Friday, January 13, 2023

† ". in the sight of everyone. . "


†Saint Quote
"Quote of the Day
"He took what is mine in order that He might impart to me what is His. He took it not to overturn it but to fill it."
–St. Ambrose

†Today's Meditation
"St. Josemaria Escriva used the phrase "new Mediterraneans" to describe the process of going deeper into the interior life to discover new insights about what we already know or have already heard so many times before. There is a mysterious power of the mind unleashed when we "discover" something we already knew, when we contemplate truth from a new vantage point. These revelations, uncovered through prayer, then overflow into the rest of our lives. This process, aptly given a maritime-themed name, is one that reveals to us the depth of richness of the Faith."
–Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering, p. 13

†Daily Verse
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."
–Psalm 19:14


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St. Hilary of Poitiers

St. Hilary of Poitiers (300–368 A.D.) was born in France to noble pagan parents. He was well instructed in philosophy and converted to Christianity after studying the Old and New Testaments. He was baptized into the Church along with his wife and daughter. He was widely respected by the people of Poitiers, so much so that they elected him their bishop. Hilary worked hard to defend the Catholic Church against the entrenched heresy of Arianism which resulted in his four-year exile to Phrygia, and his popular title, "Hammer of the Arians." Although he was a gentle and courteous man, he was labeled a 'disturber of the peace' for defending Jesus' sacred humanity and divinity against the Arian heretics, the only orthodox bishop in his region doing so. He was renowned for his great learning and sanctity, and for defending the Church valiantly in word and by pen. While in exile he wrote numerous and important theological works resulting in his title as a Doctor of the Church. St. Hilary's feast day is January 13.


Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Reading I

Let us be on our guard
while the promise of entering into his rest remains,
that none of you seem to have failed.
For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did.
But the word that they heard did not profit them,
for they were not united in faith with those who listened.
For we who believed enter into that rest,
just as he has said:
As I swore in my wrath,

"They shall not enter into my rest,"
and yet his works were accomplished
at the foundation of the world.
For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner,
And God rested on the seventh day from all his works;
and again, in the previously mentioned place,
They shall not enter into my rest.
Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest,
so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.

Responsorial Psalm 78:3 and 4bc, 6c-7, 8

R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
we will declare to the generation to come
The glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
That they too may rise and declare to their sons
that they should put their hope in God,
And not forget the deeds of God
but keep his commands.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
And not be like their fathers,
a generation wayward and rebellious,
A generation that kept not its heart steadfast
nor its spirit faithful toward God.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Alleluia Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:1-12

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
"Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what
they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
–he said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."


Daily Meditation: Mark 2:1-12

Who but God alone can forgive sins? (Mark 2:7)

The scribes—experts in the Scriptures and laws of Israel—asked this question out of concern and even outrage that Jesus of Nazareth, a mere man, was claiming to do something only God can do. And they weren't wrong, either: only God can forgive sins. But what they missed was that God had broken into history and entered the human story in Jesus. And he came bringing not only healing for bodies but the forgiveness of sins that heals souls as well.

Jesus burst onto the scene with enormous energy: teaching in a new way, performing miraculous healings, and casting out demons. In today's Gospel, we hear how yet another person had been carried to Jesus to be healed. But before even addressing the man's paralysis, Jesus first tells him, "Your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5). This is the kind of Savior Jesus is. His divine power extends beyond physical needs to also touch the deep spiritual wounds that sin inflicts on our hearts.

God still carries out this mission of forgiveness and healing today. Through the power of the Spirit at work in the Church, he still breaks into people's lives with the freeing power of divine mercy. Like the people in Galilee, we too come to Jesus with our wounded hearts and our need for forgiveness. And as he did back then, still today he forgives.

Jesus wants to forgive us. He wants to forgive you, no matter how inconsequential or grievous you think your sins are. All he asks is that you come to him so that you can experience the freedom and healing he came to bring.

Today in prayer, ask the Lord for forgiveness. This can feel difficult to do at times. The devil is always trying to keep you from reaching out for God's mercy. He is always trying to convince you to condemn yourself and to despair of ever being forgiven. He wants you to think that you must fix yourself up before God will love you. But these are all lies.

So confess your sins. It's true that only God can forgive—but it's also true that he doesn't hold back! Jesus longs to heal your wounded heart. He longs to free you of your burden of guilt. Accept his offer—today.

"Jesus, thank you for forgiving my sins."

Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Psalm 78:3-4, 6-8


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest,
so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience."

We all dream of a world where there is no hurt, no pain, no anxiety, no suffering, and everybody calls this Heaven, and many have tried to make a human "eutopia" on earth to make it happen, and it often falls short, or on their face, and why? We miss the mark. Sin enters the scene, because we are talking about how things were with Adam and Eve. So how can we have rest? Only through obedience to God our Father, to follow the Christ, our Savior, and to trust in Him who sees and is only a whisper away.


We pray today;
"And not be like their fathers, a generation wayward and rebellious,
A generation that kept not its heart steadfast nor its spirit faithful toward God. Do not forget the works of the Lord"

And so, if the eutopia cannot truly exist on earth, can it exist in the next life? Our Lord does say that there is rest, and that there is unrest. Sin causes unrest. Distrust causes unrest and anxiety. Therefore, let us turn to Him, and trust in Him for all our cares.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
–he said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."

From Bishop Barron today:
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus says matter-of-factly, before healing the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." Shocked, the Pharisees respond, "He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
They were quite right, of course, which is the whole point. If you had hurt me, I could with some legitimacy offer you my personal forgiveness of your offense. But if someone else had harmed you, I could scarcely offer that person my forgiveness for his sin. The only way that such a statement could be anything but blasphemous would be if I were the one who is offended in every sin. And this is what the Pharisees correctly intuit.
G.K. Chesterton said that even those who reject the doctrine of the Incarnation (like the Pharisees) are different for having heard it. The claim that God became one of us changes the imagination, compelling a reassessment of both God and the world. This odd assertion is made, implicitly or explicitly, on practically every page of the New Testament.
Therefore, when Jesus forgives the paralytic's sin, the Pharisees respond that only God can forgive sins, thereby, despite themselves, professing faith in the Good News.
. . .
Remember that Christ is everything, and that He embodies the church, the body of Christ itself. He forgave the paralyzed man, in the name of the whole church that was offended by his personal offenses. You see, the paralyzed man is a perfect depiction of the spiritual realms. What we see on the external, is something going on in the internal aspects of the mind, body, spirit, and soul. This is the whole point of the Holy Sacraments.
And so, when we see a paralyzed man in scripture, it means someone that has been unable to care for themselves, unable to move, spiritually. It took a few strong men to get him back to walking...and this means a group of faithful people bringing a lost soul to love God, in full communion with our Lord.
And can you believe this still happens today? I'm involved in many ministries, and the most fruitful ones, take much work, and by much work, I mean, much sacrifice. And my hope is that, in my works, that God will see my faith in bringing a paralyzed soul to Him...and for me to be blessed along the way as a byproduct, or even a symbiotic relationship. How can I explain?

Remember that man coming to me after Mass? Humberto. He came asking me for money yesterday for an injection that he can't afford in hopes to help stop having seizures and to be able to walk straight. Well, internally, I'm hoping that if he heals, then I may heal too as I am having some ear problems lately. Why do I say this? Because, we are bonded together through Christ, and everything is funneled through Him, everything from God, and our life to God from here funnels through Christ. Therefore, never reject someone in great need, or even the smallest need, as if to give a glass of water with great love, to someone who did not even ask...and the thirst of Christ is then quenched on the cross.

Lord, I hope I can love You as I ought, help me seek You, help me find You, help me Love you with all my heart, with all my strength, with all my soul, so that Your body will do God's holy will.



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John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son1 from the Father, full of grace and truth.


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