Tuesday, May 2, 2023

† ".No One Can Take. . . "


†Quote of the Day
"For He became man that we might become divine; and He revealed Himself through a body that we might receive an idea of the invisible Father; and He endured insults from men that we might inherit incorruption."
–St. Athanasius of Alexandria

†Today's Meditation
"Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing more generous, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in Heaven or on earth; for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created."
—Thomas a' Kempis, p. 87
An Excerpt From
Imitation of Christ

†Daily Verse
"But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."
–Luke 6:27-31


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St. Athanasius of Alexandria

St. Athanasius (296-373 A.D.) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to noble Christian parents. He received an excellent education in theology, philosophy, rhetoric, and law, which he directed to the service of God. He made great progress in both wisdom and virtue, and made a spiritual retreat in the Egyptian desert with St. Anthony the Great. St. Athanasius became the Bishop of Alexandria and served in that role for 46 years. He tirelessly and courageously devoted most of his life to defeating the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. When the majority of his fellow bishops were Arian heretics, which threatened the integrity of the whole Church, Athansius stood firmly and almost single-handedly against their error using his philosophical knowledge, theological wisdom, rhetorical skill, and strength of spirit. Despite having the support of several popes, he suffered great trials, scandals, and persecutions at the hands of his doctrinal enemies, and spent much of his life in exile. He was a participant in the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and did much of the theological work which supported the condemnation of the Arian heresy and the formulation of the Nicene Creed. St. Athanasius is known as one of the greatest champions of Catholic doctrine to have ever lived, earning the title, "Father of Orthodoxy." St. Athanasius was later declared a Doctor of the Church. His feast day is celebrated on May 2nd.


Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 87:1b-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
"This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."

R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. (117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."


Daily Meditation: John 10:22-30

The Father and I are one. (John 10:30)

"Jesus, you have told us that you are one with your heavenly Father. This was a shocking idea to the Jews who heard you say it. But for us who live in the age of the Church, this truth opens up so many wonderful mysteries!

"You and the Father are one. That means that when we see you, Jesus, we see the almighty, invisible God! You show us his heart, his desires for us, his people, and his priorities. In your words of forgiveness, healing, and peace, we experience the tenderness God has for us. We stand in awe that in you, almighty God has come close to us. So our hearts overflow with thanks that you came to earth to show us your heavenly Father—our heavenly Father!

"You and the Father are one. Jesus, not only do you show us the Father, but you have opened the way for us to come to the Father! By taking on our flesh, you have torn asunder the veil of sin that separated us from God. Thank you that we no longer have to be estranged from our Creator—all because you have reconciled us to him!

"You and the Father are one. Because you accepted us as your brothers and sisters, Jesus, you have brought us into God's family. Through you, we can now experience the mercy and acceptance that God has always wanted to share with us. In you, we can see that we are beloved children of God. What an awesome truth!

"You and the Father are one. Jesus, when you returned to your Father, you took us with you. We can now begin to experience unity with you here on earth, and we will one day experience complete unity when we enter heaven. We are no longer shackled by our weaknesses or faults. Because you have sent your own Spirit to live in us, we can live in holiness. We can become a living witness to the Father in our world!

"You and the Father are one. We worship you, Jesus, for filling us with hope and joy because you have come to make us one with the Father."

"Lord, help me to see how 'shocking'—and wonderful—it is that you and the Father are one and that you are in me."

Acts 11:19-26
Psalm 87:1-7


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians."
end quote.

The Church existed already, with priests, and bishops. And the church continues today. It is called the Catholic Church, and it means universal, and for good reason, for we are under the Kingship and authority direct from our Lord Jesus the Christ and our King, of the universe.


We pray today:
"They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
(117:1a) All you nations, praise the Lord."

And what is strange about God's dwelling place? He chose, of all corners in the universe, to dwell inside of a human, and not just any human, but one of His flock, and inside there, in the body, in the very heart.


In the Gospel today we heard:

"Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me."
end quote from our Lord the Christ.

Have you seen works of God? Have you seen that He is true? Everybody wants a miracle to believe, but really? How many miracles will it take for you to keep believing?

Do you believe? If so, then you will be living His Way, and acting on every word He said. In other words, you will no longer desire to live for yourself but for Him. And as much as the world hates this message, and defies it, here it is again: You will be happy in being His slave, His lover, rather than a slave or lover of the world.

I'd rather be slave to Love than a slave to hatred and death which is out to rule the world.

And this entails much of what Saint Joseph lived...with a lily in His hand, the lily of frailty and humility to God Himself.

We saw the new movie in select theatres last night about Saint Joseph "A Father's Heart". We are in essence, from what I gather, entering a new era of history. Enough with world wars, and enough with cold wars, and enough with wars on marriage and the bond that makes for true life. Enough! Here is a message that few will take to and act upon, like Saint Joseph, a man of few words and extreme love for God...purity is power. I've read and heard of the chastity of Saint Joseph, the purity of a man that God chose to be the earthly father of the Lord Himself.
Only a pure soul can hold baby Jesus.
Only a pure soul can behold the face of God and live.
Only a pure soul can do what makes tears want to come out of my eyes as I write, and that is, to hold and cherish the baby Jesus and kiss is head.
And did you know that our Lord can still appear as a baby, as an infant, as a child, a teen, an adult, and as an elderly person?
I remember an elderly woman in the nursing home, she used to call me the "balloon man" because my wife had me take balloons she made for them once. I remember at another time I visited her and gave her something else my wife probably made, and she said "thank you, you made Jesus happy".

I've never forgotten those words, and she has since passed away, a very sweet lady.

I digress.
To behold our Lord, you must strive for purity. Here it is again: Purity is Power. I think of all the holy souls that our Lord actually appears to often, saints, and blessed people in line to be recognized as saints, and they have that common denominator...purity...purely for God, like Saint Joseph, and our Blessed Mother Mary.
What's amazing is twofold.
1.) You will be closer to God
2.) Darkness will flee from you.
Sounds heavenly right?
Is that what you want?

Let us pray:
Lord, I desire You, so I therefore, must desire light, and for this matter...pure light. I pray we become Your pure vessels of light!

Random Bible Verse

Isaiah 40:30–31

"Even youths shall faint and be weary,

and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

they shall walk and not faint."


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God Bless You! Peace

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