Posted by: livingscripture | July 4, 2020

13th Saturday of Ordinary Time

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SATURDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

MATTHEW 9:14-17

 

 

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us the parable of new wine and old and new wineskins.

The new wine is the Good News, the Incarnation, the reconciliation of the divine and the human. But this powerful elixir cannot be contained in the receptacles of the old consciousness. As long as the ego reigns in the soul, the new wine will prove too strange, too foreign, too threatening—and it will be accordingly rejected.

Before the heady wine of the Gospel can be assimilated, there must be a scouring out of the spirit, a transformation of awareness and attitude, a metanoia. We should examine the stories of Jesus’ confrontations with the demons from this perspective. The demon within us realizes that he is the old wine skin that will be shredded by the in-pouring of the new wine, and he consequently reacts in horror.

It is a helpful spiritual exercise to isolate those passages from the New Testament, those sayings and actions of Jesus, which make us most uncomfortable, since they will most effectively indicate how our souls have to be transfigured. They, much more than the passages we instinctively love, will show the path that metanoia must follow.

By Bishop Barron

Posted by: livingscripture | July 3, 2020

FEAST OF ST. THOMAS APOSTLE

Friday, July 3, 2020

FEAST OF SAINT THOMAS

JOHN 20:24-29

Friends, today’s Gospel tells of Thomas’s doubting the Resurrection. Indeed, Catholicism has a rich tradition of questioning, seeking understanding. Aquinas, another great St. Thomas, spent much of his life asking and answering hard questions about the faith.

Do you remember Hamlet’s great line, “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio”? If we stubbornly say—even in the area of science—that we will accept only what we can clearly see and touch and control, we wouldn’t know much about reality.

There is, in most areas of life, a play between knowing and believing. It is not unique to the religious sphere of life. Blaise Pascal summed it up: “The heart has its reasons that reason knows not.”

It is not that we who have not seen and have believed are settling for a poor substitute for vision. No, we are being described as blessed, more blessed than Thomas. God is doing all sorts of things that we cannot see, measure, control, fully understand. But it is an informed faith that allows one to fall in love with such a God.

Posted by: livingscripture | June 30, 2020

Thirteenth Tuesday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Thirteenth Tuesday of Ordinary Time
June 30, 2020

WORD of the DAY

“What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” (Matthew 8: 27)

How shall I live this Word?

God is always able to amaze us, to respond to our requests differently than we had thought and wanted, to do unheard of and incredible things, far from our logic, because He is God, because He is not like us!
Because He is the Lord of heaven and earth and we do not even know for sure what the weather will be tomorrow.
Because He is the God who knows everything about us, and we don’t even know what’s good for us to ask Him.
Because He knows what it means to truly love and how to do it, and we often live in an illusion of affection and giving.
God is God and we cannot bend Him, lock Him up, teach Him; He is always able to amaze us!
And we should let ourselves be amazed every day by our God!

Lord, give me a simple and good heart, able to marvel at Your greatness and at You imagination. Let me be always ready to embrace Your will that manifests itself to me with such unthinkable creativity.

 

The voice of Pope Francis – Audience 16 October 2019

Let us ask each day for the grace to marvel at God’s surprises, to refrain from impeding His creativity. To help us to recognize and prefer the ever new ways through which the Risen One pours out His Spirit on the world and attracts hearts, making them know Him as the ‘Lord of all?.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 29, 2020

SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Thirteenth Monday of Ordinary Time
SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
June 29, 2020

WORD of the DAY

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16: 17-19)

How shall I live this Word?

How reassuring is this passage of the Gospel for each of us, weak in faith and sinners. Jesus chooses Peter, in spite of everything, and perhaps precisely for this reason.
He is one of us, he is like us. But He is also Peter, the rock of our faith, the example for our journey.
And it doesn’t matter if we fall or make a mistake, he did it before us.
And it doesn’t matter if we are afraid, he too was afraid, like us.
And it doesn’t matter if we don’t always live up to what we are asked to do, it was the same for him.
And it doesn’t matter if sometimes enthusiasm will cloud our sight or slow our pace, it has happened to him too.
And just because Peter is so close to each of us and looks a lot like us, we can imitate him and take him as a model..

Help us Lord to be living stones like Peter, solid and secure on what and with whom to build Your Church.

The voice of Pope Francis – Angelus 27 August 2017

Today as well, Jesus wants to continue building His Church, this house with solid foundations but where cracks are not lacking and has continual need of being repaired. Each of us is a small stone, who in the hands of Jesus, participates in building His Church.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 28, 2020

Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
June 28, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10: 37-39)

How shall I live this Word?

We have a cross, any cross, large or small, light or heavy, we all have a cross!
We received it with an illness, the painful death of a loved one, a difficult relationship, a dangerous bond, a disastrous economic situation, an endless war … or who knows how.
We all have a cross, believers or atheists, Christians or Muslims, practicing or not.
We all have a cross, and perhaps we have more than one.
But it is how we accept and welcome it in our life that makes us true Christians, authentic disciples of that Jesus who carried His heavy and painful cross along the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha.
But it how we embrace it that makes us imitators of Jesus and His true followers: not passively, in search of suffering and death, but as an authentic, active, true choice of love for Jesus and for all our sisters and brothers.

Lord, help us to take up our cross each day and embrace it, choosing to do so with love and freedom.

The voice of Ermes Ronchi -Avvenire 31 August 2017

If anyone wants to come after me … But why follow Him? Why go behind Him and His ideas? Simple: to be happy … Take up your cross and follow me. One of the most famous, most quoted, and most misunderstood sentences of the Gospel, which we interpreted as an exhortation to resignation: suffer patiently, accept, endure the inevitable crosses of life. But Jesus does not say “bear”, he says “take”. The disciple is not asked to endure passively, but to take, actively.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 27, 2020

Twelfth Saturday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Twelfth Saturday of Ordinary Time

June 27, 2020

 WORD of the DAY 

 When he entered Capernaum,  a centurion approached him and appealed to him,  saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.  For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel  have I found such faith (Matthew 8: 5-10)

How shall I live this Word?

The great lesson offered to us by this Roman soldier – a pagan who understood the spirit of the beatitudes well – had understood that the power of God is far above human faculties, transcends them, and brings them to fulfillment.

In fact, it is not his goodwill that obtains the request, but faith, which is the supernatural virtue par excellence. The hierarchy underlying human operations, whereby whoever is higher commands the subordinate, is in fact a figure of the proportion and reciprocity that exists in spiritual realities God’s desire is enough for His will to be accomplished. Every good thing is possible if it refers to this divine omnipotence. Wise are those who have eyes to see this drama, this divine order that rules all things.

With much trust, I will present my greatest desires before God.  I will trust in the fact that if they are important to me, they will be important to Him as well.  I know that whatever good desire will come to be by God’s grace.

The voice of St. Augustine, Church Father

The fear of God must lead us to reflect on our mortal condition and future death and, so to speak, to nail all our feelings of pride to the wood of the cross.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 26, 2020

Twelfth Friday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Twelfth Friday of Ordinary Time
June 26, 2020

WORD of the DAY

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.  And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them. (Matthew 8: 1-4)

How shall I live this Word?

The first fruit of the mountain discourse is the recognition of one’s own unworthiness, of the sin that has deeply marked us and that makes us repellent, unapproachable. Having disgust of this condition of distance from God is the necessary spring for finding the courage to draw near to Jesus, the achievement of that spiritual poverty that associates us with those who truly listen to the word of God. Challenging social norms to throw oneself at the feet of Christ is the first step towards salvation. What a surprising revelation, when we realize that Jesus does not reject us but extends His hand to us, begins a journey of personal growth with us, far from the clamor and swinging moods of the anonymous masses. He makes us beautiful, recreates us new, re-founds our life on love, and gives us back lost dignity!.

I will endeavor to refrain from judging others, even though they seem to me to be ugly or downtrodden by the events of life. It is easy to take my distance from those who make me uncomfortable. However, the Lord teaches me to extend my hand and to be a companion on the journey of the many ‘lepers’ I may meet.

The voice of S. Fausti, Religious
Giving alms, giving what one has to those who do not have, is not a supernatural work of goodness, but a duty of justice: we are all God’s children.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 25, 2020

Twelfth Thursday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Twelfth Thursday of Ordinary Time
June 25, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven… Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock… When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7: 21/24/28-29)

How shall I live this Word?

We are not truly Christians if we do not submit to the will of the Father with humility and confidence, if we do not recognize our own limitations as children, if we do not abandon ourselves to that authoritative, firm, and normative power that comes from above. Only a direct relationship with God – as it was with Jesus who was continually in conversation with the Father – can lift us from that approximation and that spiritual amateurism in which we often lock up our Christianity.
Only God can be truly demanding, because He knows us completely and cannot be satisfied with our crumbs. Only by listening to Him will we understand what is good for our life. Only when we make a clean sweep of all our illusions and false gods to whom we have raised incense, will we recognize that He has always been there, waiting for us, reassuring us that while all our buildings end up losing balance and faltering, the house that He prepares for us and where we will be in His company will never be shaken.

What is important for me is also important for God. I will reflect on the goals I really consider important in my life and see at what point I am in reaching them.

The voice of Pope Francis
The mission that the Lord gives us every morning: to transmit “a great joy which will belong to all the people” (Lk 2:10). But, precisely, not as a theory or intellectual or moral knowledge of what it should be, but as people who, immersed in suffering, have been transformed and transfigured by the Lord.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 24, 2020

BIRTH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Twelfth Wednesday of Ordinary Time
June 24, 2020

WORD of the DAY

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed.  Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel. (Luke 1: 57-66/80)

How shall I live this Word?

Truly the Lord’s plans are bigger than our hearts, bigger than the best we could imagine, to the point of upsetting us! So was the story of John the Baptist, who surprised his parents and all those who came to know about it. It is striking that already at the appearance of the Baptist, Zachariah and Elizabeth understand that they must step aside, to leave room for a project that goes beyond them. But always in this vital dynamic the will of God is manifested: when we decide for Him and have the courage to take our step forward, then we let ourselves be grasped by the hand of the One who decides even without us and who will do all the rest for our good.

I will endeavor to let God guide me in all that I do rather than follow my own plans and behaviors that I think are indispensable. I will live in the real freedom of God’s children

The voice of St. Augustine, Church Father
God, although nothing can be said worthy of Him, accepted the homage of the human word and appreciated that we had to enjoy the words that we pronounce in praise of Him.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 23, 2020

Twelfth Tuesday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Twelfth Tuesday  of Ordinary Time

June 23, 2020

 WORD of the DAY 

 Do not give what is holy to dogs,  or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.  This is the law and the prophets.  Enter through the narrow gate;  for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.  How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.   (Matthew 7: 6/12-14)

How shall I live this Word?

Our faith in Jesus and in the Gospel does not ask us to renounce our sensitivity and intelligence. Even if taken with ardor and passionate love, we must not go from considering ourselves ‘sheep’ following the ‘beautiful Shepherd’, to being ‘sheep’ in pursuit of everything that flutters by mistaking it for one’s flag.

Healthy discernment passes through the recognition of one’s limitations, as well as through the humble awareness of one’s own abilities. Let us not be taken by the illusion that everything is easy and that the goal is always visible and within one’s reach. Let us heal from the illusions we have towards ourselves and also from the illusion of being able to change others with a stroke of a wand. What pleases God, and not what I want, is the best thing for me today.

I will make the wise decision to not be worried because I do not succeed to really help, but rather dedicate myself to guard  well the gifts of my heart, cultivating the charisms the Lord has given me.

The voice of Pope Francis

The lack of a sincere, suffered, and prayerful recognition of our limitations is what prevents grace from acting better in us, since it leaves no room for it to provoke that possible good that is integrated into a sincere and real path of growth .”

 

 

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