Friday, November 10, 2023

†.. For the children of this world


†Quote of the Day
"No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ."
–St. Leo the Great

†Today's Meditation
"Voluntary poverty restores to man the nobility of his condition, liberating him from vile servitude and reinstating him his noble freedom and mastery of all things. The soul is never more a mistress than when she despises them, and only then has she the more firm possession and makes the more excellent use of riches, when she gives them away or leaves them of her own free will; only then her appetite for them is best satiated, when she does not care to possess them. Then above all is the heart set free and made capable of the treasures of the Divinity, for which it is furnished by the Creator with almost infinite capacity."
—Ven. Mary of Agreda, p. 85

†Daily Verse
"But thou, O Lord, knowest me; thou seest me, and triest my mind toward thee."
–Jeremiah 12:3a


Pope St. Leo the Great

Pope St. Leo the Great (c. 400–461 A.D.) was born in Tuscany to an aristocratic family. After serving as deacon under two popes he became the Roman Pontiff from 440 to 461 A.D. He was one of the greatest Holy Fathers the Church has known; he was the first pope, and one of only two, to bear the title "Great." He guided the Church through the turbulence of the collapse of the Roman empire, waves of barbarian invasions, widespread disintegration of morality, and many dangerous heresies including Pelagianism and Manichaeanism. His feats include persuading the Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome; preventing a doctrinal split in the Eastern churches; persuading Attila the Hun to turn back and forsake his invasion of Italy; and convincing the Vandals under their leader Genseric not to pillage the city of Rome or harm its inhabitants. He championed the Church and the Catholic faith in an uncertain era by maintaining unity, defending orthodox doctrine with clarity, and preaching vigorously against false teaching. By his strong influence he changed the course of European history; he was known not only as a leader of the Church but also as the protector of all of Rome. Pronounced a Doctor of the Church in 1754, many of his writings survive today. St. Leo the Great's feast day is November 10th.


Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and doctor of the Church

Reading 1 Rom 15:14-21

I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters,
that you yourselves are full of goodness,
filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you,
because of the grace given me by God
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles
in performing the priestly service of the Gospel of God,
so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable,
sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast in what pertains to God.
For I will not dare to speak of anything
except what Christ has accomplished through me
to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed,
by the power of signs and wonders,
by the power of the Spirit of God,
so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum
I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ.
Thus I aspire to proclaim the Gospel
not where Christ has already been named,
so that I do not build on another's foundation,
but as it is written:

Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. (see 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

Alleluia 1 Jn 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
'What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.'
The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.'
He called in his master's debtors one by one.
To the first he said, 'How much do you owe my master?'
He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.'
He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.'
Then to another he said, 'And you, how much do you owe?'
He replied, 'One hundred measures of wheat.'
He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.'
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light."


Daily Meditation: Romans 15:14-21

I have reason to boast in what pertains to God. (Romans 15:17)

How do you react when someone gives you a sincere compliment? It's tempting to deflect the praise by saying, "It was nothing" or "So many others played more important roles" or even "If you only knew how badly I messed up." We may even assume that humility demands this kind of self-effacement.

But that's not what we learn from St. Paul in today's reading from his Letter to the Romans. He didn't minimize what he had accomplished. He declared that he was the first one to preach the good news from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum, a Roman province northwest of Greece. And he wasn't shy about the "signs and wonders" that God had worked through him as he "finished preaching the Gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:19).

Paul wasn't being arrogant, however. He was boasting "in what pertains to God" and not to himself (Romans 15:17). He recognized the gifts that God had given him to be a minister of Christ to the Gentiles (15:15-16). He had worked hard to use those gifts to the best of his ability. And he recognized that everything he had accomplished, in one way or another, was accomplished by the grace of Christ.

When Paul, or any one of us, uses our gifts and achieves something praiseworthy, God is glorified. As St. Ireneaus said, "The glory of God is man fully alive." So when you do what you were made for, you give glory to God. And when you receive recognition for it, you can give glory to God as well. God made you to shine like a light in the darkness so that people would see your good works and rejoice in the One who is at work in you (Matthew 5:16). So when people notice, that's your chance to boast in what pertains to God.

Paul had unique gifts that enabled him to live out his mission. He offered all he was to the Lord, and God used him to do great things. God has given you gifts, too! He wants you to help build his kingdom. So when someone recognizes your gifts or your contributions, no matter how small or large, accept it and give glory to God!

"Lord, I will boast in you. Thank you for all that you have done in and through me!"

Psalm 98:1-4
Luke 16:1-8


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:Audio Link

From today's 1st Holy Scripture:
"I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another..........." end of verse.
. . .

Wait, wait just a minute. What's this whole thing about "admonishing one another?" What does it mean to "admonish" anyway? Our typical lay vocabulary does not always use that word. It means to warn or reprimand someone firmly. And I believe it is actually a sign of the Holy Spirit.
And yesterday's story about my interaction with my priest and related to my dad's experience of them admonishing me was to let you know that we need to take note of how I or all of us tend to react to admonishment! Every time I write about someone putting me down, it's not about them insulting me or how bad others are! You are hearing me wrong if you heard about others being worse or bad to me. No! If only I could write like St. Paul with words full of grace. But alas, I am just an ignorant dull tool in the chest of God's tools.

The whole purpose of me ever writing about an interaction is to point out the real need of humility, mainly in me! And when I write about me, I mean you too! Look and learn from my failures! Like this week, I taught my students to "honor your father and your mother." It is God's Command! And I used an example when I was a naive teenager with a license, and my dad told me to get in the car with the family to go somewhere but I didn't want t go, I wanted to do other things. Instead of obeying my dad and honoring my father, I slammed the door in my mom's face to the car, and my dad got off to let me have it. And boy that made me run away from home! But I've never told that story to many. It's not about how bad my relationship was, or how strict my dad was! NO!! I'm telling you I did not have grace, I was out of touch with God's commandments, I was a complete fool! And to make things worse? I ran away, from my father who was just trying to correct me. My mother made us talk again, and I soon moved back in, like 2 days later, from across the street, from my grandpa's house! LOL.
I laugh about it now, but what a fool I was, and what a fool I still am! I have a bad attitude that I am working on every single day! Right when someone tells me something I feel like saying "who the heck do you think you are!". And instead of peace, a rift ensues. Boy I hate that. Why are we like that? Where is true humility? Where is sincere love? I do admonish most sinners, I do have guts to do it. But when I get admonished, boy how do we handle...the truth? I tried it again this morning in another interaction. This time, I knew full well what was going on as I was being reprimanded. And so, I tried love and patience and clear communication. Communication problems kill. It is said that miscommunication is what hurts and costs most lives, in the healthcare industry in our country, and I'd say in most families and churches today. For that, we need God...Love, patience, wisdom, kindness....all the other fruit of the Holy Spirit to be able to admonish and receive admonishment rightly.


We pray today:
" The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm........"


In the Gospel today we heard our Lord:
"'What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.'
The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?....."
end of Gospel verse.

This is the Parable of the Dishonest Steward.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus praises a steward who cheats his master. Now, what do we make of this? It seems so peculiar especially in Luke's Gospel, where Jesus has been teaching the radical message of detachment from worldly goods. But here he is giving his approval to a man who clings to wealth in an immoral way. Well, what gives?

Jesus wants us to see that this steward takes a hard look at his situation and decides to do something about it. Now, the Lord is not telling us to imitate his immorality. But what Jesus admires is his resolve. He knows his own weaknesses, he assesses himself honestly, and then he decides to act.

The Lord told the parable to urge us to carefully examine our spiritual condition. His desire is that we choose to renew our relationship with him. He wants us to take stock of our weaknesses and make a firm resolution to acquire necessary strengths to fix them.

If your prayer life is weak, act to give it new life. If you have not been worshiping fervently at Mass, decide to participate more fully. If you have a broken relationship, repair it. And so on. Decide now, then act...." end quote Bishop Barron.

From a Spanish reflection today:
"Also in our missionary life - evangelization, catechesis, community building - we must stay awake, be intelligent to seek the best means. At least with the same diligence that we put into our material businesses.
For the business to go well, we sit down and do numbers to see how to reduce expenses, improve production, and keep customers happy. Do we take care of our evangelizing task in this way?
The children of this world strive to earn more, to have more, to command more. And do we, the followers of Jesus, those who have been commissioned to be the light and salt and leaven of this world, put in the same effort and effort to be effective in our mission? Are we children of the light that illuminate others, or do we hide that light under the table?
"I have left everything full of the gospel of Christ" (1st reading I)
"He will transform our humble condition, with that energy that he possesses to submit everything to Him" (1st reading II)
"The children of this world are more crafty than the children of light" (gospel)" end of quote from J. ALDAZABAL, Enséñame tus caminos.

The dishonest steward reminds me of our Lord's words that my beloved dad always used to say to me in loving advice: "son, we must be astute like serpents, but as calm as lambs". I know it is not the exact words of the bible, but I knew what he meant. If I were more astute, I wouldn't act like a wolf. If I were more astute for God's business, all other business would follow suit.

So what's up with the dishonest steward? Why does our Lord bring it up to our attention?

To me, it's as if the Lord is calling us to Himself. Because, we are a people of convenience. The steward immediately goes to make deals so he is looked at like a great guy for his convenience. We should do the same...with those we have trespassed and sinned against also. Go make up. Go make amends. And you know what? God is inside of them ready to take the deal! Why? Because He is merciful. There is not going to be any greater deal you'll make than when you deal with God's mercy. There is no way we can pay for our sins, and so our Lord just asks that we be mercy and take to His mercy.
I put out a message yesterday to friends and family and had it posted on our church's media inviting all to come give thanks to our Lord after receiving the Eucharist, and we'd have songs and prayers of thanksgiving. I will not tell you if anybody went or how many went. That does not matter for what I am about to say. After we prayed and sang songs of thanksgiving, as we drove home, I felt a greater void inside of me, like, what we did was so little for the so much He has done. Like, we needed more time, more songs...more praise, more adoration, just needed so much more acts of love to God. And there is good news in this message. We have Heaven for that. But just as amazing...we have now to give God love in one another.

God has the ultimate hook up. If we would only wise up and rise up to the opportunity before us.

Pray with me:
Lord, the time to meet the King, You My Lord, is coming. I want to be prudent too. Prudent with my time, talent, and treasure. For You! May I truly love Thee as I ought! Oh help us love thee more and more.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 37:4

4 Delight yourself in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.


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