Wednesday, January 17, 2024

†.."Looking around at them....


†Quote of the Day

"And above all, be on your guard not to want to get anything done by force, because God has given free will to everyone and wants to force no one, but only proposes, invites and counsels."
–St. Angela Merici

Today's Meditation

"We have difficulty understanding this, just as a blind man has difficulty understanding color, but our difficulty doesn't alter this fact: God's omnipotence and omniscience respects our freedom. In the core of our being we remain free to accept or reject God's action in our lives—and to accept or reject it more or less intensely. God wants us to accept him with all our 'heart, soul, mind, and strength'—in other words, as intensely as possible. But he also knows that we are burdened with selfishness and beset by the devil, so it will take a great effort on our part to correspond to his grace. … Every time our conscience nudges us to refrain from sharing or tolerating that little bit of gossip, every time we feel a tug in our hearts to say a prayer or give a little more effort, every time we detect an opportunity to do a hidden act of kindness to someone in need, we are faced with an opportunity to please the Lord by putting our faith in his will."
—Fr. John Bartunek, p. 591

Daily Verse

"He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
–Colossians 1:13-14


St. Priscilla of Rome

St. Priscilla of Rome (1st c.) was a Christian noblewoman who served as a benefactor to the Christian community in Rome. She supported St. Peter the Apostle, the first Bishop of Rome, and her home near the catacombs served as his headquarters. She was the wife of Manius Acilius Glabrio, a Roman politician, who was executed by the Emperor Domitian for atheism, that is, his refusal to worship the Roman gods because he was Christian. Priscilla buried him in what was once a quarry and donated the property to the Church so that others could also be laid to rest there. Her catacombs, known since the earliest days of Christianity as the "Catacombs of Priscilla" are also referred to as the "Queen of the Catacombs" because such a large number of martyrs and popes were buried there. It also holds a significant collection of early Christian iconography including the earliest known depiction of the Madonna and Child. St. Priscilla was also martyred for her Christian faith and buried there. Her feast day is January 16.


Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot
Lectionary: 313

Reading 1

1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51

David spoke to Saul:
"Let your majesty not lose courage.
I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine."
But Saul answered David,
"You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth."

David continued:
"The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine."
Saul answered David, "Go! the LORD will be with you."

Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag.
With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield bearer marching before him,
the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
When he had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt.
The Philistine said to David,
"Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?"
Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
and said to him, "Come here to me,
and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field."
David answered him:
"You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
I will strike you down and cut off your head.
This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field;
thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
All this multitude, too,
shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
For the battle is the LORD's and he shall deliver you into our hands."

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
while David ran quickly toward the battle line
in the direction of the Philistine.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling,
and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone embedded itself in his brow,
and he fell prostrate on the ground.
Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
Then David ran and stood over him;
with the Philistine's own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10

R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My refuge and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!


See Mt 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Mk 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up here before us."
Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.


DAILY MEDITATION: 1 SAMUEL 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
The battle is the Lord's. (1 Samuel 17:47)

When we are face-to-face with adversity, it can fill our entire field of vision. It's like looking through binoculars at an object right in front of us; all we can see is the problem. That's one way we can explain the anxiety of Saul and his army as they faced Goliath and the Philistines.

By contrast, David's greatest gift was not his skill with a sling but the grace of a godly perspective, the ability to see the big picture. All Saul and his men could see was the giant Goliath, and that filled them with dread. David, on the other hand, saw the whole landscape, both heavenly and earthly, and that's what filled him with courage and indignation (1 Samuel 17:45). Because he could see beyond the size and prowess—and arrogance—of Goliath, he was unfazed. There was no question in his mind who would prevail.

How can you muster the courage of David when you are facing some kind of Goliath? By remembering that the Lord who stood with the armies of Israel is the same Lord who is standing right beside you! He is with you as your fortress, your stronghold, your deliverer, and your shield (Psalm 144:2).

As you recall the truths of God's unwavering presence, you can take heart and proclaim in faith: "This battle is not only mine. It also belongs to the Lord. I don't have to tackle it all on my own." And if you feel you are lacking in confidence, you can ask the Holy Spirit to give you the same gift of perspective that this shepherd boy had when he confronted that giant.

Your heavenly Father knows every hair on your head. He knows what you need, even better than you do, and will never fail to provide for you. It's these truths of who God is that stand at the heart of the heavenly perspective. Even if you don't see a dramatic victory unfold in that moment, you can be assured that God is at work nonetheless—simply because of who he is.

So take courage today as you keep the big picture in view—the guiding and protecting love of God—in every situation!

"Lord, help me to hand over my battles to you, who are always at my side."

Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10
Mark 3:1-6


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
He stretched it out and his hand was restored......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

Is it OK to do good on the Sabbath? Our Lord asked and nobody would answer!
He grieved at how hard their hearts were.
So what good can we do on the Sabbath?
Our Lord came to show us the goodness of God.
He came to show us the very true love of God ...and neighbor.
Because in those days it seemed that the Mosaic law trumped even the love of neighbor as is evident in today's Holy Gospel.
So what good can we do on Sunday the new Sabbath?
Keep the law of our Lord.
I cannot express enough how much further we will get in faith and spirituality if we just submit in humble obedience to God's laws.
Obedience is the way of Life of Heaven on earth.
And the obedience our Lord asks of us today is to have a heart open to His way...which is the absolute Truth...and the life to live.
So can we heal people on Sundays?
And that healing takes place when we place ourselves before the cross...where we can behold the Lord with Blesses Mother Mary and all the angels and receive the Word in the flesh.
"What you do unto others, you do unto Me"...says our Lord

Pray with me:
Lord...I humbly submit myself into Your Holy Will.
Which is Love from above.


Random Bible Verse

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28


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