†Saint Quote "You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love." –St. Catherine of Siena
†Today's Meditation "We are the holy Church. But I do not say 'we' as though to indicate only we who are here, you who have just been listening to me. I mean all of us who are here and by the grace of God faithful Christians in this church, that is, in this city; all those in this region, in this province, across the sea, all those in the whole world. Such is the Catholic Church, our true mother, the true spouse of so great a husband." -St. Augustine, p. 87
An Excerpt From Augustine Day by Day
†Daily Verse "When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say." –Luke 12:11-12
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St. Anne & St. Joachim
St. Anne and St. Joachim (1st c. B.C.) are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the maternal grandparents of Jesus. Their names have been preserved in Church tradition since the second century, although little is known of their lives. It is believed that St. Joachim and St. Anne, although wealthy, lived a devout and simple life of voluntary poverty, chastity, and generosity to the poor. According to legend, after long years of suffering from infertility and praying for a child, Joachim and Anne were each separately visited by an angel in their old age, who announced that they would give birth to a very special child. Their moment of joy at this happy news is depicted with their embrace and kiss at the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. It was from their holy and chaste marriage that the Immaculate Conception was brought into the world. According to tradition, when the Child Mary was three years old, they dedicated her to God and presented her to live in the Jerusalem temple until the time of her betrothal to St. Joseph. St. Anne is the patroness of unmarried women, wives, expectant mothers, pregnancy, women in labor, grandmothers, childless couples, and against poverty and sterility. Women praying to meet their future spouse often turn to St. Anne. St. Joachim is the patron of fathers and grandfathers. Their feast day is July 26th.
Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
• Readings for the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading 1 JER 14:17-22
Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest, Over the great destruction which overwhelms the virgin daughter of my people, over her incurable wound. If I walk out into the field, look! those slain by the sword; If I enter the city, look! those consumed by hunger. Even the prophet and the priest forage in a land they know not. Have you cast Judah off completely? Is Zion loathsome to you? Why have you struck us a blow that cannot be healed? We wait for peace, to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead. We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you. For your name's sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not. Among the nations' idols is there any that gives rain? Or can the mere heavens send showers? Is it not you alone, O LORD, our God, to whom we look? You alone have done all these things.
Responsorial Psalm PS 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13
R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us. Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us. Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; Deliver us and pardon our sins for your name's sake. R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us. Let the prisoners' sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death. Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise. R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 13:36-43
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 13:36-43
He who sows good seed is the Son of Man. (Matthew 13:37)
Have you ever known someone who really loves gardening? They plant seeds in pots well before the frost thaws and tend them carefully. They nourish them with light and just enough water. When the seedlings are strong enough, they move the plants outside, but even then, they watch over and nurture them.
In today's Gospel, Jesus is explaining the parable of the weeds and the wheat, in which a man sows good seed in his field but weeds also spring up. He decides to wait until harvest to deal with the weeds. At first blush, the farmer seems distant and uninvolved; he doesn't do anything until the harvest at the end of time. But even though he allows the weeds to grow, he is not doing nothing!
Like a good gardener, Jesus looks after his plants closely. He follows their progress, fertilizes, protects, and checks on them every day. When pests invade or weeds grow up, he tends his garden to keep his plants strong enough to withstand even the weeds growing beside them.
Our lives in Christ are like that. Even when difficulties surround you, Jesus is not removed from your life. He became man and endured death to free you from the power of evil. He watches over you every day. Sometimes, he encourages and guides you through his Holy Spirit. Other times, he gently gets you back on track if you have taken a wrong turn. And still other times, he simply accompanies and supports you on your journey. No matter where you are today, you can be assured that the sower of the good seed will finish what he has started in you (Philippians 1:6).
So take some time to think about the ways that Jesus has been actively cultivating his life in you. Remember the times that his presence was close, or you were provided for in an unforeseen way. Think about the blessings he has given you—even the blessing of endurance to face challenges. Sometimes it can be hard to recognize what he is doing until after the fact, but you can trust that he is always there. Like a good gardener, he watches over you.
"Lord, help me to see the ways you protect and cultivate your life in me."
Jeremiah 14:17-22 Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "For your name's sake spurn us not,disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not."
Does Jesus the King of the World have feelings? And if He does, what of all the disgrace in the world? Does Jesus get angry?
I'm not even halfway through the second volume of the Book of Heaven, but I don't see Him angry in the many accounts. I see a King at work though. With righteousness, and his rule, the staff, and the rod, shepherding, doing whatever it takes and still forever atoning for sins, suffering for our sake, as if this is what He is to do forever? I don't know, I'm not done with the volumes, but it gets deep, and it aims to ask one, "could I, or should I too help Him with His suffering?". I mean, who wants to suffer anyway? In the world we are taught everything against suffering!
Can you suffer? Will you suffer?
Here's how you may suffer: Ordinarily you can offer what the world throws at you, and offer it to God with humility. Extraordinarily you can offer yourself up for suffering by seeking suffering to offer to God. And both can work hand in hand. You can suffer scorn and ridicule. Most will never know the suffering of being slaughtered like our Lord, but our sins still make HIM suffer as He offers Himself as libation forever, not just a 3 hour event several years ago. And what do we get if we suffer for Him and with Him? It doesn't matter. What if you spent your life for Him? What does it matter...to a loving and truly giving soul?
We pray in Psalms: "Let the prisoners' sighing come before you; with your great power free those doomed to death. Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; through all generations we will declare your praise. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us" And so what do people do in Heaven? How can they give glory, praise, honor, and worship to God, if the Lamb is with them? If God is with them? You give thanks, and this becomes a feast of thanksgiving. Thanks where we lack thanksgiving. For so many times we are not grateful.
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: "The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers."
What happens to a garden that is weeded? It becomes a story of seeds and weeds, right? What God has planted is what He intends to get fruit from. We are like fruit trees and vegetables that give fruit. And who can weed out, that is take out weeds and uproot them?
Does God have to come weed out your heart? He can, but the ordinary way is for us to weed out ourselves! Think Holy Confession. Think true repentance. Think of a holy life of grace.
"Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Once the weeds are pulled, we can let righteousness shine. But if we are lazy? Weeds will not let us shine. Does this make sense? Because it is more simple than we care to think. It becomes a becoming unto Him, and let Christ shine from inside of our hearts. Does He shine in your heart and shine bright? They say some people shine. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Does Christ shine bright in your life? That what shines we like, because we are called to the light...and the true light and truth and life is Jesus the Christ, our Savior!
Lord, we need You to shine deep inside, to course that light through our blood and veins, to let the fruit grow...the fruit You desire! Help us love Thee more and more!
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Random bible verse generator: WOW! James 1:17–18 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.1 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
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