Friday, March 3, 2023

† "..if you bring your gift. . "


†Saint Quote
"Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading."
–St. Isidore of Seville

†Today's Meditation
"As a result of the virtue of temperance, the body and our senses find the right place which pertains to them in our human condition. A temperate man is one who is master of himself. One in whom passions do not prevail over reason, will, and even the 'heart'. A man who can control himself! If this is so, we can easily realize what a fundamental and radical value the virtue of temperance has."
–Thomas J. Olmsted, p.104
Manual for Men

†Daily Verse
"But who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from hidden faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression."
–Psalm 19: 12-13

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St. Katharine Drexel

St. Katharine Drexel (1858-1955) was a wealthy heiress from a prominent family in Philadelphia. From a young age she felt called to serve the spiritual and temporal needs of the underprivileged, particularly the African American and Native American communities. She learned the virtue of charity from her parents, who often opened their home to the poor. She began by donating money, but quickly realized this would not bring the lasting change these communities desperately needed. During an audience with Pope Leo XIII she requested that a religious order be sent to manage the institutions she was funding. In response, the Pope suggested that she herself enter the religious life for this purpose. St. Katharine then founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. From the age of 33 until her death in 1955, Katharine invested her personal fortune of 20 million dollars in this cause. She helped build the first missions school for Native Americans in Santa Fe, and founded Xavier University in New Orleans. At the time of her death, more than 500 sisters of her order taught in over 60 schools which had been founded throughout the country. Katharine Drexel was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in the year 2000, making her the second American-born saint. Her feast day is March 3rd.


Friday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 228

Reading I

Ez 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,

if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,

he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;

he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?

says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way

that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,

the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,

can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,

because he has broken faith and committed sin;

because of this, he shall die.
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:

Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,

it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,

does what is right and just,

he shall preserve his life;

since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,

he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm

130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;

LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive

to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,

LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,

that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;

my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD

more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness

and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel

from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Verse before the Gospel

Ez 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.


Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

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Go first and be reconciled with your brother. (Matthew 5:24)

Some friendships can be like fine porcelain. They are easy to break but difficult to mend.

We all know how painful it is to experience a friend's betrayal or rejection. It's one of the most difficult things a person can endure. That helps explain why it can be hard to forgive someone who has hurt us deeply. In some cases, though, this failure to forgive can do more harm than the act that initially hurt us. If left alone, wounds like these have a tendency to fester and grow larger and larger.

This is one reason why Jesus commanded us to forgive. He knows how much damage unforgiveness can cause. Yet at the same time, he doesn't underestimate how difficult this call can be. After all, Jesus himself endured the betrayal of a close friend. Imagine how he must have wept over Judas! Still, Jesus urges—he even commands—us to forgive, to be reconciled, and to let go of past hurts. He went so far as to say that the degree to which we forgive one another is the degree to which we will know his Father's forgiveness (Matthew 18:35).

There is simply no way around it. We have to forgive. It may sound too demanding, but remember Jesus and the mercy he has shown to us. He has a storehouse of love to make up for our lack. He can help us when our hearts are hard or bitter.

Oftentimes, forgiveness happens over time and in gradual layers—and Jesus knows that. He is not as concerned with whether we have forgiven everyone completely as he is concerned that we keep our hearts soft and ask him for the grace to be a bit more merciful each day. So take one more step today toward being reconciled with your brothers and sisters! Let the love of Christ fill you so that you can give that same love and mercy to all the people in your life.

"Lord Jesus, only you can mend broken hearts and heal wounded souls. Make me whole by the power of your Spirit. Give me the grace to forgive."

Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8


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From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
_" You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:

Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?"_

Yesterday I was in pain...more after my daughter's doctor appointment. I ask for prayers...I passed a kidney stone this morning and my daughter has had extreme anxiety. Please pray we heal back to normal or even better.
You see, we are broken...and then molded anew...amen? And this is the point if come out a new person in Christ...a living and a being of light.


We pray today:
_"I trust in the LORD;

my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD

more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

Let Israel wait for the LORD. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?"
Are my ways better than His?
Are my thoughts better?
It's always an argument with our Lord...even with some very holy people....such arguments are in the end about an intercession usually...and asking for God's will to help us...our way...tough cookies...right?


In the Gospel today we heard our Lord:
"I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven."

It's hard to believe...and many don't want to hear it...but only saints are in Heaven.
And did you know you were born this way?
You were made for more. To strive and reach for the Heavens like the off the light and giving food and protection yourself.
Such is the case of Lent. We are pruned. We are getting rid of the unnecessary and bringing on the

From Bishop Barron:

Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus commands us to be reconciled with one another. I want to say something about the role of forgiveness in repairing our broken relationships.

When you are at worship and realize that you need to forgive someone (or be forgiven by someone), go and do it. Go get reconciled, then come back. It's like a rule of physics. There is something hidden in the deep mystery of God, and I can't fully explicate it. Somehow, if there is a lack of forgiveness in you, it blocks the movement of God in you. Perhaps it's simply because God is love, and so whatever is opposed to love in us blocks the flow of God's power and God's life.

One reason we do not forgive is that we feel that some injustice has been done to us, and we resent it. A good cure for this feeling is to kneel before the cross of Jesus. What do you see there? The innocent Son of God nailed to the cross—the ultimate injustice. What does he do? He forgives his persecutors. Meditate on that, and your sense of being treated unjustly will fade away. - Bishop Barron

Must the innocent suffer injustice? Apparently so!
But suffering can be offered to a sign of it is a love offering.
And if you will believe me....God loves love offerings.
Not sin offerings...not leftovers offerings...but real pain staking works of love that reveal who God really is.

Lord help us offer real love in Heaven.


from your brother


Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 84:11

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

the LORD bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does he withhold

from those who walk uprightly.


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God Bless You! Peace

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