"To join two things together there must be nothing between them or there cannot be a perfect fusion. Now realize that this is how God wants our soul to be, without any selfish love of ourselves or of others in between, just as God loves us without anything in between." –St. Catherine of Siena
"Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, mud and washing. The sick try to touch him, 'for power came forth from him and healed them all'. And so in the sacraments Christ continues to 'touch' us in order to heal us. Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases'. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the 'sin of the world', of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion." —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1504-1505
An Excerpt From Catechism of the Catholic Church
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible."" –Matthew 19:23-26
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St. Orontius of Lecce
St. Orontius of Lecce (1st c.) was the son of the Roman imperial treasurer in Lecce, Italy. Upon his father's death he inherited the position. Orontius was converted to the Christian faith along with his nephew, Fortunatus, by Justus, a disciple of St. Paul the Apostle. Orontius was later denounced to the authorities as a Christian and was ordered to sacrifice to the pagan gods. He refused and was arrested, removed from his office, tortured, and exiled to Corinth together with Fortunatus. In Corinth the pair met St. Paul the Apostle, who consecrated Orontius as the first bishop of Lecce. When Orontius and Fortunatus returned to Lecce they were persecuted and imprisoned again, but were released and ordered to stop preaching. They continued to preach in the surrounding cities, and were arrested a third time and executed. St. Orontius' feast day is August 26th.
Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 429 Reading 1
1 COR 1:17-25
Brothers and sisters: Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside. Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11
R. (5) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. For upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Daily Meditation: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? (1 Corinthians 1:20)
What is the wisdom of this world? A lot of contemporary "wisdom" seems to revolve around being in control and being the master of your own destiny. It might be slick advertising telling you that you need the newest phone and the fastest internet speed to stay on top of the latest trends. Or it might be in the form of self-help programs telling you to find happiness by taking charge of your life. Either way, power and wisdom seem to be found in self-determination and control.
How different that is from the message of the cross, which reveals to us God's own wisdom! When Jesus chose not his own will but the will of his Father, he showed us the surpassing wisdom of handing over control to our loving God (Luke 2:42). In surrendering, Jesus trusted in God's wisdom and his plan to bring salvation to humankind.
Now, we are naturally inclined toward that "wisdom of the world" that urges us toward control and independence. And so sometimes even our attempts to surrender to God are tinged by that drive. We might make a decision impulsively and then ask God to bless what we already did. Or we might take something to prayer but then go ahead with our own plan instead of listening for what God might be saying to us about the situation.
We struggle sometimes because the truth is, it can be scary to surrender to a God whom we can't see. It can feel risky to let go of control of our lives. That's why St. Paul says the message of the cross is "foolishness" to the Greeks who prized wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22-23). But remember, for us who are being saved, it is the power of God (1:18). When we hand control over to our heavenly Father, we can trust that, in his goodness and his love, he will take care of us and bring the best out of any situation.
Today, let's take one more step closer to a full surrender to God. Let's make just a little more progress toward living according to the surpassing wisdom of God.
"Lord, help me to learn the 'foolish' wisdom of the cross and surrender to your will."
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11 Matthew 25:1-13
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."
Some say what God does is foolishness. Some get mad at Him. But do not let the anger of the day, set with the settling of the sun. What does that mean? Before it is too late. Where is your faith? What is praise? Just great feelings when everything is going well? What about praise in the storm? How do you do that? "Lord, forgive them...for they know not what they do".
We pray today; "The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations; he foils the designs of peoples. But the plan of the LORD stands forever; the design of his heart, through all generations. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." The earth is full of His goodness. Can you believe it? What if the world is 80 percent good and 20 percent bad? Remember that 20/80 theory? LOL. Why does a paper cut affect me so much? How much attention do I put to it? Where is the faith?
Our Lord speaks; "The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom." Why virgins? Why ten of them? Why lamps? Why a bridegroom? How does that apply to me?
From Bishop Barron: "Friends, our Gospel today is the parable that compares the kingdom of heaven with "ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom." This is an image borrowed from the customs of the time. The bridesmaids would wait for the groom and, upon his appearance, accompany him. Well, this is the Christian community, waiting for Christ the groom to arrive. Did Jesus tell this parable because he knew that his Church would be in for a long period of waiting? We are wise in our waiting if we pray on a regular basis; if we educate ourselves in the faith; if we participate in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist; if we perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; if we become people of love. We are foolish in our waiting if we neglect these things. And here is one of the hardest truths of this parable: the divine life, so cultivated, cannot simply be shared with another at the last minute. The wise virgins are not being difficult and self-absorbed when they tell their friends that they can't help them. A saint can't simply infuse his life into another; it just doesn't work that way." .......................................... And so, before the eve of the night....before it is too dark and too late...God is asking us to turn to Him and to live with Him. How?
All day prayer? Sure, why not, in your head, in your heart. Why? Because, He can take residence in a heart. Don't understand how this works, but it does. He can hear you from within. He's not on the outside unless we've made Him wait outside as He has been knocking all your life. He's in the interior of a heart that welcomes Him and makes Him a beautiful place to live. So many today, all over are so focused on beauty, but their version of beauty is not God's version of beauty. The world's version (overall I'd say) is connected with perversion, that is to say, to look sexy is beauty to a lot. But that is not at all what God is speaking about nor seeking. That version deals with weaknesses and susceptibility to evil and darkness. No. He comes to collect light for the light of the Kingdom. Remember the lamps. Remember purity. Remember love and consumated love means for Him to enter inside and reside....forever. Of all the places in the world God could live, He decided to live in the human heart.
Lord, wake us up. Lord, I need oil for my lamp to burn forever...faith in love and to be in love with faith. For this we need Thee inside of Me....burning eternally for the world to see and You to welcome me inside Your home...forever and ever.
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1 Corinthians 10:13 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
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