Tuesday, October 4, 2022

† "... There is need of only one. . . "


†Today's Meditation
"Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
–St. Francis of Assisi

†Today's Meditation
"Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—St. Francis of Assisi, p. 333

An Excerpt From
Witness of the Saints

†Daily Verse
"He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.""
–Mark 16:15-16


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St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis (1181-1226) was born in Assisi, Italy, to a wealthy cloth merchant. He was a spoiled child given to pleasure, fine dress, liberal spending, and worldliness. Handsome and courteous, he was a favorite among the nobility. As a chivalrous young knight he took part in a battle between the Italian city-states and became a prisoner of war in Perugia. After his release he became seriously ill, and while reflecting on his wanton life he had a profound conversion experience. He gave up his frivolous life, cut off his family ties, and embraced a life of extreme penance and poverty in such a dramatic manner that it caused many to think he had gone mad. While praying before a crucifix in the church of San Damiano in Assisi he received a call from Christ to rebuild the Church, "which had fallen into ruin." St. Francis followed Christ in a radical manner by patterning his new life after the example of the Apostles in the most literal way possible: he dressed as a poor peasant, worked odd jobs for food, and went through the countryside preaching repentance, love of Jesus, and peace. His joyful, radical way of life attracted followers, and with them he founded the Order of Friars Minor and the Poor Clares. His order was approved by the Holy See in 1210 and grew rapidly. Two years before his death he became the first known saint to receive the stigmata. His holiness was so widely attested that only two years after his death the Church proclaimed him a saint. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of peace, ecology, the environment, animals, Italy, merchants, and families. His feast day is October 4th.


Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lectionary: 462
Reading 1

GAL 1:13-24

Brothers and sisters:
You heard of my former way of life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure
and tried to destroy it,
and progressed in Judaism
beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,
since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.
But when he, who from my mother's womb had set me apart
and called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me,
so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem
to those who were Apostles before me;
rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas
and remained with him for fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the Apostles,
only James the brother of the Lord.
(As to what I am writing to you, behold,
before God, I am not lying.)
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea
that are in Christ;
they only kept hearing that "the one who once was persecuting us
is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."
So they glorified God because of me.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 139:1B-3, 13-14AB, 14C-15

R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.


LK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


LK 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
"Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply,
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."


Daily Meditation: Luke 10:38-42

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. (Luke 10:41)

Poor Martha! She had tried so hard. Unfortunately, this hardworking hostess is best known for getting angry with her sister and missing out on fellowship with Jesus. To add insult to injury, when Martha complained, it seems she got a rebuke instead of sympathy: "Martha, Martha" (Luke 10:41).

We tend to hear Jesus' words to Martha as chastisement or frustration. But it's quite possible that Jesus' tone was not harsh. Jesus loved Martha; he longed for her to spend time with him. He wanted her to experience peace, not strife, and he wished that she could enjoy the closeness that Mary experienced sitting at his feet. So when he repeated her name, Jesus was probably speaking with tenderness and concern.

This wasn't the only time that Jesus spoke this way. In fact, Luke uses similar repetitions to express Jesus' yearning for people to encounter him. Lamenting the Jewish leaders' rejection of him, Jesus cried out, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, . . . how many times I yearned to gather your children together" (Luke 13:34). Later he pours out his heart when foretelling Peter's denial: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail" (22:31-32). And in Acts, Jesus speaks with the same passion to the future St. Paul: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" (9:4).

In all of these situations, Jesus spoke with intensity because his heart was moved with compassion. All of those people were important to him, and he didn't want them to be separated from his love, not even for a moment.

Jesus doesn't want any of his sons and daughters to miss out on his presence, including you. Just as he cried out, "Martha, Martha," he calls you by name today—not once, but twice! Can you hear the love in his voice? He knows that you are busy and burdened and anxious; he knows your temptations and failings. And he wants to set you free. Jesus will never stop calling you. Come, sit at his feet.

"Here I am, Lord. I want to hear your voice today."

Galatians 1:13-24
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
""the one who once was persecuting us
is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."
So they glorified God because of me."

Can you imagine, the world listening to someone that changed their minds about God? They went from not believing and NOW they believe? And NOW they are on fire? And NOW they want to lead the world to Christ with all their heart mind and soul? How does that happen? Watch the Scripture carefully...Paul knows full well how it happens...for Paul used to be Saul. Saul meant the "great" and after his conversion, he became Paul, meaning "the less". I learned that from the actor Jim Caviezel when he was giving a talk after starring in the movie "The Passion of the Christ", in which he himself seems to have had a life changing conversion. And now, let us be clear on the word "conversion", because it is not a one time is an ongoing thing. Our conversion is ever forming and growing.


We pray today;
_"My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way."

And so is it not amazing that we are fashioned from the earth? And most of our bodies are made of water? These two things point us to the fact that we are not only temporal, but destined for the eternal in and through our baptism with Christ our Lord...our Master and Rabbi.


In the Gospel today we heard our Master and Teacher:
""Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."

Martha, in the beginning of the Gospel, was said to have invited our Lord Jesus Christ into her Home.
And then our Lord revealed while inside her home, thus her heart, that she was anxious and worried about many things.

God will reveal the truth, whence you invite Him into your heart, your home.
We don't see things this way, but God sees our bodies, these earthen dwellings, as a possible place to live in. Your body is to be a temple of God, clean, holy, set apart, always welcoming and inviting Him into this place.

Our world is riddled with anxiety and depression. Most drug dealers both legal and illegal are cashing in on this ongoing crisis of the heart. People want a way out. Alcohol is offered, smoke, and anti-depressants, and I recall always one guy, a fellow from my parish, was taking up to 22 different pills per day to control his depression, until, one day, he was asked by a brother of mine in Christ to live a 3 day retreat, and he welcomed God into his heart truly...and from that day forth, he never took the pills again, and fast forward a few more years, and he becomes the first deacon in the parish in nearly 30 years.
I remember one thing he said about his depression...he always bought things, even things he didn't need, just to get a little "high" to make him feel a little better. This my friend, is the microcosm of the macros that we see in our society today consumed with consumerism. We always want to buy something new or buy into something new.

But Christ has a message for us today on that.
I recall during the Cursillo this weekend, I called out a fellow, while I was on the microphone, and said "you, I've seen you working around the church, always fixing this and that on the outside, but now, you are called to go inside, and fix the inside". This man would later tell me in private that he hates seeing things broke, and then he said he hates how nobody was thankful. These are two different broken subjects.
Martha and Mary are two and one. We are Martha, but we are called to be like Mary. I myself am now one of the busiest people I know, I've got many things going on at once, as we speak and as I type to you, I'm texting people on our family festival coming this weekend (pray for us), and I'm texting people at work, and I'm texting people in the cursillo movement, and I'm still trying to remain faithful to my tend to you, which I place as a most high priority...for this is for God, our Father's Kingdom...our Father's business.

Is it so wrong that Jesus calls out Martha? I wonder if at that moment, she dropped everything and sat at His feet? Or did she keep on serving with a puzzled mind "what did He mean by that?".

It could be said that the same was for St. Francis of Assissi, today's saint, for when he was called by the Lord to "fix" his church, he immediately went to fix the building. But, soon, he was an inner total devotion, to become the Christ that called on Him. The external then follows suit, for the inside builds the outside.

Lord, thank You for this moment in spend time with You, to admire You, to serve You. They asked a poor kid carrying his baby brother for miles to water and food, "does he weigh much?" and the reply was "no, I love him much". The same for You my God, the cross is love, the love of God. May we learn to take it up and see to it that Your Holy will from Your Sacred Heart be accomplished through me, both now and forever.

From your brother in Christ our Lord, our Master, our Rabbi, inspired by the Holy Spirit:


St. Francis, pray for us


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Random Bible Verse

Hebrews 13:6

6 So we can confidently say,

"The Lord is my helper;

I will not fear;

what can man do to me?"


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God Bless You! Peace

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