Thursday, February 8, 2024

†..For Saying THIS .. . ..


†Quote of the Day

"Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage."
–St. Josephine Bakhita

Today's Meditation

"A spiritual Communion acts on the soul as blowing does on a cinder-covered fire which was about to go out. Whenever you feel your love of God growing cold, quickly make a spiritual Communion.' 'Quickly!' There's a sense of urgency here. The saints are trying to tell us that we should not limit our union with Christ in the Eucharist to sacramental Communion once a week, or even once a day. We need Christ's living presence in our lives moment-by-moment to nourish us and protect us from sin, so we need to renew our union with Him regularly, especially any time we feel ourselves drifting away. Christ is not merely present in the Eucharist during Mass! The Eucharist is an ongoing fulfillment of Christ's Gospel promise to remain with us: 'Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)."
—Vinny Flynn, p. 98-9

Daily Verse

"I love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies."
–Psalm 18:1-3


St. Josephine Bakhita

St. Josephine Bakhita (d. 1947) was born into a wealthy Sudanese family near Darfur. She was kidnapped when she was nine years old and forced into slavery. Her kidnappers named her Bakhita ("fortunate" in Arabic). She was sold and resold, beaten and tortured by her "owners" until 1883 when she was purchased by an Italian consul who treated her well. He brought her to Italy to work as a nanny. In 1889, the Italian courts ruled that Bakhita was enslaved illegally and declared her a free woman. She became enamored with the Catholic faith and chose to stay in Italy. Bakhita was baptized in 1890 and received her First Holy Communion from the future Pope St. Pius X. She took the Christian name of Josephine, and in 1896 entered the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity. She was affectionately called "Our Black Mother" by the Italians, as her amiable spirit and warm heart won the admiration of many people during her fifty years of religious life. She was known for her charity towards children and the poor, her indomitable spirit during the hardship of slavery, and her joy in religious life. St. Josephine Bakhita is the patron of Sudan, and her feast day, February 8th, has been designated the International Day of Prayer to Stop Human Trafficking.


Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Kgs 11:4-13

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods,
and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God,
as the heart of his father David had been.
By adoring Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians,
and Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites,
Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD;
he did not follow him unreservedly as his father David had done.
Solomon then built a high place to Chemosh, the idol of Moab,
and to Molech, the idol of the Ammonites,
on the hill opposite Jerusalem.
He did the same for all his foreign wives
who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
The LORD, therefore, became angry with Solomon,
because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel,
who had appeared to him twice
(for though the LORD had forbidden him
this very act of following strange gods,
Solomon had not obeyed him).

So the LORD said to Solomon: "Since this is what you want,
and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes
which I enjoined on you,
I will deprive you of the kingdom and give it to your servant.
I will not do this during your lifetime, however,
for the sake of your father David;
it is your son whom I will deprive.
Nor will I take away the whole kingdom.
I will leave your son one tribe for the sake of my servant David
and of Jerusalem, which I have chosen."

Responsorial Psalm PS 106:3-4, 35-36, 37 and 40

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people;
visit us with your saving help.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
But they mingled with the nations
and learned their works.
They served their idols,
which became a snare for them.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
And the LORD grew angry with his people,
and abhorred his inheritance.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Alleluia Jas 1:21bc

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, "Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs."
She replied and said to him,
"Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps."
Then he said to her, "For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter."
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.


Daily Meditation: 1 Kings 11:4-13

His heart was not entirely with the Lord. (1 Kings 11:4)

In the history of the Jewish people, David and his son Solomon were both powerful but flawed leaders. David used his position of power to have the husband of his mistress killed (2 Samuel 11). And Solomon began worshipping the false gods of the pagan nations (1 Kings 11:5-8).

You could argue that David, with his trail of lust, conspiracy, and murder, sinned more grievously than Solomon did. But God saw it differently.

For all his flaws and weaknesses, David tried to follow God "unreservedly" (1 Kings 11:6). From his earliest days, he was devoted to the Lord. He even risked his life in battle with Goliath simply because Goliath was mocking the Lord (1 Samuel 17:26). Even after the whole affair with Bathsheba, when he realized how far he had fallen, David offered sincere and humble repentance (Psalm 51). Rather than growing defensive or denying his responsibility, he admitted his sins and begged God to spare everyone who was affected by them (2 Samuel 12:15-17).

Solomon, on the other hand, began well but then ended up showing little concern for his relationship with the Lord. As Scripture said, his "heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of his father David had been" (1 Kings 11:4). He let his foreign wives turn him away from worshipping God and honoring the Law of Moses. He spent a great deal of time consolidating his power, building up his army, and filling his own coffers with wealth (10:14-29). And he neglected to care for the poor and needy in his kingdom (12:1-5).

The stories of David and Solomon show us that God can see into the deepest desires of our hearts. He doesn't look just at our actions; he also sees our intentions and motives. He sees how much we want to love him, even if we struggle to live out that love. And he always pours out grace to help us stay faithful.

So even if you sin, and sin grievously, take heart. Your Father won't stop loving you. He won't stop offering you his mercy and his power to change. More than anything, he wants to purify your heart so that you can love him more and follow him more faithfully.

"Lord, I place my heart in your hands. Teach me to live in your love!"

Psalm 106:3-4, 35-37, 40
Mark 7:24-30


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"He said to her, "Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs."
She replied and said to him,
"Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps."
Then he said to her, "For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, a feisty woman engages Jesus in an argument. It is one of the only scenes in the Gospels where someone cajoles Jesus into doing something he wouldn't ordinarily do.
There is a long tradition that stresses the woman's perseverance in the face of the "test" that Jesus sets for her. There is another reading that shows how the woman exemplifies the proper attitude toward God, a combination of humility and boldness, of deference and defiance.
But the reading I want to emphasize is one conditioned by the philosophy of the "other." The Old Testament speaks insistently of the "stranger, the widow, and the orphan," those who have no one to care for them. They press upon us even when we would greatly prefer them just to go away.
We the Church are the Body of Christ, the physical presence of Christ in the world. And so people come to us demanding food, sustenance, friendship, love, shelter, liberation. So often we are tempted to do what Jesus does initially and what the disciples do: tell them to back off.
But the whole of the Christian life consists in remembering the suffering and need of the annoying other......" end quote Bishop Barron.

"Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him."
What unclean spirits are we talking about here? How do we figure this out from 2,000 years ago? Some Jewish beliefs say dead persons that were not laid to rest properly became evil spirits. And another part says: " Possession by demons causes, or is associated with, various sicknesses, especially those in which there is a perversion of the human personality, so that the demon, not the man himself, directs his acts and speech." Notice the term "perversion". It is the same as "unclean" isn't it? This kind of spirit roams the world looking to live inside of souls. Perhaps the teenage daughter was foul mouthed, disrespecting her mother? Perhaps she was really possessed? What was the case here?

Regardless of the case, we heard of a persistent mother seeking help, and salvation. She knew something was wrong with her daughter.
And this still happens today. Unclean spirits pervade our nation, and the world. The sad part is, nobody really cares that much, as if we are used to it. We are used to the perversion on TV, Social Media, the daily jokes, the way people dress, tight clothes, the looks people give each other. It's actually gross! But, we live with it. We deal with it. And we don't do anything about it.

If we are going to launch 700 years for Christ to Reign as true King of all hearts in this word, this is one of the first things that has to go. Purity must reign, as our Lord Jesus was pure. And watch how worldly theories even try to degrade His purity with filthy stories. That's how terrible a place we live in.
How can we become pure? It is a fight on all fronts.

It will start easy...with a humble attitude to God's laws which are His will...and I'm not talking just old Testament stuff, no, Jesus came to bump it up to the next level of faith and purity for the whole world.
And, what's awesome is the Holy Sacraments. They avail us super grace, and healing! If only we would take our daughters and sons for healing! Confessions. Retreats. Everything that will open us up to the Holy Eucharist....Jesus Himself!

Let us pray today:
Lord, Help us love thee! Help us love Thy Ways! Help us pour ourselves out in pure love to Thee!


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Random Bible Verse 1
1 Corinthians 13:1–3

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,1 but have not love, I gain nothing.


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