Tuesday, July 12, 2022

† "..If The Mighty Deeds . . ."


†Saint Quote

"Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace. It is an optimism that leads us to make demands on ourselves, to struggle to respond at every moment to God's call."
–St. Josemaria Escriva

†Today's Meditation
"St. Bridget once received and bore patiently a succession of trials from various persons. One of them made an insulting remark to her; another praised her in her presence, but complained of her in her absence; another calumniated her; another spoke ill of a servant of God, in her presence, to her great displeasure; one did her a grievous wrong, and she blessed her; one caused her a loss, and she prayed for her; and a seventh gave her false information of the death of her son, which she received with tranquility and resignation. After all this, St. Agnes the Martyr appeared to her, bringing in her hand a most beautiful crown adorned with seven precious stones, telling her that they had been placed there by these seven persons. Then she put it upon her head and disappeared. How could so much have been gained by any other exercise? The Blessed Angela di Foligno, when asked how she was able to receive and endure sufferings with so much cheerfulness, replied: 'Believe me, the grandeur and value of sufferings are not known to us. For, if we knew the worth of our trials, they would become for us objects of plunder, and we should go about trying to snatch from one another opportunities to suffer.'"
—Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery With the Saints, p. 137

An Excerpt From
Cultivating Virtue: Self-Mastery With the Saints

†Daily Verse
"Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
–Philippians 2:5-11


click to read more


St. Veronica

St. Veronica (1st c.) is one of the holy women of Jerusalem who accompanied Jesus on the Way of the Cross. Out of her sorrow and compassion she offered Jesus her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from his face as He carried the cross on the way to His crucifixion. In gratitude for her simple yet gracious act, Jesus left an image of His face on the cloth. According to tradition, Veronica afterwards went to Rome and brought the cloth with her. This piece of cloth, known as Veronica's Veil, has been venerated as a holy and miraculous image of Jesus Christ ever since. It has been kept since ancient times in St. Peter's Basilica. On the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) in Jerusalem there is a small chapel called the Chapel of the Holy Face that was built on the site of St. Veronica's home and the location where the miracle took place. St. Veronica's feast day is July 12th.
Find a Devotional for This Saint


Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 390
Reading 1

IS 7:1-9

In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah,
Rezin, king of Aram,
and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah,
went up to attack Jerusalem,
but they were not able to conquer it.
When word came to the house of David that Aram
was encamped in Ephraim,
the heart of the king and the heart of the people trembled,
as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind.

Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz,
you and your son Shear-jashub,
at the end of the conduit of the upper pool,
on the highway of the fuller's field, and say to him:
Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear;
let not your courage fail
before these two stumps of smoldering brands
the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans,
and of the son Remaliah,
because of the mischief that
Aram, Ephraim and the son of Remaliah,
plots against you, saying,
"Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force,
and appoint the son of Tabeel king there."

Thus says the LORD:
This shall not stand, it shall not be!
Damascus is the capital of Aram,
and Rezin is the head of Damascus;
Samaria is the capital of Ephraim,
and Remaliah's son the head of Samaria.

But within sixty years and five,
Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation.
Unless your faith is firm
you shall not be firm!

Responsorial Psalm

PS 48:2-3A, 3B-4, 5-6, 7-8

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.
For lo! the kings assemble,
they come on together;
They also see, and at once are stunned,
terrified, routed.
R. God upholds his city for ever.
Quaking seizes them there;
anguish, like a woman's in labor,
As though a wind from the east
were shattering ships of Tarshish.
R. God upholds his city for ever.


PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


MT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the nether world.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns. (Matthew 11:20)

What's going on here? Jesus is saying that several notoriously sinful cities will fare better on the day of judgment than his local neighbors! His words here seem pretty harsh. We may even cringe when we read them, especially if we tend to associate Jesus with mercy, not rebuke. So how should we understand this passage? Let's take a deeper look into the context so that we can see what God might want to say to us.

First, remember that it was in these towns that Jesus had performed many "mighty deeds" (Matthew 11:20; see 8:1–9:34). The healings and miracles Jesus worked there were hard-and-fast evidence that he was the Messiah the people had been longing for. So you would expect that if he had shown himself to be the Christ, they would have taken his teachings seriously.

Second, Jesus actually lived in Capernaum and spent a good amount of time in the surrounding towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida (Matthew 4:13). So that means he was speaking to people who knew him well.

Third, the people of these towns had likely heard Jesus' call to repentance more than once. His message, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," was central to his teaching (Matthew 4:17). It was the main purpose behind all his preaching, teaching, and miracles. Still, this was precisely what the people had not done.

That's why Jesus spoke so sternly. He loved them! He wanted them to come to repentance and escape the devastating consequences of their sin. He kept calling them to believe in him because he didn't want them to miss out on the gift of salvation and eternal life.

There are plenty of other challenging passages like this one in the Scriptures. But when you encounter them, consider the context. Then try to see them through the lens of love. God loves you and will do anything to get your attention when you stray, even if it means a harsh rebuke. Yet as he welcomed the people who repented, he will do the same for you when you return to him.

"Jesus, help me open my heart to you as I read your word, even the parts that challenge me."

Isaiah 7:1-9
Psalm 48:2-8


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm! "

Is it harder to have faith? Some tell me "...but I'm not as strong as you in faith". Really? Is it about strength? What if I told you that faith is like is a choice. It is not a feeling. It is a gift of God to be nourished as you are doing now by reading these reflections. What does strength have to do then? Sin makes us the choice of love and faith. One or the other, we must choose.


We pray in Psalms:
"For lo! the kings assemble, they come on together; They also see, and at once are stunned, terrified, routed. God upholds his city for ever."


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
"Will you be exalted to heaven?"

He asks some cities that had decided not to repent. The people there had decided to remain as they were, thinking they had no need for change.
Sound familiar?
If our Lord came to you the other day asking you to repent, what was your take on it?
"Ah, that message is not for me".
It's like we all believe "that doesn't apply to me".

When will the message of repentance apply to you and me?
That will be the day of joy in Heaven, that day we decide that repentance is for us all, and this very day, not another.
So what's it like for the life of a saint daily? It is an ongoing conversion and repentance, I'd say.
And the life of a sinner? An ongoing of self, and not repenting.
You see, when one dies the latter, that day is a day of woe and lamentation, and gnashing of teeth. "Why did I leave for tomorrow, what I could've done today?"

"For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

What was Sodom all about? In the end, it became a place of great sin, especially that of Sodomy, homosexuals demanding their lust rule over all, even with violence. Have you witnessed lately the violence against churches for standing for innocent lives...the unborn? An even greater violence awaits, if we do not help repent...that of Sodom.

And it all hinges on repentance, and how we can help others repent, not judge, but bring them to the feet of Christ....for unification, and not division. The dark side accuses the Church of violence, LIES from the pits of hell. It is darkness that brings violence, to young women and children. And the full force is widespread in electronics and social media, with sensuality on full display to snatch the feet of the innocent. Snares, traps, and worse. When I was young, it was very hard to see pornographic material, and now in an instant you can see anything, as if the snap of a finger. That is terrible for men, and for women? They become the objects. And now, it goes to the next step, to Sodomy, an inward explosion.

I asked our Bishop this weekend in private, after his invitation to us all to begin a Eucharistic Revival, that if we should not ask all parishes to bring the Tabernacle back to the center of the church, and his reply was as expected. He brought up the technicality which I knew, the cannon laws and such of the magisterium. But the message is this from me to you, "are you satisfied with the situation at hand?". What good is a revival without Christ out front and center, leading the way? Why does God have to sit aside and we try to run the show? That does NOT work. This is flagrant work of man, and the ideals of the world making the statement that we are greater than this Blessed Sacrament.

Now, do not get me wrong, the priests I've spoken with, and my Bishop are in favor of moving Blessed Sacraments to the center, but as it stands, many churches do not. And let's take this a step further, and into your heart, "is Christ the very center of your life?".

I believe people are afraid. Today, most of who I see far from the church, or stepping away, seem to be depressed souls. There's a very strong evil working in people, the one of acedia, and the one of disparity. What is acedia? Acedia is an evil spirit that is a lack of care, it is listless, and is connected with spiritual sloth. What causes such evil spirits to enter? It's what we pay attention to.

I've noticed some of these depressed folks, they are enveloped by the very object they should be facing away from, say, the death of a loved one, or the inward feelings that do nothing to bring us closer to Christ.
Now we are not too far from Sodom. When Lot was visited by angels, the people didn't see them as angels but as objects of lustful desire.

Today, what is so different? What if what we see are angels that come in the name of the Lord? Yet our sinful ways make us see otherwise, and even desire violence to get what we want?

Such is the wisdom of Venerable Fulton Sheen, "first comes nudity, and then violence". Violence to the world, and violence to the innocent. Think abortion. Think of the attacks on modesty. Think of the attack on Holy Matrimony, a Sacrament of God's desire with humanity.

Lord, that I may repent.
That as the body of Christ, my repentance and atonement make this a place for You to dwell.
Lord send out Your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.


click to hear

Random bible verse generator:
Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were brought forth,

or ever you had formed the earth and the world,

from everlasting to everlasting you are God.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®