Wednesday, February 28, 2024

†." Whoever Wishes To Be . . ."


†Quote of the Day

""Our perfection does not consist of doing extraordinary things, but to do the ordinary well."
–St. Gabriel Possenti

Today's Meditation

"Wait a little while, my soul, await the promise of God, and you will have the fullness of all that is good in heaven. If you yearn inordinately for the good things of this life, you will lose those which are heavenly and eternal. Use temporal things properly, but always desire what is eternal. Temporal things can never fully satisfy you, for you were not created to enjoy them alone . . . for your blessedness and happiness lie only in God, who has made all things from nothing."
—Thomas a' Kempis, p. 133-134

Daily Verse

"Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, 'Be holy because I [am] holy.'"
–1 Peter 1:13-16


Pope Saint Hilary

Pope Saint Hilary (5th c.) was Bishop of Rome from 461 to 468. Not much is known of his early life other than that he was from Sardinia. He rose to prominence in the Church when he became archdeacon under Pope St. Leo the Great, working closely with him as a trusted aid. St. Leo sent Hilary as one of the papal legates to the Council of Ephesus in 449. There St. Hilary fought bravely against the monophysite heresy, for which his life was threatened. He was forced into hiding and fled back to Rome for safety. He was so highly esteemed that after Pope Leo's death he was elected to the papacy. As pope, St. Hilary fought for the rights of the papacy in spiritual matters against the Roman Emperor, and increased organization and discipline between the bishops and the Holy See. He also did much work in building, remodeling, and decorating Roman churches and other public places. Pope St. Hilary's feast day is February 28.


Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading 1 Jer 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word."

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Gospel Mt 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 20:17-28

He took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves. (Matthew 20:17)

What kind of teacher was Jesus? The kind who never wasted an opportunity to help his students grow and learn! Some of his lessons were prepared ahead of time; others arose from the disciples' questions or reactions. In today's Gospel, we see these kinds of interactions with his closest disciples.

Jesus teaches prepared lessons. He explains to his apostles why he is heading to Jerusalem and what will happen to him there. When these terrible events unfold, he wants them to understand that it's not a setback; it's essential to God's plan of salvation. He knows they probably won't understand this at the moment of his death, but he wants to assure them that death will not have the final word. He will be raised.

Jesus also responds to situations that arise. At this crucial moment, the mother of James and John approaches Jesus. With a patient smile, Jesus invites her to tell him what she wants, and she asks for privileged places for her sons in the coming kingdom. He makes sure James and John understand that following him involves sacrifice and suffering long before it results in honor. When they say that they are ready, Jesus doesn't contradict them. He accepts their good intentions and affirms that they will walk in his footsteps.

Jesus doesn't let a teachable moment pass him by. He observes how this conversation affects the other ten apostles. They are indignant! Why should James and John be given higher status than the rest of them? We can imagine Jesus sighing deeply as he uses the opportunity to draw a striking portrait of servant leadership, so different from the domination that worldly leaders exercise (Matthew 20:25-26). He drives the lesson home by highlighting his own example—an example of service and love that he wants them to follow (20:28).

We can easily imagine ourselves in these very human scenes. How privileged we are to have such a patient, perceptive, and gentle teacher! He knows just what lesson we need at each moment in our lives. So ask Jesus what he wants to teach you today. Then sit at his feet, as his disciples did, and listen to him.

"Jesus, I invite you to keep teaching me as I walk with you day by day."

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
_"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
. . .

Who is sitting at the right hand and left hand of our Lord right now in Heaven? Who knows! Does it matter? Perhaps in Heaven yes, but here, all that matters is what our Lord Jesus says. And He gives the order of Heaven.
"...whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave."
Because in Heaven, things are in right order.

But there is something that scares me about Heaven.

If you read the book of Genesis and the book of Revelation, there seems to be one common will.
The greatest and most beautiful and intelligent angel, Lucifer, the angel of lights, had a free will, and the idea there is that it almost seemed as he thought he knew better than God.
And this is the EXACT sentiment we face today.
Think of the oblivious and sometimes obnoxious teenagers that think they know better than their parents.
They fight with their parents. They disobey their parents. The even tell their parents that they hate them. Where is the order? Where is the grateful attitude we'd expect?

Well, please do not be offended, but this is EXACTLY how our Lord sees the world. Ungrateful at best.

I remember a couple of years before COVID, I had a statue of our Lady of Grace in our back yard, and it began weeping it seemed. The eyes seemed to show tears running down her face. I was baffled. There was no water around it, no trees to make it affect just the eyes. No logical explanation. I began putting flowers and to pray, not to the statue, (this is ridiculous, sorry protestants thats just plain idol worship I agree) but to take it as a sign of things to come, and as a sign from me trying to make up to Mother Mary for her sorrowful tears.

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And I took the 2 years of tears as a sign later, of what was about to happen. The world was not getting better...for God. Then COVID struck, for a good 2 years.

Now, after COVID, the world seems more open to the things of God.
Her tears are gone. Vanished with no logical explanation. The world seems now, as if trying to listen more. But there is one thing lacking....still. What is it? Gratefulness.

Yes, we are not obnoxious as much, but still, not as grateful.
This is the whole point of the Eucharist.
And so, our Lord shows us how to be perfect. To let ourselves be ground up by the world, and how?
"whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave."

We become more for the light from God, if we become less in the eyes of the world. To the point that you become invisible.

That is what astonishes me about the resurrection. Sure our Lord returned, but He didn't come to Lord Himself over us, or to say "Haha I told you so!". No. Instead, He came to edify us, to become one in us in the Holy Spirit, invisible. He came to encourage us, to show us how to become...less.
Oh that we would just listen, and tear ourselves open to God the Father.
With our free will we can do marvels. Or we can become obnoxious spoiled kids that just want everything their way.
How can we make a return? True gratitude is true humility in obedience. An affliction should help us stay grounded with the Lord. Humility comes from the word "humus" which means dirt.
Remember you are dirt and to dirt you will return.
But God our Father can raise us from the dirt and give life to our bones.
I am afraid to offend God, but mostly to offend the gift of Love He has endowed us with.
Lord, Help us Love Thee as we ought.


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Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 31:24

[Psalm 31]

24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage,

all you who wait for the LORD!


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