Friday, March 22, 2024

† "...They Tried Again To ..."


†Quote of the Day

"We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice."
–Blessed Miguel Pro

Today's Meditation

When uncertain about God's will, it is very important that we tell ourselves: 'Even if there are aspects of God's will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.' These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God's will on an important question . . . we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God's will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full."
—Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 55

Daily Verse

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit."
–Romans 15:13


St. Nicholas Owen

St. Nicholas Owen (d.1606) was born in England, the son of an Oxford carpenter. He became a carpenter himself, and joined the Jesuits as a lay brother during the era when Catholicism was outlawed in England. After serving jail time for defending the martyred St. Edmund Campion, Nicholas began working for and traveling with the Jesuits, staying in Catholic houses where he made repairs during the day and secretly constructed well-disguised 'priest-holes', or hiding places for hunted priests, during the night. He was so skilled at his craft that his priest holes saved hundreds of lives over his 20 years of work. While on a trip to London with a Jesuit priest they were betrayed by a household servant, captured, and tortured. After Nicholas' release he masterminded the priest's escape from the Tower of London. Years later, after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Nicholas was again a wanted man. He hid along with a priest in one of his priest holes, and although 100 men searched for them diligently, they were not discovered. After eight days of hiding without food, Nicholas left the hole disguised as a priest in order to protect the real priest who was still concealed. He was captured and tortured on the rack in the Tower of London. Day after day he refused to give up any information about the underground Catholic Church in England. He died a martyr after his entrails burst open. St. Nicholas Owen is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. Father John Gerard wrote of him: "I verily think no man can be said to have done more good of all those who laboured in the English vineyard. He was the immediate occasion of saving the lives of many hundreds of persons, both ecclesiastical and secular." His feast day is March 22.


Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 255
Reading 1

Jer 20:10-13

I hear the whisperings of many:
"Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!"
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
"Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him."
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

Responsorial Psalm

18:2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 7

R. (see 7) In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
The breakers of death surged round about me,
the destroying floods overwhelmed me;
The cords of the nether world enmeshed me,
the snares of death overtook me.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
In my distress I called upon the LORD
and cried out to my God;
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
R. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

Verse Before the Gospel

Jn 6:63c, 68c

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.


Jn 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?"
The Jews answered him,
"We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God."
Jesus answered them,
"Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods"'?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?
If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
"John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true."
And many there began to believe in him.


Daily Meditation: Jeremiah 20:10-13

The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion. (Jeremiah 20:11)

"Terror on every side!" That's how Jeremiah's enemies mimicked his words (20:10). They accused him of needlessly stirring up fear among the people by talking about God's coming judgment. The gossip and slander they spread around the court in Jerusalem made life dangerous for the prophet. But Jeremiah didn't back down. He had entrusted his life to God, and he knew that God would be his champion and keep him safe.

God is indeed a mighty champion for all of us—not just in life-and-death situations like Jeremiah's, but in our everyday "dangers" as well. He is with the husband and wife who worry about keeping their children from harm, paying the bills, and spending quality time together. He is with the student struggling against peer pressure and bullying. He is with the lonely widower who has just received a troubling diagnosis and the prison inmate trying to change his life in brutal surroundings. Whatever battles we may be facing, God is our champion. He is ready to fight for us and defend us.

Sometimes, though, it's hard to ask the Lord for help. We have been so conditioned by life to think we have to fight all by ourselves. We are told that religion is for the weak and that we should be strong enough to handle whatever comes our way. Or we have been told that it's normal to live with a certain level of anxiety and worry and that only fools are happy all the time. We should just grow up and get used to our problems because life is unfair, and there's nothing we can do about it.

Don't listen to these voices! You have a God in heaven who cares for you and wants to do good for you. He is very near to you. He is eager to give you every grace and blessing, in his good time and according to his perfect wisdom. A true champion, he will take up your cause and give you his grace, his insights, and his guidance to help you through every challenge. You don't have to walk this path alone!

"I love you, O Lord, my strength, . . . my rock, my fortress, my deliverer!" (Psalm 18:2, 3)

Psalm 18:2-7
John 10:31-42


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"The Jews answered him,
"We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God."
Jesus answered them,
"Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods"'?......."
end quote.

There can be said that there is a god problem in the world. There has always been a deal about gods. Lately, as always, it's been about ideals which fight the notion of gods. There are communist countries that call for their leader to be viewed as a god, just like in the Roman times when they'd say "Hail Caesar!". There are at this time leaders wanting to be raised up into a fake status of "immortality". I say fake because only God claims immortality. And so what they do now is fight against the notion of an eternity. They claim there is no such a thing and they are revising bibles in their countries to try to erase anything that talks about eternity. Just like the Jehova's Witness, they say where we live now is it, there is no salvation, just the few chosen have been saved.

These are lies. Why else would our Lord come from Heaven? He came to save us. But the ideals, the culture rejected anything that wasn't already written. And so, the question is, are you open to life? And life eternal?
They accused Him of blasphemy, but who was actually insulting God here? It's as if they had closed themselves up totally to the prophets, and indeed, at this time, it was known that Jerusalem was a place where prophets would die. The sheep were being led by a strange shepherd...a thief.
In comes the Good Shepherd, our Lord the Christ.
He lays His life as HE is slain.
It was a ransom. One life for the billions to come. Is it fair? How is this even possible? Because....He WAS GOD! His life is in the Billions and Trillions and more than we can count.
Then who is God that we can properly fear Him and worship Him?

Can we describe Him? Can we measure Him? Can we ever know who or what He really is? We cannot. It is like asking a worm to become a world renowned scholar. But we are connected in a super special way that demons hate. We are called children of God.

And for this revelation, Jesus would give His life.
He came to claim what is His, and forever.
That is why Easter is going to be so special. When Jesus rises from the dead, we rise from the dead.
So why the cross, why suffering?

The answer is "and why not?" Suffering is the means to an end. We can use it for good or for worse. Suffering then can avail us grace like no thing else can. This is the last weekday of Lent before Holy week. Have you let yourself suffer for Christ? Did you mortify yourself? Did you struggle? Did you encounter the tempter? Did you find yourself praying in ways like never before? Did you give like never before?

Perhaps you are like me and some answers are yes, and some are not so much. But now, I want more. More of God in my life.
May our affliction become our conviction. May our life now be Christ.
Let us set our face, our direction like an arrow of flint, that heads where God is asking, not what we want, but what He wants.
Palm Sunday is coming, and so let us head in with our King to reclaim Jerusalem, the city of God, the people of God!


Click for Audio

WHOA! I don't randomly choose these, it literally just pulled up random.
Today's Random Bible Verse:
Random Bible Verse 1
Isaiah 50:7

7 But the Lord GOD helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like a flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame.


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