Friday, April 12, 2024

† "."Gather the fragments left over .... "


†Quote of the Day

"I will simply counsel every man and woman to beware of even the very least speck of [pride], which seems to me to be the mere delight and liking of ourselves for anything whatsoever that either is in us or outwardly belongs to us."
–St. Thomas More

Today's Meditation

"How many souls might reach a high degree of sanctity if properly directed from the first. I know God can sanctify souls without help, but just as He gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants while fertilizing them Himself, so He wishes to use others in His cultivation of souls. What would happen if the gardener were so clumsy that he could not graft his trees properly, or knew so little about them that he wanted to make a peach tree bear roses?"
—St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 64

Daily Verse
--The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for evermore."
–Psalm 121:5-8


Saint Teresa of the Andes

St. Teresa of Jesus (1900 – 1920), also known as St. Teresa of the Andes, was born in Chile to an upper class family. She was a pious child with a profound spirituality and a deep devotion to Jesus and Mary. Yet she was also stubborn and self-centered, defects which she diligently set herself to overcome in preparation for her First Holy Communion at the age of 10. Inspired by reading the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, and confirmed by prayer, at the age of 14 she decided to become a Carmelite nun. Five years later her desire was realized. In May of 1919, at the age of 19, she entered the Carmelite monastery of Los Andes where she lived a life of prayer and sacrifice. She also took to writing letters through which she shared her remarkable spiritual life with the outside world. It was revealed to her in prayer that she would die young, which she accepted with happiness and confidence. A few months after her entry she contracted typhoid fever, from which she died in April of 1920 during Holy Week. Before her death she was permitted to profess her vows. She was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 1993, the first Chilean and the first Discalced Carmelite nun outside of Europe to be declared a saint. Her feast day is April 12.


Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, "Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God."
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Mt 4:4b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
"Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little."
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.


Daily Meditation: Acts 5:34-42

All day long, . . . they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus. (Acts 5:42)

What if you heard some really good news, something utterly life-changing? This news has made you so happy that you are bursting with joy. You just can't contain yourself; you just have to share it with someone!

In today's first reading, the apostles could not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus and his resurrection. Despite having just been flogged by order of the Sanhedrin and sternly warned to "stop speaking in the name of Jesus," they preached "all day long, both at the temple and in their homes" (Acts 5:40, 42). What compelled them to do this?

One reason was that their joy could not be contained! The apostles had received a pure, unadulterated kind of joy that bubbled over like a spring. They knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the fulfillment of all the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament. But he had died, and all looked lost. Three days later, however, he rose—and his resurrection brought new life, along with the gift of the Holy Spirit. This was beyond anything they could have ever hoped for or imagined!

The apostles experienced the joy of Easter, but it wasn't meant for them only. In every age, believers are invited into that same kind of joy. Unfortunately, our very human tendency is to take the good news for granted. Or perhaps the struggles of daily life obscure the life-giving message of the gospel. However, no matter what our lives are like at any given moment, we can make a conscious choice to rejoice in what God has done for us through Christ. That decision may lead us into a personal experience of joy—along with a desire to share the reason we are feeling that way.

We may not be called to preach and teach in quite the same way as the apostles. However, we can discover our own "temples": those places where we can bring the good news. This might be in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our families—wherever the Lord leads us. May the example of the apostles inspire us to share the gospel out of the abundance of joy in our hearts.

"Lord, my Savior, I rejoice in you!"

Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
John 6:1-15


corrected link 4/10/24

Reflections with Brother Adrian:


In the Holy Scripture we hear today:
""There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted......"
end quote.

From Bishop Barron:
"Friends, our Gospel today focuses on St. John's intense meditation on the meaning of the Eucharist. The tone is set with the familiar story of the feeding of the five thousand, the only miracle story mentioned in each of the four Gospels. This scene deeply affected the first Christians.
Jesus instructs his disciples to have the crowd recline on the grass. Taking the barley loaves and dried fish, Jesus makes a meal that satisfies the enormous crowd. They are hungry, tired, and worn out from their exertions, and Jesus gives them sustenance for the day.
For Thomas Aquinas, the great metaphor for the Eucharist is sustenance, food for the journey. Baptism defines us, making us sons and daughters of God; Confirmation confirms and deepens this identity; Marriage and Holy Orders seal us in our life's vocation. These are sacraments offered once at key moments in one's life.
Then there is the Eucharist, which is daily food, nourishment to get us through the day-to-day. How effective would we be if we never ate, or ate only on special occasions and in a festive environment? Not very. So, in the spiritual life, we must eat and drink or we will not have the strength."

The daily bread is the daily thanksgiving the very life of God the very substance of Jesus Christ who offered Himself on a Thursday forever. This is why I asked us to consider giving thanks in Church on Thursdays. And today, we see our Lord looking at thousands of people, who have been following Him all day and to go home may take another day or two, without food for many. He sees, and He knows. And so it was all part of His plan to lead them out to be hungry. He asks "how much food do we got?" And they answered Him things like "hundreds of days of wages can barely feed them!". And a little boy is found to have offered what little he had. Who was that little boy? Perhaps the boy Jesus. Perhaps the child Jesus. We will never know who that boy was that offered a few loaves and a few fishes. But what we do know is what happens next. Our Lord takes the bread and fish and gives thanks to God.
Thanksgiving. Everything I'd dare say is in the thanksgiving. The most holy people are the most thankful people. And I mean the kind that give their very lives in thanksgiving.

The Eucharist means thanksgiving.
Our Lord gives Himself totally in the thanksgiving bread.
And this is His love, and it multiplies over and over again until the end of time.
It is true that you have to give in order to receive.

One thing I've noticed, like years ago when I helped at a homeless shelter, they'd have us feed the long lines, and they said "don't give more than one plate, or else they might use it for drugs or other wrongful things". I already had an inkling of what it means to give and to see a hungry face ask for more, it didn't make sense. And so, what happened was that everyone ate, and there were leftovers, that may or may not ever be used again. That extra plate was meant for that hungry person who probably was only going to eat this meal for the day.
I'm not speaking about the ones running the shelter but about life in general.
We'd better give when someone asks, even the shirt off your back.
Is it right to give like this? To the truly needy...yes.

Because, just like an act of thanksgiving to God in church, giving to someone in need is a true act of love of God and neighbor.
Everyone before our Lord that was being fed had a neighbor that shared their bread with them.

They say that if the countries in our world simply shared their food, all of the world's hunger would end. But this doesn't happen. Politics and feelings and ideas get in the way. Even the Catholic and other Christian organizations that feed the poor often have trouble getting the food to the starving people because of governments that intervene. Sometimes food stay on ports for long periods and then the food gets stolen, taken by government to be sold elsewhere.

Why is it like that? Why are we like that? We are the blockers.
We block the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is Love.
If you've heard this so far, open your hands and open your heart.
Learn to let go...of yourself.

Jesus, Help us Love Thee as We Ought! Forever!


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Random Bible Verse 1
Proverbs 19:20

Listen to advice and accept instruction,

that you may gain wisdom in the future.


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