Tuesday, July 19, 2022

† "..Your Mother and your . . ." 1


†Saint Quote
"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God."
–St. Irenaeus

†Today's Meditation
"When we come into church from the outside our ears are filled with the racket of the city, the words of those who have accompanied us, the laboring and quarreling of our own thoughts, the disquiet of our hearts' wishes and worries, hurts and joys. How are we possibly to hear what God is saying? That we listen at all is something; not everyone does. It is even better when we pay attention and make a real effort to understand what is being said. But all this is not yet the attentive stillness in which God's word can take root. This must be established before the service begins, if possible in the silence on the way to church, still better in a brief period of composure the evening before."
—Msgr. Romano Guardini, p. 17

An Excerpt From
Meditations Before Mass

†Daily Verse
"I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
–John 13:34-35


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St. Macrina the Younger

St. Macrina the Younger (d. 380 A.D.) was born in Cappadocia to a family of saints. Her mother was St. Emelia, and her father was St. Basil the Elder. Her grandmother was St. Macrina the Elder, after whom she was named. Her holy parents had ten children. Macrina was one of the oldest, and received an excellent religious education from her holy mother. Her parents betrothed her to a pious youth, but he died before the marriage took place. Macrina then consecrated her virginity to God and lived a life of great asceticism. She remained living with her parents, helping to raise her younger siblings, directing the household servants, and supporting the family with her domestic skills. Among her siblings were St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa (who both became Cappadocian Fathers and Doctors of the Church) St. Peter of Sebaste, and St. Theosevia. When their father died, Macrina became the main support for the family. It was Macrina who profoundly influenced the spiritual discipline of her younger brothers. When all her siblings were grown, Macrina convinced her mother to give up their family belongings, set their servants free, and convert their home into a monastery. Many of their servants joined them in this spiritual pursuit; they all lived together as a family, sharing all things in common. When her mother died, Macrina led the religious community. The biography of St. Macrina's life was written by her brother, St. Gregory. Her feast day is July 19th.


Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 MI 7:14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.
Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea
all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Lord, show us your mercy and love.
You have favored, O LORD, your land;
you have brought back the captives of Jacob.
You have forgiven the guilt of your people;
you have covered all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your wrath;
you have revoked your burning anger.
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Restore us, O God our savior,
and abandon your displeasure against us.
Will you be ever angry with us,
prolonging your anger to all generations?
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Will you not instead give us life;
and shall not your people rejoice in you?
Show us, O LORD, your kindness,
and grant us your salvation.
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.

Alleluia JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you."
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
"Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 12:46-50

Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50)

Jesus was a "family man"—he loved and honored his parents and his relatives. So when his family arrived on the scene, we might have expected him to interrupt his teaching to enthusiastically greet them. Instead, he took the opportunity to teach an important lesson: as blessed as it is to be a member of Jesus' immediate family, it is even more of a blessing to be united to him by doing the Father's will.

To understand why Jesus would say this, we only have to look at the Gospels. His entire life was centered around doing the will of his Father. Even as a boy, Jesus was drawn to the Temple—"my Father's house"—despite the fact that Mary and Joseph were frantically searching for him (Luke 2:49). He spent entire nights in communion with his Father, even after what must have been exhausting days of preaching and healing. Before making big decisions, like choosing the twelve apostles, he sought God's will in prayer (6:12-13). He taught his disciples to pray that the will of his heavenly Father be done (Matthew 6:10). Jesus had come to do the will of his Father, and he urged us to do the same.

So how do you become Jesus' "brother, and sister, and mother" (Matthew 12:50)? You follow in Jesus' footsteps. You center your life on doing the will of the Father by listening to him each day in prayer and then acting on whatever he tells you. You carve out extra time to spend with him when you are facing a big decision. And like Jesus, you obey God even when it means that you might not be understood by the people closest to you.

This is by no means easy, but the reward is great. When you do your Father's will, you are as close to Jesus as any of his blood relations ever were. These are family bonds that will endure into eternity. God is truly your Father and Jesus is truly your brother, now and forever.

"Jesus, I want to do the will of your Father today."

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 85:2-8


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?"

Only God can forgive, right? And are given the right and honor to forgive, right? The heart of Jesus is mercy. He desire mercy. God's will. God's will be done.


We pray in Psalms:
"Will you not instead give us life;
and shall not your people rejoice in you?
Show us, O LORD, your kindness,
and grant us your salvation. Lord, show us your mercy and love"

There probably isn't a greater feeling than being truly set free. Have you ever been liberated from something? May be a sickness? Maybe a huge debt? Maybe from the obligation or an undue burden? What about a sin that weighed heavily on you?

Problem is, sins don't weigh much on those who don't know, and don't care. That's where faith formation enters, of the conscious. Of the soul.


In today's Gospel we heard our Lord:
""Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother."

And now we are talking about teaching. This is what Jesus our Lord did. This is what we are called to do as His body. Your life living is a living testimony and teaching. People are watching you and your every move. Watch, next time at Mass, look around and you'll see someone else looking around. What are they looking for? The next person to criticize? Not necessarily. Most are looking to others to show them how to believe. How to worship. To better believe. For the faith to grow. For a beautiful faith. And knowing this full well, I enter into a deeper room of faith, so that others may see the outward sign of an inward reality.

And now we are diving into God's will, because deep inside of us is where He wants to reside, and live, and move, and reach other souls.

So, are you God's family? Of course you are, especially if you are baptized into His body. But do we have estranged family that we don't even know or recognize? Yes. And those are the ones we are called to reach as well. How? And is my own family estranged?

And now, enters faith. How is YOUR faith? Let's forget theirs for right now. How is YOUR faith? This is crucial. How well will your prayers be heard in heaven if you are faithless and doubt? How will you reach an estranged soul if yours too is far and disconnected although you sit in the middle of the church? This goes for the least in the church, to the greatest. Jesus fasted, and devoted Himself more and more to the most extreme point of self giving, for His ultimate prayer to be heard.

We too are called to this life and life choices.

Every decision therefore, matters, especially if life is short and it is very short, especially for a busy body.
So who does the will of God? Apparently His family! Apparently you are supposed to be doing all that has been mentioned, this whole forgetting of self and in the interest of the others' souls to be better connected with God our Father...and forever!

Lord, I am so glad you call me family, and brother and friend.
May I love you more than family, brothers, and friends, so I can love them so dearly, as You desire to love in Heaven!


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Random bible verse generator:

Deuteronomy 8:17–18

17 Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' 18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.


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God Bless You! Peace

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