Tuesday, June 14, 2022

† " Pray For Those Who . ."


†Saint Quote
"Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength."
–St. Philip Neri

†Today's Meditation
"We frequently need other people's help to figure out what God wants of us. It is relatively easy to sort out what is bad from what is good, but it is much more difficult to sort out what is good from what is better and what is bad from what is worse. The Holy Spirit gives us the counsel we need through external and internal signs of grace."
—Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 35

†Daily Verse
"After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.""

–Revelation 7:9-10

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St. Joseph the Hymnographer

St. Joseph the Hymnographer (816-883 A.D.) was born in Sicily to a pious Christian family. When Muslims invaded the island, his family moved to Greece to escape persecution. At the age of fifteen he entered a monastery and grew in holiness and virtue. St. Gregory the Dekapolite took Joseph with him to Constantinople to defend the traditional reverence of icons in opposition to the iconoclast heresy. Joseph was then chosen by the local clergy to be a messenger to Pope Leo III to obtain the Holy Father's assistance in battling the iconoclast heretics, who were gaining power and influence. On his way to Rome, Joseph was captured by Muslims who delivered him into the hands of the iconoclast heretics. While held a prisoner, St. Nicholas appeared to Joseph and asked him to sing in the name of God. After six years Joseph was freed from prison and returned to Constantinople, where he founded a monastery dedicated to his friend St. Gregory. He also dedicated a church in the name of St. Bartholomew, to whom he had a devotion. St. Bartholomew then appeared to Joseph in a dream and encouraged him to write hymns for the Church. After writing his first hymn in honor of St. Bartholomew, Joseph dedicated other hymns to St. Nicholas, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and other saints. During his life he composed nearly 1,000 hymns. When another wave of iconoclasm arose, he again stood steadfast against it and was exiled for eleven years as a result; he was later exiled a second time for defending orthodox Christian doctrine. He finally died full of years in Constantinople. His feast day is June 14.


Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I 1 Kgs 21:17-29

After the death of Naboth the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite:
"Start down to meet Ahab, king of Israel,
who rules in Samaria.
He will be in the vineyard of Naboth,
of which he has come to take possession.
This is what you shall tell him,
'The LORD says: After murdering, do you also take possession?
For this, the LORD says:
In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth,
the dogs shall lick up your blood, too.'"
Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me out, my enemy?"
"Yes," he answered.
"Because you have given yourself up to doing evil in the LORD's sight,
I am bringing evil upon you: I will destroy you
and will cut off every male in Ahab's line,
whether slave or freeman, in Israel.
I will make your house like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat,
and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah,
because of how you have provoked me by leading Israel into sin."
(Against Jezebel, too, the LORD declared,
"The dogs shall devour Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.")
"When one of Ahab's line dies in the city,
dogs will devour him;
when one of them dies in the field,
the birds of the sky will devour him."
Indeed, no one gave himself up to the doing of evil
in the sight of the LORD as did Ahab,
urged on by his wife Jezebel.
He became completely abominable by following idols,
just as the Amorites had done,
whom the LORD drove out before the children of Israel.

When Ahab heard these words, he tore his garments
and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh.
He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued.
Then the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite,
"Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me?
Since he has humbled himself before me,
I will not bring the evil in his time.
I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son."

Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 11 and 16

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Alleluia Jn 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment;
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

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Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44)

What does Jesus mean when he tells us to love our enemies? Does he mean that we have to like them or become their friend? Do we have to think of them fondly or send them a Christmas card each year?

The short answer is no, because love doesn't necessarily involve our feelings. As St. Thomas Aquinas defined it, to love is "to will the good of the other." You may have a strong dislike of someone. You may find them difficult, annoying, or mean-spirited. They may have hurt you, rejected you, or ridiculed you. But you can still desire their good. How? Let's consider a few ways.

First, you can pray for them. Pray that they experience God's love in a deeper way. Pray for healing of any past hurts that may be causing their negative behavior. Pray for God's blessings in their lives. Pray especially that your own heart would soften so that you are able to see the other person as a flawed human being just like you, someone whom the Lord loves just as he loves you.

Second, try not to disparage the other person, especially in front of others. There's always a temptation when we are hurt or angry about the way we've been treated to express our negative feelings about the person to someone else. Of course, it's important to talk through the situation with a spouse or trusted friend, but do so in a way that doesn't tear down the other person. If you want to love them by willing their good, then you don't want to injure their reputation or gossip about them. Being careful with your speech is good for you too because it helps keep your negative emotions from spiraling out of control.

Finally, since none of this is easy, continually ask for God's grace. Believe that if Jesus is asking you to love your enemies, then he must also be willing to give you all that you need to do it.

No matter how you may be feeling today, go ahead and try to love an "enemy." Even though what you do might seem like baby steps, know that you are actually taking great strides toward becoming "perfect," just like your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48)!

"Jesus, help me to love my enemies."

1 Kings 21:17-29
Psalm 51:3-6, 11, 16


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
""Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me?
Since he has humbled himself before me,
I will not bring the evil in his time."

Can you imagine the evil we would be freed from...if we too humbled before God? And I mean every believer.
Ahab didn't directly do evil but indirectly participated.
Yet he was an evildoer..
Yet we too participate indirectly. How? You allow sin under your watch. How? You say nothing and go with it.
The evil of the world operates with this indirect permission and a lack of prayer life.


We pray in Psalms:
_"Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my guilt.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned"_


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
"But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father"

And what does our Lord call this? Perfection. That is a call to be just as our Father...loves.
Can you love your enemies?
Some say they don't have enemies...yet they strongly dislike someone. There is your enemy...of true love. Not the person, but even yourself....who cannot truly love.
Think of our Lord...on the Cross.
Yet some will say they cannot love like God and thus excuse themselves from being loving.
And the hatred ensues.
Can you love like God?
Jesus our Lord said we can do what He has done and even more.
Can you believe?
Don't we need help to love like that?

I'm going to my cousin's funeral today on our way back from vacation from Yellowstone Park.
I asked my cousin's brother to forgive my dead cousin for their last fight.
Was it Christ asking for mercy?
The deceased Eliseo, Lord rest his soul, had cancerous tumors in his head and fought with everybody. Then he wouldn't remember.
Ever met someone like that? What if they have a disease?
You sure is hard to judge the hater. God knows more. perfect.
Just as Our Father is perfect in love and mercy.
Wouldn't you like love and mercy beyond measure?

Lord help us be one in You forever.

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


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Random bible verse generator:

.2 Timothy 4:7

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.


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