue with love. The first, sadly, is the way most approach things, tippy toe, dodge the elephant in the room. This one is what is causing most problems in the world really. And so they call it "inclusiveness". They call it anything but the truth. This attitude is exactly what conniving cowards take when avoiding...the truth. Jeremiah was being persecuted by the very ones he was praying for their salvation. Think Jesus our Lord. Think of how we avoid Him. Think of how often we avoid the cross. Think of how little we actually give. Think of the love that is wasted...the sacrifice.


We pray in Psalms:
"But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness"

What does salvation mean really? What is the ultimate salvation? Isn't it the realms of eternal ramifications? We do enjoy temporal salvation, from sickness perhaps, or even from early death, but all that is temporal, isn't it? We have much to consider when we speak of salvation, because our Lord faced the cross...for salvation.


Our Lord speaks:
"Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave."

In our world, we like to be served, like kings and queens. This is what they call the "entitlement" mentality, where it is believed you are owed things, even if you were not directly owed.

And the sad reality is that it happens everywhere, even in church.

People and priests get all worked up when things don't go their way.
Why is it like this? We have lost our focus.
I don't believe people today, in our modern world, in a prominent country, actually know what it means to be a slave. Slavery was outlawed years ago. What was the duty of a slave? Ask the slave owner and you will get one response. Ask the slave and you may get another response. But ask our Lord, and this is what matters.
All we've to do is to look to the crucifix, and see the slave on the cross.

The slave in this case, was mistreated by the owners. Why?

They didn't get things their way.
How often do you not get things your way, even when you pray?

The saddest thing to see is retaliation.

It is the cause of divorce and wars.
What spawns this sentiment? I will reveal the truth. It is sinfulness. Sin divides. The sin takes us away from our Lord in Heaven. Sin is giving into temptation. Sinfulness leads to death. All kings, no slaves.

And so, if you desire to follow God, then Follow Christ with a heavy and painful cross. Serve the Master. To follow Him will cost you something. It will cost you everything. Time, talent, treasure, your very heart, your very life. Consider the cost. How much do you value Him? When it comes to true don't cost a thing, you don't measure the cost.
Now we can dive into the realms of mercy.

Now we can enter into a life of gratitude, the right attitude of humility.

I'm in a lot of ministries. Most are hardships. Headaches and heartaches for different reasons. But they are manageable once I apply the cross. Once Christ is applied to a situation, things are different. This means I can go outside of myself and see with His eyes, love with His heart.

Mother Teresa was the greatest slave of her time and place. What was her secret? A life with God and for God. That is, a life with Love and for Love. First God, then everything else happens and falls into place.
Does the world love God as we ought? Of course not. Never has, maybe never will.
What now? Hope.

Hope with me. I'm praying to see the days of restoration. The days of being freed from exile. I'm praying for a church restored. How will this happen? Easy. With many Christ Slaves, to the tune of millions, we can show God our Father what can be done on earth to glorify Heaven. And this will take much sacrifice.
Do we care to make this happen?

from your brother in Christ,


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Random bible verse generator:

Psalm 24:7–8

7 Lift up your heads, O gates!

And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?

The LORD, strong and mighty,

the LORD, mighty in battle!


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God Bless You! Peace

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