Tuesday, April 4, 2023

† "Where I Am Going . . "

holy week1

†Saint Quote
"Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly, do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God."
–St. Isidore of Seville

†Today's Meditation
"There is good reason to be astonished that men should sin so boldly in the sight of Heaven and earth and show so little fear of the most high God. Yet it is a much greater cause of astonishment that while we multiply our iniquities beyond the sands of the sea and have so great a need for God to be kind and indulgent, we are nevertheless so demanding ourselves. Such indignity and such injustice! We want God to suffer everything from us, and we are not able to suffer anything from anyone. We exaggerate beyond measure the faults committed against us; worms that we are, we take the slightest pressure exerted on us to be an enormous attack. Meanwhile, we count as nothing what we undertake proudly against the sovereign majesty of God and the rights of his empire! Blind and wretched mortals: will we always be so sensitive and delicate? Will we never open our eyes to the truth? Will we never understand that the one who does injury to us is always much more to be pitied than are we who receive the injury? . . . Since those who do evil to us are unhealthy in mind, why do we embitter them by our cruel vengeance? Why do we not rather seek to bring them back to reason by our patience and mildness? Yet we are far removed from these charitable dispositions. Far from making the effort at self-command that would enable us to endure an injury, we think that we are lowering ourselves if we do not take pride in being delicate in points of honor. We even think well of ourselves for our extreme sensitivity. And we carry our resentment beyond all measure . . . All of this must stop . . . We must take care of what we say and bridle our malicious anger and unruly tongues. For there is a God in Heaven who has told us that he will demand a reckoning of our 'careless words' (Matt. 12:36): what recompense shall he exact for those which are harmful and malicious? We ought, therefore, to revere his eyes and his presence. Let us ponder the fact that he will judge us as we have judged our neighbor."
—Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 49-51

An Excerpt From
Meditations for Lent

†Daily Verse
"God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like hinds' feet, he makes me tread upon my high places."
–Habakkuk 3:19


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St. Isidore of Seville

St. Isidore of Seville (560 – 636 A.D.) was born in Carthagena, Spain, to noble and pious parents. After the example of their parents, he, as well as his two brothers and sister, all became saints. Isidore received his early education at the cathedral school in Seville where a group of learned men taught classical education, among them was his brother Leander, the Archbishop of Seville. The cathedral school was the first of its kind in the country and Isidore excelled in his studies there. He became a man of great learning, zeal, piety, and apostolic endeavor, assisting his brother in converting the Visigoths from the Arian heresy. He followed his brother in becoming next Archbishop of Seville, leading his diocese for nearly 40 years. Isidore was an important saint for his time. He was one of the most learned men of the 6th century and is considered the last of the early Church Fathers. He was a prolific writer on the sciences and the classics which in effect helped preserve western civilization during the early middle ages following the barbarian invasions. He composed history books, a dictionary with a structure akin to a database, and an encyclopedia which was used for nine centuries. St. Isidore reunited Spain after the barbarian onslaught, making it a center of culture and learning. He required seminaries to be built in every diocese, wrote a rule for religious orders, and founded schools that taught every branch of learning. Spain then became a model for similar renewal in other European countries. For his great learning and written works he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIV. St. Isidore of Seville is the patron of computers, schoolchildren, and the internet. His feast day is April 4th.


Tuesday of Holy Week

Reading 1 Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17

R. (see 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
"Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered,
"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
"Buy what we need for the feast,"
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."

Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered him,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later."
Peter said to him,
"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times."


Daily Meditation: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Judas . . . left at once. (John 13:30)

Just as yesterday's Gospel did, today's Gospel shows us two different characters, this time Judas and Peter, and their roles in Jesus' passion. Neither story goes well: Judas betrays the Lord, while Peter denies even knowing him. Later, when he realized what he had done, Judas "deeply regretted" having sold out the Lord (Matthew 27:3). And when Peter faced up to his act of denial, he "began to weep bitterly" (26:75). But as similar as their stories are, they end very differently. Judas gave in to despair, but Peter found hope through Jesus' mercy.

What made the difference? We can make one observation: Judas separated himself from the apostles, while Peter did not. Imagine Judas alone, his betrayal playing over and over in his mind, distressing him so much that perhaps he forgot that the whole reason Jesus came was to offer sinners forgiveness and mercy.

Peter, meanwhile, stayed with the other disciples. They all felt lost after having abandoned the Lord, so Peter fit right in with them. Together they could share their feelings of shame, disappointment, grief, and fear. And by leaning on each other, they probably found that the pain was more bearable. So when the risen Lord appeared to the apostles and took Peter aside for a bit, Peter was more open to receiving the forgiveness the Lord so generously offered. Of course, Jesus could have focused on Peter's cowardice and his failure to stand up for him. But instead, he reminded Peter of how much he loved him, and he urged him to spend his energy following him and caring for the others (John 21:1-19).

Like Peter, you have a group—the Church! It's not perfect, just as the apostles weren't perfect. But it's ready to support you and hold you in prayer. It's where you can join other believers who are seeking healing, holiness, and a closer relationship with Jesus. It's the place where you can experience the prayer and loving concern of brothers and sisters in the Lord—and where you can offer the same compassion and prayer. How blessed we are to be called together by Christ!

"Jesus, thank you for giving us each other. Lord, teach us how to live together in your love!"

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17


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"From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm."_

Can this amazing being that created the Heavens and the earth know who I was before I was born? He creates the matter, and the accidents of life that make things be. So yes, He knows who you are. And this amazing Father we have, can love you beyond human comprehension. This sharp edged sword is concealed, only to be brought about to pierce one thing...darkness.


We pray today:
"For you are my hope, O LORD; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength. I will sing of your salvation" end quote.

What does it mean to "sing of His Salvation?". I was reading this morning about the time Saint Maximilan Kolbe was canonized and the man he stepped into die for in a Nazi concentration camp was alive and beside the pope to give witness to one thing tell the world what Saint Max did. I love it. Why? Saint Max was awesome, but this man that he died for? Awesome too, the love of God pours out from both, one from sheer love of God and neighbor, and the other....sheer gratitude, something extremely lacking in our world. And I've equated gratitude with humility and humility can lead us to good holiness. And this is the requirements of Heaven, the true language of sincere Love.
So sing of His out His salvation, thrive in it, and live it out as the greatest thing ever done for you, appreciate what is being accomplished in Him and Him through you.


In the Gospel today we heard:

_""Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times." end quote.

There is a scripture that recounts how all one's friends abandon Him at the hour of need.
Saint Peter denies Christ at the hour of need.
Judas turned in Christ at the dark turning moment.

And these were phenomenal followers right next to Christ! What can be expected of us! Shouldn't hindsight of history be perfect vision, to see what we are facing today?

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, today's Gospel is from John's account of the Last Supper, where Jesus acknowledges Judas as his betrayer and tells him to get on with it.
God's desires have been, from the beginning, opposed. Consistently, human beings have preferred the isolation of sin to the festivity of the sacred meal. Theologians have called this anomalous tendency the mysterium iniquitatis (the mystery of evil), for there is no rational ground for it, no reason for it to exist.
But there it stubbornly is, always shadowing the good, parasitic upon that which it tries to destroy. Therefore, we should not be too surprised that, as the sacred meal comes to its richest possible expression, evil accompanies it.
Judas the betrayer expresses the mysterium iniquitatis with particular symbolic power, for he had spent years in intimacy with Jesus, taking in the Lord's moves and thoughts at close quarters, sharing the table of fellowship with him—and yet he saw fit to turn Jesus over to his enemies and to interrupt the coinherence of the Last Supper.
Those of us who regularly gather around the table of intimacy with Christ and yet engage consistently in the works of darkness are meant to see ourselves in the betrayer." end quote.

. . . . . .
Can you see yourself in Judas? You should...if you sin. Any sin is contrary to our Lord, in a sense, a betrayal. Our world makes light of sins, they say like protestants in a way "He paid for your sins (therefore no need to worry about them!". Blasphemy the moment we say sin is ok. It is not OK in Heaven, because sin hurts.

I read a proverb this morning 12:4 "An excellent wife is the CROWN of her husband but she who brinsg shame is like rottenness in his bones." end quote.
The wife of Christ is the body of Christ...Church.
We are to be an excellent, loving, faithful, and beautiful wife to be a crown on the King of the Universe. Can we make that a beautiful and sparkling crown for Him to wear? Him whom God did not spare?
Him whom is not afraid to love you unconditionally? Him whom loves you like no other being ever could...forever? This is a terribly amazing thought. Let us revere this wondrous gift of true love in true life.

Let's pray:
Lord, Help us love Thee more and more. Thank You for the greatest gift from Heaven.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Philippians 3:13–14

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


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