†Saint Quote "Let us never forget that if we wish to die like the saints we must live like them." –St. Eugene de Mazenod
†Today's Meditation "He that sacrifices to God his property by alms-deeds, his honor by bearing insults, or his body by mortifications, by fasts and penitential rigours, offers to Him a part of himself and of what belongs to him; but he that sacrifices to God his will, by obedience, gives to Him all that he has, and can say: Lord, having given you my will, I have nothing more to give you." —St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 191
An Excerpt From The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguiori
†Daily Verse "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made." –Romans 1:20a
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St. Zoe of Rome
St. Zoe of Rome (d. 286 A.D.) was a noblewoman married to a Roman court official during the reign of the infamous Emperor Diocletian. For six years she suffered from a condition that left her unable to speak; when she met St. Sebastian she fell at his feet so that he would heal her. St. Sebastian made the Sign of the Cross over her, and from that moment her speech miraculously returned. As she was being healed she had a vision of an angel standing next to St. Sebastian holding a book in which was written everything that St. Sebastian preached. Her first words were ones of thanks and praise to God, and many witnesses of the miracle were brought to faith in Christ. Zoe and her husband then received baptism at the hands of St. Polycarp, along with many others who had come to believe in Christ through St. Sebastian's miracles. Of this new group of Christians, St. Zoe was the first to be martyred for her faith. She was greatly devoted to St. Peter the Apostle, and was arrested while praying at his tomb. She was martyred by being hung from a tree by her hair, with a fire lit under her feet. After her death her body was thrown into the Tiber River. She then appeared in a vision to St. Sebastian, who was in prison awaiting his execution, to tell him of her martyrdom and subsequent glory. St. Zoe of Rome's feast day is July 5th.
Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 HOS 8:4-7, 11-13
Thus says the LORD: They made kings in Israel, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my approval. With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction. Cast away your calf, O Samaria! my wrath is kindled against them; How long will they be unable to attain innocence in Israel? The work of an artisan, no god at all, Destined for the flames— such is the calf of Samaria! When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind; The stalk of grain that forms no ear can yield no flour; Even if it could, strangers would swallow it. When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin, his altars became occasions of sin. Though I write for him my many ordinances, they are considered as a stranger's. Though they offer sacrifice, immolate flesh and eat it, the LORD is not pleased with them. He shall still remember their guilt and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.
Responsorial Psalm PS 115:3-4, 5-6, 7AB-8, 9-10
R. (9a) The house of Israel trusts in the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does. Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men. R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; They have ears but hear not; they have noses but smell not. R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. They have hands but feel not; they have feet but walk not. Their makers shall be like them, everyone that trusts in them. R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia JN 10:14
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 9:32-38
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He drives out demons by the prince of demons." Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 9:32-38
His heart was moved. (Matthew 9:36)
As part of her medical treatment, a woman had to give herself daily injections. Beyond the pain and burning of the shots, she sometimes bled from the injection site for several minutes. One day she heard a song that described Jesus as the "God who bleeds." The next time she gave herself the injections, she imagined Jesus standing beside her and bleeding with her. Overwhelmed by God's nearness, she was amazed that he would share this pain with her when no one else could.
During difficult times, we may feel as if God is far away. But in today's Gospel, Jesus shows us that the opposite is true. In contrast to the unresponsive "gods" of gold and silver in the first reading, Jesus is moved with compassion when we feel troubled or abandoned (Hosea 8:4; Matthew 9:36). Unlike the inanimate objects that the psalmist describes, he is living and breathing (115:4-9). Rather than being unable to answer our cries for help, Jesus hears our every prayer and loves to comfort, heal, and free us. He is beside us at every moment, ever "close to the brokenhearted" (Psalm 34:19).
We know this is true, but sometimes it's hard to recognize Jesus' presence. Sometimes, as this woman experienced, songs or hymns can help us sense that the Lord is with us. As we listen to the words, we may become a little more hopeful. We may remember that even when we feel lost, we can trust that God loves us and is holding us close. We may recall his faithfulness, that he has never forsaken us. It may not always be an instant fix, but music has a unique way of bringing us into God's presence.
Just as he had compassion for the crowds, Jesus wants to be close to you today. Think about a song that speaks to you. It may be a beloved hymn, a carol, or a chant. Try to find that song and listen to it again. Maybe even sing along. Be open to Jesus' presence as you ask him to speak to you through the words. Allow yourself to be comforted that he is near. Let God fill you with his peace, and trust that he is always walking with you.
"Jesus, thank you for loving me."
Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13 Psalm 115:3-10
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "They made kings in Israel, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my approval"
Does this still happen, that people make kings and princes without God's approval? Yes. Watch who you listen to.
"With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction."
Do we still make idols? Yes, watch who you follow and admire. Because you start living like them, and thus, for them.
We pray in Psalms: "They have hands but feel not; they have feet but walk not. Their makers shall be like them, everyone that trusts in them. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord."
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: _"The crowds were amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "He drives out demons by the prince of demons."
From a spanish reflection today: "Today it is even strange to hear of the "devil." It still remains? The devil existed and will not cease to exist! Who are the demons? Where did they come from? They are not anonymous forces, but a "someone": people who, having been created by God for good, have been eternally "damned" for perversely using their freedom. Being "condemned" is an eternal and unfortunate personal state in which the soul does not find pleasure in anything, does not love anything or anyone, nor does it admit being loved. It is a self-expulsion of the ability to love, it is the absolute void, in which the person lives in contradiction to himself and whose existence really constitutes a failure. Being God the Good, can He accept this? We have to understand it from the divine perspective: his infinite goodness respects the freedom of the condemned, allowing him to continue to exist as he has chosen to exist. —Lord, sovereign King, I do not want more freedom than to serve you; my only fear is to sadden you and lose you eternally" ... They say the devil is making it a priority to prove to the world that it does not exist. The biggest lie people are falling for, which is a fruit of moral relativism where everyone believes they have their own truth to live by, their own gods.
From Bishop Barron today: "Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus directs his disciples to "ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest," to pray for evangelists to rescue the lost. But what precisely does it mean to evangelize? Euangelion (glad tidings) was a familiar word in the culture of the New Testament authors. When the emperor or one of his generals won a battle, he would send evangelists ahead to announce the glad tidings. The first Christians were being edgy when they adapted the word to their purposes. They were saying that the definitive battle had indeed been won, but that it had nothing to do with Caesar and his armies. It had to do with the victory that God had won in Christ over sin and death. Jesus went into the belly of the beast—into the heart of our dysfunction, to the limits of godforsakenness—and he defeated the dark powers. He demonstrated that the divine love is greater than our greatest enemies. This evangelical message entails, too, that there is a new King, a new Emperor. Christ, the victor over sin and death, must be the center of your life." .......
We can agree that the world is in dire need of evangelization. How do you evangelize? Is it all about preaching on street corners? Is it the job of the priests? Is it the job of teachers? How about you? God is calling every baptized soul to preach, to teach. How do I evangelize?
In my neck of the woods, yep, I'm a teacher, and at times a preacher, but I wouldn't say that is how I get the most results. Teaching and preaching often is ignored, people tune out, like in Mass, most people's minds wonder off, or at least mine tends to, and lately I'm trying new things to stay tuned, but keep in mind often I'm serving in ministries during Mass too! So what have been my most successful results? Firstly, a true life with God, a true love. Secondly, your neighbor matters, the ones in great need. Here is where results start rolling in. And it boils down to Jesus, God's first commandments, of love of God and neighbor. How have my results worked out? Most of my students aren't faring too well today. It's almost like they were forced to be in class, whether adults or teens. And a sad path is chosen instead of God's path. But a neighbor in need, they are capable of being saved and becoming the greatest of evangelizers. A life can be saved, and changed. A hungry and willing soul can be so much more effective.
Turn on the news and all you will hear is death and madness and contradicting story lines. But tune into God's news and you will see that the Good awaits. The harvest is huge, and God needs our help harvesting...collecting souls to Himself. We are exactly like He speaks of when He speaks of plants. Seeds. Fledglings. And trees. And giving fruit. And being harvested. And the no good being chopped for firewood, in hell. Life is passing by. The time is now and here to do God's will.
Not my will be done...but God's.
Lord, may we focus on Thy Precious Sacred Heart forever.
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Random bible verse generator:
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
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