Friday, August 25, 2023

†... a scholar of the law, tested him


†Saint Quote of the Day
"Let us love the cross very much, for it is there that we discover our life, our true love, and our strength in our greatest difficulties."
–St. Maria de Mattias

†Today's Meditation
"God will forgive you if you ask him to. Though your sins be numerous as the grains of sand on the shore, God's merciful forgiveness is far greater than your sins. Do not be afraid. Trust in his love. Repent of your sins without delay and return to the house of the Father. He is waiting for you. "
—Patrick Madrid, p.15

An Excerpt From
A Year with the Bible

†Daily Verse
"And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at his coming."
–1 John 2:28


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St. Genesius of Rome

St. Genesius of Rome (d. 303 AD) was a renowned actor and playwright, the leader of a popular acting troupe during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. When the Emperor was killing Christians, Genesius wrote plays to mock them and expose their secret rites to ridicule. To research for a play mocking baptism, he went to a priest pretending to desire the sacraments and was fully instructed as a catechumen. Genesius prepared his play and instructed the other actors in their parts. On performance day the Emperor was present. Genesius played the lead character seeking baptism, and the rite was performed in such a ludicrous manner that all present laughed. As the water was poured over Genesius' head by an actor playing the priest's part, Genesius saw a vision of the heavens opened and the hand of God touching him. He also saw an angel who showed him that his many sins had been washed away through the valid baptism he had just received. At that moment Genesius' heart was changed by the Holy Spirit and he believed in the truth of Christianity. At the conclusion of the play Genesius boldly declared his new faith, recounting how he had been a scoffer until that moment. He implored the audience, including the Emperor, to follow Christ. The crowd thought this was part of the performance, but once they understood it was real, Genesius was seized. The Emperor, furious, subjected him to cruel tortures daily to make him renounce his faith in Christ. Genesius staunchly refused and was beheaded. The Christians collected his body and buried him with the other martyrs. St. Genesius is the patron saint of comedians, dancers, actors, musicians, printers, and torture victims. His feast day is August 25th.


Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land;
so a man from Bethlehem of Judah
departed with his wife and two sons
to reside on the plateau of Moab.
Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died,
and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women,
one named Orpah, the other Ruth.
When they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Chilion died also,
and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab
because word reached her there
that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.

Naomi said, "See now!
Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god.
Go back after your sister-in-law!"
But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall be my people, and your God my God."

Thus it was that Naomi returned
with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth,
who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 146:5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
The LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia Ps 25:4b, 5a

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Teach me your paths, my God,
guide me in your truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."


Daily Meditation: Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22

Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)

Ruth is one of the greatest heroines in the Hebrew Bible. A native of Moab, she had married an Israelite whose father had fled a famine in his homeland. But after a time, her husband and father-in-law died. In the patriarchal society of the ancient Near East, most women relied on their husbands and sons to support them financially. Because Ruth and Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, were left alone, they were in a very precarious position. So Naomi decided to return home to Israel, where the famine had subsided. And she urged Ruth to remain in Moab, where she could find a new husband to care for her.

All these factors made Ruth's decision in today's first reading especially moving. She chose not to abandon Naomi to an uncertain future. She convinced Naomi to let her go with her to Israel, a foreign and occasionally hostile land. She went even further by promising to embrace Naomi's God as her own God!

We can see in Ruth's faithfulness to Naomi a reflection of God's faithfulness to us. Through the blood of Christ, our heavenly Father has joined himself to us in an eternal covenant. He pledges to follow us into whatever "land" we wander into. He will stay with us even when, like Naomi, we feel as if our lives are falling apart. He will never give up on us, not even if we give up on ourselves—and not even if we give up on him (2 Timothy 2:13)! Every day he assures us, "Wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge" (Ruth 1:16).

Tomorrow's first reading describes how deeply blessed Naomi was because she let Ruth care for her. But for today, keep your focus on trusting God's faithfulness even when you can't see a way through a challenging situation. Tell him that you want to be just as faithful to him as he is to you. Lean on him, just as Naomi leaned on Ruth, and you'll know his peace and his protection.

"Lord, I believe that you are a faithful God. Help me to be faithful to you as well."

Psalm 146:5-10
Matthew 22:34-40


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"But Ruth said, "Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall be my people, and your God my God."......"
end of verse.
. . .

A true friend and a true companion is hard to find, and I'm finding out that they are so hard to find, that I can't hardly find one that is true to the bone, down to the marrow, to the very core of a being. Everyone will fail you. This is why God will ask you time and time again...remain...forgive...and give. It's to the point where I'm realizing that since I cannot find a faithful friend that is true and faithful, then I have to become that true and faithful friend. I surrender. I am not talking about a spouse or family, but about Jesus. My dad always repeated the verse from the bible " This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." end of verse from Jeremiah.


We pray today:
"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
Praise the Lord, my soul! ......."_ end of Psalm."


In the Gospel today we heard:
""You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself...."
end of Gospel verse.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus says that the whole law depends on love of God and love of neighbor. I want to reflect on the love of neighbor. For many, to love is equivalent to being a nice guy, or in Flannery O'Connor's formulation, "having a heart of gold." Now, there is nothing in the world wrong with being a nice guy or having a heart of gold, but you can easily achieve both of those states and not have love.
For love is not really about fitting in and being friendly; it is willing the good of the other as other. It is wanting what is best for another person and then doing something about it. And this means that real love can be as tough as nails or as disagreeable as a slap in the face—indeed, in Dostoevsky's phrase, something "harsh and dreadful."

Compelling an addict to get help or questioning a dysfunctional style of life both involve the willing of the good of the other—and neither will cause people to characterize you as a nice guy. This is why the God who is love is not a kindly Santa Claus who magically makes troubles disappear....."_ end quote Bishop Barron.

Our Lord calls us to a deeper love. What good is it to love those who love you? How about loving those who hate you? What good is conditional forgiveness like those who say "I'll forgive them if they come to me declaring they were wrong"? That is a curse! You are cursing and not loving! To love is to give. And what do you think faith is? It is love! The love of God! And if you love God, then you will love God in fellow man, no matter how wretched they may be. What if were God testing you in those people who aggravate you? This is why our Lord never lifted a finger to hurt a soul. Rather, it is us that hurts ourselves when we do not follow the law of God and this is the law of Love. Everything hinges on this. And if you will believe my visions and inclinations of the Holy Spirit...Heaven loves love. Love lights up everything. It gives off hope and life. That is why you must fight the darkness within with light, and come to the light of the Eucharist, our Lord is there.

Let us pray:
Lord, I surrender to Your Divine Will of Holy And Pure And True Love. Oh Help us love thee more and more, with all our mind, all our heart, and all our soul!


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Random Bible Verse 1
1 Peter 5:10

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.


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