Thursday, March 9, 2023

† ".Let Them Listen To. .... "


†Saint Quote
"Realize it, my brethren; —every one who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random; . . . God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, He lodges it in the body, one by one, for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in His sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also."
–St. John Henry Newman

†Today's Meditation
"How they need to be cleansed, these poor feet with which we touch the earth! Even though the head that thinks, the heart that loves, the hands that act may pursue ends which are pure, yet our feet trail in the dust and are soiled by the mud from the road they tread. We need the pitcher of water and the touch of the Savior's hands. We need submission to cleansing grace if, with Peter protesting and yet converted, we will "have part" in the gift Jesus brings: "If I was thee not, thou shalt have no part with me." A moment later Jesus shows that the washing of the feet has still another meaning, He speaks of His Apostles, and of the unity that He has come to establish between them and Him, a unity like that between Him and His Father. Jesus washes the feet of the Twelve to prepare them for their journeys across the earth. Purity and humility are the condition of love; and love is the soul of the apostolate.
—A.G. Sertillanges, p. 58-59

An Excerpt From
What Jesus Saw from the Cross

†Daily Verse
"Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intervene; then his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in fury as a mantle."
–Isaiah 59: 15-17


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St. Frances of Rome

St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440) was born to a noble family in Rome. As a young girl her desire to become a nun was refused by her father, who instead arranged her marriage at the age of 12. St. Frances accepted this as God's will for her life. She was married for 40 years and had children, two of whom died from the plague. In her time Rome was at war and the city was in chaos from political disarray and widespread disease. St. Frances responded by converting her home into a hospital. She drove with a wagon into the streets and collected the sick and stranded in order to care for them. She miraculously cured many people, and also began the city's first orphanage. She inspired many women to join her in this life of prayer and good works, and eventually founded a congregation of lay oblates attached to the Benedictine monastery known as the Oblates of St. Frances of Rome. After her husband's death she entered religious life as the group's superior. One of the great mystics of her time, she dictated 97 visions and was visibly guided by her guardian angel throughout her life. St. Frances of Rome is the patron saint of many causes, including motorists, pilots, women, widows, and against plague and the death of children. On her feast day many priests bless cars due to her patronage of cars and drivers. Her feast day is March 9th.


Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading 1 Jer 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (40:5a)Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before the Gospel See Lk 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

Gospel Lk 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
Abraham replied, 'My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.'
He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father's house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
Then Abraham said,
'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.'"


Daily Meditation: Luke 16:19-31

If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead. (Luke 16:31)

The rich man in Jesus' parable probably wasn't a cruel or mean person. He didn't even try to shoo Lazarus away from his door. No, his sin was in failing to notice Lazarus at all. Lazarus was "invisible" to him—just an obstacle to step over when he left the house. But now, Lazarus is at Abraham's side while the rich man is in torment.

When the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers so that they don't end up suffering the same fate, Abraham's response is telling. If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets in the Scriptures, then they won't listen to Lazarus if he should come to them with a message from beyond the grave (Luke 16:31).

What if, during his lifetime, this man had spent more time pondering the Scriptures? He would have reflected on what Moses had commanded: "Open your hand freely to your poor and to your needy kin in your land" (Deuteronomy 15:11). He would have considered Isaiah's words: "Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose: . . . Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry, bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house?" (58:6, 7). He would have profited from the wisdom in Proverbs: "Whoever cares for the poor lends to the Lord, who will pay back the sum in full" (19:17). Then maybe he would have seen Lazarus at his door and responded with heavenly compassion.

Scripture has the power to open our eyes to the needs around us. It can also shed light on what's going on in our hearts and convict us to change our ways when our actions don't line up with what God desires. He wants us to care for the "least brothers" (Matthew 25:40), but first he has to open our eyes to their presence among us—especially those right in front us.

As you reflect on the words of Scripture today and every day, let them penetrate your heart. Let them change the way you see the world and the people you encounter. Let them help you see as God sees so that you don't miss a Lazarus at your door.

"Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the needs around me, and then give me the grace to act on them."

Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1:1-4, 6


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From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD."

This was one of my dad's favorite sayings. He knew full well that we cannot fully trust in man.
What's funny, is that after he passed away, a year ago, his most trusted employees, the main operator supervisor, his go to guy in many projects and his most trusted and faithful driver, both left me hanging after his passing, and started up their own business and trying to take away our business too.
And so it is, a woman trusts her husband, or a man makes the woman the center of his life, and the spouse leaves them...devastated, to the point of no consolation in desolation, in the desert of the spiritual life.
Who or what do you cling to most?
It should be less of the world, and more of our Heavenly Lord.


We pray today:
"Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night.
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord."


In the Gospel today we heard our Lord:
"And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.'

They say that in the life after our death, that the senses are heightened are at a whole new level, all senses, sight, smells, and hearing is on a whole new wave length.
But, what about this whole thirst thing? This rich man we heard about is suffering, and wants his tongue cooled with water.
This rich man is not named. And this is peculiar to me. But the name Lazarus is mentioned. The rich man's name was forgotten, but not the poor suffering soul's name.
What's even crazier? The rich man KNEW the poor man's name, knew him by name! But didn't offer him a place? In his heart?

As a business person in charge of many things, I always get many asking for favors or loans. And I'm always mindful of what is at stake.
I remember the story of a very beautiful soul, the late and Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I remember a story of him traveling with someone whom I believe was his nephew, and a man came up and asked them for money. The nephew had doubts about the man really needing that money, and he reproached Archbishop Fulton Sheen, "how do you know if he really needs that money?" And the blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen replied "I don't know, but I can't take that chance".

Either we will decide to have faith, or not.
Either we will decide to err on the side of love or not.
We cannot live our lives taking chances...and judging.
One guy that keeps bugging me, is perhaps a great backstabber to yours truly. But so long as he keeps asking, I feel compelled to move and take my chances on true love.
I cannot trust man. But God has entrusted us with His love, His treasures, His children, His flock, and His vineyard.

Lord, who is Lazarus in my life? Who are they? Show me the way!


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Random Bible Verse
2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,1 not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.


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