Friday, June 23, 2023

† '... your whole body...


†Quote of the Day
" We are born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more." St. Joseph Cafasso

†Today's Meditation
"Faith is the key that puts every other truth into its proper place. Triumphs become opportunities for gratitude instead of pride. Tragedies become opportunities for growth instead of despair. Life just makes more sense and our faith in God gives us joy even when we face what can feel like insurmountable trials."
—Matt Fradd, p.96
An Excerpt From How to Be Happy, Saint Thomas' Secret to a Good Life

†Daily Verse

"He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven." Colossians 1:18-20


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Saint of the Day

St. Joseph Cafasso (1811–1860) was born in Castelnuovo d'Asti, Italy, to a peasant family. He was born with a physical deformity of the spine, which caused him to grow into a stunted and crippled man. Discerning a call to Holy Orders, he entered the seminary in Turin where he later met another famous saint—John Bosco. Joseph taught John Bosco and encouraged him in his mission to minister to the town's impoverished street youth. Joseph was an excellent professor of moral theology, as well as a famed preacher and confessor. He performed his duties so well that he became known as the "Priest's Priest." He spent entire days preaching in prisons, offering comfort to the prisoners, hearing their confessions, and even advocating to improve the poor conditions of the prison. For this work he also earned the name, "Priest of the Gallows." St. Joseph Cafasso is the patron saint of prisoners, prisons, and prison chaplains. His feast day is June 23rd.


Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Cor 11:18, 21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.
To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of
(I am speaking in foolishness)
I also dare.
Are they Hebrews? So am I.
Are they children of Israel? So am I.
Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
Are they ministers of Christ?
(I am talking like an insane person).
I am still more, with far greater labors,
far more imprisonments, far worse beatings,
and numerous brushes with death.
Five times at the hands of the Jews
I received forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I passed a night and a day on the deep;
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers,
dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race,
dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city,
dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea,
dangers among false brothers;
in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights,
through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings,
through cold and exposure.
And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me
of my anxiety for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak?
Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (see 18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Alleluia Mt 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."


Daily Meditation: 2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30

I too will boast. (2 Corinthians 11:18)

Don't you find it funny that Paul would condemn those who boast, but then turn around and spend so much time boasting himself? He goes to such great lengths to tell the Corinthians about his credentials as an apostle and about all the hardships he has endured. It's almost as if he were pointing to himself as some sort of superhero they should admire! Later in this letter, he again states that boasting is not "profitable," but then he dives right back in and describes his extraordinary spiritual experiences (2 Corinthians 12:1-4).

Maybe some context can help. It seems that other people, whom Paul labeled as false apostles, had come to Corinth preaching a different form of the gospel than the one he and the other apostles were preaching. These "superapostles" were impressing the Corinthians with their showy preaching, their easy message, and their impressive credentials (2 Corinthians 11:5). So Paul, fearing that the people were being led astray, leapt to his own defense—and, more important, to the defense of his message.

Paul was always a passionate man, so it shouldn't surprise us that he was so extreme in his argument. He was also a shrewd man: he hoped that by speaking in such extremes, he could shock the Corinthians back to their senses. Remember, this is the same man who once wrote that he would do whatever it took to bring people to Jesus (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Paul's words show us that sometimes we have to fight for the sake of the gospel. Sometimes we have to show a little passion and shake people up a bit. And that can sound as if we are boasting.

Of course, our Christian witness should never involve prideful boasting, but there are certainly times when we need to be direct and forthright. There are also times when we need to be gentle and compassionate. In every situation, God wants us to be flexible, resourceful, and creative as we reach out with his wisdom and love. That's how we, like Paul, can do whatever it takes to bring the good news to the people we see every day.

"Jesus, I want to share your good news. Teach me how to be as shrewd as a serpent and as gentle as a dove (Matthew 10:16)."

Psalm 34:2-7
Matthew 6:19-23


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

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches." end of verse.

Do you have daily anxiety? If so, for what? That may well tell you what your priorities are, and where your heart is! In the cursillo, we always begin with the ideal. What is your ideal? What moves you? Everyone should have an ideal.

And the world is full of ideals, ideas, ideologies, and things to live by, just look at a few tattooed arms or necks and you can begin to see some ideals at the forefront scribbled on the skin.
But for the others? Is it is easy to see their ideals? What does it concern me?
The Church of God should concern all of us, because God our Father wants His Kingdom, and His will to be done. I have daily pressures, mostly at work, some with family, and there was a time when church was most of my anxiety.
Have the tables flipped? Priorities should be:
God first, our first love.
Then family, the ones very next to us.
And then work and friends and everyone else.
But most of the time, the last two seem to be priority in most people.


We pray today:
"Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
From all their distress God rescues the just."
end of psalm.


In the Gospel today we heard:
""Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal."
end of verse.

I remember a story from our Nigerian priest who said that back in Africa, there was an extremely wealthy man that was buried with great pomp, a casket of gold and many jewels in the casket with his body. Only to find out that not too much later, the casket was dug out and all the jewels were taken, stolen by others. What good is it underground? The same has happened with the Egyptian Pharaohs and the stories just repeat themselves over and over.

"But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."
end of verse.

But most of us won't have that treasure burial issue. But what treasures will we take to the grave? Work? Family? People say "I love you to death". And that's it! But what about changing the world to say "I love you forever" and mean it? Because the only way will be to be united forever through God our Father and creator. And the perfect way is through Jesus our Lord, the very living heart of God. A suffering heart mind you, but a very merciful heart.

Shall we pour out our blood like St. Paul for Jesus? Shall we toil away and make our only anxiety the Kingdom of God? These are rhetorical questions, because we know that is what we should be doing. But we get distracted along the way, on this path, this journey through life on earth.
But, everything matters. Every little word.
Every little prayer. Every sacrifice. To God, everything matters, that's why we hear scriptures like Him knowing the number of hairs on your head.
To the world, it doesn't matter, so what does? Selfish gains matter to the world. But that's not what matters to our Lord.
Therefore, we are to attune our life to Christ, to join ourselves with Him, especially in the Holy Sacraments as we live.

Let's pray:
Lord, I've not yet shed blood for Your Kingdom and I soon forget to be grateful and to follow You wherever You go. Help us keep our hearts on fire with Your precious love and life!


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WOW St. Paul

Random Bible Verse 1

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.


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