Friday, June 2, 2023

† “When You Stand


†Quote of the Day
"Suffering overwhelms you because you take it like a coward. Meet it bravely, with a Christian spirit: and you will regard it as a treasure."
–St. Josemaria Escriva

†Today's Meditation
"Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it 'is made perfect in weakness.' The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the 'Mighty One of Jacob,' the 'Lord of hosts,' the 'strong and mighty' one. If God is almighty 'in heaven and on earth,' it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: 'It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?'"
—The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 268-269

An Excerpt From
Catechism of the Catholic Church

†Daily Verse
"We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you fall upon me.""
–Romans 15:1-3


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St. Elmo

St. Elmo (d. 303 AD), also known as St. Erasmus of Formia, was an Italian bishop during the reign of Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. During their brutal persecution against Christians, St. Elmo left his diocese and fled to Mount Lebanon where he lived for seven years. An angel advised him to return to his diocese in order to vanquish his enemies. As he traveled there he was stopped and questioned by Roman soldiers. After declaring himself to be a Christian, he was brought to stand trial before Diocletian himself. St. Elmo confessed his faith in Christ and denounced the emperor for his impiety. For this rebuke he was tortured and thrown into prison, but an angel miraculously freed him so that he could continue on his journey and save many souls along the way. Two more times St. Elmo would endure the cycle of working miracles, baptizing thousands of people, getting arrested and mercilessly tortured, and being miraculously freed before arriving back in his own diocese. During his travels he suffered many horrible tortures at the hands of his enemies, but according to the oldest tradition he died at peace in Formia, though later accounts have him being martyred there by disembowelment. St. Elmo is the patron of mariners and sailors, abdominal pain, intestinal cramps, and women in labor. The electrical discharge on ships at sea, "St. Elmo's Fire," is named for him. His feast day is June 2nd.


Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 351
Reading 1

Sir 44:1, 9-13

Now will I praise those godly men,
our ancestors, each in his own time.
But of others there is no memory,
for when they ceased, they ceased.
And they are as though they had not lived,
they and their children after them.
Yet these also were godly men
whose virtues have not been forgotten;
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants;
Through God's covenant with them their family endures,
their posterity, for their sake.

And for all time their progeny will endure,
their glory will never be blotted out.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.


See Jn 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 11:11-26

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, "May no one ever eat of your fruit again!"
And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, "Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves."

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him
because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered."
Jesus said to them in reply, "Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,'
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions."


Daily Meditation: Mark 11:11-26

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Mark 11:17)

Have you ever heard of the "Court of the Gentiles"? It was the outermost court in the Temple in Jerusalem during Jesus' time. That's the place where Gentiles who wanted to follow Israel's God gathered to pray and to be taught by the priests.

But the Court of the Gentiles was also where the chief priests allowed money changers and merchants to set up shop so that people could buy the lambs and birds and goats they needed for their sacrifices. So you can imagine the noise and traffic that filled this court—and how hard it must have been for any prayer to take place there.

It's no wonder that Jesus drove all the merchants away! This sacred space had turned into a bustling marketplace. Jesus made it clear that he wanted "all peoples," including Gentiles, to be free to seek the Lord (Mark 11:17).

All peoples. That includes you. Jesus wants you to be able to come into his presence unhindered. It's why he offered himself on the cross: to destroy the sin that separated you from himself. It's why he offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation: so that you can be set free from any sin that might be blocking your experience of his love. And it's why he promises that you can "have access in one Spirit to the Father" whenever you turn to him in prayer (Ephesians 2:18).

For all peoples. No matter what your situation is, Jesus welcomes you. Just as he cleared the way for the Gentiles to come to him, so he clears the way for you. His arms are open wide to embrace you. His pierced heart longs to heal you. And his Spirit is ready to pour love into you. Just as he wanted the Temple to be a house of prayer, so he wants the temple of your heart to be a place where you can meet him.

Jesus' love is for everyone. Don't think you're too sinful or unworthy or not holy enough. The Lord treasures you just as much as he treasures the greatest saint. He loves to speak to you.

So come to him—right now. Let his love fill you to overflowing.

"Jesus, I am amazed that you welcome me, a sinner, into your presence. Here I am, Lord, ready to hear your word and know your love."

Sirach 44:1, 9-13
Psalm 149:1-6, 9


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Through God's covenant with them their family endures, their posterity, for their sake.
And for all time their progeny will endure,
their glory will never be blotted out."
end of verse.

Everything, I said last night in choir practice, everything seems to hinge on a Holy Trinity. And what prompts this talk? Because, our Lord in the first Scripture, is bringing up an important And the Holy Trinity is about uniting family. It unites the Father to us on earth through Jesus. Family then, is our focus with Our Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that can dwell within our temple.


We pray today:
"Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
The Lord takes delight in his people.

end of Psalm.

The person writing to you is a singer, yours truly. Whether I am a good one or not, I'm not sure, but I try to be good, but not in tone, or technique, because that is a part of it, but not all of it. No, rather, I try to be a good messenger of God's word...that is, of God's love. That He may take delight. That the hearers of the Word may take delight in the Lord and be moved, and grow in faith.
Our High Praises shall be in our throat, ready to burst forth from our couches, from our temple, our very homes, our very heart, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which today starts a novena to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus our Lord.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, "May no one ever eat of your fruit again!"
And his disciples heard it."
end of verse.

Was our Lord speaking about the fig tree alone when He cursed it?

Every word and thought can be a blessing or a curse.
The curse can end something, if God allows it to be. And that is how evil actually tries to power everything, with curses that are allowed by people.
And so our Lord finds the temple, not giving the fruit He desired.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, at the heart of today's Gospel is the cleansing of the temple. Jesus entered the great temple in Jerusalem—which for a Jew of that time was everything—and began to "drive out those selling and buying there." Precisely because the temple was supposed to be so holy, Jesus was flabbergasted at what had happened to it and how the trading of merchants had come to dominate.
From the earliest days, Christian writers and spiritual teachers saw the temple as symbolic of the human person. In fact, didn't St. Paul himself refer to the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit? Your very self is meant to be a temple where God's Spirit dwells and where prayer, communion with God, is central.
But what happens to us sinners? The money changers and the merchants enter in. What is supposed to be a place of prayer becomes a den of thieves. And so the Lord must do in us now what he did in the temple then: a little housecleaning. What shape is the temple of your soul in? Suppose that Jesus has made a whip of cords, knotted with the Ten Commandments. What would he clear out of you?" end quote.
. . . .

So what can keep a tree from giving fruit? The season matters. And hold on, because it gets deep. The fig tree may have not been in season for figs, but the season our Lord sees for fruit is always. This is a serious lesson for all those who like to put things off for doing God's work. There's some things that really annoy me, like when people told our Lord "I'll follow you but first let me do this". That is not the season our Lord desires. The answers yes and now. Yesterday, I had my boys working and it was time for the daily 3pm prayer, and as I called them the oldest made it sound like "just wait I'm almost done", and that's when I said "drop everything and follow me" like when our Lord called St. Peter and the disciples, they left everything immediately.

But the season is now. The time to worship God is now. The time to praise God is now. The time to unite for our Lord is now. If you allow our Lord truly in your life, you will allow Him to whip out everything that does not belong inside of you. You will pray "Lord please remove this horrible evil from my life". And why is this important? Because, you matter. You matter in the body of Christ. Your light matters. Your faith matters. And you do not need sin in your life to water down your faith. That is what sin does, it makes you cold, not hot. We need souls on fire for God's sacred heart that is burning with love.
More will be accomplished with great faith than tons of prayers with doubt. And this is where our Lord should be touching your heart right now, "if you have Me, what else could you possibly want?"

Let us pray:
Lord, that You may be everything to me forever.

Random Bible Verse 1
2 Corinthians 1:21–22

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.1


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