Monday, March 11, 2024

† "Sir, come down ..."


†Quote of the Day

"There is nothing the devil fears so much, or so much tries to hinder, as prayer."
–St. Philip Neri

Today's Meditation

"Everything that exists is a gift from God. Yet oftentimes we look to the things and creatures created by God for a satisfaction and fulfillment that only God Himself can provide. When the soul wraps itself around the things and the people of this world, looking for satisfaction or fulfillment that only God can give, it produces a distortion in itself, and in others as well. Many spiritual writers call the process of unwinding this possessive, self-centered, clinging, and disordered seeking of things and persons 'detachment'. The goal of the process of detachment is not to stop loving the things and people of this world, but, quite to the contrary, to love them even more truly in God, under the reign of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Things and people become even more beautiful and delightful when we see them in this light. There are almost always painful dimensions to this process of 'letting go' in order to love more, but it's the pain of true healing and liberation. Christian detachment is an important part of the process by which we enter into a realm of great freedom and joy."
—Ralph Martin, p.205

Daily Verse

For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified."
–Romans 2:13


St Eulogius of Cordoba

St. Eulogius of Cordoba (9th c.) was a priest from a prominent Christian family in Cordoba (Cordova), Spain. He was well-educated, humble, gentle, friendly, and a gifted leader with the charism of encouragement, especially towards Christians facing martyrdom. In his time Cordoba was the capital of the Muslim conquerors of Catholic Spain. The Muslim leaders allowed Christians to live in relative peace until a persecution arose when some of the Muslim population began converting to Christianity. They imprisoned the clergy, including Eulogius. While in prison Eulogius read the Bible to his companions and exhorted them to faithfulness in the face of martyrdom. He also wrote to two other young female converts who were facing threats, instructing them that no matter how terribly they were physically abused, it could not harm their souls, and that they must fight for their faith till death and leave God to defend his Church. St. Eulogius was released and later jailed again for hiding a young female convert who fled from her family in fear of her life. St. Eulogius' judge offered him escape if he would weaken the practice of his religion, but instead he preached the Gospel to the presiding court. He was immediately beheaded. St. Eulogius' feast day is March 11th.


Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Is 65:17-21

Thus says the LORD:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.

Responsorial Psalm PS 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
"Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper."
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Verse Before the Gospel Am 5:14

Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the LORD will be with you.

Gospel Jn 4:43-54

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
The royal official said to him,
"Sir, come down before my child dies."
Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live."
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
"The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon."
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
"Your son will live,"
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.


Daily Meditation: John 4:43-54

Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe. (John 4:48)

If you've ever played "peekaboo" with a baby, you know how fun it is. Nothing can compete with the child's surprise and delight when you take your hands from your eyes and say the magic words! But did you know that games like peekaboo are essential for a child's intellectual development as well? They help teach children something called "object permanence"—the understanding that a person or object still exists even if it's hidden from view.

As adults, we need to develop a spiritual type of object permanence. We all yearn to see God and to know that he is right here with us. We would all love to see miracles in our lives. But God isn't immediately visible, and miracles don't always happen. So the lack of concrete evidence may lead us to wonder if God is truly present.

But just like a good parent, God wants to help us learn that he is "hidden" but still present. And one of the ways he does this is through the grace of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.

We may think of these sacraments as just singular events that happened in our past. But the truth is that the graces God poured out on those special days remain with us always. They empower us to live out the new life we received in each sacrament.

For instance, the grace of Matrimony remains with a husband and wife every day. It helps them to love one another no matter the circumstance. The grace of Confirmation helps us continue to live in the power and confidence of the Holy Spirit every day. It's through these graces that we can lift up our hearts in prayer, place our faith in the Lord, and experience him working in our lives.

Jesus' words to the royal official in today's reading—"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe"—don't have to apply to you (John 4:48). Because of the grace of the sacraments that God has poured into your heart, you can believe every single day. Even on those days when he seems absent, he is standing by your side!

"Thank you, Father, for the grace of your sacraments, which help me believe in your constant presence in my life!"

Isaiah 65:17-21
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
The royal official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies."
Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live." The man believed what Jesus said to him and left....."
end quote.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus heals the son of a royal official.
Healer: that's why he's come; that's who he is. In Jesus, divinity and humanity meet. His whole body—his hands, his mouth, his eyes—becomes a conduit of God's energy. What's God's energy, God's purpose? To set right a world gone wrong, a suffering world. Out of every pore of his body, Jesus expresses the healing love of God.
Jesus' ministry of healing expresses in history God's ultimate intention for the world. In Jesus we see a hint of that world to come where there will be no more suffering, no more sadness, no more sickness.
He does not wait for the sinner, the sufferer, the marginalized to come to him. In love and humility, he goes to them. This same Jesus, risen from the dead, present and alive in the Church, is still seeking us out, coming into our homes—not waiting for us to crawl to him, but seeking us out in love and humility....." end quote Bishop Barron.

As a youth, we are not that interested in healing stuff, not even really interested in miracles. I say this because that's what I remember and this is the vibe I get from the youth that I teach. Perhaps a little eye opener is the whole resurrection thing, rising after dying.

As we grow older, sickness and death starts to show up more and more all around us, whether it be our older loved ones or even our own children who get sick. And the whole healing thing becomes a cataclysmic ordeal. In today's Gospel, we hear about a man whose son was sick and dying. It is the story about a father and his child. It is then, a loving father, and a beloved child. So many times we hear people coming to our Lord to heal their children. And it is still the case today.

Where am I going with this? Once our Lord said that we evil-doers can ask for good things and do good things for our children, so how much more would He be able to give to us who is eternally good?

This morning at daily Mass, I said a prayer I want you to say too next time you receive our Lord, because we are dealing with eternal ramifications. "Lord, come into my heart, and just as I've asked You to come into my heart, I ask you to allow me to come into Your heart and home in Heaven....forever!". It is a love offering, from me to Him and asking for eternal love in return. How in the world could we give thanks for eternal bliss? We really can't! It's not a fair deal, that He gives eternity and all we have is a few moments here on earth. Every moment then is super precious. Will you have let it waste away? Day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by minute.
The man's son was healed after our Lord said ""Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
This was not a mean statement but a clear fact from God. And the statement is a question too. Oh ye of little faith! How long will I be with you! This man did not amaze Jesus. And so our Lord had to amaze him. The man left with nothing but words said from our Lord "You may go; your son will live." From that hour the boy was healed.
I've witnessed miracles like this in my life. And after the healing, I am immensely confounded and I wonder and ask everyone until today "how in the world do you give thanks for that!".

Lord, I am eternally grateful.
I am eternally Yours!


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Random Bible Verse 1
Colossians 3:1–2

[Colossians 3]
Put On the New Self

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.


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