Posted by: livingscripture | January 24, 2017

Meditation for 1-24-17

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

JANUARY 24, 2017

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”
— St. Basil the Great

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Scattered about the entire earth, your mother the Church is tormented by the assaults of error. She is also afflicted by the laziness and indifference of so many of the children she carries around in her bosom as well as by the sight of so many of her members growing cold, while she becomes less able to help her little ones. Who then will give her the necessary help she cries for if not her children and other members to whose number you belong?”
— Saint Augustine
Posted by: livingscripture | January 24, 2017

Feast of St. Francis de Sales

 

 

WORD of the DAY

His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.  A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers  [and your sisters] are outside asking for you.”  But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and [my] brothers?”  And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.  [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother. (Mark 3: 31-35)

How shall I live this Word?community

In today’s  brief Gospel, Mark places Jesus at the center of a web  of relationships that surround Him with two very different attitudes:  the crowd and the relatives, that is, the new family that listens and those of blood ties.  The crowd is standing around Jesus and is  seated in the attitude characteristic of those who are listening.  Then there are the Lord’s relatives who instead, are outside, standing.  Their being outside is a pen stroke that clearly says it is not enough to belong to Jesus’ family to think oneself ipso facto included in the circle of those who listen to the Lord.

However, this distinction is not obvious for anyone, not even for His Mother and relatives.  The fundamental condition for everyone is only that of ‘doing God’s will’. Then we hear the Teacher’s question: “Who is my mother and who are my sisters and brothers?”  Then He looks around Him as though expressing His choice, embracing His true family and taking His distance from His blood relatives.  His new family consists of those who acknowledge the absolute primacy of the Kingdom that renews everything.  This does not mean that He is despising His family but rather that the Kingdom has come and creates new ties.  Jesus affirms not only detachment but also the universality and freedom of belonging.

His closing words dilate the confines of Jesus’ family beyond the crowd because it offers everyone who wants it the possibility of being part of it as long as they do God’s will.  It is not relationships that count but the courage of faith.  Thus it was even for Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary.

The voice of St. Augustine

Certainly Mary Most Holy did the Will of the Father and thus it counts more for Mary to have been Christ’s disciple than to have been His mother.  Mary is also blessed because of this, because she listened to the word of God and observed it.  In fact, she safeguarded the truth more in her mind than in her womb.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 23, 2017

Meditation for 1-23-17

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

JANUARY 23, 2017

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
– St. Augustine

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Not to try to live in interior silence is equivalent to giving up the effort to lead a truly Christian life. The Christian life is a life of faith, lived in the invisible for what is invisible. Anyone who is not in constant contact with the invisible world runs the risk of remaining always on the threshold of a true Christian life. … Solitude is the stronghold of the strong. Strength is an active virtue, and our power of keeping silence marks the level of our capacity for action. ‘Without this interior cell, we would be incapable of doing great things, either for ourselves or for others.'”
— Raoul Plus, S.J.
Posted by: livingscripture | January 23, 2017

Third Monday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.  But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. (Mark 3: 24-27)

How shall I live this Word?Revelation144000JewsSEALED_250

Today’s Gospel speaks of Satan, the Divider, and of his house divided against itself.  This leads to speaking of the absolute centrality of Christ in conquering this division.  Although the evil one is stronger than we are, Christ is certainly the strongest.  The life and action of Jesus is from this perspective of the duel between two opposing worlds and in which is definitively played out integral human salvation.  If Jesus casts out demons, it is in virtue of the Spirit that He casts them out, and this proves that the Kingdom of God has come.

Jesus speaks of the house of Satan and formulates this principle: “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand”.  Thus is it for our Church today.  We must seriously make the effort to pray and work for the unity of the Church so that it can be realized more and more in our times.

This is the precisely the yearly time to pray for the unity of all Christians, 18-25 January.  “The love of Christ urges us toward reconciliation” (Cf. 2 Cor. 5: 14-20).  This Pauline text used for the commentary this year was prepared by the Council of the German Evangelical Church on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 1517.  After much discussion, an agreement was made to have it be a “Celebration of Christ”. If in fact, attention is placed on Jesus Christ and His work of redemption as the center of Christian faith, then all the various confessions can participate in the celebration.

The Pauline text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gratuitous gift of God and involves all of creation.  Christians who have been reconciled by the action of God in Christ, are personally called to proclaim this reconciliation with their words and life.  Today’s world has extreme need of authentic witnesses of reconciliation who make the barriers and walls that separate us turn into bridges that establish peace and bring about new styles of life and of communion.  One of these witnesses is certainly our Pope Francis who has given new impulse and vigor to these days of the ecumenical movement, especially with his historic visit to the Lutheran Church of Lund in Sweden.

O merciful God, out of love You make a covenant with Your people.  Give us the strength to abstain from every kind of discrimination.  Grant that the gift of Your Covenant of Love  may fill us with joy and inspire us to greater unity.  We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Posted by: livingscripture | January 22, 2017

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

WORD of the DAY

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.  He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.  He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them,  and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.   (Matthew 4: 18-22)

How shall I live this Word?Jesus_150_small

Today’s Gospel recounts the calling of the first four disciples: Peter and Andrew, James and John.  It is interesting to note that Jesus calls them while they are at their ordinary daily work, as they were fishing or mending their nets.  Jesus uses their profession to bring them to a higher level.  They will become fishers of men and women.  Thus Jesus calls them in the concreteness of their daily life so that they can understand something of the mysterious vocation He is calling them to.  They are humble men, performing humble tasks.  Jesus calls them to a new life project, to a new existence immersed in another sea, the story of salvation, they will fish to save human beings in the tempestuous waters of life.

These four men now begin a new time, a new story, a new life with Jesus.

Today, the Lord still walks along the seas of our day as we work, as we suffer, as we bend over the pains and fatigue of each moment.  He addresses to us the same marvelous invitation: “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of ‘men’”.  Like the four disciples, let us immediately ‘leave all’ to follow Him, doing all for Him and with Him in whatever vocation He has asked of us.

Lord, come into my life.  Untangle my ‘nets’ from all that separates me from You and impedes me from following You.

 The Voice of Luciano Manicardi, Monk of Bose                        

God’s narration is a human, very human life, made of words and silences, of gestures and encounters, of tenderness and strength…what shines in Jesus is human; it is how He lived that human condition that links every being that comes into existence.  The extraordinary Jesus brought is not on the religious plane, but the human one.  What shines in Jesus is what is illuminated in every human being.  Jesus teaches the infinite dignity of those without dignity.  He teaches the responsibility of caring for those who recognize the human in persons  maimed by illness, by violence, by misery.  Jesus shows that what is human is the place of authentic worship…it is the place of God.

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Posted by: livingscripture | January 21, 2017

Second Saturday in Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 

 He came home.  Again [the] crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.  When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind”. (Mark 3, 20-21)

 

 How shall I live this Word?imagesCALVRCIZ

Again there is so great a crowd that Jesus and those with Him cannot even eat.  And yet, even in these moments the Teacher gives His all to everyone.  So criticisms arise.  He is out of His mind.  This accusation comes from His own, those of His household.  Envy, fear of the new create conflicts and distances.  This happens today as well, among us and those near to us who want to see us different, to be just like everyone else in front of banality, of injustice, sated with consuming, without any more desire for their salvation or that of the others.

Let us look at Jesus and pray: “Grant Lord, that we may understand Your life  and answers to life the real road to follow outside of these obligatory ruts in which the genuine sense of things is suffocated in favor of many obligatory lies.

 The Voice of Silvano Fausti, Biblist                                              

The circle of persons that love Him and listen to Him are His own.  They are within, while the others are outside.  The circle recalls the harmony of unity in respect to a center common to all.  He is the center of our gathering, the one Lord who became a servant.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 20, 2017

Meditation for 1-20-17

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

JANUARY 20, 2017

“One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain.”
— St. Anthony of the Desert

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Whoever expresses profound gratitude to God, even for the least benefits received, praises God wondrously, for He, who has granted these benefits, is supremely great. Hence, you ought not to look upon what the Most High has freely and lovingly granted you as something trifling or of little worth. God neither seeks nor asks anything more of us than that we willingly love Him, avoid all that offends Him, and always and everywhere to give Him thanks.  Thomas a’Kempis
Posted by: livingscripture | January 20, 2017

Second Friday in Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 

He went up the mountain  and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.   He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him  and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. (Mark 3, 13-15)

 

 How shall I live this Word?sending

For scripture, going up a mountain is an act of authority, of important facts to understand.  Here, the Teacher must build his team, the community of His closest ones, of those who will accompany Him in His task of proclaiming the Gospel.  He calls Twelve.  He already has their faces in His heart; He knows their history, including their betrayals and lack of understanding.  And yet, He wants them  to ‘remain with Him’.  He does not want powerful men; he does not want efficient agents for the spread of an ideology.  Christianity is not an ideology.  It is real company with Jesus; it is a person to person relationship that involves us at all levels and all our capabilities.

Lord Jesus, make me Your disciple.  In spite of my weaknesses and my limitations, call me to remain with You.

 The Voice of Madeleine Delbrel                                                     

When we give our heart to God, He gives us that ‘heart of flesh’ that lights with the same fire everything it touches.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 19, 2017

Second Thursday in Ordinary Time

 

WORD of the DAY

He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.  He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.  (Mark 3, 9-10)

 

 How shall I live this Word?t_Jesus_the_Teacher024

Jesus is always available to those who are in need.  The crowd gives Him no rest.  The sick even throw themselves on Him in order to touch Him.  In other Gospels as well, we have seen episodes in which the people sense that a beneficent aura emanates from Him.  It is enough ‘to touch the hem of His garment’ to be cured.  The blind reacquire sight, the lame walk, the woman is cured of her flow of blood.  This is the Good News of Christ who does not limit Himself to words, but performs gestures of healing and of life.  The Master does not tire, rather, He foresees, He is aware, He helps.  And us?

Today, I will pray: “Lord Jesus, you passed through life doing good throughout the roads of Your land and helped everyone, especially the poorest, have mercy on me as well, and above all, grant that I may never close in on myself but let me be available to those in need.

 The Voice of Garaudy, Philosopher                                              

It is significant that in the Christian perspective, God became incarnate in the lowly.  The Gospel with its promise of new heavens and a new earth, is the Good News only for those who are lowly.  In fact, access to the Kingdom of God is prohibited to those who remain attached to their property, to their power, to their wisdom.  To the rich and powerful belong ‘wisdom’, to the lowly, hope.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 18, 2017

Meditation for 1-18-17

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

JANUARY 18, 2017

“Humility, obedience, meekness, and love are the virtues that shine through the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. O my Jesus, help me imitate you!”
– St. Anthony Mary Claret

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Worship is a spiritual weapon. When we worship God, we enter into His presence in a powerful way. Because demons tremble at His presence, they are reluctant to follow us there. No doubt the Devil is busy tempting us and trying to distract us even when we attend Mass. But if we give ourselves wholly to participating in the Mass, he has little room to operate. In fact, true worship focuses our attention on God: praising Him for who He is and thanking Him for what He has done. When our minds and hearts are centered on God, the Enemy’s provocations and enticements lose their power. Frequent Mass attendance, then, is an effective weapon of our warfare.”
— Paul Thigpen

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