Wednesday, March 27, 2024

† "..It would be better for that man.."


†Quote of the Day

"The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place ... Love will be the whole syllabus."
–St. Robert Bellarmine

Today's Meditation

Set free from human judgment, we should count as true only what God sees in us, what he knows, and what he judges. God does not judge as man does. Man sees only the countenance, only the exterior. God penetrates to the depths of our hearts. God does not change as man does. His judgment is in no way inconstant. He is the only one upon whom we should rely. How happy we are then, and how peaceful! We are no longer dazzled by appearances, or stirred up by opinions; we are united to the truth and depend upon it alone. I am praised, blamed, treated with indifference, disdained, ignored, or forgotten; none of this can touch me. I will be no less than I am. Men and women want to play at being a creator. They want to give me existence in their opinion, but this existence that they want to give me is nothingness. It is an illusion, a shadow, an appearance, that is, at bottom, nothingness. What is this shadow, always following me, behind me, at my side? Is it me, or something that belongs to me? No. Yet does not this shadow seem to move with me? No matter: it is not me. So it is with the judgements of men: they would follow me everywhere, paint me, sketch me, make me move according to their whim, and, in the end, give me some sort of existence … but I am disabused of this error. I am content with a hidden life. How peaceful it is! Whether I truly live this Christian life of which St. Paul speaks, I do not know, nor can I know with certainty. But I hope that I do, and I trust in God's goodness to help me."
—Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p. 99-101

Daily Verse

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil."
–2 Corinthians 5:10


St. John of Egypt

St. John of Egypt (4th c.), also known as John the Hermit or John the Anchorite, worked alongside his father, a carpenter, until he was twenty-five years old. He then discerned a call from God to go out into the desert and become a hermit. He spent sixteen years in spiritual training under the care of a religious superior who commanded him to perform difficult and unreasonable tasks, which John obeyed with childlike simplicity. After this time of spiritual training he withdrew into greater solitude in a small cell at the top of a cliff, praying incessantly and avoiding contact with people for the last fifty years of his life. He had the gift of prophecy and could perform miracles, and foretold to Emperor Theodosius his future victories as well as the time of his death. People traveled from afar for his counsel or blessings, and to hear him preach. He would receive visitors two days a week from a tiny window in his cell. He became so famous for his holiness that St. Augustine wrote of him, making reference to the devils who came to tempt John continually. St. John of Egypt's feast day is March 27th.


Wednesday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 259
Reading I

Is 50:4-9a

The Lord GOD has given me

a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary

a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning

he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,

have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,

my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield

from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,

therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,

knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;

if anyone wishes to oppose me,

let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?

Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;

who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm

69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34

R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,

and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,

a stranger to my mother's sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,

and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,

I looked for sympathy, but there was none;

for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,

and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,

and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;

you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,

and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.


Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.


Mt 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."


Daily Meditation: Matthew 26:14-25

He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. (Matthew 26:23)

When the Easter Triduum starts tomorrow, you'll have three whole days to ponder and read through the story of Jesus' passion and death. In fact, you can begin with today's Gospel. And what better way to reflect on these readings than to place yourself right in the middle of the action?

Start by asking God to be with you in your reflection. If you can, close your eyes and try to imagine the sights, sounds, or even smells of the scene as you join the apostles at the Last Supper. Read through the passage slowly, and stop whenever something stands out to you. Stay with it for a while; there's no need to rush. Ask God to help you come to know Jesus better as you spend time with his word.

Imagine yourself at that table with Jesus. You have been close to him, traveling with him, learning from him, and seeing him perform all kinds of miracles. You've shared countless meals with him. And now you're excited to celebrate the Passover with him and the other apostles. But during the meal, Jesus looks around the table with sadness and says, "One of you will betray me" (Matthew 26:21). You inhale sharply and look around.

It could be any one of you at the table. No wonder you and the others are perplexed. Soon everyone, including you, is asking, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" (Matthew 26:22). No one stands out as the obvious betrayer. You examine your heart to consider the tension between loyalty to Jesus and your own self-interest. While you want to reject the possibility that you would betray him, you know that your faith isn't as strong as it could be.

What do you think the Lord is showing you in this scene? Did anything stand out to you? Speak to him about it and resolve to hold onto it throughout the day.

Contemplating the Scriptures in this way can help you see the events of Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection with fresh eyes. It can draw you into a deeper love for him and a greater gratitude for all he endured for you.

"Lord, let your word lead me closer to you!"

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"......"
end quote.

Bishop Barron says today:
"Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples to go into Jerusalem and prepare a Passover supper.
At the heart of the Passover meal was the eating of a lamb, which had been sacrificed, in remembrance of the lambs of the original Passover, whose blood had been smeared on the doorposts of the Israelites in Egypt. Making his Last Supper a Passover meal, Jesus was signaling the fulfillment of John the Baptist's prophecy that he, Jesus, would be the Lamb of God and the definitive sacrifice.
This sacrifice is made sacramentally present at every Mass—not for the sake of God, who has no need of it, but for our sake. In the Mass, we participate in the act by which divinity and humanity are reconciled, and we eat the sacrificed body and drink the poured-out blood of the Lamb of God." end quote Bishop Barron.

Everyone knows about the Last Supper. Holy Thursday is about the Last Supper. So many things happen there that this reflection could only initiate another set of books to write about what has been written throughout the ages. It is not only written, but is a daily supper we partake of as Catholics every single day for the last 2,000 years. But today, the Gospel focuses on the Words of our Lord that should affect all of us. " of you will betray me...". And then He said it was the one " who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me."
Who dipped his hand into the dish? Wasn't it a custom to pass around the dipping dish and dip their bread into it? Which one of the 12 would it be? And if we look ahead, all of the disciples fled from the scene of the crucifixion. Except one. And so, in a sense, all betrayed Him, but not like the one our Lord was prophesying about...Judas. How terrible for Judas. Even our Lord said "woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He answered, "You have said so."
There is a good piece of advice that I like to emphasize, that when it comes to sin, if you don't know if you are sinning, if you have a doubt, then don't do it. Doubt is what initiates sin. It is the number one weapon used against people. Just doubt, and dabble. That's all evil needs, a way in, a bad seed to grow inside.
So today, let's focus on our soul's state of grace.

Would I betray our Lord as our first disciples and Apostles did?
They witnessed phenomenal miracles, had great knowledge of scripture and the messiah. All would flee from crucifixion...but they would all return except one...Judas. All came back to receive their own "crucifixion" or martyrdom for Christ and His Kingdom. They shed their blood for Christ, except one that shed blood for himself by taking his own life.

You see, there is a choice to make...die for self, or die for Christ.
And how will you die for Christ if you live for yourself alone?
That is why the Last Supper is our Daily Bread.
It is our pleading for mercy, and our receiving of God Himself in the Holy Eucharist.

There He is, offering Himself to be one with us...forever. This is why I attempt to receive Him daily. And this is why I attempt to be an unblemished tabernacle, which is impossible without Him, and His grace, and His life, and His blood and body within.


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Random Bible Verse 1
1 Corinthians 13:7–8

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.


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God Bless You! Peace

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