Wednesday, December 7, 2022

† "..Learn From Me . .. . "


†Saint Quote
"Let the Word of God come; let it enter the church; let it become a consuming fire, that it may burn the hay and stubble, and consume whatever is worldly; there is heavy lead of iniquity in many; let it be molten by divine fire; let the gold and silver vessels be made better, in order that understanding and speech, refined by the heat of suffering, may begin to be more precious."
–St. Ambrose

†Today's Meditation
"Let anger be guarded against. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason. The first thing, therefore, to aim at, if possible, is to make tranquility of character our natural disposition by constant practice, by desire for better things, by fixed determination."
—St. Ambrose, p.279

An Excerpt From
A Year with the Church Fathers

†Daily Verse
" shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
–Mark 10:43b-45


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St. Ambrose

St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340–397 A.D.) was born in Gaul (modern France) and became a successful lawyer and governor in Milan, Italy. When the bishop of Milan died in 374 A.D., a movement arose among the people to demand that Ambrose take his place. At the time Ambrose was only a catechumen preparing for baptism; he was not yet a Christian. He went into hiding in an attempt to escape the ecclesiastical appointment. His attempts to hide were unsuccessful; the emperor forbade anyone to gave him shelter, which forced him to give himself up and submit to the will of the people to be their bishop. Ambrose quickly received the sacraments, including Holy Orders, and was ordained the Bishop of Milan a week later. He became a very holy leader, giving his property to the poor and his land to the Church, and making himself directly available to the needs of all people. He also worked tirelessly to defend orthodox doctrine, especially against the pervasive Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Christ. St. Ambrose was the saint who introduced lectio divina, the practice of prayerfully meditating on the Sacred Scriptures, into the Latin Church. This informed his eloquent writing, preaching, and teaching, earning him the nickname "honey-tongued doctor." Ambrose was the bishop who converted and baptized St. Augustine of Hippo. He is one of the four original Doctors of the Church, and his statue is one of four that upholds the Chair of St. Peter inside St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. St. Ambrose's feast day is December 7th.


Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Is 40:25-31

To whom can you liken me as an equal?
says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
and see who has created these things:
He leads out their army and numbers them,
calling them all by name.
By his great might and the strength of his power
not one of them is missing!
Why, O Jacob, do you say,
and declare, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles' wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.

Responsorial Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10

R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. O bless the Lord, my soul!


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 11:28-30

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

When we're feeling burdened by the demands of life, we might look at Jesus' words here as an invitation to a life of comfort and ease, a life free from any pain or suffering. But Jesus doesn't say, "Come, take up a hammock on the beach, and give yourself a break." No, he invites us to take up a yoke: his yoke. A yoke is an instrument of work! So how can we make sense of this? Does Jesus want us to work or to rest? The answer is both.

While Jesus does offer us rest for our souls, he invites us to find that rest as we labor beside him and work with him in building his kingdom. He knows that as we yoke ourselves to him, he'll be able to do the heavy lifting with us and for us.

Jesus didn't come to excuse us from the work of the kingdom but to equip us for it. It's as if we are carpenters working with only a chisel and saw, and Jesus hands us power tools. "Here," he says. "I see how hard you are exerting yourself, so try these." Imagine your relief! Your burden has become lighter because he has helped you finish your work more easily.

Jesus longs to work beside you as you go about your daily tasks; he longs to help you find joy in building his kingdom. Right here, right now, he is offering you unlimited access to his strength, his grace, and his rest, all through the gift of his Holy Spirit.

So don't let those power tools collect dust! Don't overlook the gift of the Spirit and rely only on your own strength. Instead, take up Jesus' yoke and the tools he is offering you. This could mean seeking grace in Confession to overcome a persistent sin. It might mean entrusting a difficult project to him in a holy hour. It could mean lifting up a prayer for help when you run into a person you struggle to love.

Jesus stands ready to help you today as you go into the fields. He is eagerly waiting for you to take up his yoke so that you can find rest and joy as you and he work together!

"Lord, help me to take up your yoke today!"

Isaiah 40:25-31
Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings;
They will run and not grow weary..."

What does this mean? That His hope is everlasting. That His faithfulness will endure. That He is inexhaustible. And that He is offering Himself to us in a special way, incomprehensible as it may be, and this is where we faith.


We pray today;
"Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. O bless the Lord, my soul!"

A brother told me this week that he's trying to help a guy that has been released from prison, and this ex-con had stabbed someone and that person died. Now he's out trying to find work, completely remorseful of what he had done. He's a church goer now. And as of this week, he found a job. Now, how does that make you feel? Do you see mercy at work at all? Or are you like some that say "people can never change" and never give someone a chance?

Now take a second instance. I'm in charge of our new church building committee. Been saving for 12 years with hundreds of people, to make this building happen and as of this past week, an air conditioner contractor was given $32,000 for materials he asked for and he never showed up, been waiting for months, and the project is about standing still waiting for him. He won't reply to calls or texts anymore. Now what? Where does mercy come in? Where is the justice here? I'm at a crossroads, where I am baffled, hurt, and praying on where to go next.

Yet, I trust, yet I pray, yet I wonder, let the thieves steal away? They robbed us during Mass last month, someone in the parking lot stole lots of things from cars. Last week a scam artist used our Priest's name to scam innocent people through texts and calls asking for money. Do we just let ourselves get robbed left and right? This is where crusaders were born, to defend and protect the innocent. Lord help us. What are we coming to in our society.


In the Gospel today we heard our Master and Teacher:
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves."

What yoke? Right? It's like a slave asking you to become a slave with them. Who wants that! Right? Why would I want to be a slave when the world says we need to fight to be "free"? Well, right there is the problem. We aren't free when we bind to the world and darkness where it rules.
We are to break away and bind ourselves to the light. All things opposite of the world. Can I be meek? And humble, yet, assertive in what God desires? Yes. Saints do go to their martyrdom by apostasy which means to turn away from your order to save your life.

Rather, they are slaves to the truth. And the truth will set you free. And where you are free, your burdens are made light, and this light is truth, and this truth saves.
Can we find rest for ourselves?

There's only one place I find myself wishing I could just sit there and rest the true moments in a blessed visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament. Why? And why is it that sometimes I visit Him and I can't sit still, my mind won't stop with so many problems I got going on, my heart is restless, and I get up at times with tears, unable to find rest for myself.
Perhaps, it is because I have not listened to Him. I have not taken His yoke, and learned to be meek...and humble. All things opposite the world teaches us. The lures and problems of the temporal world bind us to stress and anxiety.

I am more and more mesmerized by the book of Heaven. I'm listening to volume 6 of 36, hours and hours into it. I've learned lately that, our relationship forever is bases on our relationship now with our Lord. The more intimate...the better. The more trusting, the better. The more obedience to Him...the better.
Can I obey Him then, when He says to bind myself to Him in the yoke He asks us to? The Book of Heaven explains the Passion of our Lord as the most eternal gift to humanity, by the mere act of doing God's will. Hard to explain but, it simple terms...there is no comparison in doing God's will than ours. His is confounding and more fruitful than human comprehension. And the book says we don't know how much influence we have in the world for God's Kingdom...if we only knew all that a single person.

It is good news ultimately...if we dare to take the yoke...of Christ.

Lord, I'm afraid to take on the yoke You ask. I'm afraid to let go. I'm afraid to become enslaved to do things I don't want to do, like following you to the cross. But it is there that we hold each other up. The value of suffering on earth will never be truly known. Suffering and sacrificing for Love....and God is love. May I understand that this yoke is faith and that this faith is love...eternal.



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Matthew 18:21–22

[Matthew 18]
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.


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