Wednesday, January 31, 2024

†..So He was not able to.....


†Quote of the Day

"We find ourselves in this earth as in a tempestuous sea, in a desert, in a vale of tears. Now then, Mary is the Star of the Sea, the solace of our desert, the light that guides us towards heaven."
–St. John Bosco

Today's Meditation

"Christ not only was obedient to His heavenly Father by giving up His life on the cross, He continues this obedience by remaining with us in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. That is His greatest triumph of love, which according to His promise, He will fulfill until the end of the world. Our Lord, glorified in heaven, yet wishing to abide with us in unceasing unity, is obedient to the first invocation of the priest, who in His name, repeats the words of consecration: "This is my body…this is my blood" (Matthew 26:26,28). Christ does not look upon the person who utters these words, nor upon his degree of perfection, but He is obedient to every priest without exception, in order to descend on our altars and give Himself to us entirely."
—Mother Raphael Lubowidzka of the sweetest Heart of Jesus, CSFN, p.65-66

Daily Verse

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult."
–Psalm 46: 1-3


St. John (Don) Bosco

St. John Bosco (1815–1888) was born in Italy to a poor farming family. His father died when he was two, leaving his religious instruction to his pious mother. At the age of nine he had his first of many powerful visions which would come throughout his life. In it, Jesus and the Virgin Mary showed him that he was to instruct poor, wayward boys and bring them back to God. John eventually joined the priesthood, paying his way through school with odd jobs. As a priest he began ministering to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to desperate conditions in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Many of these street boys ended up in prison as teenagers. Don Bosco became a mentor and spiritual director to them, helping them to live a life of virtue and saving many from a future of crime and poverty. He met with them as a group – called the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales – and catechized them as a kindly spiritual father. He also established the Salesians of Don Bosco, priests and brothers who minister to and educate boys under the patronage of the great spiritual director, St. Francis de Sales. Don Bosco is the patron saint of boys, laborers, young people, students, and Mexican young people. His feast day is January 31st.


Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest

• Readings for the Memorial of Saint John Bosco, priest

Reading 1 2 Sm 24:2, 9-17

King David said to Joab and the leaders of the army who were with him,
"Tour all the tribes in Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba
and register the people, that I may know their number."
Joab then reported to the king the number of people registered:
in Israel, eight hundred thousand men fit for military service;
in Judah, five hundred thousand.

Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people,
and said to the LORD:
"I have sinned grievously in what I have done.
But now, LORD, forgive the guilt of your servant,
for I have been very foolish."
When David rose in the morning,
the LORD had spoken to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying:
"Go and say to David, 'This is what the LORD says:
I offer you three alternatives;
choose one of them, and I will inflict it on you.'"
Gad then went to David to inform him.
He asked: "Do you want a three years' famine to come upon your land,
or to flee from your enemy three months while he pursues you,
or to have a three days' pestilence in your land?
Now consider and decide what I must reply to him who sent me."
David answered Gad: "I am in very serious difficulty.
Let us fall by the hand of God, for he is most merciful;
but let me not fall by the hand of man."
Thus David chose the pestilence.
Now it was the time of the wheat harvest
when the plague broke out among the people.
The LORD then sent a pestilence over Israel
from morning until the time appointed,
and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beer-sheba died.
But when the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it,
the LORD regretted the calamity
and said to the angel causing the destruction among the people,
"Enough now! Stay your hand."
The angel of the LORD was then standing
at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
When David saw the angel who was striking the people,
he said to the LORD: "It is I who have sinned;
it is I, the shepherd, who have done wrong.
But these are sheep; what have they done?
Punish me and my kindred."

Responsorial Psalm PS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (see 5c) Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Lord, forgive the wrong I have done.

Alleluia JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place,
accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.


Daily Meditation: 2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17

Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people. (2 Samuel 24:10)

Amidst life's uncertainties, it's natural to find yourself engaged in various forms of accounting: Do I have enough money? Enough friends? Enough clothes and possessions? But the security we truly seek comes from trusting in God, not from counting and measuring the things of the world.

David fell victim to this very temptation. Surrounded by enemies, he recognized that a war could be catastrophic. So to assess the strength of his kingdom, he ordered a census. It seemed like a sensible move. He wanted to know how many men he could call into military service if he needed to. So why did he later regret doing this?

Many commentators believe that David's problem was lack of faith. Regretting his decision, he realized that he had forgotten that Israel's true strength was in the Lord (2 Samuel 24:10). Time and time again, God had given them victory even when they had been vastly outnumbered. So David's assessment of his people's strength revealed a lack of trust in God their protector.

Where do you find yourself counting without trusting? Maybe in an earnest attempt to become holier, you measure your worth by external religious markers, like the number of prayers you recite, the extent of your charitable deeds, or the size of your contribution to the poor box. All of these are important, of course, but God doesn't measure your worth by them. He doesn't love you more if you do more. He offers you his grace simply because he loves you. And that grace is immeasurably more than you can imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Perhaps financial responsibilities or a busy calendar makes you feel as if you constantly have to monitor how much time and money you have available. You might be acting very responsibly, but even so, how much are you able to trust in the One who provides for all your needs? Or to what extent do you still believe that peace comes from your power to measure and control your resources?

Your heavenly Father cares as deeply about you as he did for the people of Israel. You can count on him.

"Lord, give me more faith to believe that you are in control. Help me to trust you in all things."

Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7
Mark 6:1-6


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"They said, "Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?"
And they took offense at him. ....."
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus is rejected by the people of his own town. For as he says, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place." But he astounded crowds throughout Galilee because he taught with authority.
As far as we can determine, Jesus was not formally trained in a rabbinic school, nor was he educated to be a temple priest or a scribe, nor was he a devotee of the Pharisees, the Saduccees, or the Essenes. He was, if I can use a somewhat anachronistic term, a layman. And this made his arrival on the public scene all the more astounding.
For this Nazarene carpenter with no formal religious education or affiliation began to speak and act with an unprecedented authority. To the crowds who listened to him preach, he blithely declared, "You have heard it said, but I say—" He was referring, of course, to the Torah, the teaching of Moses, the court of final appeal to any faithful rabbi; and therefore, he was claiming for himself an authority greater than that of Israel's most significant teacher and lawgiver.
......" end quote Bishop Barron.

Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house."
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith."

There's 2 ways we can amaze our Lord. One way is to show Him our amazing faith, like the centurion who said "no need to come to my house, just SAY THE WORD and he shall be healed". Jesus was amazed.
Or, we can amaze Him by our lack of faith. Like in today's Holy Scripture.
Wouldn't we all want to amaze our Lord?

We can. How? Believe in Him and His ways above yourself and your own ways! And if there's doubt, well, sorry, that means there's room for the devil, for there is where chaos begins, wars begin, and pains begin. How many times have you doubted and it has caused so much stress and anxiety in your life! Trust in the Lord!
And to amaze Him with a lack of faith? Well, that's easy. Just believe all the nay sayers. Believe all those who say we can doubt. There's nothing wrong with questioning, but there is something wrong when you doubt. These are completely opposite things. To inquire, to believe is one thing. To inquire to doubt, that's a whole other thing. Remember if in doubt when dealing with sin, fall to the side of greater good.
Let's say for instance, you are not sure if what you are doing is a mortal sin, or even a venial sin....then, the answer is, "if you are not sure, then don't do it!". It is not rocket science to follow God's ways. It is a choice of humility and obedience.
The same thing can happen in your life. And it can happen like this: God speaks through people, even those that are not following His ways. The other day someone said that they were being encouraged in the good things they were doing for the poor, or a just judgement, and those people don't even go to church! If it is for the greater good, listen up! And sometimes those are things we don't want to hear!

Being humble is a big lesson, and it is more than just letting yourself get run over for doing God's is WAY MORE than that. Being humble is to let yourself be sacrificed, and still love them with all your heart, mind, body, and soul.

We've no better example than our Lord crucified.
He's right there eternally sacrificed, so that we might follow Him to the path less taken.

If it were easy, everyone would do it and not put up a fight.
But it is not. Faith is a gift from God. A gift we ought to take heart in, appreciate, and make it grow, and how will it grow apart from the Vine of which we are the branches?

Let us pray today:
Lord, I want to amaze You and those around me with great faith, but for that, I need more of You! Lord I do believe! Help my disbelief! Help me love like I ought!


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Random Bible Verse 1
Matthew 5:9

9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons1 of God.


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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

†..At that they were utterly astounded


†Quote of the Day

"In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course."
–St. Boniface

Today's Meditation

"In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course."
–St. Boniface

Daily Verse

"God chose Joseph to shower Jesus with his love. God wanted Jesus to experience human love in a way that would prepare him for his ministry of mercy and compassion for all. As Joseph welcomed Jesus into the world with a kiss, he is inviting us to find God's fatherly love for us in the example of his life."
–Katy Micheli, p.182


Saint Martina of Rome

St. Martina of Rome (d. 228 A.D.) was born to a noble Roman family and orphaned at a young age. She was zealous in the practice of her faith, remained a virgin, and, in preparation for the Christian persecutions sweeping the city, gave much of her inheritance to the poor. She was martyred under Roman Emperor Alexander Severus. According to the accounts of her martyrdom, she was discovered praying in a church and was arrested by Roman soldiers. She was ordered to pay homage to the pagan gods, which she refused. She was then cruelly tortured over several days. She was raked with iron hooks and scourged, and when a bright light enveloped her, some of her torturers were converted to the Faith amid her fervent prayers. She was then taken to the temple of Diana to be forced to offer sacrifice, but at her presence the temple's demon left with a scream. They next tried to throw her to a lion (it showed no interest in her) and to burn her alive, but she would not catch fire. Finally, she was beheaded. St. Martina's feast day is January 30.


Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Sm18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30–19:3

Absalom unexpectedly came up against David's servants.
He was mounted on a mule,
and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth,
his hair caught fast in the tree.
He hung between heaven and earth
while the mule he had been riding ran off.
Someone saw this and reported to Joab
that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth.
And taking three pikes in hand,
he thrust for the heart of Absalom,
still hanging from the tree alive.

Now David was sitting between the two gates,
and a lookout went up to the roof of the gate above the city wall,
where he looked about and saw a man running all alone.
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said,
"If he is alone, he has good news to report."
The king said, "Step aside and remain in attendance here."
So he stepped aside and remained there.
When the Cushite messenger came in, he said,
"Let my lord the king receive the good news
that this day the LORD has taken your part,
freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you."
But the king asked the Cushite, "Is young Absalom safe?"
The Cushite replied, "May the enemies of my lord the king
and all who rebel against you with evil intent
be as that young man!"

The king was shaken,
and went up to the room over the city gate to weep.
He said as he wept,
"My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom!
If only I had died instead of you,
Absalom, my son, my son!"

Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom;
and that day's victory was turned into mourning for the whole army
when they heard that the king was grieving for his son.

Responsorial Psalm PS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (1a) Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Listen, Lord, and answer me.

Alleluia MT 8:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
"My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live."
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to him,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
"Do not be afraid; just have faith."
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep."
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.


Daily Meditation: Mark 5:21-43

If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured. (Mark 5:28)

So often, we judge by appearances. We focus on how people look and draw a conclusion about their need for God. We even think about ourselves in a similar way!

In today's Gospel, the two people who came to see Jesus could not have looked more different. One was wealthy, influential, and a respected leader of the synagogue. The other was an outcast, sick, and deemed ritually unclean (Mark 5:22, 25-26). Yet they both found themselves in a strikingly similar position: suffering and in need of help. What can we learn from these two people as they sought out Jesus?

We may experience seasons when life is challenging, and we feel discouraged, much like the suffering woman. Maybe we have exhausted all other options and are losing hope that God cares about our pain. At these moments, we can remember the woman's perseverance and tenacity as she pushed her way through the crowds to reach out to Jesus. We can trust that God does hear our cries. He will give us the strength we need.

In other seasons, we may appear to have it all together. Life may be going great, our parish is thriving, and our family life is fulfilling. However, Jairus serves as a sobering reminder that no matter how secure we may feel, our lives remain fragile. No matter what we look like, we all need God's tender care. Comfort or wealth can blind us to that need. Jairus came to a realization of his need amid tragedy, but his need for Christ was no less after his daughter was healed. So it is for us: even when everything appears secure, we still need Jesus. We need his love, his care, and his presence.

Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman sought out Jesus because of the circumstances in their lives. They needed him that day by the Sea of Galilee, and they would always need him. And so will we. This is why Jesus came.

Whatever your current circumstances, go to the Lord today and confess your need for him. In that honest place, he will always meet you.

"Father, I need you. I know that if I reach out my hand to you, you will lift me up."

2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3
Psalm 86:1-6


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep."
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"....."
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, today's Gospel tells of the raising of the daughter of Jairus.
Jesus continues his assault on death, upbraiding the people for their ostentatious moaning and mourning. He is impatient with the whole culture of death, all that has grown up around the supposed finality of death. And this is why he says, "The child is not dead but asleep." Relativizing death—that is the name of Jesus' game.
When news arrives that the child has died, the suggestion comes that Jesus should not be troubled any further. But Jesus says to the leader of the synagogue: "Do not be afraid; just have faith." There, in a nutshell, is the Gospel: a passion for the impossible, a firm belief that the reign of death is ended. Faith replaces fear.
The Talitha koum (little girl, get up) is a reminder of the absolute centrality of resurrection in the Jesus event. God is the Lord and giver of life, and he accordingly battles all those forces of death that bedevil us." end quote Bishop Barron.

I wrote a song for a competition for our ongoing National Eucharistic Revival which is set to end this year and thousands will flood Lucas Stadium in Indianapolis this summer with a Eucharistic Congress. I entered the song lyrics but not sure if I entered correctly. Regardless, this is what I wrote for the competition:


Verse 1
"Why this commotion and why do all weep?
The child is not dead, she is nothing but asleep."
And they ridiculed him, He simply sent them away,
He took along the child's true family, and showed them the way.

Verse 2
"Talitha koum," "Little girl, I say arise!"
The girl, arose now walking, opening all eyes,
He said that no one should know this feat,
He said she should be given something to eat.

Give me your food my Lord,
On my knees this I extoll,
Your precious body and blood my Lord,
And I will give you my soul.

Bridge- Exultation:.
I am hungry now my Lord,
I am tired of the negative world,
I am hungry for Your light,
I am ready to be all yours.
Verse 3
"Who has touched my clothes?"
My Lord, Nobody knows.
"The crowd is pressing on you,
and yet you ask, Who?"

Verse 4

Suffering woman, tremble in fear,
"Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and cured" dry your tears.

What other food could we ask for than Jesus?
What does the name Jesus mean again? It means "He Saves".
He is savior. And we shall always give glory to that name above all names that saves.
And why does our Lord save a person from death and then have them eat?
Let's think about confession. You are dead spiritually, or dying, and you confess, meet our Lord, He forgives and saves, but then....we are commanded to eat.
And what are we to eat? After confession, we are to eat the Eucharist. You've been emptied. And now, fill yourself up with the best sealer of goodness, to fill your empty soul, to never again allow false foods, ideals and gods to take over you, for they only provide bitter tears and anguish.

Little girl, arise!
I wrote another song about our Lord taking a woman by the hand and raising her up, and it was a woman when she was about to be stoned to death for being caught in adultery. He told her to go and sin no more and she was saved. These are the things that happen in Confession. You actually hear these words by an authorized Person of Christ, the Father in the priest.

When God touches you, there is no turning back. What these touched souls are about to eat is Eucharist, Jesus Himself. We are dying and He is dying to feed us, nourish us, and strengthen us so that we might live and live more His Grace.

When science fails, God does not.
When men fail, God does not.
When your mom and dad fail, God does not.
Even shall they forget you, He will not.

He saves, and this is good news. It means Emmanuel, God is with us. And this should cause us to give our lives to Him.
How? Be devoted in Church? Sure! Be so humble that you will confess more often? Sure! Why wouldn't you want a personal encounter with our Lord? Be devoted in more daily prayer alone and with your family? Yes! This is fundamental to a life in Christ!
But we still have yet to hit the nail on the head.
Eucharist means thanksgiving.

The song isn't about saving one's fleshly life, but one's soul. And so, if our Lord saves your soul, how can you thank Him in this temporal world forever? You can't! And for that, we have the Eucharist, the eternal offering, which in turn, in Him, is eternal thanksgiving. One thing for another. God with Man, and this case, Woman, which means a creation born from His side, His love.
You are His Love! Believe it or not. If you see a flower in your life, it was God's gift to you. If someone smiles at you today, it is God's gift to you! So why don't you smile and change someone's life!
I'm not a smiley guy, or a hugging type of guy, but I'll force it and then joy comes after. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing.
And then life happens, light happens, Christ comes into the world with true compassion and humility.

Let us pray today:
Lord, You are Amazing, I want to thank you Eternally in Heaven! Let me start now, with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my strength, with all my Soul!


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Random Bible Verse 1
Isaiah 52:7

7 How beautiful upon the mountains

are the feet of him who brings good news,

who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,

who publishes salvation,

who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."


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