Tuesday, January 24, 2023

† "..For Whoever Does The . . " 1


†Saint Quote
"We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God." St. Francis de Sales

†Today's Meditation
"Always give good heed to the Word of God, whether you hear or read it in private, or hearken to it when publicly preached: listen with attention and reverence; seek to profit by it, and do not let the precious words fall unheeded; receive them into your heart as a costly balsam; imitate the Blessed Virgin who 'kept all the sayings' concerning her Son, 'in her heart.' And remember that according as we hearken to and receive God's words, so will He hearken and receive our supplications."
—St. Francis de Sales, p. 99
Cover image from the book, An Introduction to the Devout Life
An Excerpt From An Introduction to the Devout Life
Recommended Reads

†Daily Verse

"Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works." Hebrews 10:23-24


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St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622) was born to a noble family in France. He enjoyed a privileged upbringing and education, earning a doctorate in law and theology. He was a well-liked and intelligent man, yet quiet and reserved. When struggling with thoughts of his possibly being predestined to eternal damnation, Francis went into a deep two-year depression. God healed him of this fear, and afterwards Francis consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He later became a priest, rejecting the lucrative career and advantageous marriage his father had prepared for him. As a priest, St. Francis became a prolific writer and preacher, and at the age of 35 was made bishop of the Calvinist stronghold in Geneva, Switzerland, at the height of the Protestant revolt against the Church. Through his gentleness, preaching skill, zeal for the faith, and his clear explanations of Catholic doctrine, he returned thousands of obstinate heretics to the true Faith. He also used sign language to convert the deaf. St. Francis de Sales is a Doctor of the Church, known especially for his writings on practical spiritual direction for lay people. He is the patron of teachers, the deaf, the Catholic press, confessors, educators, and authors. His feast day is January 24th.


Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Heb 10:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come,
and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect
those who come to worship by the same sacrifices
that they offer continually each year.
Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered,
since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer
have had any consciousness of sins?
But in those sacrifices there is only a yearly remembrance of sins,
for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, As is written of me in the scroll,
Behold, I come to do your will, O God.

First he says, Sacrifices and offerings,
burnt offerings and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, Behold, I come to do your will.
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this "will," we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 10, 11

R. (8a and 9a) Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R. Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.

Alleluia Mt 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
"Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you."
But he said to them in reply,
"Who are my mother and my brothers?"
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."


Daily Meditation: Mark 3:31-35

Who are my mother and my brothers? (Mark 3:33

Who is your family? If someone asked you this question, you may think of parents, siblings, spouse, or children, or maybe beloved cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

In today's Gospel, Jesus introduces a new family that he is building for us, one that goes beyond bloodlines. This is the family of faith, united in love for Jesus and each other.

What does this family look like? It encompasses every age, race, nationality, culture, and income level. That's a lot of people!

Although we will sometimes practice our faith alone—for instance, in times of quiet prayer or Bible reading—Jesus always meant for us to live and worship in community as well. He knew we would need the witness of others to build up our faith. He also knew that we would need leaders who could teach and explain the ways of the Lord to us. We need brothers and sisters to empathize with us, to grieve, rejoice, pray, sing, and share with us. And of course, God wants us not just to be on the receiving end of that support, but also on the giving end.

As wonderful as our spiritual family is, like any family, it's not immune to conflict. We often don't live up to our commitment to love Jesus and each other the way we should. And we may feel sad when someone close to us doesn't share our beliefs or has lost their way or pulled away from us.

That's why Jesus wants us to try to stay true to our Christian family, as imperfect as it is, and to deepen our relationships with each other. He knows we can develop a more intimate spiritual family around us, even if we start small. Is there someone in your parish whom God may be asking you to get to know a little better? Is there a Bible study or parish ministry you've been thinking of joining?

Whatever you do, remember that with Jesus as the head of this family, you're always in good hands. He has claimed you as his own brother or sister and given you a host of siblings to help you on your path of discipleship.

"Jesus, thank you for calling me into your very own family! By your Spirit, help us all to build a community of faith and love."

Hebrews 10:1-10
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10-11


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me"

There's those who go to Mass with money to offer, time to offer, but no heart for God to come live inside of themselves. This is the greater atrocity, that we do not give Him what HE truly goes deep.


We pray today;
" Here am I Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, "Behold I come." Here am I Lord; I come to do your will."


In the Gospel today we heard:
""Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother."

From a spanish reflection today:
"While Jesus is teaching, someone comes to tell him that his mother and his brothers are looking for him. Jesus takes advantage of the occasion to proclaim the birth of the new family of those who follow him, who are those who do the will of the Father and live according to his teachings.
And how to know what the will of God is? We often look for the will of God where it seems to us it should be, but we forget that the will of the Father is manifested to us in a concrete way and through concrete people and circumstances. As Pablo Domínguez said: «We are scandalized by the concrete, while we love the generic. We are all generic saints when we say: "Your will be done... I give you my soul, my life and my heart... but not my stuffed animal" "I obey you in your eternal designs, I embrace you with sublimity..." But then they come to you So you have to go on such a mission and that's it... Not something concrete anymore!"
Ultimately, we hope that God will accept our idea of what his will should be and help us to fulfill that will, instead of learning to discover and accept his in the concrete situations in which he puts us on a daily basis. We must learn to look at our daily life, everything that comes our way, with the eyes of God; there, in everyday situations, the will of God is revealed to us.
The temptation is not to see the will of God in those circumstances that surround us, to ignore them because they are so habitual and insignificant, and try to discover another "will of God" that better fits our idea of what it should be.
The answer lies in accepting that those things are where God's will is truly shown to us, and acting accordingly at every moment of the day, trustingly abandoning ourselves to God's will.

Obedience to God's will entails suffering, cross. Jesus also "learned to obey by suffering" (Heb 5:8). And for that you have to die a little every day. Obedience to God requires conversion, but it is an obedience that we can always carry out. And we must not look for the cross, it comes without asking for it, and we must accept it, as Christ embraced the cross, because our cross is not ours, it is Christ's, and Christ calls us to co-redeem with Him, to be obedient to Him by Dad.
For this, let us contemplate the obedient Christ, Christ fulfilling the will of the Father, so that, following Him as disciples, members of His family, we too can say to the Lord: Thy will be done."
-Sister Cristina Tobaruela O.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus identifies as his mother and brothers those who do the will of God.
The proper attitude in the presence of the saving God is obedience and acquiescence, imitating his moves, responding to his commands, doing whatever he tells us. To live the good life is not finally a matter of autonomy but of obeying commandments: "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love."
Mind you, listening to commands is tied closely to love on the part of the one who commands, and since love is nothing but the willing of the good of the other, the obedience that Jesus speaks of is a surrender to the one who massively wants what is best for the surrenderer.
When, through faith, we see every moment and every creature as an ingredient in the divine plan, we live in joyful surrender and with a sense of wonder. What is God doing for me now? What path is opening up to me? Why did God send that person, that trial, that pleasure to me just now?"_

It is the will of God, what God our Father wants, that we follow His Way of love, to bring love to Love and this is your calling.

Lord, I love, help me to love more and rightly and justly, as You do in Heaven, so that I may become what You desire, Your child.


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Random Bible Verse 1
2 Corinthians 5:17

[2 Corinthians 5]

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.1 The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


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