Tuesday, January 17, 2023

† "..That is why the . "


†Saint Quote
"One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain."
–St. Antony Of The Desert

†Today's Meditation
"To pray is to converse with God Himself, honoring Him with the virtue of religion and entering into intimacy and familiar company with Him by means of the three theological virtues, which, since they cause us to share in the mutual knowledge and love of the three Divine Persons, unite us with Them in ever-increasing measure—and by means of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which put us under the loving direction and influence of this divine Comforter, and which are the mystic eyes with which the Lamb who is slain enables us to penetrate the marvels of the book of His mysteries (Rev. 5:6)."
—J.G Arintero, O.P., p.

An Excerpt From
Stages in Prayer

†Daily Verse
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation."
–Psalm 68:19


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St. Antony of the Desert

St. Anthony of the Desert (251–356 A.D.), also known as St. Anthony the Great (or St. Antony the Great) and also St. Anthony of Egypt, was a leading figure among the Desert Fathers, the early Christian monks who lived in the Egyptian desert in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The story of his life was written by St. Athanasius of Alexandria. St. Anthony's parents were wealthy, and after their death Anthony desired to conform himself to the manner of life of the Apostles and early Christians. On hearing these words from the Gospel of Matthew in church, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me," St. Anthony left everything behind to live a life of prayer, fasting, self-denial, and labor. Whenever he heard of other holy people living in this manner, he would visit them to learn from their virtues in order to imitate them. He eventually removed himself from all society and became the first Christian to live a life of consecrated solitude. He occasionally left his hermitage for pressing matters, once to encourage persecuted Christians, and another time to support Pope Athanasius against the heresy of Arius. St. Anthony died at the age of one hundred and five. His feast day is January 17th.


Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbott

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Anthony, abbot

Reading 1 Heb 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.
When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10c

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart

in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,

exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;

gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;

he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;

he has ratified his covenant forever;

holy and awesome is his name.

His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See Eph 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
"Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
He said to them,
"Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?"
Then he said to them,
"The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."


Daily Meditation: Mark 2:23-28

The sabbath was made for man. (Mark 2:27)

Jesus' disciples must have been hungry, so as they walked through a field of grain, they picked the heads of the grain to eat. But some Pharisees objected. It was the Sabbath, and they considered it a violation of the "no work" rule. Jesus' answer must have surprised them: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). What did he mean?

Of course, Jesus knew that God had instituted the Sabbath as a commemoration of the seventh day of creation when he rested from the work of creation. From the time of Moses, it was a day to honor God and his deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). But Jesus also knew that the Sabbath was meant to be a blessing for the people. After six days of work, they needed a day to worship God and to rest from their labors.

The Sabbath is still meant to be a blessing for us. We are blessed every Sunday when we gather in worship to commemorate Jesus' resurrection and to receive his Body and Blood. Our hearts are lifted up as we look forward to that time when we will enjoy an eternal sabbath of joy and celebration in the presence of the Lord (Hebrews 4:9-11).

But it's good to be reminded that the Sabbath is also a day of rest. God gave it to us as a break from our daily routine so that we could refocus and reorient our lives around him and the people he has given to us. Resting on the Sabbath can help us mentally detach from the concerns of the week and experience peace. It might give us a chance to reflect on how God has been moving in our lives so that we can follow him more closely in the week to come.

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made "for man"—and that includes you (Mark 2:27)! So as you look ahead to the coming weekend, think about what you could do to set this day apart. How might you make it different from other days of the week? Perhaps you could spend a little extra time in prayer, or go for a walk, or enjoy a relaxing meal with loved ones. Whatever you decide, know that when you take the time to rest on the Sabbath, you will experience God's grace and goodness.

"Lord, thank you for your sabbath rest."

Hebrews 6:10-20
Psalm 111:1-2, 4-5, 9-10


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever..."

Back to the priest thing, right? And the offerings, and the highest of all angels and priests....Jesus, our Lord, God from God, Light from light! Jesus has entered...behind the veil. When? Some would say He's been there all along, but it is interesting to note how the veil of the highest temple was tore in half when our Lord gave His life on the cross. He entered where nobody else would enter....the realms of eternity, on our behalf, as the first born of the dead, to end death forever, to open the gates of Heaven, our Lord is the new Moses, of the Exodus of life itself, the very bread too, the sustenance to get us there, this is all too amazing, especially because it is all very real and true in the Holy Catholic Church.


We pray today;
"He has won renown for his wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the LORD. He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant."


In the Gospel today we heard:
""Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?"

This must've hurt the ears of the Pharisees as they probably thought "is this guy for real? Did He just call Himself David? What authority gives Him that right?" But to your ears? How does it sound that you are now given the right to eat of the bread of God? Because the Jews always called this bread something special, they called it "The Bread of The Presence". It wasn't just any bread! And what's funny is that you can ask most people of just about any religion to come into our Holy Mass and they will flat out tell you they can feel the presence of God there in Holy Mass!
It is because of the Eucharist. No matter what our feelings say, our souls KNOW. And that is what gets me. We go by human senses, but He goes beyond. We go by what we know, but He goes beyond.
Our visual knowing of a person is not the actual person, it goes deeper than how somebody looks. The soul is what counts. There is the beauty that God sees.

How beautiful can you become, then, is the question. If people can beautify their physical self, it is much more easier to beautify the soul for God.

What is this all about? It is about a Sacred, beautiful temple for God to dwell...inside your very heart, your very self!

You see, the Pharisees could not internalize what God was doing. For them, it was all materialistic, physical things. The new wine skin didn't make sense. The new person of Christ didn't fit their expectations of a Messiah. They wanted sheer physical power to defeat their enemies, like Samson, or physical manifestations like when Moses brought out his people from slavery.

But instead, our Lord takes bread, some wheat, and speaks, and people are healed, and people are nourished, and people change. Everything He touches, flourishes...or if not, dies. You see, we can flourish, giving fruit for the day He arrives, and that is where we are heading.
The Sabbath was made for man, then, to flourish, to be one with God. The Seventh day, the Sabbath, was the kick off to the 8th day...Heaven. This then, what live is a precursor of what is to come. I am asking us to bring souls to this common unity, the common union...the Holy Communion, the what that He is gathering, to make bread for the world, through Himself, and in each of us.
It goes deep doesn't it...and we are scratching the surface.

Lord, what we make with what we God can be amazing, if only You show us and help us open our hearts ever more, in solidarity, and solid trust in Your Holy way.



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Galatians 1:10

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant1 of Christ.


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God Bless You! Peace

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