"Love your children. In them you can see Baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under Holy Mary's protection." –St. Gianna Molla
†Today's Meditation "We've been taught that God did not make the world for no reason, but for the sake of the human race. As I said before, he takes pleasure in those who imitate his attributes, and is displeased with those who embrace what is worthless, whether in word or deed." —St. Justin Martyr, p. 324
An Excerpt From A Year with the Church Fathers
†Daily Verse "In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth." –Ephesians 1:7-10
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Blessed Pope Benedict XI
Bl. Pope Benedict XI (1240-1304) was born in Italy with the name Nicholas Boccasini. At the age of 14 he entered the Dominican Order, and went on to become a theology professor before being named Master General of the Order in 1296. As Master of the Dominicans, Boccasini defended Pope Boniface VIII when the hostility of secular rulers towards the Roman Pontiff grew, especially during the pope's open conflict with the King of France. In reward for his loyalty, Boccasini was elevated to Cardinal and then Bishop of Ostia. When Hungary was torn with civil war, Boccasini was sent there by the Holy See to restore peace. When he returned to Rome, the Pope's conflict with France reached its height; Boniface VIII was seized, beaten, and driven from the Sacred Palace by his enemies, while Boccasini was one of only two cardinals who defended the Holy Father to the end. After Boniface VIII died, Boccasini was elected in his place and took the name Pope Benedict XI. He excommunicated all those who had taken part in the seizure and abuse of his predecessor, while at the same time restoring peace with the French court. In this time of tumult he repaired the damage with leniency, yet without compromising the Holy See or the good memory of the previous pope. His reign was brief; he died suddenly of a suspected poisoning after only eight months in office. Bl. Pope Benedict XI was the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, Psalms, Job, and Revelation. His feast day is July 7th.
Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386 Reading 1
HOS 11:1-4, 8E-9
Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me, Sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.
My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.
PS 80:2AC AND 3B, 15-16
R. (4b) Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved. O shepherd of Israel, hearken. From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth. Rouse your power. R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved. Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see: Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong. R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his Apostles: "As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words-- go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 10:7-15
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. (Matthew 10:8)
Most of us remember that moment when our parents turned the steering wheel over to us for the first time. We may have practiced for hours with them by our side, but now we were about to venture out on our own. What trust they placed in us! Could we really keep ourselves—and the car—safe?
In today's Gospel, Jesus gets out of the car, so to speak, and gives the wheel over to his apostles. What incredible trust he places in them! Were they ready? He must have known that it was time for them to go out and perform the same kind of miracles they had witnessed him doing. They would learn by experience, just as we learn as we begin to drive. And they would certainly make their share of mistakes along the way.
But Jesus also knew that he had already formed the apostles in their thinking and acting. He had given them instruction and careful guidance. His voice would always be in the back of their minds as they went about their work. In that sense, he wasn't sending them out alone. Just as a new driver hears his parent's voice as he gets behind the wheel, so too they would hear Jesus' words and remember what he said and did.
Isn't this how it is with us? What incredible trust Jesus places in us as he sends us off to do his work! He calls us to teach, to serve, to pray with people, and to evangelize—often in surprising and difficult situations. We don't always feel as prepared or as capable as we'd like to be. But just as the apostles did, we too can learn by experience.
There's one difference, however, between the driving example and our call to share the good news: Jesus doesn't leave us completely on our own. He has given us his Holy Spirit, who empowers us to hear him as he teaches us, leads us, and reassures us.
So as you strive to serve the Lord, stay keenly aware of the trust he places in you. Then ask the Spirit to guide and direct you as you go about your work. Like the apostles, you too can witness to the kingdom of God in our midst.
"Lord Jesus, thank you for the trust you place in me each day."
Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9 Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you."
For thousands of years, our Lord worked with His people in a particular, and we could say, peculiar way, meeting man in the garden, and in Abraham, and in a burning bush, and in a fire cloud, and in a tent, and in a Sanctuary...and then? Right in the heart of man...until this day.
We pray in Psalms: "Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved. Once again, O LORD of hosts, look down from heaven, and see: Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong."
And so, our Lord came in God's image. Do we know what He looks like? We have some images we can see, like the Holy Face, the Shroud of Turin, and the Divine Mercy image, and even a painting by a little girl, Akiane. But faces change over time, no? And we look different at different angles and in environments, right? But you get the gist, no? So what is it like to see the face of our Lord this day? In Scripture, there's about 70 things said about His face.A few from a site:
Many are saying, "Who will show us any good?" Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!
1 Chronicles 16:11
"Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually."
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your loving kindness.
Then His face is much more than an image. It is light, and truth...and salvation.
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: "As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons."
Wow! Who's going to do all this heavy duty work? Curing sick people? Really? Are you some type of miracle worker? Sure. Why not. How many times have you helped someone heal? See God's face. Cure the sick. Raise the dead? Wow. Really? Ever seen the movie, Breakthrough? It's about an adopted boy that falls in a frozen lake and is pulled out practically dead and his mother prays and has faith, and her prayers are answered. A real breakthrough. See the face of God. Raise the dead. Can you cleanse the lepers? Who are the modern lepers? Those with strange and contagious diseases? Often it is the forgotten, and the ones with bad spirits. This one is easy. Be more welcoming and visit the forgotten and abandoned, in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons. Help them back to the fold, that sense of belonging to God's family is so needed today. See God's face, personally. And, drive out demons? Watch out! There's fire to mess with here! The serious cases of possession are very rare, few, and far between, although, they are on the rise within the last few decades and are to be left to authorized exorcists. But can we drive out demons at all? Bad spirits? Yep. Especially out of yourself. I've noticed there is a serious connection between mind, body, and spirit. The mind can allow things in the body and the soul, spirits. We can cast out demons from our very souls by going to Confession and adhering more to prayer. And we can help others do the same. I've tried to help addicts, and people locked out of faith. Common denominator? The healing has to be allowed by the victim. A doctor cannot force healing. Seek God's face.
"Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."
Lord, help us not count the cost. You did not count the cost to give Yourself to us on the cross. Help us see Your face.
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Random bible verse generator:
Proverbs 16:28 28 A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
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