Tuesday, March 12, 2024

† "Sir, I have no one to....."


†Quote of the Day

"Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offense you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has forgiven you."
–St. Josemaria Escriva

Today's Meditation

"Like an hourglass with a certain number of grains of sand within it, God has appointed your life to last only a certain number of days, and you have absolutely no idea how many there are. … In God's presence, consider: I have no idea when my life will end. All I know is that death will come for me eventually. Am I doing anything to prepare for the real possibility that God may call me, sooner rather than later? If he called me into eternity today, would I be ready?"
—Patrick Madrid, p. 190

Daily Verse

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
–2 Peter 1:5-8


St. Luigi Orione

St. Luigi Orione (1872-1940) was born in northern Italy and entered a Franciscan friary at the age of 13, but had to leave due to poor health. He became a pupil of St. John Bosco at his Turin oratory for boys, and later entered the diocesan seminary. While still a seminarian he opened his own oratory and boarding school to provide for the Christian training and education of boys. This institution became a well-spring for new vocations to the priesthood. He also traveled and founded many other pious congregations for clergy and lay people alike, including two religious orders. The ideal of St. Luigi's life was to provide for the spiritual welfare of others and to serve Jesus Christ and his Church. Many people were attracted to him and his work, and he cared in a special way for the sick, the disabled, and the poor. He was a preacher and confessor, as well as an organizer of pilgrimages, missions, processions, and other public celebrations of the faith. He loved Our Lady deeply and fostered devotion to her among his seminarians. Today his apostolate encompasses about 300 foundations, including schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and learning centers on nearly every continent. His body is incorrupt, and he was canonized in 2004. St. Luigi Orione's feast day is March 12th.


Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Ez 47:1-9, 12

The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the fa├žade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water,
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?"
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
"This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. (8) The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 51:12a, 14a

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel Jn 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.


They shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. (Ezekiel 47:12)

The centuries-old image of Lent as a desert journey powerfully illustrates the bleak desolation of a life without God. Few natural disasters, in fact, can compete with a prolonged drought, and the more we experience spiritual drought, the more we thirst for the life-giving water of the Spirit.

This promise of healing, refreshment, and life is at the heart of the vision that the angel shows Ezekiel in today's first reading. The prophet sees water flowing out from the Temple, mysteriously expanding in depth and volume from a mere trickle to a mighty river. The water produces fruit and brings healing wherever it goes, even reaching the toxic waters of the Dead Sea and turning them fresh and vibrant (Ezekiel 47:8).

The first Christians saw in this vision a clear connection with the new life in Christ available to everyone who receives the Holy Spirit in Baptism. They understood that, just as the water that flowed from the side of the Temple brought life, so the water that flowed from the wounded side of Jesus' body brought the healing power of the Spirit. Or, as the Catechism teaches, "The Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified as its source and welling up in us to eternal life" (694, emphasis added).

These final weeks of Lent are a good time to pray for our brothers and sisters who are preparing to receive the Spirit when they are baptized or confirmed at the Easter Vigil. Pray that they will experience the same refreshment and joy that God promised through the prophet Ezekiel. Pray that they will receive every possible gift and grace from the Spirit!

It's also a good time to declare in faith, over and over again, that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). Like the waters of the Dead Sea, you have been brought to life by the power of the Spirit. His life flows in you, offering you a taste of God's love and empowering you to share that love with everyone around you.

"Come, Holy Spirit, and well up in me as the great feast of Easter draws closer!"

Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-16


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked....."
end quote.

From a Spanish reflection today:
"Jesus does not stir the water for him, nor does he help him enter... he simply tells him to pick up his mat and walk. Perhaps our paralysis caused by loneliness, fear, rejection or isolation, whether intended or not, can be cured simply by listening to and obeying the call to get up and walk. Go out and look for someone who can help us dive into the water that heals. Go out and look for someone to help get out of your paralysis. Go out to accompany and feel accompanied. Listen to the voice that never leaves. But you have to answer the question: do you want...? And, if you want, you can also heal other loneliness because, like the paralytic, you can talk about the One who told you to take the stretcher. You can talk about healing to others." end quote from Carmen Aguinaco today.

We heard "The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up...".
If you read today's full scriptures, you will see that the first scripture talks about waters coming from a temple, a Holy Sanctuary, and you will hear that they are "flowing waters", which means living waters. Have you ever seen a swimming pool that is not taken care of, there are no pumps running water and it quickly becomes a green ugly mossy mess? That's what happens to us in our lives if we don't live and move and flow with the grace and Holy Spirit of God. Things quickly get ugly and messy, you just know you are not living a life of grace, and it can get so mucky eventually that the algae will suck out all the water, all the life out of the pool and soon, nothing will exist after that, which means death.

But we don't want to go there right? What death? I'm talking about eternal death, an eternal departure from God Almighty, the one we call Our Father!
So how can we allow water from the side of Christ, His Holy Temple, to flow within us? Eucharist. Confession. All things that unite us intimately from the very life source of all things.

Notice the poor man said that nobody would help him. Everyone beat him. Everyone was looking out for number one, themselves above all. Why not let someone else take your place at the healing water? Maybe in healing someone else, then you would be healed as well! Being selfish is not a healing thing. Being loving is a healing thing.

In my many ministries of healing, LOL, I say that smiling because I wish I had the gift of healing, but my healing comes by way of life saving measures...of holy obedience to God. Some sickness is necessary to bring us closer.

A few days ago, I was super early to work, it dark outside, and something told me to evangelize to the next employee of mine. In comes a young new driver. We say our good mornings, do the morning hand shake, and after the formality, I said something about him being cautious with his time and I said "you know, within the last year or so, we've lost 3 men in our company, my dad the boss man, a salesman, and a top mechanic, life is short...pray, go to church". He said he used to go and couldn't explain why he no longer went. This morning he went to the emergency room at the hospital, perhaps a ruptured appendix.

This morning a hired carpenter told me his daughter was attacked by a dog that had attacked her another time. This time the injuries were way worse. She is at the emergency room, with a broken tibia, and lacerations. I reproached him about the vicious dog. He said "I have a hard time speaking up! It's not my dog it's my relatives who blame my daughter for provoking the dog!". I said "silence can be deadly" and he said "I know, I have that problem that has hurt me in so many ways throughout my whole life".

Can you imagine being silent? There is no healing in that! Being silent can hurt more than not.

In business they say "watch for the silent customer (the ones who leave and never come back without saying a word)". It can be deadly there too.
I spoke up to save a soul. I spoke up to tell the carpenter to speak up in the name of justice and love and protection. And I'm now asking you to speak up too. What do I mean? Come to our Lord in the Holy Sacraments. Come be with church family (not a perfect family but a family in Christ nevertheless).

My wife spoke last night at a gathering between parishes for cursillistas. The witness she gave shed light on many that needed to hear it, but she said in her witness that it took very much effort on her part to get to that part. And so, the blessing comes after speaking.
So speak up! Need help? Speak up!

A new cursillo brother said "I used to be on drugs bad, and I knew I needed prayers, so everywhere I'd vandalize walls or trash cans and write "Pray For Franky". He couldn't muster the words, so he acted out against the law, in a plea for help. "Pray for me!" and this cry says "Help Me!". And you'd never know that about him because he is a spunky fellow, now full of life, now that the Lord has poured Himself into Him, the guy is non stop smiles.

This joy is of the Lord.

People have asked me even at work in the past "what kind of drugs are you on!" And it baffles me. I've never touched any drugs. I look at them baffled and say "It is the Lord!". My heart is ecstatic like the joyful anticipation of a child with new things always coming. What's next? What's exciting? We shouldn't be looking for things to feel good and high. No. We should look for constancy. That is one thing my anti-catholic brother in law, my ex bro in law now, said "that's one thing I've noticed about you, your always constant". And it is true. If you look at me, I don't look joyful. I'm not a lovey dovey guy, I don't really do hugs, or sappy things. But scratch a little below the surface, and feel the love of the Father wanting to exude and pour loving waters for a soul in great need of great mercy.
The Father's Blood Flows Through My Veins from the Holy Eucharist.
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened.


Click for Audio

Random Bible Verse 1
Psalm 73:28

28 But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,

that I may tell of all your works.


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