Monday, August 29, 2022

† "they came and took ..."


†Saint Quote
"He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes; he who asks for anything but Christ, does not know what he is asking; he who works, and not for Christ, does not know what he is doing."
–St. Philip Neri

†Today's Meditation
"Think, dear friends, how the Lord continually proves to us that there will be a resurrection to come, of which he made the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising him from the dead. Contemplate the resurrection that is always going on. Day and night declare the resurrection to us. The night sinks to sleep, and the day rises; the day departs, and the night comes on. Look at the crops, how the grain is sown: the sower goes out and throws it on the ground, and the scattered seed, dry and bare when it fell on the ground, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its disintegration the mighty power of the Lord's providence raises it up again, and from one seed come many bearing fruit."
—St. Clement, p. 9
A Year with the Church Fathers

†Daily Verse
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."

–Isaiah 12:2


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St. Sabina of Rome

St. Sabina (d. 126 A.D.) was a wealthy Roman noblewoman, a widow and the daughter of Herod Metallarius. She was converted to Christianity by her virtuous female slave, St. Serapia, a devout Christian from Antioch who entered into voluntary slavery with Sabina after forsaking marriage and consecrating herself to Christ. Following her conversion, St. Sabina's home became a secret meeting place for Christians where the sacraments were celebrated. St. Serapia was discovered to be a Christian and was burned alive and beheaded. St. Sabina recovered Serapia's body and buried it in a tomb. Within the same year St. Sabina was also killed for her faith and buried alongside Serapia. After Christianity was legalized in the 5th century, a basilica was built over St. Sabina's home on Aventine Hill. Originally dedicated to both saints, it is known today as Santa Sabina, one of Rome's most ancient churches. St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th.


Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

Readings for the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Reading 1 1 Cor 2:1-5
When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102

R. (97) Lord, I love your commands.
How I love your law, O LORD!
It is my meditation all the day.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
Your command has made me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
I have more understanding than all my teachers
when your decrees are my meditation.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
I have more discernment than the elders,
because I observe your precepts.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words.
R. Lord, I love your commands.
From your ordinances I turn not away,
for you have instructed me.
R. Lord, I love your commands.

Alleluia Mt 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias' own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


Daily Meditation: Mark 6:17-29

Herod . . . had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison. (Mark 6:17)

Today's feast refers to the "passion" of John's martyrdom. But John certainly displayed another kind of "passion" as well: enthusiastic devotion. His love for God and hunger for Israel to return to righteousness drove him to live an ascetic life in the desert, preaching repentance and baptizing people to prepare them for the coming of the Messiah. John only wanted to point the way to Jesus.

When was the last time you met a similarly passionate person? Maybe he was excited about a new project he was working on. Perhaps she was on fire for a new ministry or volunteer opportunity. Something about them emanated excitement. He radiated joy and enthusiasm. She just couldn't stop talking about the object of her passion. And it was contagious.

And as happens with anyone with passion, people were drawn to John. Even Herod couldn't stay away from him. It's quite revealing that even though John zealously condemned Herod's actions, Herod kept coming to listen to him—even in the prison of his own palace! John's passion for the truth, for loving and serving God, was like a magnet drawing the king. That's what passion does. It attracts other people by its enthusiasm and love.

Jesus wants all his disciples to be passionate, to be bursting with his life. He knows that our own zealous pursuit of him can be a catalyst that draws people to him. So let Jesus set a fire in your heart today. Spend time with him; get to know him better. The more you experience his presence and grace, the more excited you will become about him. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done; Jesus is attractive enough to melt—and ignite—every human heart. Let him fill you with his love so that your love will overflow to all the people around you. His light shining through you is the best possible testimony!

"Lord, fill me with passion for you. May my life draw everyone I meet to you."

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Psalm 119:97-102


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom."

Wouldn't it be nice to have the power...of miracles and so forth? I thought about that, and about who has had these powers...not the wicked. I mean, the darkness has certain powers, but I'm talking about powers to raise from the dead, and saving souls. Now, which is easier? Raising someone from the dead, or saving their souls from eternal damnation? Now...things are getting very serious, right? Words have power. Actions have power. Your words and actions therefore have power.


We pray today;
"From every evil way I withhold my feet, that I may keep your words. Lord, I love your commands."

And so, what good would it do for an evil person to have miraculous powers of good? They'd be like pearls in the hands of the pigs. They've no use for it, they'd trample and play and mock. Only good comes from the good. And God is calling us to the good of the world. Why? Because God is good and is calling us unto Himself. Yet, the world teaches the opposite with whispering that bring about death.


In the Gospel today we heard:
""I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
Herodias wanted death to the truth, and she finally acquired it, yet, it made the truth sound out even louder...and forever. Can you imagine? The more you want something quiet, the more and more it is revealed? And so it is with the things of God. You cannot silence the truth. You cannot kill the truth. You cannot escape from the truth.

And so, we must all face the truth.
And why not face Him in the confessional?
And don't listen to protestants that say you can confess in your own bathroom. That's poop! That is hogwash! It is not the whole truth. It is then, whisperings and lies from the darkest pits of evil.
Why are we afraid, and why do we put off facing the the confessional?
It is a place of intimacy...with God, so we can be intimately united with Him in the Most Holy Eucharist.
But why are the lines to this intimacy so short?

I don't know, and so I use my personal testimony in this bit.
I don't go, perhaps, because I'm too good. This means I believe I have no sins, and God doesn't need to be wasted time with my nonsense.
Or, I don't go, because I'm way too ashamed. This means I am direly afraid of God and I cannot fess up with what He knows, darkness has me locked.
Or, I won't go...because I do not care. This is perhaps the worst of all the reasons. I won't go because, well, I can be doing other things with MY time, and well, this just isn't that important to me.

We rather not suffer. We rather not give. I rather not suffer or give, and so, I dismiss it with varying excuses.

And still, our Good God waits. Meanwhile I'm out there lost, crying, anxious, wondering where God is in this cold dark world.
And God waits quietly, and meanwhile, I'm out seeking adventures, thrills, vacations, and immeresed in buying stuff to try to fill my void in my life. And the truth....waits.

Lord, had I but true Love, to love Thee with my dearest King. Oh with what bursts of flaming love, I'd love Thee with...and sing....praise to the Divine Heart, that wrought our Salvation

St. John the Baptist, pray for us to be the living truth of our Lord both now and forever.


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Random bible verse generator:


2 Timothy 2:22
22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.


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