Thursday, February 9, 2023

† ".. it is not right to take .... "


†Saint Quote
"Every pious desire, every good thought, every charitable work inspired by the love of Jesus, contributes to the perfection of the whole body of the faithful. A person who does nothing more than lovingly pray to God for his brethren, participates in the great work of saving souls."
–Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

†Today's Meditation
"Jesus trembled and shuddered as He stood before the pillar, and took off His garments as quickly as He could, but His hands were bloody and swollen. The only return He made when His brutal executioners struck and abused Him was to pray for them in the most touching manner: He turned His face once toward His Mother, who was standing overcome with grief; this look quite unnerved her: she fainted, and would have fallen, had not the holy women who were there supported her. Jesus put His arms around the pillar, and when His hands were thus raised, the archers fastened them to the iron ring which was at the top of the pillar; they then dragged His arms to such a height that His feet, which were tightly bound to the base of the pillar, scarcely touched the ground. Thus was the Holy of Holies violently stretched, without a particle of clothing, on a pillar used for the punishment of criminals; and then did two furious ruffians who were thirsting for His blood begin in the most barbarous manner to scourge His sacred body from head to foot."
—Bl. Anne Cathrine Emmerich, p. 218-219

An Excerpt From
The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

†Daily Verse
"But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated."
–Hebrews 10:12-14


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Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) was born in Germany to a devout peasant family. From a young age she received divine knowledge imparted to her through extremely detailed visions of the lives of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. As a child her guardian angel often appeared to her, and Jesus himself visited her while she was tending sheep. The suffering souls in purgatory often called upon her assistance to offer prayers and penances on their behalf. At the age of 28, after many years of longing for the religious life, Anne Catherine entered the novitiate with the Augustinians. She devoted her life to waging a spiritual battle for suffering souls, and in her great charity she accepted extreme physical, yet supernatural, sufferings which ultimately left her bedridden. This strange phenomena of physical suffering for the spiritual condition of other souls was not always accepted by others, and she endured much ridicule due to the astonishing manner in which her experiences displayed themselves. Her daily visions gave her special insight into the spiritual realm which have been recorded into now-popular books, and were used to discover what is believed to be the house of Mary in Ephesus. Her feast day is February 9th.


Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 2:18-25

The LORD God said:
"It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him."
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs
and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman
the rib that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:

"This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called 'woman,'
for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."

That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R. (see 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia Jas 1:21bc

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, "Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs."
She replied and said to him,
"Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps."
Then he said to her, "For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter."
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.


Daily Meditation: Mark 7:24-30

It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs. (Mark 7:27)

This Syrophoenician woman sure had some chutzpah! When Jesus seemed to refuse her request to heal her daughter, she wouldn't have it. Perhaps she understood that Jesus wasn't rejecting her. Perhaps she sensed that, even though his mission was first to the people of Israel, he wasn't pushing her aside. Rather, he was inviting her to step out in faith.

And look at how she responded! She took a risk and refused to take no for an answer. She was demonstrating her faith, as some of the heroes of the Old Testament did. Think of Abraham, who boldly bargained with God not to destroy Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33). Or Moses, who risked divine vengeance as he begged God not to punish the Israelites for worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32:9-14). Or even Gideon, who balked at the assurance that he was the "mighty warrior" chosen to defeat Israel's enemies—so he asked God for a sign to prove it (Judges 6:1-22).

Maybe, like this Syrophoenician woman or those in the examples above, Jesus is inviting you to step out in faith. Like them, you can learn to approach Jesus respectfully but boldly. Maybe your spouse didn't get the promotion you felt she deserved, and the injustice of the situation gnaws at your heart. Have the confidence to go before the Lord and tell him, "This just doesn't make sense!" Maybe plans for a much-needed vacation or reunion fell through; pour out your disappointment to the Lord. When you've been praying for a friend with a terminal illness for what seems like forever, take the risk of looking foolish and keep on petitioning the Lord for a healing.

It's tempting to play it safe and ignore the promptings in your heart to approach the Lord boldly. It might be easier to resign yourself to the status quo and assume that things just aren't meant to get any better. But at times like those, remember the woman in today's Gospel. Who knows what Jesus might do when you take a risk, refuse to give up, and keep asking him to hear and answer you?

"Lord, teach me how to pray with fearlessness!"

Genesis 2:18-25
Psalm 128:1-5


From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."

Why is this story about the beginning of man and woman?
Because, ultimately, it would be about Christ and His Love, His companion, the Holy Church.
Out of His side, on the cross, out of His ribs, would come forth the blood and water to make a new creation, a new covenant, a beautiful companion, unlike what had happened to God's people, that had the Messiah crucified.

And it is on us today, to be that beautiful wife.
It is my job as a husband to make my wife beautiful. Am I speaking materialistic stuff, like the worldly sees beauty with plastic surgery, and all sorts of fads and trends to make her look beautiful and fake? No. Over the years, my wife has turned into a blossoming beautiful soul for God, and I've had the honor of witnessing the transformation. There is no comparison to a beautiful soul. It is like a treasure in the field, and then an olive tree, that makes for healing fruit. And I'm not merely talking about me and my wife but about Christ and His Church. He is constantly working with us His bride from His side, to make us more beautiful, to help us see that there is more to offer...the world, and He would love to join us in mind, body, and spirit, to see to it that the light of Christ makes Heaven rejoice always and the love of the two made one flesh, and this happens in the Holy Eucharist.


We pray today:
"Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord"


In the Gospel today we heard:
"The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter."

There has been lately, in our world, and I'm relatively speaking, within the last 100 years, the most persecutions against Christians than ever before, and demonic activity is on the rise, and people are opening their eyes at how more obvious its, for instance, the music awards shows within the last couple weeks, they dress up as demons and dance to appease the demonic attention, and also, the satanic temple, satanists are opening up abortion clinics, nearby my own state and in other states. Whereas they've done it secretly, now it is becoming open for the world to see what has always been working in the back scenes.

What can I make of this personally? Now the head of the serpent is coming out, whereas before it was not seen. Now is the time to strike at the head. Now is the time for you to make a turn, make a move in your spirituality, to stamp out evil in our world. How?
Let us take to the example of the greek lady, and in Matthew it is said she was from Cana, the canines, the dogs of the world, because they were pagans to the extreme. She pestered our Lord. She saw Him and caught Him and begged Him. Now is not the time to be silent in prayer, but to catch sight of our Lord whence you seek him.
What am I saying?
I'm saying it is time to move! Make the move that moves our Lord's heart! Too many of us want to be loved and not many of us want to BE THAT Love.

What am I saying?
It is darkness when light implodes. We were meant to give off light, not soak it all in.
I am saying that our Lord is merciful.
The persistent follower was not a Jew.
Yet He saved her daughter.
She had no time to be converted and go through all the rituals, she needed salvation now!
Too often, people have to check so many checkboxes, in our hearts, in our homes, in our work, in our parishes, just to be welcomed into the realms of life giving love we can offer.
That person dying can't visit a priest....they can't even speak!

Now what? We get sad when God doesn't hear us, and seems to be ignoring us.

Take a cue from the greek woman from Cana: never give up.
Our Lord is not far away. He hears you.
Our Lord is not mad or bad. He awaits the perfect time.
In the meantime, our duty to our Spouse, is fidelity...and obedience, all things that say "I love you" in the truest sense of the bond.

Jesus, I Trust In You.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Matthew 18:20

[Matthew 18]

20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."


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