Wednesday, February 14, 2024

†."Do Not Look Gloomy.. ..


†Quote of the Day

"Heaven is filled with converted sinners of all kinds, and there is room for more."
–St. Joseph Cafasso

Today's Meditation

Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, mud and washing. The sick try to touch him, 'for power came forth from him and healed them all'. And so in the sacraments Christ continues to 'touch' us in order to heal us. Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases'. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the 'sin of the world', of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion."
—Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1504-1505

Daily Verse

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love."
–Ephesians 3:14-17


St. Valentine

St. Valentine of Rome (c. 270) was a priest who lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Little is known of his life with certainty, except that he ministered to Christians who were persecuted and imprisoned for their faith, and died a martyr. One account has it that the emperor banned all marriages and engagements in Rome, believing this was the reason Roman men were unwilling to serve in the army. Valentine defied this unjust decree and continued to perform marriages for lovers in secret. He was arrested, and while in prison he restored sight to his jailer's blind daughter, causing the jailer and his entire extended household, forty-six people in total, to immediately convert to Christianity. Upon hearing this, Claudius ordered Valentine's execution. St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, whom he had befriended, and signed it "From Your Valentine." He was beheaded on February 14th. St. Valentine is the patron of many causes including bee keepers, betrothed and engaged couples, lovers, love, happy marriages, and young people. His feast day is February 14th.


Ash Wednesday

Reading 1

Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?'"

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 2

2 Cor 5:20—6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel

See Ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.


Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."


Daily Meditation: Joel 2:12-18

Return to the Lord, your God. (Joel 2:13)

Happy Lent! We might not think of Lent as a "happy" time, but that's the way God thinks about this season. He looks forward to it! To him, Lent is an exciting time, a hopeful time, a time for his children to come home to him. Our Father longs for each of us to grow closer to him and experience his love. And so he calls us through the prophet Joel: "Return to me with your whole heart" (2:12).

This is the "why" behind all our Lenten practices of fasting and repentance, of giving alms and setting aside extra time for prayer. We make these efforts not merely as an obligation or an attempt to detach from the world but as a response to God's loving call. They help us to return to him and reconnect with the One who has loved us from the beginning. With each prayer, each sacrifice, and each act of mercy, we can take one step closer to our Father.

The good news is that God has already made the first move toward us. By sending his Son among us as a man and by giving us his Holy Spirit, God has already come close to us. He is always near, but in our human weakness and sin, we drift away from him at times and lose sight of his love. So we need to repent and return to him—and there's no better time to do this than Lent!

This year our opening articles focus on the parable of the prodigal son from Luke 15. Let's put ourselves into this moving story. Like the two sons in this parable, we have a choice to make. We can seize the opportunity that Lent offers us and take a step closer to the Lord. Or we can pull back and ignore God's generous invitation.

Let's not miss out on all that God has in store for us.

"Father, I want to return to you with all my heart this Lent!"

Psalm 51:3-6, 12-14, 17
2 Corinthians 5:20–6:2
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you......"
end of Gospel verse.
. . .

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, the Lord prescribes prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as our Lenten disciplines.
The Church traditionally says there are three things we ought to do during Lent, and I put stress on the word do. In recent years, we've emphasized the interior dimensions a little too much—that Lent is primarily about attitudes, about ideas and intentions. In the traditional practice of the Church, Lent is about doing things, things that involve the body as much as the mind, that involve the exterior of your life as much as the interior.
The three great practices of Lent—prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—are three things you do. This is going to sound a little bit strange, but my recommendation for this Lent is, in a certain way, to forget about your spiritual life—by which I mean forget about looking inside at how you're progressing spiritually. Follow the Church's recommendations and do three things: pray, fast, and give alms. And as you do, pray to draw closer to the Lord as the center of your life—and the reason you do everything. . . . ." end quote from Bishop Barron.

Our Lord Himself is asking us to give alms, in secret, no boasting.
Our Lord is also asking us to pray, in secret, no showing off.
Our Lord is also asking us to fast, and not appear gloomy.

This shouldn't be too hard right? Being a cheerful giver in secret? To be a more prayerful person in the interior of your room? Ultimately, what our Lord is asking us to do is to be more sincere and intimate with Him when we give .... from our hearts. Because in the end, we are doing it for Him and with Him.

Lent is a time to be more united with the Love, the God of our life. And this is interesting to say on St. Valentine's day as Ash Wednesday has fallen on the day of lovers. And God is the greatest of lovers. What will you give to the love of your life? Is the love of your life Jesus? He should be! He should be the one we love more than anybody! You should love Him more than your spouse, and family, and friends.

And so, we embark on a journey, towards the center of all things...the God man created in the Holy Trinity.

†May our fasting, this mortification make us hunger for God all the more.
† May our alms-giving, our pouring out of ourselves out of our pocketbooks and acts of charity, may they show God how much we want to pour ourselves out for Him lavishly as He lavishes on us the very life we live.
† May prayers for the next 40 days be a Eucharistic prayer, of hungering for Him and giving thanks as we offer even the bad issues and hurts and pains in union with Him as a love offering to unite our sufferings as the ultimate prayer with God.

So what happens when you give up something? Like TV or social media? Or slouching on the couch? If you give that up, you can now have time for something prayer. That is the point of emptying ourselves of ourselves, and filling ourselves with Him. Then we become more pious, holy, all things as God calls us to Himself!
What an amazing opportunity we have before us.
Lord, help us take advantage of this and every opportunity to be more like You, pure sacrificial love for the world to see that Love matters.


Click for Audio

Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 103:11–12

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

Powered by
GoDaddy Email Marketing ®