†Saint Quote "Since happiness is nothing other than the enjoyment of the highest good, and since the highest good is above, no one can be happy unless he rises above himself, not by an ascent of the body, but of the heart." –St. Bonaventure
†Today's Meditation "My Lord, I offer you myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. You have died for me, and I in turn make myself over to you. I am not my own. You have bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for yours. I put away reputation and honor, and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in you. Enable me to carry out what I profess." —St. John Henry Newman, p. 135
An Excerpt From Everyday Meditations
†Daily Verse† "The way of the righteous is level; thou dost make smooth the path of the righteous. In the path of thy judgments, O Lord, we wait for thee; thy memorial name is the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for thee in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks thee. For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness." –Isaiah 26:7-9
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St. Mark the Evangelist (1st c.) was born to Jewish parents living in Libya in North Africa, later settling in Cana of Galilee not far from Jerusalem. Mark became one of the 70 disciples of Jesus and the author of the Gospel that bears his name. According to tradition, St. Peter the Apostle was married to a relative of St. Mark's father, and after Mark's father died, Peter looked after him like his own son. Being a close disciple of St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome, Mark's Gospel is addressed to Gentile converts to the Christian faith living in Rome. Most of what we know about his life and missionary activity is recorded in the New Testament. He traveled to Egypt and founded the Church there, and was martyred c. 68 A.D. by being dragged through the streets of Alexandria until his body was torn to pieces. St. Mark is the patron of lawyers and prisoners. His feast day is April 25.
Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist
Lectionary: 555 Reading I
1 Pt 5:5b-14
Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for:
God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.
So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.
Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen.
I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD,
and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can rank with the LORD?
Who is like the LORD among the sons of God? R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk. At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted. R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
1 Cor 1:23a-24b
R. Alleluia, alleluia. We proclaim Christ crucified; he is the power of God and the wisdom of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Daily Meditation: 1 Peter 5:5-14
Clothe yourselves with humility. 1 Peter 5:5)
It's not surprising that Peter stressed the need for humility among the leaders of the Christian communities he was addressing. These communities included a wide range of people from different social, religious, and economic groups. Only as they humbly cared for and served one another would they be able to grow in unity.
Peter also knew that it was in serving other people that the early Christians could imitate the humility of their Savior. Peter had poignant, firsthand memories to draw on: Jesus blessed young children, went to the bedside of Peter's sick mother-in-law after a tiring day, and bent over to wipe the grime off Peter's feet during their last memorable meal together.
But Jesus' humble service went beyond serving the people he encountered in his ministry. When he died on the cross, he served us in the humblest way possible (Philippians 2:8). God so loved us that he lowered himself and became one like us in order to win our love. This is the gospel message that Peter was preaching—and why he was so adamant that the members of the early Church "clothe" themselves with humility, no matter what their status in the community (1 Peter 5:5).
Today is the feast of St. Mark, the same Mark whom Peter calls his "son" (1 Peter 5:13) and the same Mark who preached about the humility of Christ in the Gospel that bears his name. But did you know that you can preach the gospel as well? You do that through acts of humility, when you put other people ahead of yourself and serve their needs. For many of us, practicing humility may be the most beautiful and sacrificial way we have to "go to the cross" with Jesus.
Often, it's in small and hidden ways that we practice humility, like staying silent when we're tempted to engage someone in an argument or deferring to another person when we'd rather do it our way. When we do such things, we preach a mini-gospel! We become evangelists like St. Mark—and living testaments to the power of the cross and the saving message of Jesus Christ.
"Jesus, help me to preach the gospel by the way I love and serve my neighbor."
Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17 Mark 16:15-20
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble."
I've noticed after many years of attempting to serve the Lord in various ministries, a common trend. Many people come, and many more go. There's also a common denominator and many that take the exit door: they head to the door of pride. And it leaves the others behind. Often baffled saying "what happened?". This world is a true battle ground and the biggest fight is with the biggest head. Could it be mine? Could it be yours? So how are we supposed to truly win God's favor? There are many wealth and health prosperity churches popping up but not a one focuses on the truth of today's Holy Verse: " God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble. "
We pray in Psalms: "The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD, and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can rank with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the sons of God? For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."
Recall the Word when God says "well done you good and faithful servant" and what did the Master tell the servant next? Words that I would like to hear. Now even MORE will be bestowed on you to handle. Here is where we prove trustworthiness. Can you trust in the Lord? And let's not fall for the lie that we will some day work for the Lord as if tomorrow is guaranteed to you. It begins in your heart and it begins in the forever now.
In today's Gospel we heard: ""Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned."
And it boils down to trusting and believing, right? Faith. Right? Are you actively going into the world to proclaim the Gospel to EVERY creature? St. Francis of Assisi took this serious, he was even preaching to birds and other animals. Is this silly? The worldly may even call this stupid. But it would be really stupid of me to doubt.
I am watching how evil works, and it all hinges back to Genesis, and how evil works...with permission...through doubt. There's the little wedge it needs to enter the soul and reside, and divide. So, are you trusting the Lord? I remember on a Good Friday I invited men to do a retreat that I had devised with the Holy Spirit. I asked the men to go out and catch a rabbit in our junk yard, bone yard, behind our place. Two of the men got smart and asked if they could team up, and I said "sure, but you'll have to split the $500 cash prize". And off everyone went. The ones that were alone had the hardest of time, and when I rung the bell, time to end the exercise, the two men had actually caught a rabbit and brought it to the group. But here's where it gets interesting though: We gathered to reflect on the exercise, because the retreat I had coined the name "Catching Men". I wanted to show how elusive it is to save a soul. To catch a man for salvation in a very worldly world. So things changed...for the better. Here's what happened. We sat on the demolition parts of a church we tore down to talk about what happened. As we discussed, we noticed something strange...a particular visitor had decided to stay and listen in as he sat in the shade of a mesquite tree...it was the rabbit that had been caught. There he was, stretched out relaxed, as if to be listening.
Creatures love to hear the Gospel too.
Guess who else loves it but tries to hide it? Atheists, agnostics, and everyone that is alive. Some may even persecute you for it. But the Word of God is a double edged sword, living and active. On the one side it hurts, and on the other side it brings salvation. This whole faith thing can be uphill all the way to the grave, but uphill walks build strength, we can rest along the way...and this means to pray, and our Lord will journey with us. And so, was the rabbit caught? Or was the Spirit of the Lord trying to tell us something?
I know the Holy Spirit is with us, penetrating our inmost being where not even bad spirits can enter...without permission.
So let us then, make this place a holy dwelling for God, where He is given Glory, and praise, and gratitude. Then our lives become a living testimony, always speaking, always living the Word of God. Let these words cut to the heart and through it, and may we pour ourselves out To Him, More and More.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator:
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
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