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Monday, July 10, 2023

† '.If Only I Can....

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†Quote of the Day
""God does not fit in an occupied heart."
–St. John of the Cross

†Today's Meditation
"The human soul, by its very nature, is endowed with the faculty of knowing God and the capacity for loving Him. The intelligence of the soul, transporting itself above all that is created and finite, has power to raise itself even to the contemplation of that Being who alone is uncreated and infinite, who is the source of all good and all perfection; it is able to form of Him an idea that is clear and accurate and indelible. The will of the soul is made to love this sovereign Good, which the understanding presents to it. The desires of the soul, which no created object can ever satisfy and which reach far beyond the limits of this life, tend necessarily toward a Good that is supreme, eternal, and infinite, and which alone can content the soul and make it happy."
—Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 3-4

†Daily Verse
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
–Matthew 16:24-25

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St. Amelia

St. Amelia (741-772 A.D.) was born into a noble and pious Christian family in the land of the Ardennes, bordering what is today Belgium and Luxembourg. She was a devout child of strong character who committed her virginity to Christ from a young age. However, because she was such a beautiful and virtuous woman, she was pursued for several years by the young Charlemagne. In one account, Charlemagne broke her arm in a physical struggle to hold her hand, and afterwards her arm was miraculously healed. His romantic interest was rebuffed, and Amelia was eventually able to realize her desire to enter the convent. She spent the rest of her life in the Benedictine abbey of M√ľnster-Bilzen in Belgium, and helped to build a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Belgian town of Temsche. St. Amelia is said to have performed many miracles, the most famous being the one in which she crossed the Schelde River miraculously while standing on the back of a giant sturgeon fish. St. Amelia is the patroness of farmers, fishermen, and those suffering from arm and shoulder pain. Her feast day is celebrated on July 10th.

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Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Gn 28:10-22a

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set,
he stopped there for the night.
Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head
and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground,
with its top reaching to the heavens;
and God's messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
"I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham
and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you are lying
I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth,
and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.
In you and your descendants
all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!"
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone
that he had put under his head,
set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it.
He called the site Bethel,
whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.

Jacob then made this vow: "If God remains with me,
to protect me on this journey I am making
and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear,
and I come back safe to my father's house, the LORD shall be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God's abode."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15ab

R.(see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.

Alleluia See 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.""
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, ""If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.""
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
""Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.""
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, ""Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.""
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.


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Daily Meditation: Matthew 9:18-26

When the crowd was put out . . . (Matthew 9:25)

No one would say that God needs our faith in order to work his will. He can perform a miracle whenever and wherever he chooses. Yet it is also true that our faith opens us up to receive Jesus' power more fully—something that today's Gospel demonstrates in a dramatic way.

It wasn't enough for this hemorrhaging woman just to be near Jesus; she wanted to touch him. Even though she was considered ritually unclean, she overcame her shame and fear of censure to reach out for the Lord. And as she did, Jesus felt power go forth from him. Startled, Jesus stopped and sought her out from among the crowd that had been pressing in on him.

When he found her, Jesus said to her, "Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you" (Matthew 9:22). By calling her "daughter," Jesus confirmed not only her physical healing but her spiritual healing as well. He seemed pleased to no end to have found someone with such firm faith!

This connection between faith and healing is also evident in the story of Jesus raising an official's daughter from the dead. When the official made his request of Jesus, he did so with sincere and humble faith, sufficient to convince Jesus to change his plans and visit the man's home.

Once Jesus entered the house, however, he saw that the environment was one of disbelief and resignation. The mourners' lack of trust in God was so deep that they ridiculed Jesus and his own faith in his Father. So the first thing he did was to drive them out of the room. Then, having changed the atmosphere, he was more free to work his wonders. He took the girl by the hand, and she came back to life.

We have an omnipotent God who invites us to participate in his works of healing and reconciliation through our faith. If we imitate Jesus by driving unbelief from our hearts, we will be more open to his power. It's not that he will reward our faith. It's that we will have removed the obstacles that keep us from experiencing his work in us.

"Jesus, help my unbelief! I want to know your presence and your power in my life."

Genesis 28:10-22
Psalm 91:1-4, 14-15

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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!"
end of verse.

Today we hear about "Jacob's latter". Jacob was so amazed! He sees angels ascending and descending this mound, this stairway to Heaven, this...issuance of graces coming to and from God and we have to keep our Lord Jesus in mind, because this is what He is going to do Himself, with God's people. Think of the altar, think of Calvary, think of our connection with Heaven in the Holy Mass through our Lord Jesus.

psalms

We pray today:
_"Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress.

In you, my God, I place my trust."_ end of Psalm.

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In the Gospel today we heard:
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."" "
end of Gospel verse.

Look at the faith of the official asking our Lord to come revive His daughter.

Then we heard a suffering woman:
"She said to herself, ""If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Look at her faith.

The "Jacob's latter" becomes very real in our Lord Jesus. Those who ascend, will descend with graces for the world. Think of the saints and angels and what they do to this day. I heavily depend on daily saints and angels in my every day dealings with faith, family, and work. I cannot do it alone. I ascend my prayers, I look to the heavens, and they descend with graces from Heaven.

There is a problem in the world, that we do not ascend the mountain of the Lord. We say "we are not holy enough" and therefore stop at the foot of the mountain. Have you not heard the story that "we are like angels"? Angels are supreme beings, but for us to be like them? That is amazing. A supreme being must take care of the lower beings. We are then...in good hands.
Do you believe?

And so, there is a very important part of the scriptures with Jacob's latter that we must not forget.

God proves Himself to Jacob, and Jacob promises gratefulness, a tenth of everything...always, and to build a temple upon the altar he would set forth.
We are building a temple together. And to be honest? It is hard work! It is hard on all fronts, mental, spiritual, and physical.
The whole walk of Christ is so hard...that most choose not to walk the walk. Rather, they choose to talk the talk.

But, what if I told you that the walk is much more effective?
What if I told you that the hard work becomes much more fruitful?
We face seemingly impossible tasks, or face some hard challenges. And they will always be if we choose to remain faithless.
My challenge to you is to take a step in the walk that very few take to.

I have found that taking on the challenge proves something....that God is there.

Who can ascend the mountain?
There are mountains in the world that one has to make time to climb to see what everyone was talking about.
This mountain of God's latter is a holy place. You will not return the same.
That's one weird aspect of losing my best friend and father, that I always think about, in the next life, he won't look the same, and our relationship won't be the same. Because we will never be the same on earth as in the next life, especially Heaven.

And this is actually Good News. To fly, we must die. To live, we must raise up and for what? Why would you want to live forever anyway?
I'll tell you what I told the nursing home residents while we prayed and sung yesterday, "I want to be able to fully and freely worship God, not bound to other things as I am on earth". I took my wife and baby to the nursing home, we actually left our family reunion to be at the nursing home where they were anxiously waiting for us. And there, I felt God's grace and love because I was there for them to pour out God's grace and love. You must die if you want to fly.
In all things worth true Love, there is a sacrifice.

And this becomes an act of faith, the ultimate on the cross, and then, God's grace pours out. Every streaming drop of blood would prove beneficial for the world we live in.

And we ended with the song "Amazing grace". How sweet thou art, that saved a wretch like me.

Let's pray:
Lord, I have tasted and seen, the greatest of loves, and I am baffled at how no one else sees this right in front of us, in Mass, in prayer, in gathering. There you are. Therefore, I too, like Jacob, will act and move on the word that You usher to me and the whole world. What You want, we have to see. What You will, we have to be!

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2 Timothy 1:8–9

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to1 a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,2

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God Bless You! Peace

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