†Saint Quote "If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire." –St. Vincent Ferrer
†Today's Meditation "The soul that does not attach itself solely to the will of God will find neither satisfaction nor sanctification in any other means, however excellent by which it may attempt to gain them. If that which God Himself chooses for you does not content you, from whom do you expect to obtain what you desire? …It is only just, therefore, that the soul that is dissatisfied with the divine action for each present moment should be punished by being unable to find happiness in anything else." —Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p. 14 An Excerpt From Abandonment to Divine Providence
†Daily Verse "Gladden the soul of thy servant, for to thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, O Lord, art good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on thee. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; hearken to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on thee, for thou dost answer me." –Psalm 86:4-7
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Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores
Bl. Anacleto Gonzalez Flores (1888–1927) was the second of twelve children born to a poor family in Jalisco, Mexico. He was baptized the day after his birth. As he grew, a priest recognized his intelligence and recommended that he enter the seminary. Anacleto studied there for a time before discerning that he was not called to the priesthood. Instead he became an attorney, husband, and father, as well as an activist for his Catholic faith. He was a prolific writer and dedicated catechism teacher, and attended daily Mass. He joined the Catholic Association of Young Mexicans (ACJM) in addition to starting another Catholic lay organization committed to resisting the fierce persecution of the Catholic Church under the infamous Mexican dictator, Calles. Initially he participated only in the non-violent resistance against Calles, until four members of the ACJM were murdered in 1926. Their deaths spurred Anacleto to lend support to the armed resistance movement. Anacleto did not take up arms but instead gave speeches to encourage Catholics to support the Cristeros, the Catholic army fighting against Calles. Anacleto was captured during the Cristero War on April 1, 1927, and was brutally tortured before being martyred by firing squad. His feast day is April 1st.
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 248 Reading I
Wis 2:1a, 12-22
The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright: "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD. To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us, Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways. He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father. Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him." These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls' reward.
34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23
R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them. R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him. R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He watches over all his bones
not one of them shall be broken. The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him. R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Verse before the Gospel
One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee; he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, "Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from." So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, "You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.
Daily Meditation: John 5:31-47
There is another who testifies. (John 5:32)
According to Jewish tradition, even God himself observes the Sabbath as a day of rest—but with one exception: he still gives life on the Sabbath. And so when Jesus healed a man on a Sabbath, some of his opponents objected and accused him of breaking the Law of Moses. But Jesus answered, in effect, "I restored life to a sick man; shouldn't that tell you who I am?" That declaration would have caused quite a reaction in his critics' minds because they would have understood Jesus to mean that he was on a similar, perhaps even equal, plane as God.
He did mean that. Jesus was saying that just as God his Father was working, so he too was working—to give life (John 5:17). And how did he give life? By healing the sick, making the lame walk and the blind see (4:50; 5:9; 9:11). Before his opponents' very eyes, Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies that the coming of God among them would be heralded by life-giving works (Isaiah 35:4-6). Even today, God hasn't stopped working. Day in and day out, he is still giving life to his people—giving life to you!
Have you seen him at work? Every time you've experienced healing—of a physical illness or an emotional wound or a broken relationship—he is at work giving life to you. Any time you have been freed from the guilt of your sins or received insight into God's love for you, Jesus is at work giving you life. These works testify that Jesus is the Son of God, who is consubstantial (one in being) with the Father. They testify to the power and love of God for you.
God is not bound by human limitations of place and time. Jesus is always working to give life to you, when and where you need it. On the Sabbath, he can give life. On holidays, wedding days, or even Thursdays, Jesus can give you life. So ask him today to free you from sin and to give you life in abundance (John 10:10).
"Thank you, Jesus, that you are always bestowing life on me."
Exodus 32:7-14 Psalm 106:19-23
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law"
It is not much different today, that the "religious" ones, the "holy ones" are obnoxious. There is religious intolerance, but tolerance for anything sinful. It should be backwards. There should be no tolerance for evil, as it is in Heaven. But the world chooses darkness, therefore, it is clear what our Lord says in the book of John: "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." Therefore, and I say this lightheartedly, be obnoxious then! The light is contrary to the dark. Let people get used to the light as they complain when you flip on the switch...our Lord Jesus Himself.
We pray in Psalms: "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted." Yesterday I spoke with a visitor, and opened his eyes to the faith. After explaining how Christianity works, I told him to be ready for when he decides to be a true Christ follower...that it would not be easy. That he would encounter trouble. That this is the path less chosen. If you are true. Sure attacks will come, but the real battle, at least for me, is always within. It is not so much exterior, as it is interior. Therefore, on guard! Stay awake! It is a struggle, the very name of Israel, God's chosen.
In today's Gospel we heard: "Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him." Today's saint is an excellent example of being a Christ follower. The Mexican government was persecuting all Catholics and this saint to be, Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez, still spoke openly against what the government was doing...cold blooded murder and religious intolerance. Is that so bad? It is to them, because they desire to be king, instead of Christ our King. But it starts from small, allowances. Evil is actually a weakness, which then gains strength by feeding it...by allowing it. Therefore, we shall not allow evil thoughts, evil temptations to take hold. We shall not give in. This is why Christ keeps getting pushed out...because we allow it...little by little. The devil has all the time in the world, but is all too quick and smart to pounce on any ounce of free will it is given.
That is why I must agree with the Saint of the Little Flower. Every little small act done with great love is seen by God Himself.
"Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." And so this becomes a double edged sword. The young man, was a salesman that I had seen last year. For some reason I was led to speak to him about faith and family, as last time I seen him I encouraged him to marry and have kids and marriage has just begun and he's having trouble convincing wife to have kids, as if having to say goodbye to a certain life to then have kids. But the message to him was a double edged sword, as is the Word of God. I even told him, that "now you know, now you have been told, there is no escape from the truth that has been given to you, and you must live it". As I was thinking he wasn't even baptized or knew Christ as he led me to believe, then he confessed...he was already baptized...when he was little, as a Catholic! But I felt I did not lay a sweetness that he would want to eat from...to develope a love of God, but I had relayed to him that God came to die for us and lead us to Himself to the "promised land" as I even brought up Moses and the prophets. I laid it thick, but I have to. He had let me know he had also lost his dad to the pandemic last year. And we were both in this together, and there is only one way out of this world. And so, we can either die for the Lord and with Him...or not.
The Pharisees were completely lost, and so rejected Christ. Are we getting lost today? From what I've studied, the answer is yes. For the last 4 to 5 decades, a whole generation has been on a downward trajectory, of what? A watered down faith, drop by drop, little allowances, by little allowances. What are you allowing to rot...not just you, but the whole world? You see....we are in this together.
Lord, forgive us, for we know not what we are doing. Help us pour ourselves out too...for You.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator: Exodus 20:16 16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
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