Wednesday, June 7, 2023

† “They Are Like The Angels


†Quote of the Day
"All the science of the Saints is included in these two things: To do, and to suffer. And whoever has done these two things best, has made himself most saintly."
–Saint Francis de Sales

†Today's Meditation
"God never caused the virtues and singular merit of Joseph to shine with greater splendor than when He said to him by the mouth of the angel, 'Take the Child and His mother'; for in them He committed to him His most precious treasures, giving him thus the preference over all the blessed spirits of Heaven; and Joseph received these two sacred persons into his care, to be their protector, their guardian, and defender. If, then, Heaven made Joseph the protector of Jesus and Mary, we may rest assured that he was at the same time made protector and patron of all men."
—Edward Healy Thompson, p. 401
An Excerpt From
The Life and Glories of St. Joseph

†Daily Verse
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
–Colossians 1:15-17


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Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew

Bl. Anne of St. Bartholomew (1549–1626) was born in Spain, one of seven children. Her parents died when the plague swept through Spain, leaving her an orphan at the age of ten. She then became a shepherdess tending her brother's sheep. From a young age she had an extraordinary spiritual life, including being graced with many visions. In one of them the Blessed Virgin Mary told her she would become a nun, which was further encouraged by a vision of Jesus. When she tried to enter the monastery she was turned away for being too young. Years later, when her family tried to arrange her marriage, she finally entered the Carmelite monastery at the age of 21, the same one in which St. Teresa of Avila lived. St. Teresa chose Anne as her personal secretary and assistant, even though she had to teach Anne how to write. For five years St. Anne was the companion of St. Teresa of Avila, traveling with her and assisting her in the establishment of new foundations. It was in Anne's arms that St. Teresa died in 1582. After Teresa's death, Anne assisted in the foundation of several other monasteries in France, becoming prioress at three of them. She went on to found a monastery in the Netherlands where she remained until her death. After her death over 150 approved miracles (and more that have not been officially approved) were attributed to her intercession. Her feast day is June 7th.


Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Tb 3:1-11a, 16-17a

Grief-stricken in spirit, I, Tobit, groaned and wept aloud.
Then with sobs I began to pray:

"You are righteous, O Lord,
and all your deeds are just;
All your ways are mercy and truth;
you are the judge of the world.
And now, O Lord, may you be mindful of me,
and look with favor upon me.
Punish me not for my sins,
nor for my inadvertent offenses,
nor for those of my ancestors.

"We sinned against you,
and disobeyed your commandments.
So you handed us over to plundering, exile, and death,
till you made us the talk and reproach of all the nations
among whom you had dispersed us.

"Yes, your judgments are many and true
in dealing with me as my sins
and those of my ancestors deserve.
For we have not kept your commandments,
nor have we trodden the paths of truth before you.

"So now, deal with me as you please,
and command my life breath to be taken from me,
that I may go from the face of the earth into dust.
It is better for me to die than to live,
because I have heard insulting calumnies,
and I am overwhelmed with grief.

"Lord, command me to be delivered from such anguish;
let me go to the everlasting abode;
Lord, refuse me not.
For it is better for me to die
than to endure so much misery in life,
and to hear these insults!"

On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media,
it so happened that Raguel's daughter Sarah
also had to listen to abuse,
from one of her father's maids.
For she had been married to seven husbands,
but the wicked demon Asmodeus killed them off
before they could have intercourse with her,
as it is prescribed for wives.
So the maid said to her:
"You are the one who strangles your husbands!
Look at you!
You have already been married seven times,
but you have had no joy with any one of your husbands.
Why do you beat us? Is it on account of your seven husbands,
Because they are dead?
May we never see a son or daughter of yours!"

The girl was deeply saddened that day,
and she went into an upper chamber of her house,
where she planned to hang herself.

But she reconsidered, saying to herself:
"No! People would level this insult against my father:
'You had only one beloved daughter,
but she hanged herself because of ill fortune!'
And thus would I cause my father in his old age
to go down to the nether world laden with sorrow.
It is far better for me not to hang myself,
but to beg the Lord to have me die,
so that I need no longer live to hear such insults."

At that time, then, she spread out her hands,
and facing the window, poured out her prayer:

"Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God,
and blessed is your holy and honorable name.
Blessed are you in all your works for ever!"

At that very time,
the prayer of these two suppliants
was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God.
So Raphael was sent to heal them both:
to remove the cataracts from Tobit's eyes,
so that he might again see God's sunlight;
and to marry Raguel's daughter Sarah to Tobit's son Tobiah,
and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:2-3, 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

R. (1) To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
In you I trust; let me not be put to shame,
let not my enemies exult over me.
No one who waits for you shall be put to shame;
those shall be put to shame who heedlessly break faith.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Alleluia Jn 11:25a, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 12:18-27

Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them, "Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled."


Daily Meditation: Mark 12:18-27

They neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. (Mark 12:25)

The Sadducees probably didn't expect this answer. After all, they were just testing Jesus. We're told right away that they didn't believe in the resurrection or in life after death. So asking Jesus about someone's state in the hereafter was already a pointless question for them.

But it's not pointless for us. Even we who believe in the resurrection wonder about what life will be like "on the other side." Especially those of us who are married might wonder if Jesus' words mean that this sacrament suddenly becomes meaningless when we die. And what about our parents, children, or other relatives? What about our lifelong friends? Will those relationships matter anymore?

Of course, we don't know exactly what heaven is like. But we do know two things. First, our most important relationship, our relationship with the Lord, will reach its fulfillment in heaven. We will finally see him "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12), and we will finally be free to worship him with our whole hearts. In that respect, we will be "like the angels in heaven" (Mark 12:25).

Second, we won't be alone. God created us to love one another and to be in communion with one another. So why shouldn't that love continue on in some form after death? John tells us of a "great multitude" who worship God "day and night" before his throne (Revelation 7:9, 15).What's more, the Catechism tells us that heaven is a "blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ" (1027, emphasis added). Heaven is not just a "me-and-Jesus" place. It's a celebration for all the redeemed!

There's no need to worry about whether your close relationships will disappear in heaven. In fact, these relationships will be perfected. You'll experience the ultimate form of togetherness—a union in worship founded in the eternal, overflowing love of God. It doesn't get any better than that! So thank the Lord that he has such an amazing plan for you—and for those who are dearest to you.

"Lord, I am longing for the day when my loved ones and I will be together in your presence!"

Tobit 3:1-11, 16-17
Psalm 25:2-9


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[[Listen to audio version]
Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
""We sinned against you,
and disobeyed your commandments.
So you handed us over to plundering, exile, and death,
till you made us the talk and reproach of all the nations
among whom you had dispersed us."
end of verse.

The Word of our Lord says that the wages of sin are death. This is what sin causes and this is what sin does. There are lovers of death and haters of life in our world. The haters of life also hate the thought of eternal life, because they hate life, because they cannot control it forever, because they cannot be the gods of giving life. And this is the world we live in. But in the world, there is hope alive. In the first Scripture, we see two souls asking for death, because they cannot take the pain any more. And in both stories, we see their change of heart, and life was given a chance, and life flourished again. Just because there is night, doesn't mean the day is not coming. Don't you love the light of the day? The Son of God!


We pray today:
"Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul."

So what was the common denominator in the story of Tobit and Sarah? They both never gave up...on prayer. To not pray would've meant the end of everything. But no, God hears prayers from the heart. It is us that must live on prayer. I know I do. And there have been times when I just want to give up on something, or on someone, but I decide to pray, and put light on situations, and our Lord comes through, one way or the other. I'm starting to pray for those that really you don't feel like praying for "just let them suffer for their own stupid decisions". But no. I listen to Our Father's words that say to treat others as we would like to be treated...and so, I decide to choose mercy, and righteousness. Because I too have made so many dumb decisions, mostly for not being patient, or prayerful, and these things all come together as a whole.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled."
end of verse.

And so, the life haters, those who do not believe in eternal life, they were attempting to trap our Lord with questions about eternal life they had no answers for. They believed that the relationships on earth were forever. This is why our Lord is asking us to Love God Our Father above all things. He is supreme! He is everything!
I remember once my wife asked me, when we were first married, something about our relationship after we die, and I told her about this scripture, where we will no longer be married as we are on earth, but we will be like angels. So what happened to forever? LOL. Can we really love each other forever? Of course! But not the way the world thinks or teaches! We have a long way to go to learn God's truths.
I remember also telling my wife, that the only way to truly love each other is if we love God more than we love each other.

This morning I saw one of my worker's phone screen, the homescreen, the main background picture.

I always like to see people's homescreen pictures because it tells me often what they most love, or who they most love.
This pic he had on his phone was of his daughter. I know he loves her dearly, in dealing with him. But my mind went right into God thoughts, if he would only love God more, the little girl would not see him as the center of her life too, and she would have a better grip on faith (because I know they don't go to church much if any at all). And so their life would be set on a rock, not on temporal things, not on temporal loves.

And so, are you going to change your homescreen background picture on your phone today to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? LOL. Please don't do it if it is not from the heart!
Our Lord loves sincerity. Heaven is fueled with true love. And the opposing forces on earth are the ones trying to turn off the Sacred Flames of love, and why? Because it gives off light, and darkness always tries to hide, in secrets, in dark corners, in really quiet whispers and thoughts.

But you have reached a megaphone for God's word. He loves you and it shows, otherwise, you would not have seen or heard this message this very moment.

Let's pray:
Lord, Help me Love You as I ought! I know it will cost me a lot, but You are worth everything!


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Random Bible Verse 1
James 3:7–9
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.


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