Posted by: livingscripture | November 26, 2015

34th Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“When these things begin to happen, stand and raise your head, because your salvation is close at hand.”     

(Luke: 21: 28)

How should we live this WordTissot-Signature-cropped-428[1]

 Catastrophic natural events, terrible events caused by inhumanity, all seem to be signs of the end times.  However, they are not the last things.  They are only the warning signs that something greater is coming.  They will show that the good is more powerful than evil.  We fear these events and identify them with all the tremendous things that are happening in our history.  We forget that our history is not only this.  We forget the atrocities that have already marked every period in history, although they did not bring the end.

There are no crimes or disasters so great that they can cancel from our hearts the desire for salvation and the yearning for freedom.  Nothing can destroy the love of God in us and our capacity in Him to generate life and allow life to be, in Christ, full and abundant for everyone.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will dwell on the fact that God is the Lord of history and of all that exists.  God is in loving control.  I need only be faithful to Him and to His Law of Love.

Lord, help me to live of hope even in the face of the inhumanity that we are witnessing in our times.  Do not allow the sense of justice violated to mature in me hatred and the desire for revenge.

 The Voice of Psalm 85

 The Lord speaks of peace to his people, to his faithful ones, and to those who turn to him with their whole heart.


Posted by: livingscripture | November 25, 2015

34th Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”     

(Luke: 21: 5)

How should we live this Wordcbconsolator_t[1]

 Perseverance is the art of the vigilant person.  It is not synonymous with patience or repetitive behaviors.  Rather, it is resistance, continuing to search, entrusting one’s reason to faith.  It is not stubbornness, but trustfulness.  St. John expresses it as “remain in my love; live in Me”.  Perseverance leads to the beatitude of being persecuted.  “Blessed are you when they insult you, persecute you, and lying, say all kinds of evil against you for my name’s sake.  (Cf. Mt. 5: 11)

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect how Jesus clearly tells us what fidelity to Him comports.  It may be frightening, but I will be with Jesus and, therefore, I am safe and loved.

Lord, what can separate me from You?  Neither violence, or abuse, or injustice, or calumny or death can separate me from the love that unites me to You!

 The Voice of Romans 8: 35-39

 What can separate us from the love of Christ…perhaps tribulation, anguish, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, the sword? 

But in all these things we are more than victors thanks to the one who has loved us.  In fact, I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor the present or the future, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature can ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.


Posted by: livingscripture | November 24, 2015

34th Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the DayimagesCAKZ3W95

“While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All that you see here – the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”     

(Luke: 21: 5)

How should we live this Word

 Jesus courageously continues His catechesis on the temple and seeks to draw the people’s attention away from appearances, ostentation, and wealth that seems to have become the priority for everyone’s mind and heart.  Only what is precious from the viewpoint of being artistic and economical has value.  This is applied to persons, to things, to situations.  It is a perverse tendency to perfection that is nourished only by the ephemeral.  Jesus is not negating the beautiful and the good that human beings produce.  He is condemning appearances, false beauty.  He is condemning the temptation to stop at this as an absolute, forgetting the Author of beauty who is God.

The danger of which Jesus speaks puts us on guard against getting lost in what are only appearances, altering the sense of reality, and leading us to trust what from one moment to another can betray, delude, disappear, destroy itself, and destroy us.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me see persons and things and events with His eyes so that I may distinguish what is real and lasting from what is false and passing.

Lord, even exalting religion at the cost of faith in You makes us commit errors that can be terrible and lead us to exchange the true, the good, and the beautiful for that which is absolutely not.  Help me to grow in faith and trust in You and not get lost in formalities, enjoyment of rites, ostentation, and appearances.

 The Voice of Galatians 6: 14; 1 Corinthians 1: 1)

 Let there be no other joy for us than in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The word of the cross by which we have been saved is the power of God.



Posted by: livingscripture | November 23, 2015

34th Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“He noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.”     

(Luke: 21: 2)

How should we live this WordWidow's mite

 The widow is not a personage of a parable.  This time, Jesus is speaking from reality, from something that everyone can see.  He is in the temple and is speaking to the people and His discourse is centering on the provocations launched against Him by the priests and scribes and elders of the people.  They had chosen and sent people to act righteous and ask Jesus questions in order to lead Him to say things that could be termed blasphemous.  Jesus is aware of this and does not keep away from their evil game, neither does He stop saying new upsetting words that are provoking.  They do not succeed to make Him say weak words or ones they can manipulate.

A widow gets into the line of the rich braggarts who toss money into the temple treasury.  To the echoing sounds of the large coins alternates the tinny sound of the two small coins of the woman who gives all she had to live on.  It is not the sound of words but that of similar gestures which are radically different in their motivations and in the nature of the gift.  These build the discourse and compare the superfluous with the necessary for survival; with total gift and distorted gift transformed in the marketing of oneself.  A gift is such because it is detached from the giver and becomes a common good, divisible, useful for everyone.  But if the giving becomes a movement that turns back on the giver, it dies and makes the giver sterile.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will stand with Jesus as He wisely values the smaller gift given with all of one’s heart and trust.  I will ask Him to help me always give as the widow gave.

Lord, help me to walk in Your Truth always.  This alone makes my gift authentic.  It purifies my intentions and helps me to share for love of You alone.

 The Voice of Pope Francis at the Church Convention of Florence

 Dialogue is not negotiating.  Negotiating means getting my piece of the common cake.  Dialoging is seeking the common good of everyone, discussing together, and thinking of solutions that benefit everyone.


Posted by: livingscripture | November 22, 2015


From the Word of the Day

“His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away; his kingship shall not be destroyed.”     

(Daniel: 7: 14)

How should we live this WordJesus King

 Pope Francis spoke of power during the Church convention recently.  When preoccupation with what we are worth, what we can do to influence society, and how we are regarded by society becomes an obsession, then power has gone to our head and has shown its perverse side.  The problem tied to power is not only a question of supremacy, of ruling over others, of affirming and vindicating an acquired right but it also the exaltation of how much we are appreciated and recognized by others for our uniqueness and value, which distinguishes us and makes us important, even indispensable.  These are macro and micro temptations of power.

The power of Christ the King is designated by today’s Liturgy under the sign of humility, of selflessness, of beatitude.  The Lord, King of the universe, bends over humanity; places Himself at its feet, and serves the needy and their desires.  His power is service: intelligent, efficacious, indispensable, but always service.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will take Jesus as my model in rendering loving service to my family, my co-workers, my friends, and all those in need.

Lord, give Your Church, Bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay persons the right interpretation of the power of Christ the King.  It is a power that overcomes the desire to have a return; that has the humility to put its best competencies at the disposition of everyone; that has the Beatitude of the Gospel.

 The Voice of Pope Francis at the Church Convention of Florence

 We must not be obsessed with power even when power has the face of something useful and functional for the social image of the Church. 


Posted by: livingscripture | November 21, 2015

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From the Word of the Day

“Jesus said to them, ‘The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.  They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise’.”     

(Luke: 20: 34-36)

How should we live this Wordcommunity

 Jesus does not respond to the question of the Sadducees, but exhorts all to enter into the logic that presides over the life of the angels and that makes us children of the resurrection already in this life.  It is the logic of not ruling over the life of others, of not making of others objects of exchange – to have, to take wives – but rather, to place our life at the service of Life so that it may be abundant for everyone!

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me enter into His logic of loving service.

Behold, I am the servant of the Lord.  Be it done to me as You have said.

 The Voice of Pope Francis – Words to Cloistered Sisters, Assisi, October 4, 2013

 Cloistered Sisters are called to have great humanity, a humanity like that of Mother Church: human, able to understand everything of life; to be persons who know how to understand human problems; who know how to forgive; who know how to pray for others.  Your humanity comes by this road, the incarnation of the Word, the road of Jesus Christ…and the second thing I want to tell you briefly is community life.  Forgive; support each other, because community life is not easy.  Take care of the life of the community because when the life of community is like that of a family, it is precisely the Holy Spirit that is in the midst of the community.  These are the two things I want to tell you:  always contemplation, always with Jesus; Jesus, God and man; and community life, always with great love.


Posted by: livingscripture | November 20, 2015

33rd Friday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves’.”     

(Luke: 19: 45-46)

How should we live this Word100_0115

 There is a great need of purification in this passage to restore things to their just meaning!  “Perhaps it is a den of thieves in your eyes, this temple that takes its name from me.  I too, see all this…Word of the Lord” (Jeremiah 7: 11).  Jeremiah had already passionately striven for unity between worship and a just life before God:  he had already struggled so that the faith would not be politicized!  Jesus returns to this word of the prophet and indicates who and what really destroys the temple:  those who make it a den of thieves, because a temple that has become a den of thieves no longer has God’s protection.  Jesus – God with us – gives us the true meaning of temple and the unveiling of the true temple and of true worship.

The rejection of Jesus and His crucifixion are the end of the old temple.  The new temple is His body and His blood!  He Himself is the new temple of humanity!  Then, let us enter this Temple and meet Him, in prayer and find the true meaning of life…the need to return to what is essential!

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will gladly enter into Jesus, the new Temple and there offer my prayers of worship and thanksgiving.

Lord, help me to not be afraid to ‘waste time’ with You.  Staying with You helps me to put order in my life.

 The Voice of Charles de Foucauld


Let us love and practice daily solitary and secret prayer, the prayer that only the Father sees, in which we are absolutely alone with Him and no one knows that we are praying.  It is a colloquy between two, a delectable secret in which we open our heart in freedom, far from every eye, at the feet of the Father.


Posted by: livingscripture | November 19, 2015

33rd Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.  For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.  They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation’.”     

(Luke: 19: 41-44)

How should we live this WordJesus_Weeps[1]

 The powerless tears of Jesus, an image of His death, express the power of a love without limits.  Love dies because it is not loved.  The tears of Jesus reveal the greatest mystery of God: His passion for us!  His love for the beloved people, for the holy city that, because of the hardness of its heart, because of its arrogance of mind, and its pride of life, did not recognize Him!  In the face of our freedom, of our choices, He stops and does the only thing He can do.  He cries.  Tears express impotence in the face of rejection, but they also reveal the greatness of a love that is faithful even when it meets infidelity!  Within this love, faithful to death and death on a cross, the heart intuits the light of Hope and of Mercy which alone succeeds to overcome the hardness of our evil and of our sin.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will acknowledge Jesus as the Lord of my life and relish His love for me and for all humankind.

Lord Jesus, help me to shed tears for my sins and that of this world knowing that it is evil which brings upon the world violence and death.

 The Voice of Pope Francis – Meeting with the youth at Manila, January 2015

 Dear young people, the world lacks tears!  The marginalized cry; those who are put aside cry; the despised cry; but those who live a life with their needs met, we do not know how to cry.  Some realities of life are only seen with eyes that have been cleansed by tears.  I invite you to ask yourselves, have I learned to cry?  When I see a hungry child, a drugged youth on the street, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child used by society as a slave, do I cry?  Or are my tears capricious of one who cries for something unnecessary.  This is the first thing I want to tell you: let us learn to cry.  The great question is, ‘why do children suffer?’  The answer we can give is to learn to cry…if you do not learn to cry, you are not good Christians.  This is the challenge.  Be courageous; do not be afraid to cry!


Posted by: livingscripture | November 18, 2015

33rd Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.  He called ten of his servants and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return’.”     

(Luke: 19: 12-13)

How should we live this Wordjcheart

 Today is the time of salvation!  Today we must do all we can to keep the gift of Grace God offers us in abundance.

Like Zacchaeus who immediately was converted to mercy and received his Lord, making his money bear fruit, we too must not lose ourselves in reasoning that is digressive and anesthetizing, but rather, convince ourselves that the one and only preoccupation is to recognize the Lord and accept Him in littleness and hiddenness.  This Lord always asks us to raise our gaze, to go out of ourselves, and open our hands and heart toward our sisters and brothers so that what we have received may bear fruit.  He asks this of us ‘today’, here and now, because this is the time in which we ‘His servants’ are waiting for the ‘Man of noble birth – Jesus – to   return!

In my pause for silent contemplation, I shall take an inventory of the gifts God has given me and how I am making them bear fruit for the good of my family, neighbors, co-workers, and the world.

Lord Jesus, help me to be aware that the gift of Your Grace, of Your friendship, of being a Child of God  are all ‘gold coins’ that I must not bury, but increase and multiply so that I may say with the Apostle, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ living in me’.  (Galatians 2:20)

 The Voice of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1731)

 Freedom is power rooted in reason and in will, of action and of non-action, of doing this or that, of thus determining deliberate actions.  Thanks to free will, each of us chooses for self.  In humans, freedom is a power for growth and maturation in truth and in goodness.  Freedom reaches its perfection when it is ordered to God, our beatitude.


Posted by: livingscripture | November 17, 2015

33rd Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.  Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was.”     

(Luke: 19: 1-3)

How should we live this WordZaccheus

 Jesus had met the blind man as he neared Jericho. Today, he meets Zacchaeus in Jericho.  Jericho is the entry door into the Promised Land; it is the city that the people of Israel meet at the end of a long exodus from slavery to freedom.  In these two episodes of the Gospel, in these two encounters of Jesus, Jericho is the place of “darkness vanquished” for the blind man; it is the place of the desire to see for Zacchaeus.  The desire to see on the part of Zacchaeus is further transformed with his gesture of welcome – “Today I must stay at your house”.  Salvation has been found once again!

Jericho is in the depression of the Dead Sea, the planet’s lowest city.  This city has seen Jesus in the most decisive moments of His life; moments that had determined the definitive direction of His mission.  On the one side there is prayer, fasting, and the temptations during the 40 days in the desert.  On the other side, there is the Baptism and the experience of the Holy Spirit.  These two events definitively configure the ‘newness” of Jesus and both happen in this place of ‘abasement’ where even the rocks cry it out!  This is Jesus’ style!  Prayer, combat against evil, recognition of being the Son, and humble Mercy!

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will gaze upon Jesus in these episodes of His life and seek to assimilate the Message Jesus has for me in them.

Jesus, all is Your gift and nothing happens by chance!  Everything has something to tell me in order for me to come closer to You; my home, my workplace, the people I meet and live with and with whom I share affection and life.  You are the Creator and all that is around me has in it Your written Word, Your Message.  Help me to recognize it in the reality around me and to recognize You as Educator and Father! 

 The Voice of Jean Vanier, Witness

 Perhaps that which we find hardest to understand is also the strongest and needs the weakest.  I want to speak of this, of the fact that we need the little one; we need the most vulnerable one.  Perhaps, we need the poor to discover our poverty.  We need them so as to avoid living as the elite, as people who believe better than others.

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