Monday, January 29, 2024

†.."Go Home To Your....


†Quote of the Day

"When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth."
–St. Bonaventure

Today's Meditation

"O my soul, how much joy and solace shall you know when you are permitted to perceive such a vast multitude of beings who are all so noble, splendid, and gracious! How unspeakably wonderful if you attain to the blessed destiny of joining this celestial assembly [the angels]! For they are like princes of heaven and children of God–and you shall be as a brother or a sister, and a peer among them!"
–St. Aloysius Gonzaga, p.37-38

Daily Verse

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near."
–Philippians 4:4-5


Saint Aquilinus of Milan

St. Aquilinus of Milan (d. 1015 A.D.), also known as St. Aquilinus of Cologne, was born to a noble family in Bavaria, Germany. He received his education in Cologne, Germany and was ordained to the priesthood. He was offered the bishopric of Cologne, but turned it down in order to be a missionary priest and itinerant preacher. He traveled through various European cities fighting against the dangerous and spreading heresies of the Cathars, Manichaeans, and Arians. He was also known to work miracles by healing people from disease, especially during a cholera epidemic. He eventually settled in Milan, Italy, and was so effective in his preaching against the Arian heretics that they stabbed him to death and threw his body in the city sewer. His body was recovered and buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, in a chapel which now bears his name. His feast day is January 29.


Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13

An informant came to David with the report,
"The children of Israel have transferred their loyalty to Absalom."
At this, David said to all his servants
who were with him in Jerusalem:
"Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom.
Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us,
then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword."

As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing.
His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot.
All those who were with him also had their heads covered
and were weeping as they went.

As David was approaching Bahurim,
a man named Shimei, the son of Gera
of the same clan as Saul's family,
was coming out of the place, cursing as he came.
He threw stones at David and at all the king's officers,
even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard,
were on David's right and on his left.
Shimei was saying as he cursed:
"Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!
The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul,
in whose stead you became king,
and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom.
And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer."
Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king:
"Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?
Let me go over, please, and lop off his head."
But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours,
sons of Zeruiah, that he curses?
Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David;
who then will dare to say, 'Why are you doing this?'"
Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants:
"If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life,
how much more might this Benjaminite do so?
Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.
Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction
and make it up to me with benefits
for the curses he is uttering this day."
David and his men continued on the road,
while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside,
all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.

Responsorial Psalm PS 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) Lord, rise up and save me.
O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
"There is no salvation for him in God."
R. Lord, rise up and save me.
But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!
When I call out to the LORD,
he answers me from his holy mountain.
R. Lord, rise up and save me.
When I lie down in sleep,
I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
I fear not the myriads of people
arrayed against me on every side.
R. Lord, rise up and save me.

Alleluia Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 5:1-20

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice,
"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!"
(He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!")
He asked him, "What is your name?"
He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us."
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him,
"Send us into the swine. Let us enter them."
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
"Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you."
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.


Daily Meditation: Mark 5:1-20

Go home to your family. (Mark 5:19)

In the movie It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey grows up with dreams of leaving his hometown of Bedford Falls to become an architect in a big city. But a series of circumstances keeps him rooted in his small town. It takes the intervention of an angel to show George how important his life is and how his presence in Bedford Falls has been a huge blessing to so many people there.

In today's Gospel, we see someone who also wants to leave his town: the man from whom Jesus drove out a legion of demons. Who can blame him? He was probably so overwhelmed with gratitude that he decided he would follow Jesus wherever he went. Or maybe the thought of staying in a place where he had suffered so much was too difficult to bear.

But this is one instance where Jesus actually tells a potential disciple to stay put. Why would he do that?

Sometimes following Jesus means making a dramatic change—like when Jesus called Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John to leave their careers as fishermen and travel with him. But sometimes following Jesus means staying right where you are and making a difference there.

Obeying Jesus, the man in today's Gospel stayed. He told his family and neighbors what Jesus had done for him, "and all were amazed" (Mark 5:20). Jesus knew that this man needed to be reconciled with his community, not a change of scenery. He also knew that the evidence of his dramatic deliverance could change people's hearts in a way that even Jesus' preaching—which shocked and scared them so much—might not.

Staying in the same place doesn't always look exciting, but it can sometimes take more courage to do God's work right where you are. Each of us has a different calling; no two will look the same. Jesus knew what was best for this former demoniac, and he knows what is best for you. If parts of your life—a job, family duties, a home—feel stuck, Jesus may be nudging you to make changes. But prayerfully consider a different perspective: maybe he wants you to be an agent of his love right where you are.

"Jesus, help me to grow in holiness and share your message no matter where I am."

2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13
Psalm 3:2-7


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!"
(He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!")
He asked him, "What is your name?"
He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us."
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, today's Gospel shows Jesus driving the unclean spirit from the Gerasene demoniac. What we see here on vivid display is Jesus the miracle worker.
Modern thinkers tend to be wary of this dimension. For instance, Thomas Jefferson took a straight razor to the pages of the Gospels and cut out everything that smacked of the supernatural—miracles, exorcisms, and so on. The problem, of course, is that he had to make an absolute mess of Mark's Gospel, which is positively chock-a-block with such things.
Jefferson's contemporary, the great modern philosopher David Hume, wrote a powerfully influential text against miracles. He claimed that since the laws of nature were set, miracles were, strictly speaking, impossible. Accounts of them, he concluded, were the result of the foggy or wishful thinking of primitive people.
But though God typically lets the universe run according to its natural rhythms and patterns, what is to prevent him from shaping it and influencing it occasionally in remarkable ways, in order to signal his purpose and presence? " end quote Bishop Barron.

Has God ever tormented you? Truth is, if you ever feel like it, it's most probably the demons inside of us that can't stand the light, the truth, and the way, which is our Lord Himself. That's why some don't like to go to church. That's what keeps many from church too. So what's the solution?

Let me start by saying, this God stuff is not for cowards. I read today that a saint once saw hell, as our Lord let her see it, and she said that hell is full of cowards. The road to Heaven is narrow, and hard, and for our Lord Jesus, it was a trek up a mountain with a heavy cross after He was almost beat to death and stripped of His clothes and His skin. But that didn't hurt as much as His heart and His mind, for the very souls He came to save, were the very souls that were betraying Him, even His own disciples, maybe 10 out 12 were nowhere to be seen at the hour of the chalice the test.

And yet we dare to pray "but deliver us from evil" and "lead us not into temptation" which means "do not allow us to be put to the test".

So what can we do if we are cowards in the faith? Just do the opposite! LOL, right? Have courage, be stouthearted. And know this, that if you are being encouraged in the faith, it is the Lord Himself encouraging You! This life is short and packed with power. If everything in Heaven is backwards, like streets made of gold, this means that gold is worthless in Heaven. What is precious on earth is worthless in Heaven. Suffering is precious in Heaven. Jesus suffers much until today. It is precious suffering He endures, because of our sins. Shall we continue to make Him suffer though? His suffering means love, sacrificial love. How many of us are busy? I mean like really REALLY busy? I'm trying to head up a business with about 50 employees and hundreds of moving parts, and I'm heading up various ministries and projects in Church, and I'm the husband and father with 8 children and 3 dogs! LOL. I'm pretty busy. But this morning as the daily grind was trying to take over me and my peace, I looked to a picture of our suffering Lord and I asked myself "am I suffering for His business, or my own business?".
How many of us are suffering for our Father's business?

And how many of us actually want to bother?
We need to bother people, and what I mean is bother the hell out of them, and what I mean by that is to help them be freed from the bonds of slavery to sin by giving home to evil spirits.
What evil spirits? They are numbered in the thousands of types. And many are lustful kind that make most go to hell. And there are spirits that make one lazy in the faith. And there are demonic spirits in the pride movement leading the way as there are demons for abortions.
Let me stop right there. Notice how I said let us free people, because that is exactly what our Lord did with the tormented man from the Gerasene territory. He kept telling the evil spirits to leave and it was almost impossible until our Lord asked who the spirit was. This is what happens today in exorcisms. This one was a big one, legion, a thousand evil demonic spirits were in this man. How does this happen? And isn't it strange that a human soul can house that many evil spirits?

We are battling, not people, but evil spirits. How can we counter them? We can oust them ourselves in a holy and sincere confession for ourselves, and then seal your house, your body, your soul with a life of holiness and prayer and virtue. As for others?
Well, I do the same as our Lord when someone is spitting in my face with vile hatred and lies, I literally proclaim the name of the Lord in their presence and demons flee.

Yes, we can do this, we can pray. But there is much work to be done afterwards, because demons want to return.

Do you want to get rid of rodents and welcome them back? No! Of course not! You seal up your house, right? You must keep it immaculate, no more room for rodents, no more feed for rodents, no more, but poison and all sorts of actions to keep them out, right? The same should be for all of us.
You make a tremendous difference for the body of Christ.
If a day in Heaven is like 1,000 years on earth, then, I have an inkling that one day's worth of work for the Lord, any deed, is worth 1,000 times in Heaven. So by all means, let us transform the world, one soul at a time, one day at a time.

Let us pray today:
Lord, I am with You. Things are not pretty when I am serving You, things get messy, and makes one sweat, and cry, but this is all good news, it means something good is happening, salvation is happening, and so I pray today, that we are yoked together, in this good work of servitude and humility, love of God and love of neighbor.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Ephesians 4:1–3

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


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