Monday, June 13, 2022

† ".Do Not Turn Your Back . ."


†Saint Quote
"Prayer is the best armor we have, it is the key which opens the heart of God."
–Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

†Today's Meditation
"It does indeed produce an entire change in the whole conception of the Christian life when one passes from under the law of prohibitions to live under the benign influences of the law of the Beatitudes. One ceases merely to strive against particular sins and begins truly to live and to grow in holiness. It is a veritable conversion … There are those who have not yet entered into this view of life and who consequently are timid, fearful, always dreading evil that they fear will overmaster them; there is in their life little of Christian liberty and expansiveness and no joy. A vast part of their nature remains untouched by grace. There are the germs of virtues in them that have never been developed; they hold back through fear from many a sphere of usefulness; there is a constant introspection and self-analysis; they seem never to be able to get out of themselves; they live in an atmosphere of spiritual self-consciousness. There is no such thing possible for them as self-abandonment in trustful love, but always a restless sense of insecurity; there is no confidence in God or in the power of His grace. Their thought of God is rather as judge than Savior. … And then there comes a change; they pass into another atmosphere where love reigns, where positive action takes the place of mere watchfulness and self-restraint; they launch out into the deep, put forth their powers, and strive to live rather than not to die—to do good rather than not to do evil, to put forth all their strength and energy in the loving service of God and man.
—Fr. Basil Maturin, p. 10-11

†Daily Verse
"But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

–Romans 6:22-23

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St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) was born in Lisbon, Portugal to a powerful yet pious family. At age 15 he relinquished a life of nobility, wealth, and honor, and chose instead to serve God with the Augustinians. Years later he witnessed the dead bodies of Franciscan friars who had been martyred by Muslims being carried through the town where he was stationed. Filled with renewed zeal to follow Christ even more completely after the example of these martyrs, St. Anthony joined the Franciscan order and traveled to Morocco to preach to the Moors. However, his poor health prevented his mission and he was forced to return to Italy. There he lived a largely quiet and secluded life, spending his time in prayer, study, and priestly duties. No one had any idea of St. Anthony's giftedness as a preacher and teacher of theology until one day he was called upon to be a substitute preacher. He amazed everyone in attendance with his depth of knowledge and oratory skill. He then became the foremost preacher of the Franciscans and was sent to preach against the heretics and the vices of the day. His zeal and effectiveness as a preacher earned him the title "Hammer of the Heretics." St. Anthony was known for his holiness and miracles, and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946. He is the patron saint of the elderly, fishermen, and the poor, and is renowned as the finder of lost articles. His feast day is June 13.


Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Readings for the Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor of the Church

Reading I 1 Kgs 21:1-16

Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money."
Naboth answered him, "The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage."
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
"I will not give you my ancestral heritage."
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.

His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
"Why are you so angry that you will not eat?"
He answered her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, 'Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.'
But he refused to let me have his vineyard."
His wife Jezebel said to him,
"A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Get up.
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you."

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
"Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death."
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
"Naboth has cursed God and king."
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.

When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
"Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead."
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.

Responsorial Psalm 5:2-3ab, 4b-6a, 6b-7

R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.

Alleluia Ps 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."

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Offer no resistance to one who is evil. (Matthew 5:39)

Ahab and Jezebel—whose story is told in today's first reading—would have benefited from Jesus' words here. Their plot to falsely accuse Naboth, have him killed, and take his land shows a selfishness that starkly contrasts with everything Jesus said and did. Instead of offering "no resistance to one who is evil," they became evil themselves and abused a neighbor who hadn't done anything "evil" to them (Matthew 5:39)!

We can describe the contrast between Ahab and Jezebel's treachery and Naboth's honesty as the difference between a logic of "devouring" and a logic of "self-giving." According to the logic of devouring, we should always be feeding ourselves: with possessions, experiences, and status. This kind of logic can lead us to treat people as objects: we are interested in them only when it benefits us, and we discard them when they are no longer useful.

The logic of self-giving is the exact opposite: it is to be ready always to give, not consume. This is the "logic" of the Lord. Although he can do whatever he wants and take whatever he wants, God does not devour his creatures. He loves them and cares for them. It's the logic that Jesus showed on the cross. Instead of demanding that his accusers submit to him—or worse, instead of just destroying them outright—he offered no resistance. He chose unjust suffering, all so that he could win our forgiveness.

We might fear that if we live according to the way of self-giving, we will end up like Naboth—or Jesus. If we don't look out for ourselves, who will stop the devourers from overwhelming us? Of course, there is a difference between living selfishly and taking care of ourselves and our families. Jesus doesn't want us to be irresponsible. But he does want us to be as generous and forgiving as possible. He wants us to go out of our way to care for each other—even when the person we are caring for doesn't fully appreciate our efforts. In the end, we can trust that God will bless us. He promises, "All the hairs of your head are counted" and "Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 10:30, 39).

"Lord Jesus, help me to imitate you."

1 Kings 21:1-16
Psalm 5:2-7


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"The LORD forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage."
Naboth was slaughtered for greed....for his vineyard, and for convenience.
There was no need...just greed. And so we must turn to our Lord....the Son of the vineyard owner who was also slaughtered for greed in pride and ownership.
Until this day, slaughtering of innocents happens...for convenience...marriages turn against self in greed...there is no true the couples who choose never to have children...or those couples who choose not to bless God, but rather take what they want...and not need. An implosion of love is a collapsing of the family. But God desires an explosion of love and and now.


We pray in Psalms:
_"You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.

Lord, listen to my groaning"_


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
_"Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."

Here's where we share our faith. It has been my experience that not to give is to waste.

Watch next time someone asks you for something...don't give to them and see what happens. Don't let them barrow and see what you do with it.
Either it will just sit there or you will waste it...on yourself.
Am I speaking about money?
Am I speaking about your material goods?
What about borrowing some of your precious...time?
What if God the Father is asking you for something?
Like...your sins...or maybe your life?
What if He took something so precious of yours...but was it yours to begin with?
You see where charity begins? Who actually gives first? Who gives more?
This is our calling in this world.
Yesterday we went to Mass while on vacation.
A man with a child and a sign asking for money was at the door.
We gave. We gave and this means something.
What happens when you give to those who ask?
You give in faith...that they may truly need...and that you then...gave to God in that person.
Then, we gave our praise and worship and hearts to God.
Time, treasure, talent.
Even as I write, someone asked me for money for medicines. Knowing full well the Gospel, there is no need to doubt...just give.

And there is joy in giving...although not at first...but afterwards.
Think of the next life where we would've wished we could've given more...better...even more cheerful.
I'm working on not being a grumpy giver.
The Lord loves the cheerful giver.

To give cheer to God.

Lord...if only we could love and give like the world would shine!

Your brother in Christ our Lord and Savior, our Love in Heaven,


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Random bible verse generator:

Matthew 5:23–24
[Matthew 5]

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.


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