Tuesday, June 21, 2022

† "....Constricted The Road . .. ."


†Saint Quote
"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
–Mother Teresa of Calcutta

†Today's Meditation
"[Mary] does not remain locked in her initial troubled state at the proximity of God in his angel, but she seeks to understand. So Mary appears as a fearless woman, one who remains composed even in the presence of something utterly unprecedented. At the same time she stands before us as a woman of great interiority, who holds heart and mind in harmony and seeks to understand the context, the overall significance of God's message. In this way, she becomes an image of the Church as she considers the word of God, tries to understand it in its entirety and guards in her memory the things that have been given to her."
—Pope Benedict XVI, p. 33

An Excerpt From
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives

†Daily Verse
"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth."
–Job 23:10-12


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St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591) was born to a noble Italian family, the eldest of seven children, and was destined for the military. However, by the time he was nine years of age he chose the religious life and made a personal vow of chastity. As a safeguard against sexual temptation he always kept his eyes downcast in the presence of women. Although many tried to dissuade him from his chosen vocation, he was eventually allowed to renounce his inheritance and enter the seminary in order to become a Jesuit priest. While he was studying in Rome, there was an outbreak of the plague. Aloysius volunteered to care for the sick, despite the delicateness of his own health. As a result, he contracted the disease and died at the age of twenty-three, before completing his priestly studies. St. Aloysius was connected with two great figures of the Counter-Reformation: he received his First Holy Communion at the age of twelve from St. Charles Borromeo, and his Last Rites from St. Robert Bellarmine, both of whom served as his spiritual advisers. On the night of his death, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi had a vision of him being received into great glory. St. Aloysius Gonzaga is the patron saint of youth and bodily purity. His feast day is June 21st.
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Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

Lectionary: 372
Reading I

2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent envoys to Hezekiah
with this message:
"Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah:
'Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you
by saying that Jerusalem will not be handed over
to the king of Assyria.
You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done
to all other countries: they doomed them!
Will you, then, be saved?'"

Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it;
then he went up to the temple of the LORD,
and spreading it out before him,
he prayed in the LORD's presence:
"O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim!
You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.
You have made the heavens and the earth.
Incline your ear, O LORD, and listen!
Open your eyes, O LORD, and see!
Hear the words of Sennacherib which he sent to taunt the living God.
Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations
and their lands, and cast their gods into the fire;
they destroyed them because they were not gods,
but the work of human hands, wood and stone.
Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man,
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know
that you alone, O LORD, are God."

Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah:
"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
in answer to your prayer for help against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:
I have listened!
This is the word the LORD has spoken concerning him:

"'She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
the virgin daughter Zion!
Behind you she wags her head,
daughter Jerusalem.

"'For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant,
and from Mount Zion, survivors.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.'

"Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria:
'He shall not reach this city, nor shoot an arrow at it,
nor come before it with a shield,
nor cast up siege-works against it.
He shall return by the same way he came,
without entering the city, says the LORD.
I will shield and save this city for my own sake,
and for the sake of my servant David.'"

That night the angel of the LORD went forth and struck down
one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.
So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp,
and went back home to Nineveh.

Responsorial Psalm

48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 10-11

R. (see 9d) God upholds his city for ever.
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Mount Zion, "the recesses of the North,"
is the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.
R. God upholds his city for ever.


Jn 8:12

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


Mt 7:6, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

"Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Enter through the narrow gate. (Matthew 7:13)

Which road do you usually picture yourself on when you read about the wide road to destruction and the narrow road to life in today's Gospel?

Perhaps you imagine you are on the narrow road. After all, if you are reading this meditation, you must be trying to follow the Lord. Or maybe you fear that you are on the broad road. You've made too many mistakes. You can't seem to shed some sinful habits, and you wonder if your life will ever change.

The truth is, we have all spent time on both of these roads. We are all made in the image of God, and Christ lives in us. We have all received the grace of God, and he continues to pour it out upon us. But at the same time, we are also sinners who are prone to wander onto the wrong path. Especially when we have fallen into some kind of embarrassing sin, we might fear that we are doomed to remain on that broad road for quite a while.

But instead of thinking of these roads as separate, diverging paths, try picturing them as interconnected. Imagine the broad road as a busy superhighway with numerous exit ramps to the narrow road. Picture those exit signs saying, "This Way to Jesus!"

And instead of being concerned with which road you are on, focus on Jesus' desire to save you. Remember that he didn't create the broad road of destruction. It's not something he devised as punishment for sinners. It's something we ourselves have created by our own sins. That road is made up of the natural consequences of our fallen thoughts and actions.

By contrast, the narrow road was forged by Jesus himself. It's the road of self-giving, the road of mercy, and the road of humility. It's the road of the cross. Jesus welcomes anyone who wants to travel that road with him, no matter how long they had been on the other road. It may not be as populated as the broad road. The way in may be challenging. But it's worth the challenge because this road leads to life—and life eternal.

"Jesus, help me to travel the narrow road of life with you."

2 Kings 19:9-11, 14-21, 31-36
Psalm 48:2-4, 10-11


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
""'For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant,
and from Mount Zion, survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.'"

What is a remnant? It's what was left over, probably from destruction, right? Kind of like when a tornado hit a very small town in Tx, Saragosa about 30 years ago, where we read: "May, 1987, a deadly tornado hit Saragosa, Texas, ravaging a community centered around the Catholic church. Twenty-two people attending a pre-school Head Start graduation ceremony were killed inside Catholic Hall of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, including a widow who served as a cook for the program. Amidst the rubble, the altar and the statues of Jesus and St. Joseph were all that remained of what was once the sanctuary. It was miraculous."


And they've rebuilt the church, and the remnants make the center pieces...the altar, the statues...and it is glorious and with more meaning than ever before. Think of our Lord, the remnant of the utter destruction on Mount Zion, Mount Calvary, the very first place of the skull of Adam.
And look at the sacrifice in a new light.


We pray in Psalms:
"Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God. His holy mountain, fairest of heights, is the joy of all the earth. God upholds his city for ever."


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
""Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine"

Remember our Lord telling a lady that it is not right to give the food of the children to the dogs? Was He calling her a dog? She was from Cana right? From where we get the name canine for dogs, right? But the truth is, she wasn't a Jew, and she was not part of the fold, so, how could she dare to ask for something in the faith of the Lord? And so her answer shows the world what Jesus is all about...mercy. Even dogs eat scraps from the food of the Master. They too desire mercy...and to be touched. Much of our world is in more and more need of touch, since it is more and more falling out of touch...with our Lord...Jesus.
He continues:
"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you."
Ahh, the so called "golden rule", right?
But do we truly follow it? How do you treat others? You're probably thinking you treat others just fine, by overcompensating, by generalizing everyone, as an average. But truth be told, it is to the smallest we are speaking of, the very least in your book, the very worst by your judgements, how do you treat them? Those are the ones who can afford you the greatest difference between heaven and hell. How do you treat the very worst, the most hated? The world teaches to hate them right back. The world preaches violence and hatred, and death, all fueled by dark passions and desires. But our Lord teaches different, to turn from animalistic feelings and divine life, of true love and sacrifice.
And so the third message from our Lord was:

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few."

I am very happy to do weddings (as the choir guy). For they are very rare, very few choose to follow God's...will.

I am very happy to hear about a baptism, and to be a part of them. For they are also kind of rare. Yet you get to see a child be baptized into light and life eternal.
I am very happy to be a part of someone's life that is giving their life to God, for this is a narrow road, so often forgotten and neglected, and at times abused.
Most abuse in the world is against Christ our Lord...the very body of Christ. It's not the Eucharist itself direct, but His body of Christ, me and you. We abuse the body, and how? What if I told you it was by neglect.

There are 3 groups of people that I pray for every night. The prisoners. The nursing home elderly folks. And the orphans across the world. And we should see ourselves in these neglected folks.
Prisoners I've visited, some remind me of the homeless I've met. Their life circumstances and decisions have dealt impactful life altering events. Some due to mental factors. Others physical abuse of all kinds from drug abuse, to child abuse. And most, are neglect of a connection with a real Father. Remember the out of touch.
And the nursing home elderly, too, I've met several elderly, and yes, some have mental issues, physical factors, but most are dumped and forgotten at these sites to be taken care of by others. They, then, are forced to be out of touch of the Body of Christ.

And the orphans who grow up, basically alone, with some adults in and out of their lives, but they long to know who their mother...and their father is. Out of touch, and an eternal longing.
So, how about you? Are you eternally longing for Father? Are you feeling helpless (like the elderly)? Have you been through so much abuse that you just find yourself stuck in a rut (like the prisoners and homeless)?

Then take the narrow road. Be the Body of Christ that reaches and heals the body of Christ, in the needy, the forgotten, the abused, and lonely, and out of touch...and lately, the youth are becoming this crowd, out of touch of God the Father.
There have been times that I feel guilty for seeing prisoners or reaching out to orphans or elderly, why? Because I do it just because God said so.
True. Obedience. But now I find myself fond of these needy folks. They are showing me things I would've never known...about true love, and sacrifice.
The narrow road is the will of God.

Lord, help us choose the narrow and always.
The path of holiness, and sacrifice, and truth.

from your bro adrian.


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Random bible verse generator:

Proverbs 22:6
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.


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God Bless You! Peace

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