Friday, July 14, 2023

† 'you will not finish the..."


†Saint Quote of the Day
""Who will teach me what is most pleasing to God, that I may do it?"
- St. Kateri
†Today's Meditation

†Daily Verse


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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha's Story

The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and Jean de Lelande were tomahawked by Iroquois warriors, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York.

Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Tekakwitha lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes—Jesuit missionaries—but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. Tekakwitha refused to marry a Mohawk brave, and at 19 finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri–Catherine–on Easter Sunday.

Now she would be treated as a slave. Because she would not work on Sunday, Kateri received no food that day. Her life in grace grew rapidly. She told a missionary that she often meditated on the great dignity of being baptized. She was powerfully moved by God's love for human beings and saw the dignity of each of her people.

She was always in danger, for her conversion and holy life created great opposition. On the advice of a priest, Kateri stole away one night and began a 200-mile walking journey to a Christian Indian village at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal.

For three years she grew in holiness under the direction of a priest and an older Iroquois woman, giving herself totally to God in long hours of prayer, in charity, and in strenuous penance. At 23, Kateri took a vow of virginity, an unprecedented act for an Indian woman whose future depended on being married. She found a place in the woods where she could pray an hour a day—and was accused of meeting a man there!

Her dedication to virginity was instinctive: Kateri did not know about religious life for women until she visited Montreal. Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She humbly accepted an "ordinary" life. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. Kateri Tekakwitha died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child. The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in 1980 and canonized in 2012.


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Lectionary: 387
Reading 1

Gn 46:1-7, 28-30

Israel set out with all that was his.
When he arrived at Beer-sheba,
he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called,
"Jacob! Jacob!"
He answered, "Here I am."
Then he said: "I am God, the God of your father.
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
for there I will make you a great nation.
Not only will I go down to Egypt with you;
I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes."

So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba,
and the sons of Israel
put their father and their wives and children
on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport.
They took with them their livestock
and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan.
Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt.
His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—
all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.

Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph,
so that he might meet him in Goshen.
On his arrival in the region of Goshen,
Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot
and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen.
As soon as Joseph saw him, he flung himself on his neck
and wept a long time in his arms.
And Israel said to Joseph, "At last I can die,
now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive."

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.


Jn 16:13a, 14:26d
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you to all truth
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mt 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 10:16-23

Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

As he prepared his apostles for their first outing as missionaries, Jesus knew that they would face misunderstanding and persecution. So he warned them, "Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Their shrewdness would enable them to take strategic advantage of opportunities to preach when they arose. Their simplicity would help them to proclaim the gospel boldly and clearly.

One person who admirably lived out this dual calling was Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo of Madagascar (1848–1894). Born a princess of the ruling tribe, Victoria was raised in the indigenous beliefs of her ancestors. At the age of fifteen, she asked to be baptized, and despite her family's disapproval, was finally granted permission. Although she wanted to enter religious life, her family had betrothed her to the eldest son of the island's new prime minister. The man was neither a believer nor a faithful husband. Victoria simply prayed for him, and he was baptized just before his death twenty-two years later.

Victoria's public missionary work began during the Malagasy–French War of 1883–1885. When foreign missionaries were expelled from Madagascar, the French priests entrusted her with the care of the Catholic community. Then when guards prevented people from entering the cathedral, Victoria courageously—and shrewdly—stood up to them: "If you must have blood, begin by shedding mine." The guards relented.

Victoria also used her influence to protect and defend Catholics by appealing to the queen and prime minister to keep Catholic schools and churches open. They eventually agreed, and when Catholic missionaries returned to the island in 1886, they were met with a community of nearly 21,000 believers! The people had persisted in faith largely because of Victoria's courageous and single-minded efforts.

You may not have been born into an earthly royal family, but you do belong to the family of a King! You, too, have been sent out to proclaim the good news. In what simple or strategic ways might you advance the kingdom of God today?

"Lord, help me to use the opportunities you give me to advance your kingdom."

Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called,
"Jacob! Jacob!" He answered, "Here I am."
Then he said: "I am God, the God of your father.
Do not be afraid .....""
end of verse.

Why do archangels appear to man and say "do not be afraid"?
Why does our Lord here speak directly to Jacob and say "do not be afraid"?

It's probably not that they are afraid but that His voice is so overpowering with authority, and power, that it could make every cell in your being tremble for your future! In other words, it is so terrible, that you would never forget, and this alone would suffice to allow you the sufficient grace to do exactly what God is about to ask you to do!


We pray today:
"Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord."
end of Psalm.


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,"
end of Gospel verse.

This was one of my dad's favorite bible verses, and he'd always try to give me advice when dealing with others and always recall this scripture.

So what could one do when facing an instant threat?

Well, if you are living a life of grace, a true and more pure life with God, then you will have the grace to face the threats that are spewed out on you.
Think of our Lord when He was getting punched in the face and Pontious Pilate asking him to answer his questions, or even King Herod!

They say that the Holy Catholic Church is one of the slowest institutions to respond to worldly problems. It takes no hurry to make rash decisions.
And this is how we are to be. This is how I try to be in everything I deal with, faith, family, and work.

It is wise to take a moment to react, to pray about something, to take a deep breath, and invoke our Lord, and to choose the side of humility. A good quality of a leader is one who is down to earth, and listens, or so they say, right?
To be simple and shrewd takes work. A poker face? LOL, not necessarily, no need to put on a front, people are smart and demonic spirits are super-smart beings. Truth can be told a mile away, we can tell a mile away when the truth is the truth.
You become unshakable when you are anchored on the rock of our Lord Jesus the Christ!

With that said, be simple, be humble, you know better, yes, therefore, you must win souls with greater love and care, for every weak soul is a fragile and weak soul...handle with care!

Let's pray:
Lord, you treat us with such gentleness, never barging in, never interrupting us, never pushing Yourself onto us. Help us be that loving and guiding light that You want us to shine from within...your heart burning in ours!


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Random Bible Verse 1
John 14:18

18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.


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