†Saint Quote "Quote of the Day "Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances." –St. Vincent de Paul
†Today's Meditation "The Church, which has spread everywhere, even to the ends of the earth, received the faith from the apostles and their disciples … Having one soul and one heart, the Church holds this faith, preaches and teaches it consistently as though by a single voice. For though there are different languages, there is but one tradition. … Just as God's creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church's preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to a knowledge of the truth. Now of those who speak with authority in the churches, no preacher however forceful will utter anything different—for no one is above the Master—nor will a less forceful preacher diminish what has been handed down. Since our faith is everywhere the same, no one who can say more augments it, nor can anyone who says less diminish it." —St. Ignatius of Antioch, p. 194
An Excerpt From Witness of the Saints
†Daily Verse "With the loyal thou dost show thyself loyal; with the blameless man thou dost show thyself blameless; with the pure thou dost show thyself pure; and with the crooked thou dost show thyself perverse. For thou dost deliver a humble people; but the haughty eyes thou dost bring down. Yea, thou dost light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Yea, by thee I can crush a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." –Psalm 18:25-30
click to read more
St. Victor of Marseilles
St. Victor of Marseilles (d. 290 A.D.) was a Christian soldier serving in the Roman imperial army in Marseilles, France. Christianity was thriving there, until Emperor Maximian arrived with the intention of putting the Christians to death. This caused the Christians to fear, and St. Victor would go from house to house under the cover of night to admonish them to stand strong in their faith. This behavior drew attention, and during one of his nightly rounds he was arrested. The Roman prefects tried to dissuade him from following a "dead man" (Jesus), but St. Victor testified boldly for the truth of the Christian faith. Enraged, the prefects had him bound and dragged through the streets. Victor was undeterred and continued to denounce the Roman gods. His tortures were renewed until his torturers grew tired, after which he was thrown into a dungeon. That night he was visited by angels, and his three guards were converted and baptized that same night. The next morning the Emperor had the guards beheaded, while St. Victor was kept alive for fresh torments. After three days of abuse, the Emperor commanded Victor to burn incense to the gods. Instead, St. Victor walked up to the altar and kicked it over with his foot. In retaliation, his foot was cut off. Seeing that his efforts to cause Victor to apostatize were useless, the Emperor finally had him crushed to death on a grindstone. His body was thrown into the sea before being recovered and buried by Christians. His tomb became a place where many miracles occurred. St. Victor of Marseilles' feast day is July 21st.
Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 JER 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
This word of the LORD came to me: Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unsown. Sacred to the LORD was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest; Should any presume to partake of them, evil would befall them, says the LORD. When I brought you into the garden land to eat its goodly fruits, You entered and defiled my land, you made my heritage loathsome. The priests asked not, "Where is the LORD?" Those who dealt with the law knew me not: the shepherds rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after useless idols. Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD. Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; They have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.
Responsorial Psalm PS 36:6-7AB, 8-9, 10-11
R. (10a) With you is the fountain of life, O Lord. O LORD, your mercy reaches to heaven; your faithfulness, to the clouds. Your justice is like the mountains of God; your judgments, like the mighty deep. R. With you is the fountain of life, O Lord. How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house; from your delightful stream you give them to drink. R. With you is the fountain of life, O Lord. For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light. Keep up your mercy toward your friends, your just defense of the upright of heart. R. With you is the fountain of life, O Lord.
Alleluia MT 11:25
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them. "But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 13:10-17
Why do you speak to the crowd in parables? (Matthew 13:10)
The lost coin, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, the persistent widow: Jesus' parables have become so ingrained in our memories that we recognize them even by these shorthand titles. But despite our familiarity with them—or maybe because of it—we can sometimes resemble the people Jesus speaks of in today's Gospel: "They look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand" (Matthew 13:13).
How? We might gloss over the words or partially tune them out at Mass because we know how each story ends. Some of the moral truths the parables convey might seem fairly obvious, so we don't look for other meanings. Or images like mustard seeds and fig trees or people like Pharisees and Samaritans, so much a part of Jesus' first-century culture, don't seem particularly relevant to our lives today.
But Jesus knew the struggles of the human heart; he knew that these stories would have the power to speak to us in the day-to-day circumstances of our lives. For example, the parable of the sower and the seed might show you that your heart needs to soften about a specific situation so that it doesn't become like the rocky soil that doesn't bear fruit (Matthew 13:5). The parable of the servant who refused to forgive a small debt when he had been forgiven an enormous one might help you to forgive someone who has hurt or angered you (18:23-35). Or you might be feeling guilty over a sin in your life but afraid that God won't forgive you. Yet what better portrait of the Father could Jesus have painted than that of the compassionate, merciful father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)?
God has something to reveal to you through these stories—not only universal spiritual truths for all time, but something very personal for you today. So be expectant. When you sit with one of Jesus' parables, no matter how familiar it is, let it slowly sink into your mind and heart. And remember Jesus' words: "Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear" (Matthew 13:16)!
"Jesus, open my ears and heart to your word today."
Jeremiah 21:1-3, 7-8, 12-13 Psalm 36:6-11
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unsown."
And what comes to mind? Who comes to mind? Two come to my mind; Father Abraham, and Me (or any of us). Who is this bride that goes into the desert? We are the bride, the love of God.
We pray in Psalms: "How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house; from your delightful stream you give them to drink. With you is the fountain of life, O Lord."
And there is something to say about leaving everything behind to follow God's will. This is the groom. The two no longer are their own, but belong to each other. Things are supposed to be intimate.
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: "..the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
Sounds like the parable of the seeds and the sower too, right? Why so many parables? It's not that there are hidden messages, its that the message is for the pure and available of heart, mind, and soul. That's how they are programmed, so to speak. The messages are decoded by the souls more disposed and apt for the reception, and for the fruition, right? The one who has ability to ingest the Word, they are able to propagate the word! You need only to look at those that are saints, or even theologians that just keep going back, like bible scholars, to the bible over and over to get more out of it, because it is truly bottomless, an eternal source of life giving sustenance.
"...lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them."_
And so, when we go to hear the Word, how is our heart open? When we go to Mass, how is our soul open? Some people go to Mass and don't like the music (excuse me!? LOL) They don't like the priest (very often). They don't like the same old boring "rituals". (Hence all the new rock and roll type bands and crazy pastors trying to fill that so called desire, supply vs demand).
They don't like the time on Sunday, (even though there are times from Saturday evening all the way through Sunday night!). And the excuses go further when it comes to confessions. Why though? The secret is in all of today's reflections and readings. The ones who have, will be given more. The ones who have less, even what they have will be taken away. More of what? Are you ready for the answer? It's the love of God. Oh boy! OUCH! Right? Don't like the music? Pray for them and just try to take the good from the bad, may be the tune or the words, and let them know ideas that would be inspiring, choirs need help, I need tons. Don't like the priest or their message? Can't understand them? No problem! Most communication is done through body language, like 70%! Just look at them (those who are speaking), and do this: let the Holy Spirit speak to you. You'd be amazed like in a rosary, where this will take you, if you can focus, and the more, the better. As in any prayer, or any important thing. And as for the time? Time is a gift, from God and our gift to God. You do what you love most.
My job is to attempt to show you how to love God more and better as I am learning myself! Pray for me too! I've never met a soul that does not need prayer....ever.
Lord, we need you, more very day!
click to hear
Random bible verse generator:
WOW! Colossians 3:16 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace