Posted by: RAM | July 21, 2017

Saturday (July 22): “I have seen the Lord.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 603

First Reading: Exodus 12:37-42
Psalms 136:1, 23-24, 10-15:  I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
Gospel: 
John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072217.cfm

Reflection:  Do you recognize the presence of the Lord Jesus when you hear his word? How easy it is to miss the Lord Jesus when our focus is on ourselves! Mary Magdalene did not at first recognize the Lord because her focus was on the empty tomb and on her own grief. It took only one word from the Master, when he called her by name, for Mary to recognize him.

The Risen Lord Jesus reveals himself to us as we listen to his word
Mary Magdalene’s message to the disciples, I have seen the Lord, is the very essence of Christianity. It is not enough that a Christian know about the Lord, but that we know him personally. It is not enough to argue about him, but to meet him. In the resurrection we encounter the living Lord Jesus who loves us personally and shares his glory with us. The Lord Jesus gives us “eyes of faith” to see the truth of his resurrection and his victory over sin and death (Ephesians 1:18). And he opens our ears to recognize his voice as we listen to the “good news” proclaimed in the Gospel message today.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of our hope – the hope that we, too, who believe in him will see the living God face to face and share in his everlasting glory and joy. “Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy.  As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Do you recognize the Lord’s presence with you, in his word, in the “breaking of the bread,” and in his church, the body of Christ?

“Lord Jesus, may I never fail to recognize your voice nor lose sight of your presence as you open the Scriptures for me and speak your life-giving word.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul22.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Mary Magdalene, Patron of contemplative life, converts, glove makers, hairdressers, penitent sinners, people ridiculed for their piety, perfumeries, pharmacists, sexual temptation, tanners, women

St. Mary Magdalene is one of the greatest saints of the Bible and a legendary example of God’s mercy and grace. The precise dates of her birth and death are unknown, but we do know she was present with Christ during his public ministry, death and resurrection. She is mentioned at least a dozen times in the Gospels.

Mary Magdalene has long been regarded as a prostitute or sexually immoral in western Christianity, but this is not supported in the scriptures. It is believed she was a Jewish woman who lived among Gentiles, living as they did.

The Gospels agree that Mary was originally a great sinner. Jesus cast seven demons out of her when he met her. After this, she told several women she associated with and these women also became followers.

There is also debate over if Mary Magdalene is the same unnamed women, a sinner, who weeps and washes Jesus’ feet with her hair in the Gospel of John. Scholars are skeptical this is the same person.

Despite the scholarly dispute over her background, what she did in her subsequent life, after meeting Jesus, is much more significant. She was certainly a sinner whom Jesus saved, giving us an example of how no person is beyond the saving grace of God.

During Jesus’ ministry, it is believed that Mary Magdalene followed him, part of a semi-permanent entourage who served Jesus and his Disciples.

Mary likely watched the crucifixion from a distance along with the other women who followed Christ during His ministry. Mary was present when Christ rose from the dead, visiting his tomb to anoint his body only to find the stone rolled away and Christ, very much alive, sitting at the place they laid Him. She was the first witness to His resurrection.

After the death of Christ, a legend states that she remained among the early Christians. After fourteen years, she was allegedly put into a boat by Jews, along with several other saints of the early Church, and set adrift without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France, where she spent the remaining years of her life living in solitude, in a cave.

St. Mary Magdalene’s feast day is July 22. She is the patroness of converts, repentant sinners, sexual temptation, pharmacists, tanners and women, and many other places and causes. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=83  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alberic Crescitelli
St. Dabius
St. Joseph of Palestine
St. Mary Magdelene
St. Meneleus
St. Movean
St. Pancharius
Sts. Philip Evans & John Lloyd, Martyrs
St. Plato
St. Theophilus
St. Wandrille

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 393

First Reading: Exodus 11:10—12:14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15 and 16BC, 17-18
:  I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
“See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.”
He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072117.cfm

Reflection:  What does the commandment “keep holy the Sabbath” require of us? Or better yet, what is the primary intention behind this command? The religious leaders confronted Jesus on this issue. The “Sabbath rest” was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of his work, both in creation and redemption. It was a day set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on our behalf. It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment.

Mercy and not sacrifice
Jesus’ disciples are scolded by the scribes and Pharisees, not for plucking and eating corn from the fields, but for doing so on the Sabbath. In defending his disciples, Jesus argues from the Scriptures that human need has precedence over ritual custom. In their hunger, David and his men ate of the holy bread offered in the Temple. Jesus also quoted of the Sabbath work involved in worship in the Temple. This kind of work was usually double the work of worship on weekdays. Jesus then quotes from the prophet Hosea (6:6): I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. While the claims of ritual sacrifice are important to God, mercy and kindness in response to human need are even more important. Do you honor the Lord in the way you treat your neighbor and celebrate the Lord’s Day?

“Lord, make us to walk in your way: Where there is love and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance; where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor annoyance; where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice; where there is peace and contemplation, there is neither care nor restlessness; where there is the fear of God to guard the dwelling, there no enemy can enter; where there is mercy and prudence, there is neither excess nor harshness; this we know through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul21.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Lawrence of Barndisi (1559-1619)
Caesare de Rossi was born at Brandisi, kingdom of Naples, on July 22nd. He was educated by the conventual Franciscans there and by his uncle at St. Mark’s in Venice. When sixteen, he joined the Capuchins at Verona, taking the name Lawrence. He pursued his higher studies in theology, philosophy, the bible, Greek, Hebrew, and several other languages at the University of Padua. He was ordained and began to preach with great effect in Northern Italy. He became definitor general of his Order in Rome in 1596, a position he was to hold five times, was assigned to conversion work with Jews, and was sent to Germany, with Blessed Benedict of Urbino, to combat Lutheranism. They founded friaries at Prague, Vienna, and Gorizia, which were to develop into the provinces of Bohemia, Austria, and Styria. At the request of Emperor Rudolf II, Lawrence helped raise an army among the German rulers to fight against the Turks, who were threatening to conquer all of Hungary, became its chaplain, and was among the leaders in the Battle of Szekesfehevar in 1601; many attributed the ensuing victory to him. In 1602, he was elected Vicar General of the Capuchins but refused re-election in 1605. He was sent to Spain by the emperor to persuade Philip III to join the Catholic League, and while there, founded a Capuchin house in Madrid. He was then sent as papal nuncio to the court of Maximillian of Bavaria, served as peacemaker in several royal disputes, and in 1618, retired from worldly affairs to the friary at Caserta. He was recalled at the request of the rulers of Naples to go to Spain to intercede with King Philip for them against the Duke of Osuna, Spanish envoy to naples and convinced the King to recall the Duke to avert an uprising. The trip in the sweltering heat of summer exhausted him, and he died a few days after his meeting with the King at Lisbon on July 22nd. Lawrence wrote a commentary on Genesis and several treatises against Luther, but Lawrence’s main writings are in the nine volumes of his sermons. He was canonized in 1881 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959. His feast day is July 21st. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=442  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Arbogast
St. John & Benignus
St. John of Edessa
St. Julia of Troyes
St. Lawrence of Brindisi
St. Praxedes
St. Victor
St. Wastrada
St. Zoticus of Comana

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 392

First Reading: Exodus 3:13-20
Psalms 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-27:  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/072017.cfm

Reflection:  What does the yoke of Jesus refer to in the Gospel? The Jews used the image of a yoke to express submission to God. They spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, and the yoke of God. Jesus says his yoke is “easy”. The Greek word for “easy” can also mean “well-fitting”. Yokes were tailor-made to fit the oxen well. Oxen were yoked two by two. Jesus invites us to be yoked with him, to unite our life with his life, our will with his will, and our heart with his heart. To be yoked with Jesus is to be united with him in a relationship of love, trust, and obedience.

Jesus carries our burdens with us
Jesus also says his “burden is light”. There’s a story of a man who once met a boy carrying a smaller crippled lad on his back. “That’s a heavy load you are carrying there,” exclaimed the man. “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother!” responded the boy. No burden is too heavy when it’s given in love and carried in love. When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he also carries our burdens with us and gives us his strength to follow in his way of love. Do you know the joy of resting in Jesus’ presence and walking daily with him along the path he has for you?

Freed from the burden of sin and guilt
Jesus offers us a new kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. In his kingdom sins are not only forgiven but removed, and eternal life is poured out for all its citizens. This is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual one. The yoke of Christ’s kingdom, his kingly rule and way of life, liberates us from the burden of guilt and from the oppression of sinful habits and hurtful desires. Only Jesus can lift the burden of sin and the weight of hopelessness from us. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin and despair for a weight of glory and victory with him. The yoke which Jesus invites us to embrace is his way of love, grace, and freedom from the power of sin. Do you trust in God’s love and submit to his will and plan for your life?

“Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with love for you and for your ways and help me to exchange the yoke of rebellion for the yoke of submission to your holy and loving word. Set me free from the folly of my own sinful ignorance and rebellious pride that I may wholly desire what is good and in accord with your will.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul20.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Margaret of Antioch
Nothing certain is known of her, but according to her untrustworthy legend, she was the daughter of a pagan priest at Antioch in Pisidia. Also known as Marina, she was converted to Christianity, whereupon she was driven from home by her father. She became a shepherdess and when she spurned the advances of Olybrius, the prefect, who was infatuated with her beauty, he charged her with being a Christian. He had her tortured and then imprisoned, and while she was in prison she had an encounter with the devil in the form of a dragon. According to the legend, he swallowed her, but the cross she carried in her hand so irritated his throat that he was forced to disgorge her (she is patroness of childbirth). The next day, attempts were made to execute her by fire and then by drowning, but she was miraculously saved and converted thousands of spectators witnessing her ordeal-all of whom were promptly executed. Finally, she was beheaded. That she existed and was martyred are probably true; all else is probably fictitious embroidery and added to her story, which was immensely popular in the Middle Ages, spreading from the East all over Western Europe. She is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and hers was one of the voices heard by Joan of Arc. Her feast day is July 20th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=199  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Aurelius
St. Barhadbesciabas
St. Elias
St. Etheidwitha
St. Flavian & Elias
St. Joseph of Barsabas
St. Margaret of Antioch
St. Margaret of Antioch
St. Paul of St. Zoilus
St. Sabinus
St. Severa
St. Severa
St. Wilgefortis
St. Wulmar

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 391

First Reading: Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
Psalms 103:1-4, 6-7:  
The Lord is kind and merciful.
Gospel: 
Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071917.cfm

Reflection:  Do you want to know the mind and thoughts of God? Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus’ prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time he shows loving care and goodness toward all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15).

Pride and inordinate love of self
Jesus’ prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the things of God? Certainly intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness. Pride is the root of all vice and the strongest influence propelling us to sin. It first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God’s truth and wisdom for our lives. What is pride? It is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one’s own learning and importance.

Simplicity of heart
Jesus contrasts intellectual pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like “infants” in the sense that they see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in the one who is greater, wiser, and more trustworthy. They seek one thing – the “summum bonum” or “greatest good,” who is God himself. Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards grace and truth. Just as pride is the root of every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him, as God, to do all. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive true wisdom and understanding of God and his ways. Do you submit to God’s word with simple trust and humility?

Jesus reveals the Father to us
Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make – he is the perfect revelation of God. One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like.

In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the perfect revelation of God – a God who loves us completely, unconditionally, and perfectly. Jesus also promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven ..give us this day our daily bread.  Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his love and care for you?

“Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul19.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Arsenius the Great (d. 450)
Confessor and hermit on the Nile. Arsenius, who was born in Rome in 354, was the tutor of the children of Emperors Theodosius I the Great, Arcadius, and Honorius. At that time, Arsenius was a Roman deacon recommended for the office by Pope St. Damasus. lie served at Theodosius’ court in Constantinople for about ten years and then became a monk in Alexandria, Egypt. Inheriting a fortune from a relative, Arsenius studied with St. John the Dwarf and became a hermit in the desert of Egypt. In 434, he left Skete and went to the rock of Troe, near Memphis, Egypt, and to the island of Canopus near Alexandria. He died at Troe. Arsenius is sometimes called “the Roman” or “the Deacon.” http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1560  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Abakerazum
St. Ambrose Aut-pert
St. Arsenius the Great
St. Aurea
St. Epagaphras
St. Felix of Verona

St. Jerome of Pavia
St. John Plessington
St. Justa and Rufina
St. Macrina the Younger
St. Macrina the Younger
St. Symmachus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 390

First Reading: Exodus 2:1-15
Psalms 69:3, 14, 30-31, 33-34:  
Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live..
Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071817.cfm

Reflection:  If Jesus were to visit your community today, what would he say? Would he issue a warning like the one he gave to Chorazin and Bethsaida? And how would you respond? Wherever Jesus went he did mighty works to show the people how much God had for them. Chorazin and Bethsaida had been blessed with the visitation of God. They heard the good news and experienced the wonderful works which Jesus did for them. Why was Jesus upset with these communities? The word woe can mean misfortune, calamity, distress, sorrow, sadness, misery, grief, or wretchedness. It is as much an expression of sorrowful pity and grief as it is of dismay over the calamity and destruction which comes as a result of human folly, sin, and ignorance.

Why does Jesus lament and issue a stern warning? The people who heard the Gospel here very likely responded with indifference. Jesus upbraids them for doing nothing! Repentance demands change – a change of heart and way of life. God’s word is life-giving and it saves us from destruction – the destruction of heart, mind, and soul as well as body. Jesus’ anger is directed toward sin and everything which hinders us from doing the will of God. In love he calls us to walk in his way of truth and freedom, grace and mercy, justice and holiness. Do you receive his word with faith and obedience or with doubt and indifference?

“Most High and glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our hearts and give us a true faith, a certain hope and a perfect love. Give us a sense of the divine and knowledge of yourself, so that we may do everything in fulfillment of your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul18.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Frederick, Patron against deafness (d. 838)
St. Frederick, Bishop of Utrecht, Martyr Frederick was trained in piety and sacred learning among the clergy of the Church of Utrecht. Being ordained priest, he was charged by Bishop Ricfried with the care of instructing converts, and about 825 he was chosen to succeed him as bishop of Utrecht. The new bishop at once began to establish order everywhere, and sent St. Odulf and other zealous and virtuous labourers into the northern parts to dispel the paganism which still subsisted there.

According to tradition St. Frederick became involved in the difficulties between the sons of the emperor, Louis the Debonair, and their father and step-mother. During these disturbances the party of the young princes charged the Empress Judith with numerous immoralities. Whatever may have been the truth of these stories, St. Frederick is said to have admonished her of them, with charity but with the effect of drawing upon himself the fury and resentment of the empress. He also got himself disliked elsewhere. The inhabitants of Walcheren were barbarous and most averse from the Gospel. On which account, St. Frederick, when he sent priests in the northern part of his diocese, took this most dangerous and difficult part chiefly to himself; and nothing gave him more trouble than marriages contracted within the forbidden decrees and the separation of the parties (that the union of Louis and Judith was itself incestuous was an afterthought of hagiographers).

The story goes on that, on July 18, 838, after St. Frederick had celebrated Mass and was about to make his thanksgiving, he was stabbed by two assassins. He died in a few minutes, reciting that verse of Psalm 144, “I will praise the Lord in the land of the living”. The eleventh century author of his life says that these assassins were employed by the Empress Judith, who could not pardon the liberty he had taken to reprove her sins, and was incited thereto by her husband. William of Malmesbury and others repeat the same; but later writers, such as Baronius and Mabillon, think that they were rather sent by some of the inhabitants of Walcheren. And this seems the more likely opinion: for no contemporary makes the charge against Judith and it is not at all in consonance with the attitude of Louis towards episcopal authority and Christian conduct.

St. Frederick composed a prayer to the Blessed Trinity which for many ages was used in the Netherlands. The reputation of his sanctity appears from a poem of Rabanus Maurus, his contemporary, in praise of his virtues. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=349  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Arnulf
St. Bruno of Segni
St. Camillus de Lellis
St. Dominic Nicholas Dat
St. Edburga of Bicester
St. Emilian
St. Frederick
St. Goneri of Brittany
St. Gundenis
St. Julian
St. Marina
St. Maternus of Milan
St. Minnborinus of Cologne
St. Pambo
St. Philaster
St. Rufillus
St. Theneva
St. Theodosia of Constantinople

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 389

First Reading: Exodus 1:8-14, 22
Psalms 124:1-8:  Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 10:34–11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“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.

“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071717.cfm

Reflection:  Why does Jesus describe his mission and the coming of God’s kingdom in terms of conflict, division, and war? Jesus told his disciples that he did not “come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). The “sword” which Jesus speaks of here is not a physical weapon that cuts people down, but a spiritual weapon that cuts through the inner core of our being to expose the corruption of sinful thoughts and intentions as well as the lies and deception of Satan and his kingdom of darkness.

Sword of the Spirit
Scripture speaks of God’s word as a sharp two-edged sword that “pierces to the division of soul and spirit… discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, Revelations 19:15). Scripture also describes “God’s word” as the “sword of the Spirit” which has power to destroy every spiritual stronghold that keep people in bondage to sin, deception, and Satan (Ephesians 6:17). Jesus came to rescue us and bring us freedom to live as citizens of God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Spiritual warfare
Jesus’ mission was an act of war against the spiritual forces who oppose the kingdom of God and his rule over the earth and the heavens. That is why Jesus identified Satan as the ruler of this world whom he will cast out (John 12:31). The battle Jesus had in mind was not an earthly conflict between individuals and nations, but a spiritual warfare between the forces of Satan and the armies of heaven. Jesus came to wage war against the spiritual powers of this present world that turn the minds and hearts of people away from God and his kingdom of peace and truth.

Kingdom of light versus kingdom of darkness
The Scriptures make clear that there are ultimately only two kingdoms or powers and that they stand in opposition to one another – God’s kingdom of light and  Satan’s kingdom of darkness. John the Apostle contrasts these two opposing kingdoms in the starkest of terms: We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). The Scriptures describe the “world” as that society of people who are opposed to God and his kingdom of righteousness, truth, and goodness. Jesus came to overthrow Satan’s power and to set us free from everything that would hold us back from knowing, loving, and serving God who has loved each one of us with boundless mercy, compassion, and goodness.

God must take first place
Jesus told his disciples that if they followed him it would be costly because they must put God’s kingdom first and obey his word. Whenever a great call is given it inevitably causes division between those who accept and reject it. When Jesus remarked that division would cut very close to home his listeners likely recalled the prophecy of Micah: a man’s enemies are the men of his own household (Micah 7:6). The love of God compels us to choose who will be first in our lives. To place any relationship or any other thing above God is a form of idolatry. Jesus challenges his disciples to examine who they love first and foremost. A true disciple loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for Jesus Christ. Jesus insists that his disciples give him the loyalty which is only due to God, a loyalty which is higher than that owed to spouse or kin. It is possible that family and friends can become our enemies if the thought of them keeps us from doing what we know God wants us to do.

The just reward
True love for God compels us to express charity towards our neighbor who is created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not go unrewarded. Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples we are called to be kind and generous as he is. Jesus sets before his disciples the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is the will of God which leads to everlasting life, peace, and joy with God. Does the love of Jesus Christ compel you to put God first in all you do (2 Corinthians 5:14)?

“Lord, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has conceived the things you have prepared for those who love you. Set us ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may love you in and above all things and so receive the rewards you have promised us through Christ our Lord.” (from A Christian’s Prayer Book) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul17.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne (d. 1794)
Sixteen Carmelites caught up in the French Revolution and martyred. When the revolution started in 1789, a group of twenty-one discalced Carmelites lived in a monastery in Compiegne France, founded in 1641. The monastery was ordered closed in 1790 by the Revolutionary gov­ernment, and the nuns were disbanded. Sixteen of the nuns were accused of living in a religious community in 1794. They were arrested on June 22 and imprisoned in a Visitation convent in Compiegne There they openly resumed their religious life. On July 12, 1794, the Carmelites were taken to Paris and five days later were sentenced to death. They went to the guillotine singing the Salve Regina. They were beatified in 1906 by Pope St. Pius X. The Carmelites were: Marie Claude Brard; Madeleine Brideau, the subprior; Maire Croissy, grandniece of Colbert Marie Dufour; Marie Hanisset; Marie Meunier, a novice; Rose de Neufville Annette Pebras; Anne Piedcourt: Madeleine Lidoine, the prioress; Angelique Roussel; Catherine Soiron and Therese Soiron, both extern sisters, natives of Compiegne and blood sisters: Anne Mary Thouret; Marie Trezelle; and Eliza beth Verolot. The martyrdom of the nuns was immortalized by the composer Francois Poulenc in his famous opera Dialogues des Carmelites. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2602  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Acllinus
St. Alexis
St. Andrew Zorard
St. Ansueris
Bl. Antoinette Roussel
Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne
Bl. Ceslaus
St. Charbel
St. Clement of Okhrida
St. Cynllo
St. Ennodius
St. Felix of Pavia
Bl. Frances Brideau
St. Frances de Croissy
St. Fredegand
St. Generosus
St. Hedwig of Poland
St. Hyacinth
Bl. Juliette Verolot
St. Kenelm
St. Madeleine Brideau
St. Madeleine Lidoine
St. Marcellina
St. Marie Claude Brard
St. Marie Croissy
St. Marie Dufour
St. Marie Hanisset
St. Marie Meunier
St. Marie Trezelle
Martyrs of Scillitan
St. Nerses Lambronazi
St. Nicholas, Alexandra, and Companions
Bl. Pavol Peter Gojdi?
Bl. Rose Chretien
St. Theodosius
St. Theodota
St. Turninus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 103

First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalms 65:10-14:  The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
Second Reading: Romans 8:18-23
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The disciples approached him and said,
“Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. 
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted,
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

“Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071617.cfm

Reflection:  What is the best and easiest way to help people understand God’s kingdom? Like the rabbis of his time, Jesus very frequently used parables – short stories and images taken from everyday life – to convey hidden truths about the kingdom of God. Like a skillful artist, Jesus sketched memorable pictures with short and simple words. A good image can speak more loudly and clearly than many words. Jesus used the ordinary everyday illustrations of life and nature to point to another order of reality – hidden, yet visible to those who had “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”. Jesus communicated with vivid illustrations which captured the imaginations of his audience more powerfully than any abstract presentation could. His parables are like buried treasure waiting to be discovered (Matthew 13:44).

What can the parable about seeds and roots teach us about the kingdom of God? Any farmer will attest to the importance of good soil for supplying nutrients for growth. And how does a plant get the necessary food and water it needs except by its roots? The Scriptures frequently use the image of fruit-bearing plants or trees to convey the principle of spiritual life and death. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8; see also Psalm 1:3)

How do you listen to God’s word?
Jesus’ parable of the sower is aimed at the hearers of his word. There are different ways of accepting God’s word and they produce different kinds of fruit accordingly. There is the prejudiced hearer who has a shut mind. Such a person is unteachable and blind to what he or she doesn’t want to hear. Then there is the shallow hearer. He or she fails to think things out or think them through; they lack depth. They may initially respond with an emotional reaction; but when it wears off their mind wanders to something else.

Another type of hearer is the person who has many interests or cares, but who lacks the ability to hear or comprehend what is truly important. Such a person is too busy to pray or too preoccupied to study and meditate on God’s word. Then there is the one whose mind is open. Such a person is at all times willing to listen and to learn. He or she is never too proud or too busy to learn. They listen in order to understand. God gives grace to those who hunger for his word that they may understand his will and have the strength to live according to it. Do you hunger for God’s word?

The refusal to believe and understand
Jesus told his disciples that not everyone would understand his parables. Did Jesus mean to say that he was deliberately confusing or hiding the meaning of his stories from his listeners? Very likely not. Jesus was speaking from experience. He was aware that some who heard his parables refused to understand them. It was not that they could not intellectually understand them, but rather, their hearts were closed to what Jesus was saying. They had already made up their minds to not believe. God can only reveal the secrets of his kingdom – that which is hidden to the spiritually blind – to those who hunger for God and humbly submit to his truth.

What can makes us ineffective or unresponsive to God’s word? Preoccupation with other things can distract us from what is truly important and worthwhile. And  letting our hearts and minds be consumed with material things can easily weigh us down and draw us away from the heavenly treasure that lasts for eternity. God’s word can only take root in a receptive heart which is docile and ready to hear what God has to say.

How God’s word takes root in us
The parables of Jesus will enlighten us if we approach them with an open mind and heart, ready to let them challenge us. If we approach them with the conviction that we already know the answer, then we, too, may look but not see, listen but not understand. God’s word can only take root in a receptive heart that is ready to believe and willing to submit. Do you submit to God’s word with trust and obedience?

One lesson from this parable is clear: the harvest is sure to come. While some seed will fall by the wayside and some fall on shallow ground and never come to maturity, and some be choked to death by the thorns; nonetheless a harvest will come. The seed that falls on good soil, on the heart that is receptive, will reap abundant fruit. God is always ready to speak to each of us and to give us understanding of his word. Are you hungry for his word? And do you allow anything to keep you from submitting to God’s word with joy and trusting obedience?

“Lord Jesus, faith in your word is the way to wisdom, and to ponder your divine plan is to grow in the truth. Open my eyes to your deeds, and my ears to the sound of your call, that I may understand your will for my life and live according to it”. http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul16.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Carmen
According to my resources, the name Carmen is a derivation of Carmel which is one of the titles given to Our Blessed Mother, namely, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is the patronal feast of the Carmelites. The Order of Carmelites takes its name from Mount Carmel, which was the first place dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and where a chapel was erected in her honor before her Assumption into Heaven. July 16 is also the feast of the “Scapular of Mount Carmel”. On that day in 1251, pious tradition says, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock, General of the Carmelites at Cambridge, England, showed him the scapular and promised supernatural favors and her special protection to his Order and to all persons who would wear the scapular. To obtain the indulgences and other benefits promised to those who wear the Carmelite scapular, a person must be invested by a priest who has the requisite faculties and must lead a consistent Christian life. Her feast day is July 16th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=578  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Athenogenes
Bl. Bartholomew of Braga
St. Carmen
St. Domnio
St. Fulrad
St. Helier
St. Marie Magdalen Postel
St. Marie St. Henry
St. Mary Magdalen Postel
St. Reineldis
St. Tenenan
St. Valentine
St. Vitalian
St. Vitalian

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 388

First Reading: Genesis 49:29-32; 50:15-26A
Psalm 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7:  
Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!
Gospel: Matthew 10:24-33

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071517.cfm

Reflection:  What does fear have to do with the kingdom of God? Fear is a powerful force. It can lead us to panic and flight or it can spur us to faith and action. The fear of God is the antidote to the fear of losing one’s life. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. O fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want! Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (Psalm 34:4,9,11)

Godly fear – reverence for God
What is godly fear? It is reverence for the One who made us in love and who sustains us in mercy and kindness. The greatest injury or loss which we can experience is not physical but spiritual – the loss of one’s soul to the power of hell (Matthew 10:28). A healthy fear (godly respect) and reverence for God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom, and right judgment and it frees us from the tyranny of sinful pride, cowardice – especially in the face of evil, and spiritual deception. Do you trust in God’s grace and mercy and do you obey his word?

When Jesus proclaimed the kingdom (reign) of God he met opposition and hostility. Many religious leaders opposed Jesus because they refused to believe that he was the Messiah (God’s Anointed One) and that his authority and power came from God. They claimed his power came from Beelzebul – the prince of demons who is also called Satan or the devil. Jesus demonstrated the power of God’s kingdom through his numerous signs and miracles and his power to set people free from Satan’s harm and deception.

Choosing for God’s kingdom
There are fundamentally only two kingdoms in opposition to one another – God’s kingdom of light – his truth and righteousness (moral goodness) and Satan’s kingdom of darkness – his power to deceive and tempt people to rebel and do what is wrong and evil. And there are no neutral parties – we are either for God’s kingdom or against it. We either choose for Jesus and the kingdom he brings – God’s rule of peace and righteousness, or we choose for the kingdom of this world which opposes God’s truth and righteousness. That is why Jesus told his disciples that they must expect the same treatment of opposition and hostility if they accept him as their Lord (Messiah) and Master (Teacher).

There is both a warning and a privilege in Jesus’ statement. Just as Jesus had to carry his cross to suffer and die for us, so every disciple of Christ must bear his or her own cross of suffering for Christ and not try to evade it. To suffer for the Christian faith is to share in the work of Jesus Christ. As one Christian hymn states: Lift high the Cross of Christ! Tread where his feet have trod. The Holy Spirit gives us supernatural power, freedom, and grace to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. Do you trust in God who gives us the strength and perseverance we need to follow his will and to embrace our cross each day for Jesus’ sake?

“Lord Jesus, it is my joy and privilege to be your disciple. Give me strength and courage to bear any hardship and suffering which may come my way in serving you and obeying your will. May I witness to others the joy of the Gospel – the good news of your kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul15.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (d. 1274)
St. Bonaventure, known as “the seraphic doctor,” was born at Bagnoregio, in the Lazio region of central Italy, in 1221. He received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, when, in response to the pleading of the child’s mother, the saint prayed for John’s recovery from a dangerous illness, and, foreseeing the future greatness of the little John, cried out “O Buona ventura”-O good fortune!

At the age of twenty-two St. Bonaventure entered the Franciscan Order. Having made his vows, he was sent to Paris to complete his studies under the celebrated doctor Alexander of Hales, an Englishman and a Franciscan. After the latter’s death he continued his course under his successor, John of Rochelle. In Paris he became the intimate friend of the great St. Thomas Aquinas. He received the degree of Doctor, together with St. Thomas Aquinas, ceding to his friend against the latter’s inclination, the honor of having it first conferred upon him. Like St. Thomas Aquinas, he enjoyed the friendship of the holy King, St. Louis.

At the age of thirty-five he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. He did much for his Order and composed The Life of St. Francis . He also assisted at the translation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua. He was nominated Archbishop of York by Pope Clement IV, but he begged not to be forced to accept that dignity. Gregory X obliged him to take upon himself a greater one, that of Cardinal and Bishop of Albano, one of the six suffragan Sees of Rome. Before his death he abdicated his office of General of the Franciscan Order. He died while he was assisting at the Second Council of Lyons, on July 15, 1274. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=169  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Abudimus
Bl. Alphonsus de Vaena
St. Andrew Nam-Thuong
Bl. Anne Jahouvey
Bl. Anthony Francisco
St. Apronia
St. Athanasius
St. Baldwin
St. Benedict
St. Bonaventure
St. Catulinus
St. David of Sweden
St. Donald of Ogilvy
St. Edith of Polesworth
St. Egino
St. Esternus
St. Eutropius
St. Jacob of Nisibis
Bl. James Andrade
Bl. Joanninus de San Juan
Bl. John Fernandez
Bl. Mark Caldeira
Bl. Nicholas Dinnis
Bl. Peter Berna
St. Peter Tuan
St. Philip
St. Plechelm
St. Pompeius Maria Pirotti
St. Secundinus, Agrippinus, Maximus, Fortunatus, & Martialis
St. Seduinus
St. Swithun
St. Vladimir

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin
Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 387

First Reading: Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalms 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40:  
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071417.cfm

Reflection:  What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16)? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This Old Testament prophecy certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth (Ephesians 1:10 and Revelation 11:15). In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who oppose the Gospel and the coming of God’s kingdom.

The readiness to serve and face hardship for Christ and his kingdom
Jesus never hesitated to tell his disciples what they might expect if they chose to follow him. Here Jesus says to his disciples: This is my task for you at its grimmest and worst – do you accept it? This is not the world’s way of recruitment for service and toil with promise of honor and reward. After the British defeat at Dunkirk (June 1940), Churchill offered his country blood, toil, sweat, and tears.

This is not the message we prefer to hear when the Lord Jesus commissions us in his service for the advancement of God’s kingdom and the battle against Satan’s kingdom of darkness and death. Nonetheless, our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of the Lord and Master who willingly laid down his life for us in order to bring us victory over Satan, sin, and death. Are you willing to accept hardship and suffering in serving the Lord Jesus Christ?

“Lord Jesus, help me to patiently and joyfully accept the hardships, adversities, and persecution which come my way in serving you and your kingdom of  love, truth,and goodness. Strengthen my faith and give me courage that I may not shrink back from doing your will.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul14.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Patron of the environment and ecology (1656-1680)
St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her husband.

She contracted smallpox as a four-year-old child which scarred her skin. The scars were a source of humiliation in her youth. She was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face. Worse, her entire family died during the outbreak. Kateri Tekakwitha was subsequently raised by her uncle, who was the chief of a Mohawk clan.

Kateri was known as a skilled worker, who was diligent and patient. However, she refused to marry. When her adoptive parents proposed a suitor to her, she refused to entertain the proposal. They punished her by giving her more work to do, but she did not give in. Instead, she remained quiet and diligent. Eventually they were forced to relent and accept that she had no interest in marriage.

At age 19, Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. Her decision was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors. Some of her neighbors started rumors of sorcery. To avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of Montreal.

According to legend, Kateri was very devout and would put thorns on her sleeping mat. She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. According to the Jesuit missionaries that served the community where Kateri lived, she often fasted and when she would eat, she would taint her food to diminish its flavor. On at least one occasion, she burned herself. Such self-mortification was common among the Mohawk.

Kateri was very devout and was known for her steadfast devotion. She was also very sickly. Her practices of self-mortification and denial may not have helped her health. Sadly, just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away at age 24, on April 17, 1680.

Her name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012. She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=154  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Cyrus of Carthage
St. Heraclas
Bl. Humbert of Romans
Bl. Humbert
St. Justus
St. Kateri Tekakwitha
St. Libert
St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
St. Optatian
St. Procopius of Sázava
Bl. Richard Langhorne
St. Ulrich
St. William Breteuil

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Thuursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386

First Reading: Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5
Psalms 105:16-21:  
Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071317.cfm

Reflection:  Do you believe that the Gospel has power to change your life and the lives of others? Jesus gave his disciples a two-fold commission to speak in his name and to act with his power. The core of the Gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is imminent! What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who freely submit to God and who honor him as their Lord and King. In the Lord’s prayer we pray for God to reign in our lives and in our world: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Doing the works which Jesus did
Jesus also commissioned his disciples to carry on the works which he did – bringing the healing power and mercy of God to the weary and oppressed. The Gospel has power to set people free from sin, sickness, fear, and oppression. The Lord Jesus will free us from anything that keeps us from loving him and our neighbor with joy and confidence.

Sharing generously what God has given to each one of us
Jesus said to his disciples: Freely you have received, freely give. What they have received from Jesus they must now pass on to others without expecting a favor in return, whether it be in the form of a gift or payment. They must show by their attitude that their first interest is in serving God, not receiving material gain. They must serve without guile, full of charity and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God’s kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must  travel light – only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them – in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting special privileges or reward. “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves.

Support the work of the Gospel with your resources
Secondly, Jesus said: the worker deserves his sustenance. Here we see a double-truth: the worker of God must not be overly-concerned with material things, but the people of God must never fail in their duty to give the worker of God what he or she needs to sustain themselves in the Lord’s service. Do you pray for the work of the Gospel and do you support it with your material and financial resources?

Jesus ends his instructions with a warning: If people reject God’s invitation and refuse his word, then they bring judgment and condemnation on themselves. When God gives us his word there comes with it the great responsibility to respond. Indifference will not do. We are either for or against God in how we respond to his word. God gives us his word that we may have life – abundant life in him. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and simply to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the Gospel by word and example to those around you?

“Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the Gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and your light wherever I go.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul13.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Henry, Patron of the childless, of Dukes, of the handicapped and those rejected by Religious Order (d. 1024)
St. Henry, son of Henry, Duke of Bavaria, and of Gisella, daughter of Conrad, King of Burgundy, was born in 972. He received an excellent education under the care of St. Wolfgang, Bishop of Ratisbon. In 995, St. Henry succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria, and in 1002, upon the death of his cousin, Otho III, he was elected emperor. Firmly anchored upon the great eternal truths, which the practice of meditation kept alive in his heart, he was not elated by this dignity and sought in all things, the greater glory of God. He was most watchful over the welfare of the Church and exerted his zeal for the maintenance of ecclesiastical discipline through the instrumentality of the Bishops. He gained several victories over his enemies, both at home and abroad, but he used these with great moderation and clemency. In 1014, he went to Rome and received the imperial crown at the hands of Pope Benedict VIII. On that occasion he confirmed the donation, made by his predecessors to the Pope, of the sovereignty of Rome and the exarchate of Ravenna. Circumstances several times drove the holy Emperor into war, from which he always came forth victorious. He led an army to the south of Italy against the Saracens and their allies, the Greeks, and drove them from the country. The humility and spirit of justice of the Saint were equal to his zeal for religion. He cast himself at the feet of Herebert, Bishop of Cologne, and begged his pardon for having treated him with coldness, on account of a misunderstanding. He wished to abdicate and retire into a monastery, but yielded to the advice of the Abbot of Verdun, and retained his dignity. Both he and his wife, St. Cunegundes, lived in perpetual chastity, to which they had bound themselves by vow. The Saint made numerous pious foundations, gave liberally to pious institutions and built the Cathedral of Bamberg. His holy death occurred at the castle of Grone, near Halberstad, in 1024. His feast day is July 13th. He is the patron saint of the childless, of Dukes, of the handicapped and those rejected by Religious Order. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=124  

More Saints of the Day:     
Bl. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Santiago
St. Clelia Barbieri
St. Dogfan
Bl. Ferdinando Maria Baccilieri
St. Francis Solano
St. Henry
St. Henry II
Bl. Mariano de Jesus Euse Hoyos
St. Myrope
St. Serapion
St. Silas
St. Teresa de los Andes
Bl. Thomas Tunstal
St. Turiaf

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 385

First Reading: Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24
Psalms 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19:  
Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071217.cfm

Reflection:  Do you believe in the life-changing power of the Gospel and experience its transforming effect in your life? The core of the Gospel message is quite simple: the kingdom (or reign) of God is very near! What is the kingdom of God? It is that society of men and women who know God’s love and mercy, and who willingly obey and honor God as their Lord and King. In the prayer which Jesus gave to his disciples (the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father), he taught them to pray for God to reign in their daily lives and in the world around them: May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The power of the Gospel to heal and set free
When Jesus proclaimed the good news of God’s kingdom he also demonstrated the power of the Gospel with supernatural signs and wonders. Jesus healed people who suffered physical, emotional, and mental illnesses. He freed people from spiritual bondage to sin and demonic powers. Jesus gave his disciples the same authority he had to heal and set people free from spiritual bondage.

The Gospel (which literally means “good news”) which Jesus proclaimed is just as relevant and real today, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, and in the power of the Gospel, we will know and experience the freedom, joy, and power he gives us that enables us to live and witness as his disciples. No one can buy heaven; but if we know the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, then we already possess heaven in our hearts! Do you believe that Jesus can change and transform your life and share with you the power and authority of God’s kingdom?

Jesus chose ordinary people to do extraordinary work
Jesus commissioned his disciples to carry on the works which he did – to speak God’s word and to bring his healing power to the weary and oppressed. In the choice of the twelve apostles we see a characteristic feature of God’s work – Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or privileged position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages.

Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing or very little to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Do you believe that God wants to work in and through you for his glory?

“Lord Jesus, you have chosen me to be your disciple. Take and use what I can offer, however meager it may seem, for the greater glory of your name.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul12.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. John Gaulbert, Abbot  Patron of forest workers; foresters; park rangers; parks (d. 1073)
Saint John Gaulbert, Abbot – Feast day is July 12th The city of Florence gave to the world Saint John Gaulbert. Although he enjoyed the benefits of an early Christian education, his youthful heart was soon attracted to the vanities of the world. A painful incident was the means God made use of, to open his eyes. Hugo, his only brother, had been murdered and St. John had resolved to avenge his death. On a certain Good Friday he met his enemy in a place where there was no escape for the latter. St. John drew his sword and would have killed his adversary on the spot, but the latter threw himself on his knees begging him by the passion of Jesus Christ to spare his life. St. John was touched at the words, embraced his enemy, entered a church and prayed with many tears for the pardon of his sins.

He now entered the Order of St. Benedict, in which he made such great progress in virtue that after the death of the Abbot, the monks wished to impose this dignity upon him, but the Saint absolutely refused to accept it. Sometime later, he left the monastery with one companion in quest of greater solitude.

Having visited the hermitage of Camaldoli, he finally settled at Valle Ombrosa in Tuscany. Together with two hermits whom he found there, he and his companions built a small monastery, observing the primitive rule of St. Benedict. Thus was laid the foundation of the Order of Vallombrosa. The humility of the saint was such that he would never be promoted, even to Minor Orders. His charity for the poor caused him to make a rule that no indigent person should be sent away without an alms. He founded several monasteries, reformed others, and succeeded in eradicating the vice of simony from the part of the country where he lived. He died on July 12, 1073, at about 80 years of age. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=358  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Agnes De
Bl. Andrew Oexner of Riun
St. Ansbald
Bl. David Gonson
St Epiphania
St. Jason
St. John Gaulbert, Abbot
St. John Jones
Bl. John Naisen
Bl. John Tanaka
St. John the Iberian
St. John Wall
St. Leo of Lucca
Bl. Louis Naisen
St. Marciana
Bl. Matthias Araki
St. Menulphus
Bl. Monica Naisen
St. Nabor and Felix
St. Paternian
St. Paulinus of Antioch
Bl. Peter Araki Kobjoje
St. Peter Khanh
St. Veronica
St. Viventiolus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 384

First Reading: Genesis 32:23-33
Psalms 17:1-3, 6-7, 8, 15:  In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071117.cfm

Reflection:  What help and hope can we give to someone who experiences chronic distress or some incurable disease of mind and body? Spiritual, emotional, and physical suffering often go hand in hand. Jesus was well acquainted with individuals who suffered intolerable affliction – whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. A “dumb demoniac” was brought to Jesus by his friends with the hope that Jesus would set the troubled man free. These neighbors, no doubt, took pity on this man who had a double impediment. He had not only lost his ability to speak, but was also greatly disturbed in mind and spirit. This was no doubt due to the influence of evil spirits who tormented him day and night with thoughts of despair and hopeless abandonment by God.

Jesus brings freedom and healing
Jesus immediately set him free from the demon who tormented him and restored his ability to speak at the same time. This double miracle brought wonder to the crowds who watched in amazement. “Nothing like this had ever been done before in the land of Israel!” Whenever people approached Jesus with expectant faith, he set them free from whatever afflicted them – whether it be a disease of mind and body, a crippling burden of guilt and sin, a tormenting spirit or uncontrollable fear of harm.

How could Jesus’ miracles cause both scorn and wonder at the same time from those who professed faith in God? Don’t we often encounter the same reaction today, even in ourselves! The crowds looked with awe at the wonderful works which Jesus did, but the religious leaders attributed this same work to the power of the devil. They disbelieved because they refused to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Their idea of religion was too narrow and closed to accept Jesus as the Anointed One sent by the Father “to set the captives free” (Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 11:5). They were too set in their own ways to change and they were too proud to submit to Jesus. They held too rigidly to the observances of their ritual laws while neglecting the more important duties of love of God and love of neighbor. The people, as a result, were spiritually adrift and hungry for God. Jesus met their need and gave them new faith and hope in God’s saving help.

The Gospel brings new life and freedom
Whenever the Gospel is proclaimed God’s kingdom is made manifest and new life and freedom is given to those who respond with faith. The Lord grants freedom to all who turn to him with trust. Do you bring your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith that he can set you free? The Lord invites us to pray that the work of  the Gospel may spread throughout the world, so that all may find true joy and freedom in Jesus Christ.

“Lord Jesus, may your kingdom come to all who are oppressed and in darkness. Fill my heart with compassion for all who suffer mentally and physically. Use me to bring the good news of your saving grace and mercy to those around me who need your healing love and forgiveness.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul11.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547)
St. Benedict, the Father of Western monasticism and brother of Scholastica, is considered the patron of speliologists (cave explorers). He was born in Nursia, Italy and educated in Rome. He was repelled by the vices of the city and in about the year 500, fled to Enfide, thirty miles away. He decided to live the life of a hermit and settled at the mountainous Subiaco, where he lived in a cave for three years, fed by a monk named Romanus. Despite Benedict’s desire for solitude, his holiness and austerities became known and he was asked to be their abbot by a community of monks at Vicovaro. He accepted, but when the monks resisted his strict rule and tried to poison him, he returned to Subiaco and became a center of spirituality and learning. He left suddenly, reportedly because of the efforts of a neighboring priest, Florentius, to undermine his work, and in about 525, settled at Monte Cassino. He destroyed a pagan temple to Apollo on its crest, brought the people of the neighboring area back to Christianity, and in about 530 began to build the monastery that was to be the birthplace of Western monasticism. Soon disciples again flocked to him as his reputation for holiness, wisdom, and miracles spread far and wide. He organized the monks into a single monastic community and wrote his famous Rule prescribing common sense, a life of moderate asceticism, prayer, study, and work, and community life under one superior. It stressed obedience, stability, zeal, and had the Divine Office as the center of monastic life; it was to affect spiritual and monastic life in the West for centuries to come. While ruling his monks (most of whom, including Benedict, were not ordained), he counseled rulers and Popes, ministered to the poor and destitute about him, and tried to repair the ravages of the Lombard Totila’s invasion. He died at Monte Cassino on March 21 and was named patron protector of Europe by Pope Paul VI in 1964. His feast day is July 11. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=556  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Abundius
St. Amabilis
St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Cindeus
St. Drostan
St. Hidulphus
St. Januarius and Pelagia
St. John of Bergamo
St. Leontius the Younger
St. Marcian
St. Olga
St. Pius I
St. Sabinus
Sts. Sabinus & Cyprian
St. Turketil

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 383

First Reading: Genesis 28:10-22A
Psalm 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15AB:  In you, my God, I place my trust.
Gospel: Matthew 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
“My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
“Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/071017.cfm

Reflection:  Do you take your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith and confidence in his help? People in desperate or helpless circumstances were not disappointed when they sought Jesus out. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? What did the elderly woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her? And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do about his lost beloved daughter?

Words of hope directed to God
Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!). And he also gave divine hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child.

It took considerable courage and risk for the ruler of a synagogue to openly go to Jesus and to invite the scorn of his neighbors and kin. Even the hired mourners laughed at him in scorn. Their grief was devoid of any hope. Nonetheless, Jesus took the girl by the hand and delivered her from the grasp of death. In both instances we see Jesus’ personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life.

The infinite love of God
In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as he gives freely and wholly of himself to each  person he meets. Do you approach the Lord with confident expectation that he will hear your request and act?

“Lord Jesus, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service to others.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul10.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Bl. Emmanuel Ruiz (D. 1860)
Martyr with eleven companions in Lebanon. A Spanish Franciscan, Emmanuel and the others were caught up in the rising of the Druses in Lebanon. The Franciscan community, eight in number, and three Maronite laymen were slain by the Islamic rebels. He was beatified in 1926. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3123  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alexander
St. Amalberga
St. Anthony Pechersky
Bl. Emmanuel Ruiz
St. Etto
St. Januarius, Marinus, Nabor, and Felix
St. Lantfrid
St. Leontius
Martyrs of Damascus
St. Pascharius
St. Peter of Perugia
St. Peter Tu
St. Rufinus and Secundus
St. Theodosius Pechersky

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 100

First Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10
Psalms 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14:  I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
Second Reading:
Romans 8:9, 11-13
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070917.cfm

Reflection:  Do you want to know the mind and heart of God? Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his followers the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus’ prayer tell us about God and about our relationship with him? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of the earth as well as heaven. He is both the Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything. His authority, wisdom, and gracious care extends to every living thing, and his boundless love and goodness is directed to the welfare of each person made in his image and likeness. He is the source of all human life. That is why all fatherhood and motherhood is ultimately derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15).

Pride – the root of sin
Jesus’s prayer contrasts the “wisdom of the world” with the wisdom which comes from above – from the Father of heaven who is all wise and good. Jesus’ prayer contains an implicit warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the wisdom of God? Certainly intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his wise rule and fatherly care for our personal lives. Pride is the root of all vice and evil and the strongest influence propelling us to sin against God and to do wrong to our neighbor. Sinful pride first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God’s truth and wisdom for our lives. What is pride’s flaw? It is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one’s own knowledge, power, importance and position over others.

Simplicity and lowliness of heart
Jesus contrasts pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like “little children” in the sense that they see purely and simply without any pretense or falsehood. They instinctively recognize their utter dependence and reliance on others – especially those who can teach and form them to live strong, healthy, mature lives. No one can grow in wisdom and maturity unless they are willing to be taught and formed in how to live wisely and to distinguish between good and evil, truth and falsehood.

Simplicity of heart is closely linked with humility – the queen of virtues that forgets oneself in order to love and serve others for their sake. The humble of heart are the freest of all – emptied of vanity and self-concern they can single-mindedly focus on the welfare of others. The Lord Jesus is our model. He proclaimed to his disciples, “I am gentle and lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus came “not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for the many” (Matthew 20:28). Jesus’ “gentleness” is not weakness or powerlessness. It is “strength under control” which is at the service of good rather than evil.

Jesus humbled himself to lift us out of our misery and slavery to sin in order to raise us up to glory with him and the Father. Jesus came not to bruise the weak but to heal, to pardon and not to condemn, to restore us to abundant life by defeating sin, Satan, and death. It was love for his eternal Father and for each one of us that motivated Jesus to humble himself to death on the cross in order to rescue us from slavery to sin and death. The Lord Jesus shows us the true path of love and victory, freedom and joy, through the cross that defeated pride and hatred, greed and selfishness, guilt and condemnation.

True humility – which is the opposite of false modesty or feeling bad about oneself – frees us to pursue what is good, right, holy, and true. Scripture tells us that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive the wisdom which comes from God and the understanding of God’s perfect goodness and plan for our lives. Do you acknowledge your utter dependence on God and do you trust him with your whole heart, mind, and being?

The greatest reward for those who seek the “summum bonum” or “greatest good” is to be united with God – the one and only true source of peace, joy, and happiness that will last forever.

Knowing God personally
Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make – he is the perfect revelation of God because he has been with the Father before all creation and time existed. He and the Father are united in an inseparable bond of love and unity. That is why Jesus alone can truly reveal the fullness of God’s mind and heart and purpose for our lives.

One of the greatest truths of God’s revelation and our Christian faith is that we can know the one true and living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing some things about God and his true  nature – we can know God our Father and Creator personally because God our Father desires to be closely united with each one of us in a bond of love through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus makes it possible for each one of us to have a personal direct relationship and experiential knowledge of God as our loving and gracious Father.

Through Jesus we have access to God the Father
To see the Lord Jesus is to recognize and know the true nature of God and his personal love for us. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over every man and woman whom he has created in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). God the Father loved us even while we were lost in ignorance and blinded by sin and pride. He sent us his Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who freely gave up his life for us on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins (John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 1:7). Paul the Apostle tells us that Jesus is the image of God (Colossians 1:15). He is the perfect revelation of God – a God who loves us totally, unconditionally, and without reservation. What can separate us from the love of God? Only our own stubborn pride, willfulness, and rebellious attitude towards God and his will for our lives.

Jesus makes an incredible promise to those who acknowledge him as their Lord and Savior. If we pray in his name – the name Jesus means God saves– then the Father in heaven will hear us as if his only begotten Son was speaking to him directly. That is the unity, blessing, and promise he wishes for each one of us. And that is why we have the confidence and boldness to pray as Jesus taught his disciples, Our Father who art in heaven… give us this day our daily bread, and deliver us from temptation.  Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his perfect love and care for you?

The sweet yoke of Jesus
What does the yoke of Jesus refer to in the Gospel (Matthew 11:29)? The Jews used the image of a yoke to express submission to God. They spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of God. Jesus  says his yoke is “easy”. The Greek word for “easy” can also mean “well-fitting”. Yokes were tailor-made to fit the oxen well. We are commanded to put on the “sweet yoke of Jesus” and to live the “heavenly way of life and happiness”.

Jesus also says his “burden is light”. There’s a story of a man who once met a boy carrying a smaller crippled lad on his back. “That’s a heavy load you are carrying there,” exclaimed the man. “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother!” responded the boy. No burden is too heavy when it’s given in love and carried in love. Jesus offers us a new kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. In his kingdom sins are not only forgiven but removed, and eternal life is poured out for all its citizens. This is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual one.

Freedom from sin and guilt
The yoke of Christ’s kingdom, his kingly rule and way of life, liberates us from the burden of guilt and from the oppression of sinful habits and hurtful desires. Only Jesus can lift the burden of sin and the weight of hopelessness from us – and give us a weight of love and glory in exchange. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin and despair for a burden of glory and yoke of freedom from sin. The yoke which Jesus invites us to embrace is his way of grace and freedom from the power of sin. Do you trust in God’s love and submit to his will and plan for your life?

 “Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul9.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Veronica Giuliani (1660-1727)
Capuchin mystic who had many spiritual gifis. A native of Binasco, near Milan, Italy, born in 1660, she entered the Capuchins at Citttidi Castello, Umbria, in 1677. She remained there for the rest of her life and served as novice mistress for thirty-four years. A mystic, she was the recipient of a stigmata in 1697 and visions, the accounts of which are quite detailed. She impressed her fellow nuns by remaining remarkably practical despite her numerous ecstatic experiences. Veronica was named abbess of the convent in 1716, remaining in that role until her death. She is called one of the most extraordinary mystics of her era. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1945  

More Saints of the Day:     
Bl. Adrian Fortescue
St. Adrian Van Hilvarenbeek
St. Agilulfus
St. Anatolia
St. Andrew Wouters
St. Antonino Fantosati
St. Augustine Tchao
St. Brictus
St. Cornelius
St. Elia Facchini
St. Everild
St. Francis Rod
St. Godfrey
St. Golvinus
St. Gregorio Grassi
St. James Lacop
St. Jerome of Werden
St. John of Cologne
St. John of Osterwick
St. Joseph Zhang Dapeng
St. Justus of Poland
St. Leonard Wegel
St. Marie Amandine
Martyrs of Gorkum
St. Mary Hermina Grivot
St. Nicasius Jonson
St. Nicholas Pieck
St. Nicholas Poppel
St. Patermuthius
St. Paulina
St. Peter of Asche
St. Veronica Giuliani
St. Willehad of Denmark
St. Zeno

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 382

First Reading: Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
Psalms 135:1-6:  Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
Gospel:
Matthew 9:14-17
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070817.cfm

Reflection:  Which comes first, fasting or feasting? The disciples of John the Baptist were upset with Jesus’ disciples because they did not fast. Fasting was one of the three most important religious duties, along with prayer and almsgiving. Jesus gave a simple explanation. There’s a time for fasting and a time for feasting (or celebrating). To walk as a disciple with Jesus is to experience a whole new joy of relationship akin to the joy of the wedding party in celebrating with the groom and bride their wedding bliss.

A time to rejoice and a time to mourn
But there also comes a time when the Lord’s disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification. For the disciple there is both a time for rejoicing in the Lord’s presence and celebrating his goodness and a time for seeking the Lord with humility and fasting and for mourning over sin. Do you take joy in the Lord’s presence with you and do you express sorrow and contrition for your sins?

The closed mind that refuses to learn
Jesus goes on to warn his disciples about the problem of the “closed mind” that refuses to learn new things. Jesus used an image familiar to his audience – new and old wineskins. In Jesus’ times, wine was stored in wineskins, not bottles. New wine poured into skins was still fermenting. The gases exerted gave pressure. New wine skins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wine skins easily burst because they had become hard and had lost their ability to expand and stretch. What did Jesus mean by this comparison? Are we to reject the old in place of the new?

Treasuring the old and new wine of the Holy Spirit
Just as there is a right place and a right time for fasting and for feasting, so there is a right place for the old as well as the new. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old (Matthew 13:52). How impoverished we would be if we only had the Old Testament or the New Testament books of the Bible, rather than both. The Lord gives us wisdom so we can make the best use of both the old and the new. He doesn’t want us to hold rigidly to the past and to be resistant to the new work of his Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants our minds and hearts to be like new wine skins – open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit. Are you eager to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s word and plan for your life?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth. Help me to seek you earnestly in prayer and fasting that I may turn away from sin and willfulness and conform my life more fully to your will. May I always find joy in knowing, loving, and serving you.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul8.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Grimbald (827-901)
Benedictine abbot also called Grimwald, invited to England by King Alfred in 885. Grimbald arrived in England and declined the see of Canterbury, preferring to remain a monk. He became the abbot of New Minster Abbey at Winchester appointed by King Edward the Elder. Grimbald is credited with restoring learning to England. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4515  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Adrian III
St. Adrian III
St. Albert of Genoa
St. Apollonius
St. Arnold
St. Arnulf of Soissons
St. Auspicius
St. Grimbald
St. Jeanne-Marie Kerguin
St. Kilian
St. Landrada
Bl. Mancius Araki
St. Maria Chaira
St. Marie Adolphine Dierks
St. Morwenna
Bl. Peter the Hermit
St. Priscilla
St. Procopius of Scythopolis
St. Raymond of Toulouse
St. Withburga

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 381

First Reading: Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
Psalms 106:1-5:  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Gospel:
Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070717.cfm

Reflection:  What is God’s call on your life? Jesus chose Matthew to be his follower and friend, not because Matthew was religious or learned, popular or saintly. Matthew appeared to be none of those. He chose to live a life of wealth and ease. His profession was probably the most corrupted and despised by everyone because tax collectors made themselves wealthy by over-charging and threatening people if they did not hand over their money to them.

God searches our heart
What did Jesus see in Matthew that others did not see? When the prophet Samuel came to the house of Jesse to anoint the future heir to the throne of Israel, he bypassed all the first seven sons and chose the last! “God looks at the heart and not at the appearance of a man” he declared (1 Samuel 16:7). David’s heart was like a compass looking for true north – it pointed to God. Matthew’s heart must have yearned for God, even though he dare not show his face in a synagogue – the Jewish house of prayer and the study of Torah – God’s law. When Jesus saw Matthew sitting at his tax office – no doubt counting his day’s profit – Jesus spoke only two words – “follow me”. Those two words changed Matthew from a self-serving profiteer to a God-serving apostle who would bring the treasures of God’s kingdom to the poor and needy.

John Chrysostom, the great 5th century church father, describes Matthew’s calling: “Why did Jesus not call Matthew at the same time as he called Peter and John and the rest? He came to each one at a particular time when he knew that they would respond to him. He came at a different time to call Matthew when he was assured that Matthew would surrender to his call. Similarly, he called Paul at a different time when he was vulnerable, after the resurrection, something like a hunter going after his quarry. For he who is acquainted with our inmost hearts and knows the secrets of our minds knows when each one of us is ready to respond fully. Therefore he did not call them all together at the beginning, when Matthew was still in a hardened condition. Rather, only after countless miracles, after his fame spread abroad, did he call Matthew. He knew Matthew had been softened for full responsiveness.”

Jesus- the divine physician
When the Pharisees challenged Jesus’ unorthodox behavior in eating with public sinners, Jesus’ defense was quite simple. A doctor doesn’t need to visit healthy people – instead he goes to those who are sick. Jesus likewise sought out those in the greatest need. A true physician seeks healing of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Jesus came as the divine physician and good shepherd to care for his people and to restore them to wholeness of life. The orthodox were so preoccupied with their own practice of religion that they neglected to help the very people who needed spiritual care. Their religion was selfish because they didn’t want to have anything to do with people not like themselves. Jesus stated his mission in unequivocal terms: I came  not to call the righteous, but to call sinners. Ironically the orthodox were as needy as those they despised. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

On more than one occasion Jesus quoted the saying from the prophet Hosea: For I desire mercy and not sacrifice (Hosea 6:6). Do you thank the Lord Jesus for the great mercy he has shown to you?  And do you show mercy to your neighbor as well?

“Lord Jesus, our Savior, let us now come to you: Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them with your selfless love. Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood. Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with your joyous Spirit. Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence. Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself.” (Prayer of Augustine, 354-430) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul7.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Bl. Ralph Milner (d. 1591)
English martyr. He was born at Stocksteads, Hampshire, and was a convert. He was arrested the day he received his first Communion. A husbands man by trade, Ralph was allowed a leave from prison and aided priests and Catholics. He was executed at Winchester on July by being hanged, drawn, and quartered for giving assistance to Blessed Roger Dickenson. He was beatified in 1929. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4515  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Ampelius
St. Angelelmus
St. Apollonius
St. Astius
St. Bonitus
St. Eoban
St. Ercongotha
St. Ethelburga
St. Felix of Nantes
St. Humphrey Lawrence
St. Illidius
Bl. Lawrence Humphrey
St. Maolruain
Bl. Maria Romero Meneses
St. Medran & Odran
St. Odo of Urgell
St. Palladius
St. Pantaenus
Bl. Peter To Rot
Bl. Ralph Milner

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Posted by: RAM | July 5, 2017

Thursday (July 6): “Your sins are forgiven.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
St. Maria Goretti, Virgin, Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 380

First Reading: Genesis 22:1-19
Psalms 115:1-6, 8-9:  I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.
Gospel:
Matthew 9:1-8
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
:Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070617.cfm

Reflection:  What cripples the mind and heart and stifles the healing power of love? Sin and unforgiveness for certain! Sin cripples us more than any physical ailment can. Sin is the work of the kingdom of darkness and it holds us in eternal bondage. There is only one solution and that is the healing, cleansing power of Jesus’ forgiveness.

Power of forgiveness
Jesus’ treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day. When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of the faith of his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable. He first forgave the man his sins. The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because they understood that only God had authority to forgive sins and to unbind a man or woman from their burden of guilt. Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give. Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God’s redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well.

Healing body, mind, and soul
The Lord Jesus is ever ready to bring us healing of mind, body, and soul. His grace brings us freedom from the power of sin and from bondage to harmful desires and addictions. Do you allow anything to keep you from Jesus’ healing power?

“Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, mind, and soul. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life – my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offences and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in your truth and goodness.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul6.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Maria Goretti, Patron of youth, young women, purity, and victims of rape (1890-1902)
Born on October 16 1890 in Corinaldo, in the Ancona Province in Italy, her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. When he died of malaria, Maria’s mother had to struggle to feed her children.

Maria’s mother, brothers, and sisters worked in the fields while she cooked, sewed, kept the house clean, and watched her youngest sister Teresa. Though the family’s circumstances were extremely difficult, they were very close and loved God.

On July 5, 1902, Maria was sitting outside the steps of her home sewing her 18-year-old brother or neighbor -it is unclear which – Alessandro’s shirt while he threshed beans in the barnyard. As she concentrated on her sewing, Alessandro surprised her and grabbed her from her steps. When he tried to rape her, Maria cried that it was a mortal sin and warned he would go to hell.

When Alessandro persisted, she fought him and screamed, “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” At her words, Alessandro began to choke her and she said she would rather die than submit. Upon hearing her words, Alexander pulled out a knife and stabbed her eleven times. When she attempted to reach the door, he stabbed her three more times then fled.

Teresa woke to the sounds of her sister’s cries and began to cry. Maria’s family returned home and found her bleeding on the floor. They quickly took her to the nearest hospital in Nettuno, where she underwent surgery without anesthesia.

Unfortunately, her wounds were beyond the surgeon’s ability to help. Halfway through the surgery, the man asked her, “Maria, think of me in Paradise.”

As she lay on the table, she looked up at him and said, “Well, who knows which of us is going to be there first?”

She did not realize how terrible her situation was, and the surgeon replied, “You, Maria.”

She said, “Then I will think gladly of you.” She also mentioned concerns for her mother. The next day, Maria forgave Alessandro and said she wanted to see him in Heaven with her. She died that day while looking upon an image of the Virgin Mary and holding a cross to her chest.

Shortly after Maria’s family discovered her, Alexander was captured and questioned. He admitted Maria was a physical virgin as he was unable to assault her and he was sentenced to thirty years. He also admitted he had attempted to persuade her to accompany him to bed on several occasions in the past and had attempted to rape her before.

Alessandro remained unrepentant for his actions until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him lilies, which immediately burned in his hands. When he woke, he was a changed man. He repented his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released 27-years-later, he went directly to Maria’s mother and begged her forgiveness, which she gave, saying, “If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withhold forgiveness?”

Maria Goretti was beatified by Pope Pius XII in a ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica on April 27, 1947.

Three years later, on June 24, 1950, Maria was declared a saint and Alessandro was present in the St. Peter’s crowd to celebrate her canonization. He later became a laybrother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, where he lived in a monastery and worked as its receptionist and gardener until his death.

Saint Maria is called a martyr because she fought against Alessandro’s attempts at sexual sin; however, the most important aspects of her story are how she forgave her attacker – her concern for her enemy extending even beyond death – and the miracle her forgiveness produced in his life.

Saint Maria’s body can be found in the crypt of the Basilica of Nostra Signora delle Grazie e Santa Maria Goretti in Nettuno. Though several claim her body is incorrupt, she has been proven to be corrupt. Her body is kept in a statue which lies beneath the altar and has been mistaken to be all of her remains.

Images of Saint Maria often represent her with wavy hair dressed in either white or farm clothes and is often depicted holding lilies. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=78  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Abrahamites Monks
St. Dominica
St. Goar
St. Maria Goretti
Martyrs of the Abrahamites
St. Merryn
St. Modwenna
St. Monennaa
Bl. Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa
St. Noyala
St. Rixius Varus
St. Romulus and Companions
St. Sexburga
Bl. Thomas Alfield
St. Tranquillinus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 379

First Reading: Genesis 21:5, 8-20
Psalms 34:7-13:  The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Gospel:
Matthew 8:28-34
When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070517.cfm

Reflection:  Do you ever feel driven by forces beyond your strength? Two men who were possessed and driven mad by the force of many evil spirits found refuge in the one person who could set them free. Both Mark and Luke in their Gospel accounts of this incident describe this demonic force as a legion (Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30). A legion is no small force but an army 6,000 strong! For the people of Palestine who were often hemmed in by occupied forces, a legion – whether human or supernatural – struck terror! Legions at their wildest committed unmentionable atrocities. Our age has also witnessed untold crimes and mass destruction at the hands of possessed rulers and their armies.

No force can withstand Christ’s power and authority
What is more remarkable – the destructive force of these driven and possessed men, or their bended knee at Jesus’ feet imploring mercy and release (Luke 8:28)? God’s word  reminds us that no destructive force can keep anyone from the peace and safety which God offers to those who seek his help. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. ..Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation (Psalm 91:7,9).

Jesus took pity on these men who were overtaken by a legion of evil spirits. The destructive force of these demons is evident for all who can see as they flee and destroy a herd of swine. After Jesus freed the demoniacs the whole city came out to meet him. No one had demonstrated such power and authority against the forces of Satan as Jesus did. They feared Jesus as a result and begged him to leave them. Why would they not want Jesus to stay? Perhaps the price for such liberation from the power of evil and sin was more than they wanted to pay.

Jesus will free us from anything that binds us
The Lord Jesus is ready and willing to free us from anything that binds us and that keeps us from the love of God. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from his love and saving power?

“Lord Jesus, unbind me that I may love you wholly and walk in the freedom of your way of love and holiness. May there be nothing which keeps me from the joy of living in your presence.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul5.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
Cofounder of the Barnabites. Born in 1502 in Cremona, Italy, Anthony became a medical doctor. In 1528 he was ordained a priest and cofounded the Barnabites, the religious congregation so called because it was headquartered in St. Barnabas Monastery in Milan. The Barnabites occupied the monastery in 1538, having been approved in 1533. Anthony popularized the forty-hour prayer ceremony, promoted the use of altar sacraments, and introduced the ringing of church bells on Friday. He is depicted in liturgical art in habit. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1455  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
St. Athanasius
St. Athanasius the Athonite
St. Domitius
St. Edana
St. Erfyl
St. Fragan & Gwen
Bl. Helie de Bourdeille
St. Marinus
St. Numerian
St. Philomena of San Severino
St. Triphina
St. Zoe of Rome

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 378

First Reading: Genesis 19:15-29
Psalms 26:2-3, 9-12:  O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.
Gospel:
Matthew 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070417.cfm

Reflection:  How can we fight fear with faith? Jesus’ sleeping presence on the storm-tossed sea reveals the sleeping faith of his disciples (Matthew 8:25). They feared for their lives even though their Lord and Master was with them in the boat. They were asleep to Christ while he was present to them in their hour of need.

Why are you afraid?
The Lord is ever present to us. And in our time of testing he asks the same question: Why are you afraid? Have you no faith (Matthew 8:26)? Do you recognize the Lord’s presence with you, especially when you meet the storms of adversity, sorrow, and temptation? Whenever we encounter trouble, the Lord Jesus is there with the same reassuring message: “It is I, do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).

Faith nourished with the word of God
What are the characteristics of faith and how can we grow in it? Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. Believing is only possible by grace and the help of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and who opens the eyes of the mind to understand and accept the truth which God has revealed to us. Faith enables us to relate to God rightly and confidently, with trust and reliance, by believing and adhering to his word, because he is utterly reliable and trustworthy. If we want to live, grow, and persevere in faith, then it must be nourished with the word of God.

Let the love of Christ rule your heart and mind
Fear does not need to cripple us from taking right action or rob us of our trust and reliance on God. Courage working with faith enables us to embrace God’s word of truth and love with confidence and to act on it with firm hope in God’s promises. The love of God strengthens us in our faith and trust in him and enables us to act with justice and kindness towards our neighbor even in the face of opposition or harm. Do you allow the love of Jesus Christ to rule in your heart and mind, and to move your will to choose what is good in accordance with his will?

“Lord Jesus, increase my faith in your redeeming love and power that I may always recognize your abiding presence with me. Give me courage and strength to face every difficulty, trial, and temptation with trust in your saving help and guiding presence.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul4.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Patron of the Third Order of St. Francis
Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. She was very beautiful and very lovable. She was also very devout, and went to Mass every day. Elizabeth was a holy wife, but although her husband was fond of her at first, he soon began to cause her great suffering. Though a good ruler, he did not imitate his wife’s love of prayer and other virtues. In fact, his sins of impurity gave great scandle to the people.

Later, to make matters worse, the King believed a lie told about Elizabeth and one of her pages by another page, who was jealous of his companion. In great anger the King ordered the one he believed guilty, to be sent to a lime-burner. The lime-burner was commanded to throw into his furnace the first page who came. The good page set out obediently, not knowing death was waiting for him. On his way he stopped for Mass, since he had the habit of going daily. The first Mass had begun, so he stayed for a second one. In the meantime, the King sent the wicked page to the lime-burner to find out if the other had been killed. And so it was this page who was thrown into the furnace! When the King learned what had happened, he realized that God had saved the good page, punished the liar, and proven Queen Elizabeth to be innocent.

This amazing event helped greatly to make the King live better. He apologized to his wife in front of everyone and began to have a great respect for her. In his last sickness, she never left his side, except for Mass, until he died a holy death. St. Elizabeth lived for eleven more years, doing even greater charity and penance. She was a wonderful model of kindness toward the poor and a successful peacemaker between members of her own family and between nations.

Because St. Elizabeth was faithful to daily Mass, she found strength to carry her many great crosses. And because her page was faithful to daily Mass, he escaped death. We should try our best to make it a habit to go to Mass daily. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=116  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alexander
St. Aretius
St. Breaca
St. Clateus
St. Cornelius of Armagh
St. Croidan
St. Elsiar
St. Francis Caracciolo
St. Metrophanes of Byzantium
St. Nennoc
St. Optatus of Milevis
St. Petroc
St. Quirinus of Tivoli
St. Quirinus of Siscia
St. Rutilius and Companions
St. Saturnina
St. Walter
St. Walter

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
Lectionary: 593

First Reading: Ephesians 2:19-22
Psalms 117:1-2:  Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Gospel:
John 20:24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070317.cfm

Reflection:  What can give us unshakeable hope and confidence in the face of failure, defeat, and death? The apostles had abandoned Jesus in his hour of trial when he was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemani by Judas and arrested by the Jewish authorities. Their fear turned to despair when Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion for his claim to be the King of the Jews. In that hour of darkness on “Good Friday” the apostles saw Jesus’ death as defeat rather than victory.

From death and despair to joy and victory
On Sunday morning when they heard the reports from the women who saw the empty tomb, they were slow to believe that Jesus had risen as he prophesied to them previously. Their despair turn to joy when the Risen Lord at last appeared to them and showed them the scars of his victory – his pierced hands, feet, and side. Jesus had indeed triumphed over the enemies which held the human race in slavery to sin, Satan, and death.

The  last apostle to meet the resurrected Lord was the first to go with him to Jerusalem at Passover time. The apostle Thomas was a natural pessimist. When Jesus proposed that they visit Lazarus after receiving news of his illness, Thomas said to the disciples: “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). While Thomas deeply loved the Lord, he lacked the courage to stand with Jesus in his passion and crucifixion. After Jesus’ death, Thomas made the mistake of withdrawing from the other apostles. He sought loneliness rather than fellowship in his time of sorrow and adversity. He doubted the women who saw the resurrected Jesus and he doubted his own fellow apostles who also testified that Jesus had risen.

When Thomas finally had the courage to rejoin the other apostles eight days later, the Lord Jesus made his presence known to him and reassured him that he had indeed overcome death and risen again. When Thomas recognized his Master, he believed and exclaimed that Jesus was truly Lord and truly God!

Through faith we meet the Risen Lord
Through the gift of faith we, too, are able to recognize the presence of the risen Lord in our personal lives. The Holy Spirit reveals the Lord Jesus to us and helps us to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and his ways. Through the gift of faith we are able to proclaim that Jesus is our personal Lord and our God. He died and rose that we, too, might have new life in him. The Lord offers each of us new life in his Holy Spirit that we may know him personally and walk in this new way of life through the power of his resurrection. Do you believe in God’s word and in the power of the Holy Spirit?

“Lord Jesus Christ, through your victory over sin and death you have overcome all the powers of darkness. Help me to draw near to you and to trust in your life-giving word. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen my faith in your promises and my hope in the power of your resurrection.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul3.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Thomas, the Apostle, Patron of architects
St. Thomas was born a Jew and was called to be one of the twelve Apostles. His birth and death dates are unknown, but his feast day is celebrated July 3. He lived before the formal establishment of the Catholic Church but is recognized as the patron saint of architects.

He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities.

At the Last Supper, when Christ told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master. Thomas’ unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday earned him the title of “doubting Thomas.”

Eight days later, on Christ’s second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his skepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded – seeing in Christ’s hands the point of the nails. Thomas even put his fingers in the nail holes and his hand into Christ’s side. After verifying the wounds were true, St. Thomas became convinced of the reality of the Resurrection and exclaimed, “My Lord and My God,” thus making a public Profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus.

St. Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus – at Lake Tiberias, when a miraculous catch of fish occurred.

This is all that we know about St. Thomas from the New Testament. Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize to the Parthians, Medes, and Persians. He ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.”

According to tradition, Thomas was killed in an accident when a fowler shot at a peacock and struck Thomas instead. Following his death, some of his relics were taken to Edessa while the rest were kept in what is now known as India. They can still be found within the San Thome Basilica in Chennai, Mylapore, India.

The relics taken to Edessa were moved in 1258 to Italy, where they can be found in the Cathedral of St. Thomas the Apostle in Ortona, Italy. However, it is believed that Saint Thomas’ skull rests in the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian on the Greek Island Patmos.

In art, Saint Thomas is commonly depicted as a young man holding a scroll, or as a young adult touching the resurrected Christ’s wounds.

Saint Thomas was mentioned in several texts, including one document called The Passing of Mary, which claims then-apostle Thomas was the only one to witness the Assumption of Mary into heaven, while the other apostles were transported to Jerusalem to witness her death.

While the other apostles were with Mary, Thomas was left in India until after her first burial, when he was transported to her tomb and he saw her bodily assumption into heaven, when her girdle was left behind.

In versions of the story, the other apostles doubted Thomas’ words until Mary’s tomb was discovered to be empty with the exception of her girdle. Thomas and the girdle were often depicted in medieval and early Renaissance art. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=410  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Anatolius of Laodicea
St. Anatolius
St. Bladus
St. Byblig
St. Cillene
St. Dathus
St. Eulogius and Companions
St. Gunthiern
St. Guthagon
St. Hyacinth of Caesarea
St. Joseph Peter Uyen
St. Maelmuire O’ Gorman
St. Mark
St. Philip Minh
St. Phocas the Gardener
St. Thomas
St. Tryphon & Companions

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 97

First Reading: 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16
Psalms 89:2-3, 16-19:  For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Second Reading:
Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
Jesus said to his apostles:
“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.

“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is a righteous man
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070217.cfm

Reflection:  Who or what takes first place in your life – in your daily thoughts, cares, and concerns? God has put us first in his thought, care, and concern for our well-being and future. God loved us first and our love for him is a response to his exceeding kindness and mercy towards us. Even while we were hopelessly adrift through our own sinful pride, rebellion and unbelief, he choose to give us his own beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for our sake – to set us free from slavery to sin, Satan, and death.

Proof of God’s unfailing love for us
There is no greater proof of God’s love for us than the free-will offering of his Son who shed his blood for us on the cross. His death broke the curse of guilt and condemnation, and won for us pardon and adoption as beloved sons and daughters of God our Father. Through the victory of his cross and resurrection, the Lord Jesus offers us abundant new life through the gift and power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

The love of God comes first
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the love of the eternal Father and the eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who come to make their home with us and to unite us in a bond of peace and friendship. That is why the Lord Jesus commanded his disciples to give him their undivided loyalty and love above all else. We owe him a debt of gratitude for what he has done for us. The Lord Jesus  gives us the assurance and promise that he will raise up our mortal bodies to be like his so that we may fully share in his resurrection for all eternity.

God has no equal – that is why we owe the eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit our undivided loyalty, trust, and obedience. Jesus challenges his disciples to examine who they love first and foremost. A true disciple loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for the Lord Jesus who calls us to follow him. Jesus insists that his disciples give him the loyalty which is due to God, a loyalty which is higher than spouse or kin. It is possible that family and friends can become our enemies, if the thought of them keeps us from doing what we know God wants us to do.

God’s compelling love knows no rival
The love of God compels us to choose who or what will be first in our lives. To place any relationship or anything else above God is a form of idolatry. We can allow many different things to take control of our lives and possess us – such as greed and lust for power, possessions, and wealth. But only God’s love can set us free to love as he loves – with mercy, kindness, goodness, patience, perseverance, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). The first and great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). If we pursue the love of God and put his kingdom first in our lives, then he will give us everything we need to sustain us now and in the future as well. Who is the Lord and Master of you life?

True love overflows in kindness and mercy towards others
True love for God compels us to express charity (merciful deeds of kindness and goodness) towards our neighbors who are also loved by God because he created each of them them in his image and likeness. Mother Theresa of Calcutta once told a marvelous story about a destitute family who had nothing to eat for days. When news of their impoverished condition came to the Missionary Sisters of Charity, Mother Theresa personally went to their home and brought them some food supplies. The mother of the family immediately divided the food in half and carried it off. When she returned, Mother Theresa asked her, “Where did you go?” She gave the simple answer, “To my neighbors, they are hungry also!” Mother Theresa said, “I was not surprised that she gave – poor people are really very generous. I was surprised that she knew they were hungry. As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves, we have no time for others.”

Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not lose its reward (Matthew 10:42). Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples we are called to be kind and generous as he is. Jesus sets before us the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is union with God – uniting our heart, mind, and will with his heart and will for our lives. The reward of a life given over to God and obeying his voice is God himself – the source of true peace and joy that lasts forever. Does the love of Jesus Christ compel you to put God first in all you do (2 Corinthians 5:14)?

“Lord, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has conceived the things you have prepared for those who love you. Set us ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may love you in and above all things and so receive the rewards you have promised us through Christ our Lord.” (from A Christian’s Prayer Book) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul2.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Bernardino Realino (1530-1616)
St. Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy in 1530. After receiving a thorough and devout Christian education at the hands of his mother, he went on to study medicine at the University of Bologna, but after three years he switched to law and received his doctorate in 1563. Word of his learning, dedication, and legal brilliance spread rapidly, and in 1554 he was summoned to Naples to assume the position of auditor and lieutenant general.

Shortly afterward, his exemplary young man came to the realization that he had a religious vocation and, aided by our Lady’s appearance to him, joined the Society of Jesus, being ordained in 1567. For three years he labored unstintingly at Naples, devoting himself wholeheartedly to the service of the poor and the youth, and then he was sent to Lecce where he remained for the last forty-two years of his life.

St. Bernardino won widespread recognition as a result of his ceaseless apostolic labors. He was a model confessor, a powerful preacher, a diligent teacher of the Faith to the young, a dedicated shepherd of souls, as well as Rector of the Jesuit college in Lecce and Superior of the Community there. His charity to the poor and the sick knew no bounds and his kindness brought about the end of vendettas and public scandals that cropped up from time to time.

So greatly was this saint loved and appreciated by his people that in 1616, as he lay on his death bed the city’s magistrates formally requested that he should take the city under his protection. Unable to speak, St. Bernardino bowed his head. He died with the names of Jesus and Mary on his lips. His feast day is July 2nd. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=391  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Aberoh (Aburom, Arianus) 
St. Aburom
St. Acestes
St. Ariston and Companions
St. Bernardino Realino
Bl. Eugenia Joubert
St. Lidanus
St. Monegundis
St. Otto of Bamberg
St. Oudaceus
St. Processus and Martinian

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Most Precious Blood
Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 376

First Reading: Genesis 18:1-15
Luke 1:46-50, 53-55:  The Lord has remembered his mercy.
Gospel:
Matthew 8:5-17
When Jesus 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 man 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.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
And Jesus said to the centurion,
“You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.”
And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many
who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070117.cfm

Reflection:  What kind of expectant faith and trust does the Lord Jesus want you to place in him? In Jesus’ time the Jews hated the Romans because they represented everything the Jews stood against – including pagan beliefs and idol worship, immoral practices such as abortion and infanticide, and the suppression of the Israelites’ claim to be a holy nation governed solely by God’s law. It must have been a remarkable sight for the Jewish residents of Capernaum to see Jesus conversing with an officer of the Roman army.

The power to command with trust and respect
Why did Jesus not only warmly receive a Roman centurion but praise him as a model of faith and confidence in God? In the Roman world the position of centurion was very important. He was an officer in charge of a hundred soldiers. In a certain sense, he was the backbone of the Roman army, the cement which held the army together. Polybius, an ancient write, describes what a centurion should be: “They must not be so much venturesome seekers after danger as men who can command, steady in action, and reliable; they ought not to be over-anxious to rush into the fight, but when hard pressed, they must be ready to hold their ground, and die at their posts.”

Faith in Jesus’ authority over sickness and power to heal
The centurion who approached Jesus was not only courageous, but faith-filled as well. He risked the ridicule of his associates as well as mockery from the Jews by seeking help from a wandering preacher from Galilee. Nonetheless, he approached Jesus with great confidence and humility. He was an extraordinary man because he loved his slave. In the Roman world slaves were treated as property and like animals rather than people. The centurion was also an extraordinary man of faith. He believed that Jesus could heal his beloved slave. Jesus commended him for his faith and immediately granted him his request. Are you willing to suffer ridicule in the practice of your faith? And when you need help, do you approach the Lord Jesus with expectant faith?

“Heavenly Father, you sent us your Son Jesus that we might be freed from the tyranny of sin and death. Increase my faith in the power of your saving word and give me freedom to love and serve others with generosity and mercy as you have loved me.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jul1.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: St. Junipero Sierra (1713-1784)
Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November 24, 1713, and took the name of Junipero when in 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and theology at the University of Paduauntil 1749.

At the age of thirty-seven, he landed in Mexico City on January 1, 1750, and spent the rest of his life working for the conversion of the peoples of the New World.

In 1768, Father Serra took over the missions of the Jesuits (who had been wrongly expelled by the government)in the Mexican province of Lower California and Upper California (modern day California). An indefatigable worker, Serra was in large part responsible for the foundation and spread of the Church on the West Coast of the United States when it was still mission territory.

He founded twenty-one missions and converted thousands of Indians. The converts were taught sound methods of agriculture, cattle raising, and arts and crafts.

Junipero was a dedicated religious and missionary. He was imbued with a penitential spirit and practiced austerity in sleep, eating, and other activities. On August 28, 1784, worn out by his apostolic labors, Father Serra was called to his eternal rest. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988. His statue, representing the state of California, is in National Statuary Hall. His feast day is July 1. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=401  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Arnulf
St. Carilefus
St. Castus & Secundinus
St. Cewydd
St. Domitian
St. Eparchius
St. Felix of Como
St. Gall
St. Gall
Bl. Nazju Falzon
St. Junipero Serra
St. Juthware
St. Martin of Vienne
St. Oliver Plunkett
St. Servan
St. Theodoric
St. Veep

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Posted by: RAM | June 29, 2017

Friday (June 30): “Be made clean.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 375

First Reading: Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
Psalms 128:1-5:  See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
Gospel:
Matthew 8:1-4
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.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/063017.cfm

Reflection:  What might hold us back from approaching the Lord Jesus with expectant faith and confidence that he can change us and make us holy – perhaps fear, pride, and the risk of losing one’s reputation or friends? Jesus did something which was both remarkable and unthinkable at the same time. He approached the unapproachables – he touched the untouchables. Lepers were outcasts of society. Their physical condition was terrible as they slowly lost the use of their limbs and withered away with open sores over their entire bodies. They were not only shunned but regarded as “already dead” even by their relatives. The Jewish law forbade anyone from touching or approaching a leper, lest ritual defilement occur.

Approaching the Lord Jesus with expectant faith
The leper who came to Jesus did something quite remarkable. He approached Jesus confidently and humbly, expecting that Jesus could and would heal him. Normally a leper would be stoned or at least warded off if he tried to come near a rabbi. Jesus not only grants the man his request, but he demonstrates the personal love, compassion, and tenderness of God in his physical touch. The medical knowledge of his day would have regarded such contact as grave risk for incurring infection. Jesus met the man’s misery with compassion and tender kindness. He communicated the love and mercy of God in a sign that spoke more eloquently than words. He touched the man and made him clean – not only physically but spiritually as well.

Some twelve centuries later, a man named Francis (1181-1226 AD) met a leper on the road as he journeyed towards Assisi. A contemporary of Francis wrote, “Though the leper caused him no small disgust and horror, he nonetheless, got off the horse and prepared to kiss the leper. But when the leper put out his hand as though to receive something, he received money along with a kiss” (from the Life of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano). Francis did what seemed humanly impossible because he was filled with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit inflames our hearts with the fire of Christ’s love that we may reach out to others with compassionate care and kindness, especially to those who have been rejected, mistreated, and left utterly alone. Do you allow the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ for others?

“May the power of your love, Lord Christ, fiery and sweet as honey, so absorb our hearts as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. Grant that we may be ready to die for love of your love, as you died for love of our love.”  (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi,1181-1226 AD) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun30.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: First Martyrs of the See of Rome
The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero , who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3385  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Airick
St. Basilides
St. Bertrand
St. Clotsindis
St. Erentrude
St. Erentrudis
St. Eurgain
First Martyrs of the See of Rome
Bl. Gennaro Sarnelli
St. Lucina
St. Marcian
St. Martial
Martyrs of Rome
First Martyrs of Rome
St. Ostianus
Bl. Philip Powell
Bl. Raymond Lull
St. Theobald of Provins
St. Vincent Yen

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Lectionary: 591

First Reading: Acts 12:1-11
Psalms 34:2-9:  The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Second Reading: 
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “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.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062917.cfm

Reflection:  Today in many churches of the East and West the Apostles Peter and Paul are commemorated. Both were martyred in Rome in the first century. They tirelessly worked for the spread of the gospel, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations as well. They risked their lives in the process and gladly poured out their blood in loyalty to their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul so eloquently stated in his second epistle to Timothy, they courageously fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

Who do you say I am?
How firm is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? At an opportune time Jesus tested his disciples with a crucial question: Who do men say that I am and who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:13). Jesus was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Through the gift of faith Peter recognized that Jesus was the “anointed one” (in Hebrew and Greek the word is translated as Messiah and Christ), and the only begotten Son of God sent by the Father in heaven to redeem a fallen human race. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter; but only God. Jesus then conferred on Peter authority to govern the church that Jesus would build [which Peter describes as a people redeemed with the precious blood of Christ – First Letter of Peter 1:19], a church that no powers could overcome. Jesus played on Peter’s name which is the same word for “rock” in both Aramaic and Greek.

Spiritual rock ad living stones
To call someone a “rock” is one of the greatest of compliments. The ancient rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: “I have discovered a rock to found the world upon.” Abraham put his trust in God and made God’s word the foundation of his life and the bedrock of his faith. Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to proclaim that Jesus was truly the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God.

The New Testament describes the church, the people of God, as a spiritual house and temple of the Holy Spirit with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks – spiritual stones. The Lord Jesus tests each of us personally with the same question: Who do you say that I am?

“Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior who has set me free from sin and deception. Make my faith strong like the Apostles Peter and Paul and give me boldness to speak of you to others that they may come to know you as Lord and Savior.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun29.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Peter, First Pope, Patron of fishermen, net makers, and ship builders (d.64)
Peter, who was also known as Simon Peter of Cephas, is considered the first Pope. Despite his papacy, Peter had humble beginnings and became one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was ordained by Jesus in the “Rock of My Church” written in Matthew 16:17-18, which says, “Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a blessed man!

Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.'”

Peter was a native of Bethsaida, near Lake Tiberias and was the son of Jonah. He and his brother Andrew were fishermen on Lake Genesareth. The Bible chronicles when the brothers met Jesus in Luke chapter 5, which reads:

“Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats at the water’s edge. The fishermen had got out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats — it was Simon’s — and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ Simon replied, ‘Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signaled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled both boats to sinking point.

When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely awestruck at the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will be catching.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land they left everything and followed him.”

Just like that, Peter followed Jesus and his life was changed forever. Though he was one of the first disciples called to follow Jesus and eventually became the spokesman for the group, Peter is known for his “little faith.”

In Matthew 14, Jesus and his disciples came ashore, where a large crowd waited. Jesus healed the sick and by the end of the day, his disciples told him to tell everyone to go to the villages for food but Jesus performed a miracle and made give loaves of bread and two fish feed the group of five-hundred people. Following the miracle, Jesus told the disciples to take their boat to the other side of a nearby river while he sent the crowds away.

After he bid farewell to the throngs of people, he prayed by himself in the hills. As he prayed, the boat the disciples were on was experiencing rough waves and “In the fourth watch of the night,” Jesus approached their boat as he walked on the water. When his disciples spied Jesus walking on the water, they were afraid but Jesus called to them and said, “Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.” Peter answered “Lord … if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.”

Jesus told him to come so Peter began to walk toward Jesus on the surface of the water. It wasn’t until he noticed the wind that he began to fear and cried “Lord … save me!” Jesus touched him and said, “You have so little faith … why did you doubt?”

This is one of many stories involving Peter and Jesus. Another famous story is Peter’s attempt to save Jesus from the soldiers who came to take Him to his doom. As described in John 18:10-12, “Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’ The cohort and its tribune and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him.”

Following the failed attempt to save Jesus, Peter was recorded denying Jesus, which The Savior foretold during the Last Supper in Mark 14:18-31:

“And while they were at table eating, Jesus said, ‘In truth I tell you, one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me.’ They were distressed and said to him, one after another, ‘Not me, surely?’ He said to them, ‘It is one of the Twelve, one who is dipping into the same dish with me. Yes, the Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born.’

“And as they were eating he took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many. In truth I tell you, I shall never drink wine any more until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’

“After the psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered; however, after my resurrection I shall go before you into Galilee.’

“Peter said, ‘Even if all fall away, I will not.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘In truth I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.’ But he repeated still more earnestly, ‘If I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And they all said the same.”

Regardless of his claims, Peter did deny Christ three times. His denials were recorded in Mark 14:66-72:

“While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s servant-girls came up. She saw Peter warming himself there, looked closely at him and said, ‘You too were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.’ But he denied it. ‘I do not know, I do not understand what you are talking about,’ he said. And he went out into the forecourt, and a cock crowed.

“The servant-girl saw him and again started telling the bystanders, ‘This man is one of them.’ But again he denied it. A little later the bystanders themselves said to Peter, ‘You are certainly one of them! Why, you are a Galilean.’ But he started cursing and swearing, ‘I do not know the man you speak of.’

“And at once the cock crowed for the second time, and Peter recalled what Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times.’ And he burst into tears.”

Matthew 26:69-75 and John 18:17-27 also tell the story of Peter disowning Jesus three times. Following Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, it was Peter who first entered the empty tomb. It was described in Luke 24:12 that when Peter heard Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, claim Jesus’ tomb was empty, he “went off to the tomb, running. He bent down and looked in and saw the linen cloths but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-7 describes how Jesus resurrected and appeared before Peter first. “The tradition I handed on to you in the first place, a tradition which I had myself received was that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried; and that on the third day, he was raised to life, in accordance with the scriptures; and that he appeared to [Peter of] Cephas; and later to the Twelve; and next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles.”

Following his resurrection, Christ came before his disciples several times. John:21:12-23 describes an instance when Peter is given three chances to admit his love for Jesus, and each time he says he does.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’ They knew quite well it was the Lord. Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish.

“This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead. When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’

“A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that he asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

“In all truth I tell you, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.’

“In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’ Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them — the one who had leant back close to his chest at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’

“Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’ The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die,’ but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come.'”

Jesus offered Peter three chances to follow Him and with the three confirmations of love, Peter was able to balance his three previous denials.

In the time following Christ’s Ascension, Peter stood as the unquestionable head of the Apostles, which the book of Acts clearly describes. He went on to appoint the replacement of Judas Iscariot, spoke first to the crowds that had assembled after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he was the first Apostle to perform miracles in the name of the Lord, and he rendered judgment upon the deceitful Ananias and Sapphira, both of whom were stealing from church members and God alike.

Peter was instrumental in bringing the Gospel to the Gentiles. He baptized the Roman pagan Cornelius, and at the Council of Jerusalem gave his support to preach to Gentiles, thereby permitting the new Church to become universal.

There are so many stories about Peter that it is nearly impossible to fully encompass his deeds, but one story of note was when he was imprisoned by King Herod Agrippa but was able to escape with the help of an angel.

King Herod had begun to persecute specific members of the church and had James, the brother of John beheaded. The Jewish community was grateful for the persecutions so Herod continued and went after Peter. As described in Acts 12:4-11:

“As it was during the days of Unleavened Bread that he had arrested him, he put him in prison, assigning four sections of four soldiers each to guard him, meaning to try him in public after the Passover. All the time Peter was under guard the church prayed to God for him unremittingly.

“On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison. Then suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said, ‘Hurry!’ — and the chains fell from his hands.

“The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’ He followed him out, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision.

“They passed through the first guard post and then the second and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him. It was only then that Peter came to himself. And he said, ‘Now I know it is all true. The Lord really did send his angel and save me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'”

Following his escape, Peter resumed his apostolate in Jerusalem and his missionary efforts included travels to such cities of the pagan world as Antioch, Corinth, and eventually Rome. He made reference to the Eternal City in his first Epistle by noting that he writes from Babylon. Through a variety of works, it is certain that Peter died in Rome and that his martyrdom came during the reign of Emperor Nero, believed to be in 64 AD.

Testimony of his martyrdom is extensive, including Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, St. Clement I of Rome, St. Ignatius, and St. Irenaeus. According to rich tradition, Peter was crucified on the Vatican Hill upside down because he declared himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord. He was then buried in Rome near the Vatican on Vatican Hill.

In the early 4th century, Emporor Constantine I honored Peter with a large basilica over the site of his burial despite the slope of Vatican Hill, which first needed to be excavated. According to a letter, Pope Vitalian sent a cross with filings said to be from Peter’s chains to the queen of Oswy, Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria in 665 along with unspecified relics of Peter.

In 1950 human bones were discovered beneath the alter of St. Peter’s Basilica and many claimed they belonged to Peter. In 1953 an excavation found St. Peter’s tomb in Jerusalem bearing his previous name Simon, as well as the tombs of the other apostles, Mary, and Jesus.

In the 1960s, discarded debris from the excavation beneath St. Peter’s Basilica were re-examined and were identified as the bones of a male human. This discovery caused Pope Paul VI in 1968 to announce they were likely to belong to the Apostle Peter. On November 24, 2013, Pope Francis revealed the relics of nine bone fragments for the first time in public during a Mass celebrated at St. Peter’s Square.

While Peter’s chief feast day is June 29, he is also honored on February 22 and November 18. In liturgical art, he is depicted as an elderly man holding a key and a book. His symbols include an inverted cross, a boat, and the cock. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=291  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Cassius of Narni
St. Cocha
St. Mary Salome
St. Paul
St. Peter, First Pope
Sts. Salome & Judith
Bl. Yakym Senkivsky

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 373

First Reading: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalms 105:1-4, 6-9:  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Gospel: 
Matthew 7:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062817.cfm

Reflection:  What do grapes, thorns, figs, and thistles have to teach us about the kingdom of God? The imagery used by Jesus would have been very familiar to his audience. A certain thorn bush had berries which resembled grapes. And a certain thistle had a flower, which at least from a distance, resembled the fig. Isn’t it the same today? What we “hear” might have a resemblance of the truth, but, in fact, when you inspect it closely, it’s actually false. False prophets or teachers abound today as much as they did in biblical times.

A sound mind accepts what is truly good and right and rejects what is false and wrong
What’s the test of a true or false teacher? Jesus connects soundness with good fruit. Something is sound when it is free from defect, decay, or disease and is healthy. Good fruit is the result of sound living – living according to moral truth and upright character. The prophet Isaiah warned against the dangers of falsehood: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20). The fruits of falsehood produce an easy religion which takes the iron out of religion, the cross out of Christianity, and any teaching which eliminates the hard sayings of Jesus, and which push the judgments of God into the background and makes us think lightly of sin.

How do we avoid falsehood in our personal lives? By being true – true to God, his word, and his grace. And that takes character! Those who are true to God know that their strength lies not in themselves but in God who supplies what we need. The fruit of a disciple is marked by faith, hope and love, justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance. Do you seek to cultivate good fruit in your life and reject whatever produces bad fruit?

“Lord Jesus, may I bear good fruit for your sake and reject whatever will produce evil fruit. Help me grow in faith, hope, love, sound judgment, justice, courage, and self control.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun28.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Irenaeus (d.202)
The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the gnostics, they delivered the Catholic Faith from the real danger of the doctrines of those heretics.

He was probably born about the year 125, in one of those maritime provinces of Asia Minor where the memory of the apostles was still cherished and where Christians were numerous. He was most influenced by St. Polycarp who had known the apostles or their immediate disciples

Many Asian priests and missionaries brought the gospel to the pagan Gauls and founded a local church. To this church of Lyon, Irenaeus came to serve as a priest under its first bishop, St. Pothinus, an oriental like himself. In the year 177, Irenaeus was sent to Rome. This mission explains how it was that he was not called upon to share in the martyrdom of St Pothinus during the terrible persecution in Lyons. When he returned to Lyons it was to occupy the vacant bishopric. By this time, the persecution was over. It was the spread of gnosticism in Gaul, and the ravages it was making among the Christians of his diocese, that inspired him to undertake the task of exposing its errors. He produced a treatise in five books in which he sets forth fully the inner doctrines of the various sects, and afterwards contrasts them with the teaching of the Apostles and the text of the Holy Scripture. His work, written in Greek but quickly translated to Latin, was widely circulated and succeeded in dealing a death-blow to gnosticism. At any rate, from that time onwards, it ceased to offer a serious menace to the Catholic faith.

The date of death of St. Irenaeus is not known, but it is believed to be in the year 202. The bodily remains of St. Irenaeus were buried in a crypt under the altar of what was then called the church of St. John, but was later known by the name of St. Irenaeus himself. This tomb or shrine was destroyed by the Calvinists in 1562, and all trace of his relics seems to have perished. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=291  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Almus
St. Argymirus
St. Austell
St. Benignus
St. Crummine
St. Cyrus and John
St. Egilo
St. Heimrad
St. Irenaeus
St. Paul I, Pope
St. Plutarch
St. Theodichildis
St. Vincenza Gerosa

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, Priest
Lectionary: 371

First Reading: Genesis 12:1-9
Psalms 33:12-13, 18-20, 22:  Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062617.cfm

Reflection:  How do you wish to be judged by others? Everybody is a critic, but who wants to be judged negatively? Judgmentalism is rampant, even among Christians. So how can we avoid this poisonous sin and not be contaminated by the world’s view of who is good and who is bad? “Thinking the best of other people” is necessary if we wish to grow in love. And kindliness in judgment is nothing less that a sacred duty. The Rabbis warned people: “He who judges his neighbor favorably will be judged favorably by God.”

Who can judge rightly?
How easy it is to misjudge and how difficult it is to be impartial in judgment. Our judgment of others is usually “off the mark” because we can’t see inside the person to their inner motives and intentions, or we don’t have access to all the facts, or we are swayed by instinct and unreasoning reactions to people. It is easier to find fault in others than in oneself.

Why did Jesus calls his critics hypocrites? Listen to Augustine of Hippo’s (354-430 A.D) explanation of this passage:

“The word hypocrite is aptly employed here, since the denouncing of evils is best viewed as a matter only for upright persons of goodwill. When the wicked engage in it, they are like impersonators, masqueraders, hiding their real selves behind a mask, while they portray another’s character through the mask. The word hypocrites in fact signifies pretenders. Hence we ought especially to avoid that meddlesome class of pretenders who under the pretense of seeking advice undertake the censure of all kinds of vices. They are often moved by hatred and malice.

“Rather, whenever necessity compels one to reprove or rebuke another, we ought to proceed with godly discernment and caution. First of all, let us consider whether the other fault is such as we ourselves have never had or whether it is one that we have overcome. Then, if we have never had such a fault, let us remember that we are human and could have had it. But if we have had it and are rid of it now, let us remember our common frailty, in order that mercy, not hatred, may lead us to the giving of correction and admonition. In this way, whether the admonition occasions the amendment or the worsening of the one for whose sake we are offering it (for the result cannot be foreseen), we ourselves shall be made safe through singleness of eye. But if on reflection we find that we ourselves have the same fault as the one we are about to reprove, let us neither correct nor rebuke that one. Rather, let us bemoan the fault ourselves and induce that person to a similar concern, without asking him to submit to our correction.” (excerpt from SERMON ON THE MOUNT 2.19.64)

Merciful healing and removal of sin
Jesus states a heavenly principle we can stake our lives on: what you give to others (and how you treat others) will return to you in like manner. The Lord knows our faults, weaknesses, and sins and he sees everything, even the imperfections and hidden sins of the heart which we cannot recognize in ourselves. Like a gentle father and a skillful doctor he patiently draws us to his seat of mercy and removes the cancer of sin which inhabits our hearts.

Do you trust in God’s mercy and grace? And do you submit to his truth about what is right and wrong, good and evil, helpful and harmful for your welfare and the welfare of your neighbor as well? Ask the Lord to purify your heart with his loving-kindness and mercy that you may have ample room for charity and forbearance towards your neighbor.

“O Father, give us the humility which realizes its ignorance, admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice, accepts rebuke. Help us always to praise rather than to criticize, to sympathize rather than to discourage, to build rather than to destroy, and to think of people at their best rather than at their worst. This we ask for thy name’s sake. (Prayer of William Barclay, 20th century) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun26.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975)
Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was born in Barbastro, Spain, on January 9, 1902, the second of six children of Jose and Dolores Escriva. Growing up in a devout family and attending Catholic schools, he learned the basic truths of the faith and practices such as frequent confession and communion, the rosary, and almsgiving. The death of three younger sisters, and his father’s bankruptcy after business reverses, taught him the meaning of suffering and brought maturity to his outgoing and cheerful temperament. In 1915, the family moved to Logrono, where his father had found new employment.

Beginning in 1918, Josemaria sensed that God was asking something of him, although he didn’t know exactly what it was. He decided to become a priest, in order to be available for whatever God wanted of him. He began studying for the priesthood, first in Logrono and later in Saragossa. At his father’s suggestion and with the permission of his superiors at the seminary he also began to study civil law. He was ordained a priest and began his pastoral ministry in 1925.

In 1927, Fr. Josemaria moved to Madrid to study for a graduate degree in law. He was accompanied by his mother, sister, and brother, as his father had died in 1924 and he was now head of the family. They were not well-off, and he had to tutor law students to support them. At the same time he carried out a demanding pastoral work, especially among the poor and sick in Madrid, and with young children. He also undertook an apostolate with manual workers, professional people and university students who, by coming into contact with the poor and sick to whom Fr. Josemaria was ministering, learned the practical meaning of charity and their Christian responsibility to help out in the betterment of society.

On October 2, 1928, while making a retreat in Madrid, God showed him his specific mission: he was to found Opus Dei, an institution within the Catholic Church dedicated to helping people in all walks of life to follow Christ, to seek holiness in their daily life and grow in love for God and their fellow men and women. From that moment on, he dedicated all his strength to fulfilling this mission, certain that God had raised up Opus Dei to serve the Church. In 1930, responding to a new illumination from God, he started Opus Dei’s apostolic work with women, making clear that they had the same responsibility as men to serve society and the Church.

The first edition of The Way, his most widely read work, was published in 1934 under the title Spiritual Considerations. Expanded and revised, it has gone through many editions since then; more than four million copies in many different languages are now in print. His other spiritual writings include Holy Rosary; The Way of the Cross; two collections of homilies, Christ Is Passing By and Friends of God; and Furrow and The Forge, which like The Way are made up of short points for prayer and reflection.

The development of Opus Dei began among the young people with whom Fr. Josemaria had already been in contact before 1928. Its growth, however, was seriously impeded by the religious persecution inflicted on the Catholic Church during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The founder himself suffered severe hardships under this persecution but, unlike many other priests, he came out of the war alive. After the war, he traveled throughout the country giving retreats to hundreds of priests at the request of their bishops. Meanwhile Opus Dei spread from Madrid to several other Spanish cities, and as soon as World War II ended in 1945, began starting in other countries. This growth was not without pain; though the Work always had the approval of the local bishops, its then-unfamiliar message of sanctity in the world met with some misunderstandings and suspicions-which the founder bore with great patience and charity.

While celebrating Mass in 1943, Fr. Josemaria received a new foundational grace to establish the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, which made it possible for some of Opus Dei’s lay faithful to be ordained as priests. The full incorporation of both lay faithful and priests in Opus Dei, which makes a seamless cooperation in the apostolic work possible, is an essential feature of the foundational charism of Opus Dei, affirmed by the Church in granting Opus Dei the canonical status of a personal Prelature. In addition, the Priestly Society conducts activities, in full harmony with the bishops of the local churches, for the spiritual development of diocesan priests and seminarians. Diocesan priests can also be part of the Priestly Society, while at the same time remaining clergy of their own dioceses.

Aware that God meant Opus Dei to be part of the mission of the universal Church, the founder moved to Rome in 1946 so as to be close to the Holy See. By 1950 the Work had received pontifical approvals affirming its main foundational features-spreading the message of holiness in daily life; service to the Pope, the universal church, and the particular churches; secularity and naturalness; fostering personal freedom and responsibility, and a pluralism consistent with Catholic moral, political, and social teachings.

Beginning in 1948, full membership in Opus Dei was open to married people. In 1950 the Holy See approved the idea of accepting non-Catholics and even non-Christians as cooperators-persons who assist Opus Dei in its projects and programs without being members. The next decade saw the launching of a wide range of undertakings: professional schools, agricultural training centers, universities, primary and secondary schools, hospitals and clinics, and other initiatives, open to people of all races, religions, and social backgrounds but of manifestly Christian inspiration.

During Vatican Council II (1962-1965), Monsignor Escriva worked closely with many of the council fathers, discussing key Council themes such as the universal call to holiness and the importance of laypersons in the mission of the Church. Deeply grateful for the Council’s teachings, he did everything possible to implement them in the formative activities offered by Opus Dei throughout the world.

Between 1970 and 1975 the founder undertook catechetical trips throughout Europe and Latin America, speaking with many people, at times in large gatherings, about love of God, the sacraments, Christian dedication, and the need to sanctify work and family life. By the time of the founder’s death, Opus Dei had spread to thirty nations on six continents. It now (2002) has more than 84,000 members in sixty countries.

Monsignor Escriva’s death in Rome came suddenly on June 26, 1975, when he was 73. Large numbers of bishops and ordinary faithful petitioned the Vatican to begin the process for his beatification and canonization. On May 17, 1992, Saint Pope John Paul II declared him Blessed before a huge crowd in St. Peter’s Square. He is to be canonized – formally declared a saint on October 6, 2002. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=5603  

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alexander
Bl. Andrea Giacinto Longhin
St. Anthelm
St. Corbican
St. David
St. Hermogius
Bl. Jane Gerald
St. John
St. John & Paul
St. John of the Goths
St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer
St. Marie Magdalen Fontaine
St. Maxentius
St. Pelagius of Cordova
St. Perseveranda
St. Salvius
Bl. Teresa Fantou
St. Vigilius of Trent

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Posted by: RAM | June 24, 2017

Sunday (June 25): “Fear no one.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 94

First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalms 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35:  
Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Second Reading: Romans 5:12-15
Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062517.cfm

Reflection:  What does fear have to do with the kingdom of God? Fear is a powerful force. It can lead us to panic and flight or it can spur us to faith and action. The fear of God is the antidote to the fear of losing one’s life. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.O fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want! Come, O sons, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (Psalm 34:4,9,11)

What is godly fear? It is reverence for the One who made us in love and who sustains us in mercy and kindness. The greatest injury or loss which we can experience is not physical but spiritual – the loss of one’s soul to the power of hell. A healthy fear of God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom and right judgment and it frees us from the tyranny of sinful pride, cowardice – especially in the face of evil, and spiritual deception. Do you trust in God’s grace and mercy and submit to his word?

When Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God he met opposition and hostility. He tells  his disciples that they must expect the same treatment if they are to live and to proclaim the reign of God. There is both a warning and a privilege in his statement. Just as Jesus had to carry his cross, so the disciples must carry their cross and not try to evade it. To suffer for the faith is to share in the work of Christ. As one hymn states: Lift high the Cross of Christ!  Tread where his feet have trod. The Holy Spirit gives us power and grace to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. Do you trust in God’s grace to carry your cross for Jesus’ sake?

“Lord Jesus, it is my joy and privilege to your disciple. Give me strength and courage to bear any hardship and suffering which may come my way in your service. May I witness to others the joy of the Gospel.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun25.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint William of Vercelli (1085-1142)
William of Vercelli, Saint 1085-1142. founder, born in Vercelli Italy he was brought up as an orphan became a hermit on Monte Vergine, Italy after a pilgrimage to Compostella and attracted so many followers that a monastery was buillt. By 1119 his followers were united in the Benedictine congregation, the Hermits of Monte Vergine (Williamites) which he headed. The austerity of his rule led to dissension among his monks to restore peace he left and was taken under the protection of Roger I of Naples who built a monastery for him in Salerno. He founded monasteries through out Naples, and died at the Guglielmo monastery near Nusco Italy. He is also called William of Monte Vergine. Feast day June 25. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=585

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Adalbert
St. Dominic Henares
St. Eurosia
St. Gallicanus
St. Gohardus
St. Maximus of Turin
St. Moloc
St. Molonachus
St. Prosper of Aquitaine
St. Selyf
St. William of Vercelli

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Lectionary: 587

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalms 139:1-3, 13-15:  
I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80

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.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062417.cfm

Reflection:  Birthdays are a special time to remember and give thanks for the blessings that have come our way. Are you grateful for the ways that God has worked in your life, even from your birth? In many churches of the East and West the birth of John the Baptist is remembered on this day. The friends of Zechariah and Elizabeth marveled at the wonderful way in which God blessed them with a child. This child was destined by God for an important mission. The last verses in the last book of the Old Testament, taken from the prophet Malachi, speak of the Lord’s messenger, the prophet Elijah who will return to “turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

Birth and mission of John the Baptist
We see the beginning of the fulfillment of this word when the Angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah the marvelous birth and mission of John the Baptist (Luke 1:17). When this newly born child was about to be named, as customary on the eighth day, his relatives quibbled over what name to give him. (Don’t relatives today often do the same when the time comes for naming a newborn?) This child, however has been named from above! And Elizabeth is firm in her faith and determined to see that God be glorified through this child. The name John means “the Lord is gracious”. In the birth of John and in the birth of Jesus the Messiah we see the grace of God breaking forth into a world broken by sin and without hope. John’s miraculous birth shows the mercy and favor of God in preparing his people for the coming of its Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist’s life was fueled by one burning passion – to point others to Jesus Christ and to the coming of God’s kingdom. Scripture tells us that John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15, 41) by Christ himself, whom Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, John lept in the womb of Elizabeth as they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41). The fire of the Spirit dwelt in John and made him the forerunner of the coming Messiah. John was led by the Spirit into the wilderness prior to his ministry where he was tested and grew in the word of God. John’s clothing was reminiscent of the prophet Elijah (see Kings 1:8).

John broke the prophetic silence of the previous centuries when he began to speak the word of God to the people of Israel. His message was similar to the message of the Old Testament prophets who chided the people of God for their unfaithfulness and who tried to awaken true repentance in them. Among a people unconcerned with the things of God, it was his work to awaken their interest, unsettle them from their complacency, and arouse in them enough good will to recognize and receive Christ when he came.

God’s gracious gift to us
What is the significance of John the Baptist and his message for our lives? When God acts to save us he graciously fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes our faith come “alive” to his promises. Each and every day the Lord is ready to renew us in faith, hope, and love. Like John the Baptist, the Lord invites each of us to make our life a free-will offering to God. God wants to fill us with his glory all the days of our lives, from birth through death. Renew the offering of your life to God and give him thanks for his mercy and favor towards you.

“Lord Jesus, you bring hope and salvation to a world lost in sin, despair, and suffering. Let your grace refresh and restore your people today in the hope and joy of your great victory over sin and death.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun24.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint John the Baptist (d. ~31-36)
John the Baptist was a contemporary of Christ who was known for evangelization and his baptizing of Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist was born through the intercession of God to Zachariah and Elizabeth, who was otherwise too old to bear children. According to scriptures, the Angel Gabriel visited Elizabeth and Zachariah to tell them they would have a son and that they should name him John. Zachariah was skeptical and for this he was rendered mute until the time his son was born and named John, in fulfillment of God’s will.

When Elizabeth was pregnant with John, she was visited by Mary, and John leapt in her womb. This revealed to Elizabeth that the child Mary carried was to be the Son of God.

John began public ministry around 30 AD, and was known for attracting large crowds across the province of Judaea and around the Jordan River. When Jesus came to him to be baptized, John recognized him and said, “It is I who need baptism from you.”

Jesus told John to baptize Him anyway, which he did, whereupon the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God was seen like a dove. The voice of God spoke, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

John instructed his followers to turn to Christ, calling Him the “Lamb of God” and these people were among the first Christians.

Following his baptism of Christ, John’s popularity grew so much that he alarmed King Herod. Herod ordered him arrested and imprisoned.

John spoke with Herod on several occasions and condemned his marriage to his half-brother’s wife.

This condemnation would be his downfall as King Herod promised to grant a wish to his daughter. In revenge for John the Baptist’s condemnation of her mother’s scandalous marriage to Herod, she asked for John’s head. King Herod reluctantly obliged. John the Baptist died sometime between 33 and 36 AD.

John the Baptist’s feast day is June 24, and the anniversary of his death is August 29 and is sometimes celebrated with a second feast. John the Baptist is the patron saint of Jordan, Puerto Rico, French Canada and many other places. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 152

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Amphibalus
St. Bartholomew of Farne
St. Faustus and Companions
St. Germoc
St. John the Baptist
St. John of Tuy
Bl. Joseph Yuen
St. Mother Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala ~ Mother Lupita
St. Orentius
St. Rumold
St. Theodulphus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lectionary: 170

First Reading: Deuteronomy 7:6-11
Psalms 103:1-4, 6-7, 8, 10:  
The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-16

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062317.cfm

Reflection:  Do you want to know the mind and heart of God? Jesus thanks the Father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. What does Jesus’ prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father and Lord of earth as well as heaven. He is both Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and at the same time, goodness and loving care for all his children. All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (Ephesians 3:14-15).

Pride – the root of sin
Jesus’ prayer also contains a warning that pride can keep us from the love and knowledge of God. What makes us ignorant and blind to the things of God? Certainly intellectual pride, coldness of heart, and stubbornness of will shut out God and his kingdom. Pride is the root of all vice and the strongest influence propelling us to sin. It first vanquishes the heart, making it cold and indifferent towards God. It also closes the mind to God’s truth and wisdom for our lives. What is pride? It is the inordinate love of oneself at the expense of others and the exaggerated estimation of one’s own knowledge and importance.

Simplicity of heart
Jesus contrasts intellectual pride with child-like simplicity and humility. The simple of heart are like “infants” in the sense that they see purely and simply without any pretense or falsehood. They instinctlively recognize their utter dependence and reliance on those who are stronger, wiser, and more capable of giving them what they need to live and grow. Those who are truly simple of heart seek the one thing alone that can sustain us in good times and hard times and in every circumstance of life – the “summum bonum” or “greatest good” who is God himself.

Simplicity of heart is wedded with humility, the queen of virtues, because humility inclines the heart towards truth and grace – the favor and help freely given by one who is all-giving, gracious, and kind towards us. Just as pride is the root or every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace and favor of God can take root. It alone takes the right attitude before God and allows him as God to do all – all the good that he wishes to do for us for our own benefit and welfare. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6). Only the humble in heart can receive the wisdom which comes from God and and the understanding of God’s perfect goodness and plan for our lives. Do you trust in God with your whole heart and submit to his wisdom and plan for your life?

Jesus makes a claim which no one would have dared to make – he is the perfect revelation of God because he has been with the Father before all creation and time existed. He and the Father are united in an inseparable bond of love and unity. That is why Jesus alone can truly reveal the fulness of God’s mind and heart and purpose for our lives. One of the greatest truths of God’s revelation and our Christian faith is that we can know the one true and living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing some things about God and his nature, but we can know God personally because God desires to be closely united with each one of us in a bond of love through his Son, Jesus Christ.. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and all other religions, is the personal knowledge of God as our Father – the one, true and eternal Father who knew us before we were knitted in our mother’s womb. Jesus makes it possible for each one of us to have a personal direct relationship and experiential knowledge of God as our loving and gracious Father.

To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of sacrificing his only begotten Son who freely gave up his life for our sake on the cross. Paul the Apostle tells us that Jesus is the image of God (Colossians 1:15). He is the perfect revelation of God – a God who loves us totally, unconditionally, and without reservation. What can separate us from the love of God? Only our own stubborn pride, willfulness, and rebellious attitude towards God and his will for our lives.

Jesus makes an incredible promise to those who acknowledge him as their Lord and Savior. If we pray in his name – the name Jesus means God saves – then the Father in heaven will hear us as if his only begotten Son was speaking to him directly. That is the unity, blessing, and promise he wishes for each one of us. And that is why we have the confidence and boldness to pray as Jesus taught his disciples, Our Father who art in heaven… give us this day our daily bread, and deliver us from temptation.  Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his perfect love and care for you?

The sweet yoke of Jesus
What does the yoke of Jesus refer to in the Gospel (Matthew 11:29)? The Jews used the image of a yoke to express submission to God. They spoke of the yoke of the law, the yoke of the commandments, the yoke of the kingdom, the yoke of God. Jesus  says his yoke is “easy”. The Greek word for “easy” can also mean “well-fitting”. Yokes were tailor-made to fit the oxen well. We are commanded to put on the “sweet yoke of Jesus” and to live the “heavenly way of life and happiness”.

Jesus also says his “burden is light”. There’s a story of a man who once met a boy carrying a smaller crippled lad on his back. “That’s a heavy load you are carrying there,” exclaimed the man. “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother!” responded the boy. No burden is too heavy when it’s given in love and carried in love. Jesus offers us a new kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. In his kingdom sins are not only forgiven but removed, and eternal life is poured out for all its citizens. This is not a political kingdom, but a spiritual one.

The weight of glory and yoke of freedom
The yoke of Christ’s kingdom, his kingly rule and way of life, liberates us from the burden of guilt and from the oppression of sin and hurtful desires. Only Jesus can lift the burden of sin and the weight of hopelessness from us – and give us a weight of love and glory in exchange. Jesus used the analogy of a yoke to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin and despair for a burden of glory and yoke of freedom from sin. The yoke which Jesus invites us to embrace is his way of grace and freedom from the power of sin. Do you trust in God’s love and submit to his will and plan for your life?

“Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun23.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Joseph Cafasso, Patron of prison chaplains, captives, imprisoned people and prisoners (1811-1860)
Joseph Cafasso was born at Castelnuovo d’Asti in the Piedmont, Italy, of peasant parents. He studied at the seminary at Turin, and was ordained in 1833. He continued his theological studies at the seminary and university at Turin and then at the Institute of St. Franics, and despite a deformed spine, became a brilliant lecturer in moral theology there. He was a popular teacher, actively opposed Jansenism, and fought state intrusion into Church affairs. He succeeded Luigi Guala as rector of the Institute in 1848 and made a deep impression on his young priest students with his holiness and insistence on discipline and high standards. He was a sought-after confessor and spiritual adviser, and ministered to prisoners, working to improve their terrible conditions. He met Don Bosco in 1827 and the two became close friends. It was through Joseph’s encouragement that Bosco decided his vocation was working with boys. Joseph was his adviser, worked closely with him in his foundations, and convinced others to fund and found religious institutes and charitable organizations. Joseph died on June 23 at Turin and was canonized in 1947. His feast day is June 23rd. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 696

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alban
St. Alban of Britain
St. Consortia
St. Eberbard
St. Flavius Clemens
St. John Fisher
Martyrs of Ararat
St. Nicetas
St. Nicetas of Remesiana
St. Paulinus of Nola
St. Thomas More

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 368

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-11
Psalms 111:1-4, 7-8:  
Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062217.cfm

Reflection:  Do you pray with joy and confidence? The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer. Formal prayer was prescribed for three set times a day. And the rabbis had a prayer for every occasion. Jesus warns his disciples against formalism, making prayer something mechanical and devoid of meaning, with little thought for God. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he gave them the disciple’s prayer, what we call the Our Father or Lord’ Prayer. This prayer dares to call God “our Father” and boldly asks for the things we need to live as his sons and daughters.

It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we can know God personally and call him “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Jesus Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace and favor and mercy. It is his nature to love generously and to forgive mercifully. When he gives he gives more than we need so we will have something to share with others in their need as well.

God is kind and forgiving towards us and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. Do you treat others as they deserve, or do you treat them as the Lord would treat you with his grace and favor and mercy? Jesus’ prayer includes an injunction that we must ask God to forgive us in proportion as we forgive those who have wronged us. Ask the Lord to free your heart of any anger, bitterness, resentment, selfishness, indifference, or coldness towards others. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with the fire of his burning love and compassion and with the river of his overflowing mercy and kindness.

“Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart with your love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you. Give me the grace to be charitable in thought, kind in deed, and loving in speech towards all.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun22.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Thomas More, Patron of adopted children lawyers, civil servants, politicians, and difficult marriages (1478-1535)
Thomas More was born in London on February 7, 1478. His father, Sir John More, was a lawyer and judge who rose to prominence during the reign of Edward IV. His connections and wealth would help his son, Thomas, rise in station as a young man. Thomas’ mother was Agnes Graunger, the first wife of John More. John would have four wives during his life, but they each died, leaving John as a widower. Thomas had two brothers and three sisters, but three of his siblings died within a year of their birth. Such tragedies were common in England during this time.

It is likely that Thomas was positively influenced from a young age by his mother and siblings. He also attended St. Anthony’s School, which was said to be one of the best schools in London at that time. In 1490, he became a household page to John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England. Archbishop Morton was a Renaissance man and inspired Thomas to pursue his own education.

Thomas More entered Oxford in 1492, where he would learn Latin, Greek and prepare for his future studies. In 1494, he left Oxford to become a lawyer and he trained in London until 1502 when he was finally approved to begin practice.

Almost as soon as More became a lawyer, he found himself contemplating another path in life. For two years, between 1503 and 1504, More lived next to a Carthusian monastery and he found himself called to follow their lifestyle of simple piety. He often joined their spiritual exercises.

By 1504, More had decided to remain in the secular world, and stood for election to Parliament. But he did not forget the pious monks who inspired his practice of the faith.

Thomas More married his first wife, Jane Colt in 1505. They would have four children together before her death in 1511. Their marriage was reportedly happy and Thomas often tutored her in music and literature.

After Jane’s death in 1511, Thomas quickly remarried to Alice Harpur Middleton, who was a wealthy widow. Alice was not particularly attractive, and her temperament was less docile than Jane’s. The wedding took place less than a month after Jane’s passing and was poorly received by his friends.

It was rumored that Thomas married her because he wanted a stepmother for his four children, and she was a woman of wealth and means. It is believed the pair knew each other for some time prior to their marriage. They would have no children together. Thomas accepted Alice’s daughter from her previous marriage as his own.

Thomas was considered a doting father, and he often wrote letters to his children when he was away on work. He also insisted that his daughters receive the same education as his son. His daughters were well known for their academic accomplishments.

In 1504, More was elected to Parliament to represent the region of Great Yarmouth, and in 1510 rose to represent London. During his service to the people of London, he earned a reputation as being honest and effective. He became a Privy Counselor in 1514.

More also honed his skills as a theologian and a writer. Among his most famous works is “Utopia,” about a fictional, idealistic island society. The work is widely regarded as part satire, part social commentary, part suggestion. Utopia is considered one of the greatest works of the late Renaissance and was widely read during the Enlightenment period. It remains well by scholars read today.

From 1517 on, Henry VIII took a liking to Thomas More, and gave him posts of ever increasing responsibility. In 1521, he was knighted and made Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer.

The King’s trust in More grew with time and More was soon made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which gave him authority over the northern portion of England on behalf of Henry.

More became Lord Chancellor in 1529.

More was immediately effective, working with speed and precision that is admired today. He was likely one of Henry VIII’s most effective servants, and was fiercely loyal to the king.

During his tenure as Lord Chancellor, More prosecuted those accused of heresy and worked tirelessly to defend the Catholic faith in England. This was an arduous, but achievable task as long as he enjoyed Henry’s favor. However, in 1530, as Henry worked to obtain an annulment from his wife, Catherine, Moore refused to sign a letter to the Pope, requesting an annulment. This was More’s first time crossing Henry.

The relationship between More and Henry became strained again when seeking to isolate More, Henry purged many of the clergy who supported the Pope. It became clear to all that Henry was prepared to break away from the Church in Rome, something More knew he could not condone.

In 1532, More found himself unable to work for Henry VIII, whom he felt had lost his way as a Catholic. Faced with the prospect of being compelled to actively support Henry’s schism with the Church, More offered his resignation, citing failing health. Henry accepted it, although he was unhappy with what he viewed as flagging loyalty.

In 1533, More refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boylen, who was now the Queen of England. More instead wrote a letter of congratulations. The letter, as opposed to his direct presence offended Henry greatly. The king viewed More’s absence as an insult to his new queen and an undermining of his authority as head of the church and state.

Henry then had charges trumped up against More, but More’s own integrity protected him. In the first instance, he was accused of accepting bribes, but there was simply no evidence that could be obtained or manufactured. He was then accused of conspiracy against the king, because he allegedly consulted with a nun who prophesied against Henry and his wife, Anne. However, More was able to produce a letter in which he specifically instructed the nun, Elizabeth Barton, not to interfere with politics.

On April 13, 1534, More was ordered to take an oath, acknowledging the legitimicies of Anne’s position as queen, of Henry’s self-granted annulment from Catherine, and the superior position of the King as head of the church. More accepted Henry’s marriage to Anne, but refused to acknowledge Henry as head of the church, or his annulment from Catherine. This led to his arrest and imprisonment. He was locked away in the Tower of London.

He faced trial on July 1 and was convicted by a court that included Anne Boylen’s own father, brother and uncle, hardly an impartial jury. Still, More had one thing going for him. He could not break the law of which he was accused if he remained silent. However, he had no defense against treachery, and several dubious witnesses were able to contrive a story that he had spoken words that had the same effect as treason.

Despite a brilliant defense of himself and persuasive testimony, grounded in truth and fact, More was convicted in fifteen minutes. The court sentenced him to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, which was the traditional punishment for treason.

Henry was pleased with the outcome, although likely upset that one of his favorite advisers refused, even upon pain of death, to sanction his annulment and break from Rome. Henry was a Machiavellian king and while he may have regretted the loss of More, he was more intent upon retaining his authority.

As a final act of mercy, Henry commuted More’s punishment to mere decapitation.

More ascended the scaffold on July 6, 1535, joking to his executioners to help him up the scaffold, but that he would see himself down. He then made a final statement, proclaiming that he was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

Following his death, it was revealed that More wore a hair shirt, a garment destined to be itchy, and worn to as a sign of atonement and repentance. It became obvious to all that he was a man of deep piety, asceticism, voluntary self discipline, and penitence.

More’s decapitated body was buried in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London, in an unmarked grave. His head was put on display, but his daughter Margaret possibly bribed someone to take it down. The skull may be in the vault of a church in Canterbury.

Thomas More has been widely remembered as a man of tremendous integrity, and he has since been described as a martyr and canonized a saint.

Pope Leo XIII beatified More in 1886, and he was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 19, 1935.

His feast day is June 22.

He is the patron saint of adopted children lawyers, civil servants, politicians, and difficult marriages. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 324

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alban
St. Alban of Britain
St. Consortia
St. Eberbard
St. Flavius Clemens
St. John Fisher
Martyrs of Ararat
St. Nicetas
St. Nicetas of Remesiana
St. Paulinus of Nola
St. Thomas More

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious
Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 367

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Psalms 112:1-4, 9:  
Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062117.cfm

Reflection:  Why did Jesus single out prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for his disciples? The Jews considered these three as the cardinal works of the religious life. These were seen as the key signs of a pious person, the three great pillars on which the good life was based. Jesus pointed to the heart of the matter. Why do you pray, fast, and give alms? To draw attention to yourself so that others may notice and think highly of you? Or to give glory to God?

True piety and devotion to God
The Lord warns his disciples of self-seeking glory – the preoccupation with looking good and seeking praise from others. True piety is something more than feeling good or looking holy. True piety is loving devotion to God. It is an attitude of awe, reverence, worship and obedience. It is a gift and working of the Holy Spirit that enables us to devote our lives to God with a holy desire to please him in all things (Isaiah 11:1-2).

Completely united with God our Father
What is the sure reward which Jesus points out to his disciples? It is communion with God our Father. In him alone we find the fullness of life and happiness, truth and beauty, love and joy. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) wrote the following prayer in his Confessions: When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrows or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete.

The Lord rewards those who seek him with humble and repentant hearts. He renews us each day and he gives us new hearts of love and compassion that we may serve him and our neighbor with glad and generous hearts. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Seek him expectantly in prayer, with fasting, and in generous giving to those in need.

“Lord Jesus, give me a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, and a great love for you. Take from me all lukewarmness in meditating on your word, and dullness in prayer. Give me fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace. Fill my heart with compassion for others, especially those in need, that I may respond with generosity.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun21.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (d. 1591)
St. Aloysius was born in Castiglione, Italy. The first words St. Aloysius spoke were the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. He was destined for the military by his father (who was in service to Philip II), but by the age of 9 Aloysius had decided on a religious life, and made a vow of perpetual virginity. To safeguard himself from possible temptation, he would keep his eyes persistently downcast in the presence of women. St. Charles Borromeo gave him his first Holy Communion. A kidney disease prevented St. Aloysius from a full social life for a while, so he spent his time in prayer and reading the lives of the saints. Although he was appointed a page in Spain, St. Aloysius kept up his many devotions and austerities, and was quite resolved to become a Jesuit. His family eventually moved back to Italy, where he taught catechism to the poor. When he was 18, he joined the Jesuits, after finally breaking down his father, who had refused his entrance into the order. He served in a hospital during the plague of 1587 in Milan, and died from it at the age of 23, after receiving the last rites from St. Robert Bellarmine. The last word he spoke was the Holy Name of Jesus. St. Robert wrote the Life of St. Aloysius. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 15

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Aaron
St. Agofredus
St. AIban of Mainz
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Corbmac
St. Demetria
St. Eusebius of Samosata
St. John Rigby
St. Lazarus
St. Leutfridus
St. Maine
St. Martin of Tongres
St. Ralph
St. Raymond of Barbastro
St. Rufinus and Martia
St. Terence
St. Urciscenus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 366

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Psalms 146:2, 5-9:  
Praise the Lord, my soul!
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062017.cfm

Reflection:  What makes the disciples of Jesus different from others and what makes Christianity distinct from any other religion? It is grace – treating others, not as they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated – with loving-kindness, forbearance, and mercy. God is good to the unjust as well as the just. His love embraces saint and sinner alike. God seeks our highest good and teaches us to seek the greatest good of others, even those who hate and abuse us.

Overcome evil with good
Our love for others, even those who are ungrateful and selfish towards us, must be marked by the same kindness and mercy which God has shown to us. It is easier to show kindness and mercy when we can expect to benefit from doing so. How much harder when we can expect nothing in return. Our prayer for those who do us ill both breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love to do good in the face of evil.

Christ’s redeeming love and mercy frees us from all hatred and malice towards others
How can we possibly love those who cause us harm or ill-will? With God all things are possible. He gives power and grace to those who believe and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit. His love conquers all, even our hurts, fears, prejudices and griefs. Only the cross of Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and gives us the courage to return evil with good. Such love and grace has power to heal and to save from destruction. Do you know the power of Christ’s redeeming love and mercy?

Allow the Holy Spirit to change and transform the way you think, judge, and treat others
Was Jesus exaggerating when he said we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? The original meaning of  “perfect” in Aramaic is “completeness” or “wholeness – not lacking in what is essential.” God gives us every good gift in Jesus Christ so that we may not lack anything we need to do his will and to live as his sons and daughters (2 Peter 1:3). He knows our weakness and sinfulness better than we do. And he assures us of his love, mercy, and grace to follow in his ways. Do you want to grow in your love for God and for your neighbor? Ask the Holy Spirit to change and transform you in the image of the Father that you may walk in the joy and freedom of the Gospel.

“Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun20.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Vincent Kaun (d. 1626)
Martyr of Japan. A native of Korea, he was brought to Japan in 1591 as a prisoner of war and was subsequently converted to Christianity. Entering the Jesuits, he studied at the Jesuit seminary of Arima and worked for three decades as a catechist in both Japan and China. Seized during the persecution of the Church, he was burned alive at Nagasaki with Blessed Francis Pacheco. He was beatified in 1867. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 1998

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Adalbert of Magdeburg
St. Albert of Magdeburg
Bl. Anthony Turner
St. Bagne
Bl. Balthasar de Torres
St. Benignus
Bl. Conor O’Devany
St. Florentina
St. Francis Pacheco
St. Helena
17 Irish Martyrs
St. John of Matera
Bl. John Baptist Zola
Bl. John Fenwick & John Gavan
Bl. John Kinsako
St. John of Pulsano
St. Julius and Aaron
Bl. Michael Tozo
St. Novatus
St. Paul and Cyriacus
Bl. Paul Shinsuki
Bl. Peter Rinshei
St. Silverius
Bl. Thomas Whitbread
St. Vincent Kaun
Bl. William Harcourt

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 365

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Psalms 98:1-4:  
The Lord has made known his salvation.
Gospel: Matthew 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061917.cfm

Reflection:  If someone insults you or tries to take advantage of you, how do you respond? Do you repay in kind? Jesus approached the question of just retribution with a surprising revelation of God’s intention for how we should treat others, especially those who mistreat us. When Jesus spoke about God’s law, he did something no one had done before. He gave a new standard based not just on the requirements of justice – giving each their due – but based on the law of grace, love, and freedom.

Law of grace and love
Jesus knew the moral law and its intention better than any jurist or legal expert could imagine. He quoted from the oldest recorded law in the world: If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exodus 21:23-25). Such a law today seems cruel, but it was meant to limit vengeance as a first step towards mercy. This law was not normally taken literally but served as a guide for a judge in a law court for assessing punishment and penalty (see Deuteronomy 19:18).

The Old Testament is full of references to the command that we must be merciful: You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the  LORD (Leviticus 19:18). If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink (Proverbs 25:21). Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done”(Proverbs 24:29). Let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults (Lamentations 3:30).

Jesus does something quite remarkable and unheard of. He transforms the law of mercy with grace, forbearance, and loving-kindness. Jesus also makes clear that there is no room for retaliation. We must not only avoid returning evil for evil, but we must seek the good of those who wish us ill. Do you accept insults, as Jesus did, with no resentment or malice? When you are compelled by others to do more than you think you deserve, do you insist on your rights, or do you respond with grace and cheerfulness?

Grace of the Holy Spirit
What makes a disciple of Jesus Christ different from everyone else? What makes Christianity distinct from any other religion? It is grace – treating others, not as they deserve, but as God wishes them to be treated – with loving-kindness and mercy. Only the cross of  Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and gives us the courage to return evil with good. Such love and grace has power to heal and to save from destruction. The Lord Jesus suffered insult, abuse, injustice, and death on a cross for our sake. Scripture tells us that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin and guilt (Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7, I John 1:7, Revelation 1:5). Since God has been merciful towards us through the offering of his Son, Jesus Christ, we in turn are called to be merciful towards our neighbor, even those who cause us grief and harm. Do you know the power and freedom of Christ’s redeeming love and mercy?

“O merciful God, fill our hearts, we pray, with the graces of your Holy Spirit; with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Teach us to love those who hate us; to pray for those who despitefully use us; that we may be the children of your love, our Father, who makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. In adversity grant us grace to be patient; in prosperity keep us humble; may we guard the door of our lips; may we lightly esteem the pleasures of this world, and thirst after heavenly things; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Prayer of Anselm, 1033-1109 AD) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun19.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Romuald (950-1027)
St. Romuald was born at Ravenna about the year 956. In spite of an infinite desire for virtue and sanctity, his early life was wasted in the service of the world and its pleasures. Then one day, obliged by his father, Sergius, to be present at a duel fought by him, he beheld him slay his adversary. The crime made such an impression upon him that he determined to expiate it for forty days, as though it were entirely his own. For this purpose he retired to a Benedictine monastery of St. Apollinare, near Ravenna, where he became Abbot. After founding several monasteries, he laid the foundations of the austere Order of Camaldoli in Tuscany. Like all the saints, he fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and men. In the beginning of his spiritual life he was strongly assailed by numerous temptations, which he conquered by vigilance and prayer. More than one attempt was made on his life, but Divine Providence enabled him to escape from the danger. Like many servants of God, he also became the victim of calumny, which he bore in patience and silence. In his old age, he increased his austerities instead of diminishing them. After a long life of merit, he died in the monastery of Castro, which he founded in Marquisate of Ancona. His death occurred on June 19, about the year 1027. His feast day is June 19th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 188

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Deodatus
St. Deodatus of Nevers
St. Didier
St. Gervase
St. Hildegrin
Bl. Humphrey Middlemore
St. Juliana Falconieri
St. Protase
St. Romuald
Bl. Sebastian Newdigate
Bl. Thomas Woodhouse
St. Ursicinus of Ravenna
Bl. William Exmew
St. Zosimus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Lectionary: 167

First Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16
Psalms 147:12-15, 19-20:  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Gospel: 
John 6:51-58
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061817.cfm

Reflection:  What is the bread of life which Jesus offers to all who believe in him? It is first of all the life of God himself – life which sustains us not only now in this age but also in the age to come. The Rabbis said that the generation in the wilderness have no part in the life to come. In the Book of Numbers it is recorded that the people who refused to brave the dangers of the promised land were condemned to wander in the wilderness until they died. The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the promised land also missed the life to come. God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness with manna from heaven. This bread foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.

Jesus is the “bread of life”
Jesus makes a claim only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience. The manna from heaven prefigured the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper which Jesus gave to his disciples on the eve of his sacrifice. The manna in the wilderness sustained the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. It could not produce eternal life for the Israelites. The bread which Jesus offers his disciples sustains us not only on our journey to the heavenly paradise, it gives us the abundant supernatural life of God which sustains us for all eternity.

The food that makes us live forever
Jesus chose the time of the Jewish Feast of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum – giving his disciples his body and his blood as the true bread of heaven. Jesus’ passing over to his Father by his death and resurrection – the new passover – is anticipated in the Last Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the church in the glory of God’s kingdom. When the Lord Jesus commands his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he invites us to take his life into the very center of our being. That life which he offers is the very life of God himself.

Do you hunger for the “bread of life”? 
Jesus offers us the abundant supernatural life of heaven itself – but we can miss it or even refuse it. To refuse Jesus is to refuse eternal life, unending life with the Heavenly Father. To accept Jesus as the bread of heaven is not only life and spiritual nourishment for this world but glory in the world to come.

When we receive from the Lord’s table we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood and partakers of his divine life. Ignatius of Antioch (35-107 A.D.) calls it the “one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ” (Ad Eph. 20,2). This supernatural food is healing for both body and soul and strength for our journey heavenward.

When you approach the Table of the Lord, what do you expect to receive? Healing, pardon, comfort, and rest for your soul? The Lord has much more for us, more than we can ask or imagine. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper is an intimate union with Christ. As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens us in charity and enables us to break with disordered attachments to creatures and to be more firmly rooted in the love of Christ. Do you hunger for the “bread of life”?

“Lord Jesus, you nourish and sustain us with your very own presence and life-giving word. You are the bread of life – the heavenly food that sustains us now and that produces everlasting life within us. May I always hunger for you and be satisfied in you alone.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun18.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Gregory Barbarigo (1625-1697)
St. Gregory Barbarigo was born in 1625, of a very old and distinguished Venetian family. A brilliant student, he embraced a diplomatic career and accompanied the Venetian Ambassador, Contarini, to the Congress of Munster in 1648. Then he became a priest and was soon thereafter consecrated as the first Bishop of Bergamo by Pope Alexander VII. Later on he was elevated to the rank of Cardinal and also given authority over the diocese of Padua. He guided his flock with pastoral wisdom and deep understanding. St. Gregory Barbarigo worked unceasingly in carrying out the reforms set forth by the Council of Trent. Through his efforts the seminaries of both Bergamo and Padua were substantially enlarged. At Padua he also added a library and a printing press. He died in 1697. His feast day is June 18th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 188

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alena
St. Amandus
St. Aquilina
St. Calogerus
St. Elizabeth of Schonau
St. Etherius
St. Fortunatus
St. Gregory Barbarigo
St. Guy
St. Leontius
St. Marina
St. Mark & Marcellian
St. Osmanna

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 364

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Psalms 103:1-4, 9-12:  The Lord is kind and merciful.
Gospel: 
Matthew 5:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.

But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061717.cfm

Reflection:  How forceful are honest words! (Job 6:25) Jesus addressed the issue of honesty and truthfulness in one’s conduct and speech. What does it mean to be true to one’s word? To be true to oneself and to others requires character. Unfortunately many people today miserably fail here. No wonder we don’t trust many in positions of leadership and influence. God is the source of all truth and there is nothing false or deceitful in him. His word is truth and his law is truth. His truth liberates us from illusion, deceit, and hypocrisy.  Jesus told his disciples that the truth will make you free (John 8:32).

We can count on God’s word because he is faithful and true to his word and promises
Why is it so hard to be true and to speak the truth? Truth demands commitment – that we live our lives according to it and be faithful witnesses of the truth. Jesus teaches his disciples the unconditional love of truth. He speaks against bearing false witness and all forms of untruthfulness and swearing unnecessary oaths to God. A disciple’s word should be capable of being trusted without verbal rituals to give it validity. Christ’s disciple must speak truthfully without “stretching” the truth by adding to it or by compromising the truth by speaking untruth or by leaving out what is necessary to convey what is truthful.

Do you allow God’s word of truth to rule your mind and heart?
Thomas Aquinas said: People could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another… (In justice) as a matter of honor, one person owes it to another to manifest the truth. Are you true to God, to yourself, and to others? And do you allow God’s word of truth to penetrate your mind and heart and to form your conscience – the way you think, judge, act, and speak?

“Set a watch, Lord, upon my tongue, that I may never speak the cruel word which is not true; or being true, is not the whole truth; or being wholly true, is merciless; for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun17.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Emily de Vialar, Virgin, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph “of the Apparition”
Anne Marguerite Adelaide Emily de Vialar was the eldest child and only daughter of Baron James Augustine de Vialar and his wife Antoinette, daughter of that Baron de Portal who was physician-in-ordinary to Louis XVIII and Charles X of France. She was born at Gaillac in Languedoc in 1797. At the age of fifteen she was removed from school in Paris to be companion to her father, now a widower, at Gaillac; but unhappily, differences arose between them because of Emily’s refusal to consider a suitable marriage.

For fifteen years, Emily was the good angel of Gaillac, devoting herself to the care of children neglected by their parents and to the help of the poor generally. In 1832, her maternal grandfather died, leaving her a share of his estate which was a quite considerable fortune. She bought a large house at Gaillac and took possession of it with three companions. Others joined them and three months later, the archbishop authorized the Abbe to clothe twelve postulants with the religious habit. They called themselves the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Their work was to be the care of the needy, especially the sick, and the education of children. In 1835, she made her profession with seventeen other sisters, and received formal approval for the rule of the Congregation.

The foundress, in the course of twenty-two years, saw her Congregation grow from one to some forty houses, many of which she had founded in person. The physical energy and achievements of St. Emily de Vialar are the more remarkable in that from her youth she was troubled by hernia, contracted characteristically in doing a deed of charity. From 1850 this became more and more serious, and it hastened her end, which came on August 24, 1856. The burden of her last testament to her daughters was “Love one another”. Her canonization took place in 1951; her feast is June 17th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 117

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Adulf
St. Albert Chmielowski
St. Antidius
St. Botulph
St. Briavel
St. Emily de Vialar
Bl. Emmanuel d’Abreu
St. Gondulphus of Tongeren
St. Harvey
St. Herve
St. Himerius of Cremona
St. Hypatius of Bithynia
St. Manuel
St. Moling
St. Montanus
St. Nectan of Hartland
St. Nicander and Marcian
St. Rainbold
St. Raynerius
St. Teresa of Portugal

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 363

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalms 116:10-11, 15-18:  To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
Gospel: 
Matthew 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061617.cfm

Reflection:  What does Jesus mean when he says “pluck out your eye” or “cut off your hand and throw it away” if it leads you to sin? Is he exaggerating here? Jesus used forceful language to urge his disciples to choose for life – an enduring life of joy and happiness with God – rather than for death – an unending death and total separation from a community of love, peace, joy and friendship with God. Jesus set before his disciples the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is the conformity of our will with God and what he desires for our well-being and happiness with him. Just as a doctor might remove some part of the body, such as a diseased limb, in order to preserve the life of the whole body, so we must be ready to part with anything that causes us to sin and which inevitably leads to spiritual death.

The great stumbling block – bad example
Jesus warns us of the terrible responsibility that we must set no stumbling block in the way of another, that is, not give offense or bad example that might lead another to sin. The young in faith are especially vulnerable to the bad example of those who should be passing on the faith. Jesus teaches that righteousness involves responding to every situation in life in a way that fulfill’s God’s law, not just externally but internally as well. Jesus says that evil desires spring from the heart. That is why the sin of adultery must first be dealt with in the heart, the place not only of the emotions, but the mind, will, thought, and intentions as well.

God’s intention from the beginning
God’s intention and ideal from the beginning was for man and woman to be indissolubly united in marriage as “one flesh” (see Genesis 2:23-24). That ideal is found in the unbreakable union of Adam and Eve. They were created for each other and for no one else. They are the pattern and symbol for all who were to come. Moses permitted divorce as a concession in view of a lost ideal (see Mark 10:2-9). Jesus sets the high ideal of the married state before those who are willing to accept his commands. Jesus gives the grace and power of his Holy Spirit to those who seek to follow his way of holiness in their state of life – whether married or single.

The power to live a holy life
If we want to live righteously as God desires for us, then we must know and understand the intention of God’s commands for us, and decide in our heart to obey the Lord. Through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit, the Lord writes his law on our hearts and gives us his power to live his way of righteousness and holiness. Do you trust in God’s love and allow his Holy Spirit to fill you with a thirst for holiness and righteousness in every area of your life?

“Lord Jesus, begin a new work of love within me. Instill in me a greater love and respect for your commandments. Give me a burning desire to live a life of holiness and righteousness. Purify my thoughts, desires, and intentions that I may only desire what is pleasing to you and in accord with your will.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun16.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Luthgard, Patron of birth; blind people; blindness; childbirth; disabled people; handicapped people; physically challenged people; Flanders; Flemish National Movement (1182-1246)

One of the outstanding mystics of the Middle Ages, a Cistercian nun, sometimes called Lutgardis. She was born inTongres, Brabant, Belgium. When she was twelve she was placed in St. Catherine’s Benedictine Convent at Saint-Trond because her dowry for marriage had been lost by her family. A vision of Christ compelled Lutgard to become a Benedictine. She had many mystical experiences, levitated, and had a form of the stigmata. In order to avoid being made an abbess, Lutgard joined the Cistercians at Aywieres. She lived a mystical life there for three decades and was famed for her spiritual wisdom and miracles. During the last eleven years of her life she was blind. She died on June 16 and is still revered as a leading mystic of the thirteenth century. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 4370

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Aurelian
St. Aureus
St. Benno
St. Berthaldus
St. Cettin
St. Colman McRhoi
St. Curig
St. Felix & Maurus
St. Ferreolus & Ferrutio
Bl. Guy Vignotelli
St. John Francis Regis
St. Lutgardis
St. Luthgard
St. Quiriacus and Julitta
St. Tychon
Bl. William Greenwood

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 362

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:15–4:1, 3-6
Psalms 85:9-14:  The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Gospel: 
Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061517.cfm

Reflection:  Are you ever driven by anger, rage, or revenge? The first person to hate his brother was Cain, the son of Adam and Eve. God warned Cain: Why are you angry? ..Sin is couching at the door; it’s desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:6-7). Sin doesn’t just happen to us – it first grows as a tiny seed in our heart. Unless it is uprooted by God’s grace, it grows like a weed and chokes the vine and all its fruit.

Forbidden anger must be uprooted from our heart
Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples. The scribes and Pharisees equated righteousness with satisfying the outward observance of the law. Jesus showed them how short they had come. Jesus points to the heart as the seat of desire and choice. Unless evil and forbidden desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted. Jesus points to forbidden anger with one’s brother. This is a selfish anger that broods and is long-lived, that nurses a grudge and keeps wrath warm, and that refuses to die. Harboring anger in the heart as well as anger in speech and action are equally forbidden by God.

God’s love and truth sets us free from anger and malice
What is the antidote to anger and rage? Mercy, kindness, and forbearance spring from a heart full of love and forgiveness. God has forgiven us and he calls us to extend mercy and forgiveness towards those who cause us grief and harm. In the cross of Jesus we see the supreme example of love and forgiveness and the power of goodness for overcoming evil. Only God’s love and grace can set our hearts and minds free from the tyranny of wounded pride and spiteful revenge.

Do you harbor any anger towards another person? And are you quick to be reconciled when a rupture has been caused in your relationships? Ask God to set you free and to fill your heart and mind with his love and goodness. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). Through the grace and help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome malice with good, hatred with kindness, and injury with pardon.

“May I be no man’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men’s happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps.”  (Prayer of Eusebius, 3rd century) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun15.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Germaine Cousin, Patron of victims of child abuse (1579-
1601)

When Hortense decided to marry Laurent Cousin in Pibrac, France, it was not out of love for his infant daughter. Germaine was everything Hortense despised. Weak and ill, the girl had also been born with a right hand that was deformed and paralyzed. Hortense replaced the love that Germaine has lost when her mother died with cruelty and abuse.

Laurent, who had a weak character, pretended not to notice that Germaine had been given so little food that she had learned to crawl in order to get to the dog’s dish. He wasn’t there to protect her when Hortense left Germaine in a drain while she cared for chickens — and forgot her for three days. He didn’t even interfere when Hortense poured boiling water on Germaine’s legs.

With this kind of treatment, it’s no surprise that Germaine became even more ill. She came down with a disease known as scrofula, a kind of tuberculosis that causes the neck glands to swell up. Sores began to appear on her neck and in her weakened condition to fell prey to every disease that came along. Instead of awakening Hortense’s pity this only made her despise Germaine more for being even uglier in her eyes.

Germaine found no sympathy and love with her siblings. Watching their mother’s treatment of their half-sister, they learned how to despise and torment her, putting ashes in her food and pitch in her clothes. Their mother found this very entertaining.

Hortense did finally get concerned about Germaine’s sickness — because she was afraid her own children would catch it. So she made Germaine sleep out in the barn. The only warmth Germaine had on frozen winter nights was the woolly sheep who slept there too. The only food she had were the scraps Hortense might remember to throw her way.

The abuse of Germaine tears at our hearts and causes us to cry for pity and justice. But it was Germaine’s response to that abuse and her cruel life that wins our awe and veneration.

Germaine was soon entrusted with the sheep. No one expected her to have any use for education so she spent long days in the field tending the sheep. Instead of being lonely, she found a friend in God. She didn’t know any theology and only the basics of the faith that she learned the catechism. But she had a rosary made of knots in string and her very simple prayers: “Dear God, please don’t let me be too hungry or too thirsty. Help me to please my mother. And help me to please you.” Out of that simple faith, grew a profound holiness and a deep trust of God.

And she had the most important prayer of all — the Mass. Every day, without fail, she would leave her sheep in God’s care and go to Mass. Villagers wondered that the sheep weren’t attacked by the wolves in the woods when she left but God’s protection never failed her. One day when the rains had swollen the river to flood stage, a villager saw the river part so that she could cross to get to the church in time for Mass.

No matter how little Germaine had, she shared it with others. Her scraps of food were given to beggars. Her life of prayer became stories of God that entranced the village children.

But most startling of all was the forgiveness to showed to the woman who deserved her hatred.

Hortense, furious at the stories about her daughter’s holiness, waited only to catch her doing wrong. One cold winter day, after throwing out a beggar that Germaine had let sleep in the barn, Hortense caught Germaine carrying something bundled up in her apron. Certain that Germaine had stolen bread to feed the beggar, she began to chase and scream at the child. As she began to beat her, Germaine opened her apron. Out tumbled what she had been hiding in her apron — bright beautiful flowers that no one had expected to see for months. Where had she found the vibrant blossoms in the middle of the ice and snow? There was only one answer and Germaine gave it herself, when she handed a flower to her mother and said, “Please accept this flower, Mother. God sends it to you in sign of his forgiveness.”

As the whole village began to talk about this holy child, even Hortense began to soften her feelings toward her. She even invited Germaine back to the house but Germaine had become used to her straw bed and continued to sleep in it. There she was found dead at the age of 22, overcome by a life of suffering.

With all the evidence of her holiness, her life was too simple and hidden to mean much beyond her tiny village — until God brought it too light again. When her body was exhumed forty years later, it was found to be undecayed, what is known as incorruptible. As is often the case with incorruptible bodies of saints, God chooses not the outwardly beautiful to preserve but those that others despised as ugly and weak. It’s as if God is saying in this miracle that human ideas of beauty are not his. To him, no one was more beautiful than this humble lonely young woman.

After her body was found in this state, the villagers started to speak again of what she had been like and what she had done. Soon miracles were attributed to her intercession and the clamor for her canonization began.

In this way, the most unlikely of saints became recognized by the Church. She didn’t found a religious order. She didn’t reach a high Church post. She didn’t write books or teach at universities. She didn’t go to foreign lands as a missionary or convert thousands. What she did was live a life devoted to God and her neighbor no matter what happened to her. And that is all God asks. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 52

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Abraham
St. Adelaide
St. Aleydis
St. Alice
St. Benildis
St. Crescentia
St. Domitian & Hadelin
St. Dulas
St. Edburga of Winchester
St. Germaine Cousin
St. Germana Cousin
St. Hesychius
St. Landeilnus
St. Lybe
St. Melan
St. Orsisius
Bls. Thomas Green, Thomas Scryven, and Thomas Reding
St. Trillo
St. Vitus
St. Vouga

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 361

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Psalms 99:5-9 Holy is the Lord our God.
Gospel: 
Matthew 5:17-19
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061417.cfm

Reflection:  Why do people tend to view the “law of God” negatively rather than positively? Jesus’ attitude towards the law of God can be summed up in the great prayer of Psalm 119: “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

For the people of Israel the “law” could refer to the ten commandments or to the five Books of Moses, called the Pentateuch or Torah, which explain the commandments and ordinances of God for his people. The “law” also referred to the whole teaching or way of life which God gave to his people. The Jews in Jesus’ time also used it as a description of the oral or scribal law. Needless to say, the scribes added many more things to the law than God intended. That is why Jesus often condemned the scribal law because it placed burdens on people which God had not intended.

The essence of God’s law
Jesus made it very clear that the essence of God’s law – his commandments and way of life, must be fulfilled. God’s law is true and righteous because it flows from his love, goodness, and holiness. It is a law of grace, love, and freedom for us. That is why God commands us to love him above all else and to follow in the way of his Son, the Lord Jesus who taught us how to love by laying down our lives for one another.

Reverence and respect
Jesus taught reverence for God’s law – reverence for God himself, reverence for the Lord’s Day, reverence or respect for parents, respect for life, for property, for another person’s good name, respect for oneself and for one’s neighbor lest wrong or hurtful desires master and enslave us. Reverence and respect for God’s commandments teach us the way of love – love of God and love of neighbor. What is impossible to humans is possible to God who gives generously of his gifts and the Holy Spirit to those who put their faith in him.

God gives us the grace, help, and strength to love as he loves, to forgive as he forgives, to think and judge as he judges, and to act as he acts with mercy, loving-kindness, and goodness. The Lord loves righteousness and hates wickedness. As his followers we must love his commandments and hate every form of sin and wrong-doing. Do you seek to understand the intention of his law and to grow in wisdom of his ways?

The Holy Spirit transforms our minds and hearts
Jesus promised his disciples that he would give them the gift of the Holy Spirit who writes God’s law of love and truth on our hearts. The Spirit teaches us God’s truth and gives us wisdom and understanding of God’s ways. The Spirit helps us in our weakness, strengthens us in temptation, and transforms us, day by day, into the likeness of Christ himself. There is great blessing and reward for those who obey God’s commandments and who help others, especially the younger generations, to love, respect, and obey the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with a burning love and reverence for God’s word so that you may grow day by day in the wisdom and knowledge of God’s truth and goodness.

“Lord Jesus, grant this day, to direct and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts, minds, and bodies, so that all our thoughts, words, and deeds may be in accord with your Father’s law and wisdom. And thus may we be saved and protected through your mighty help.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun14.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Methodius I(d. 847)
Patriarch of Constantinople, modem Istanbul. He was born in Syracuse, Sicily, and builta monastery on the island of Chios. After some time in Constantinople, he was sent to Rome in 815 as the representative of Patriarch Nicephorus, who was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian for refusing to yield to the imperial decrees on the destruction of icons. Methodius returned in 821 and was himself scourged and imprisoned for seven years. Finally, in 842, Empress Theodora arranged for his elevation as patriarch of Constantinople. In this office, he convened a council and promoted orthodoxy and the veneration of icons after the long years of iconoclasticism. Methodius was a prolific writer, being the author of a life of St. Theopanes. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 5099

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Anastasius XVII
St. Cearan
St. Dogmael
St. Elgar
St. Etherius
St. Joseph the Hymnographer
St. Lotharius
St. Marcian of Syracuse
St. Mark of Lucera
St. Methodius I
St. Nennus
St. Quintian
St. Valerius & Rufinus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 360

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalms 119:129-135 Lord, let your face shine on me.
Gospel: 
Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061317.cfm

Reflection:  Jesus used ordinary images, such as salt and light, to convey extraordinary truths that transform our minds, hearts, and lives. What does salt and light have to teach us about God and the transforming power of his kingdom? Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. People traded with it, like we trade with valuable goods, such as gold and stock. Salt also served a very useful purpose, especially in warmer climates before the invention of electricity and refrigeration. Salt not only gave rich flavor to food, it also preserved food from going bad and being spoiled.

God’s power at work within us purifies and enriches our lives
Jesus used the image of salt to describe the transforming effect of God’s work in our lives – and how the Holy Spirit wants to work in and through us to bring the power and blessing of God’s kingdom to others. As salt purifies, preserves, and produces rich flavor for our daily food, we, too, as disciples of Jesus, are “salt” for the world of human society. The Lord wants to work in and through us to purify, preserve, and spread the rich flavor of God’s kingdom everywhere – his “kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Don’t lose your saltiness
What did Jesus mean by the expression “if salt has lost its taste… it is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot” (Matthew 5:13)? Salt in the ancient world was often put into ovens to intensify the heat. When the salt was burned off and no longer useful it was thrown out on the ground where it would get stepped on and swept away (Matthew 5:13).

How can we lose our “saltiness” – the power of God’s rich grace and strength at work in us? If we allow the world (which is opposed to God’s truth and moral goodness), and sinful habits, and Satan’s lies and deception to corrupt our minds and hearts, then we will lose the rich flavor and strength of God which preserves us from moral and spiritual corruption. The Lord wants us to preserve and enrich our “saltiness” – through Godly living and the rejection of sin – not only for our own sake but also for the sake of others who will be impacted by our witness and behavior.

Paul the Apostle reminds us that we are called to be “the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ). Do you allow the fragrance of Christ’s love, truth, and holiness to permeate every area of your life, your thoughts, words, actions, and relationships?

Let the light of Christ shine brightly in and through you for all to see
Jesus used the image of light and a lamp to further his illustration of God’s transforming work in and through us. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jews also understood “light” as symbol or expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God. In his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105). God’s grace not only dispels the darkness in our lives, it also fills us with the light of Christ’s truth, wisdom, joy, and peace.

Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illuminates the darkness and enables one to see cleary, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God’s kingdom (Ephesians 5:13-14). Our mission is to be light-bearers of Jesus Christ so that others may see the truth of the Gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception.

There is great freedom and joy for those who live in the light of God’s truth and goodness. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God’s light?

“Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed”. http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun13.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Anthony of Padua(1195-1231)
Saint Anthony was born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born into a wealthy family and by the age of fifteen asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then capital of Portugal. During his time in the Abbey, he learned theology and Latin.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, he was named guestmaster and was responsible for the abbey’s hospitality. When Franciscan friars settled a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt, Fernando felt a longing to join them.

Fernando eventually received permission to leave the Abbey so he could join the new Franciscan Order. When he was admitted, he changed his name to Anthony.

Anthony then traveled to Morocco to spread God’s truth, but became extremely sick and was returned to Portugal to recover. The return voyage was blown off-course and the party arrived in Sicily, from which they traveled to Tuscany. Athony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo after local friars considered his health.

As he recovered, Anthony spent his time praying and studying.

An undetermined amount of time later, Dominican friars came to visit the Franciscans and there was confusion over who would present the homily. The Dominicans were known for their preaching, thus the Franciscans assumed it was they who would provide a homilist, but the Dominicans assumed the Franciscans would provide one. It was then the head of the Franciscan hermitage asked Anthony to speak on whatever the Holy Spirit told him to speak of.

Though he tried to object, Anthony delivered an eloquent and moving homily that impressed both groups. Soon, news of his eloquence reached Francis of Assisi, who held a strong distrust of the brotherhood’s commitment to a life of poverty. However, in Anthony, he found a friend.

In 1224, Francis entrusted his friars’ pursuits of studies to Anthony. Anthony had a book of psalms that contained notes and comments to help when teaching students and, in a time when a printing press was not yet invented, he greatly valued it.

When a novice decided to leave the hermitage, he stole Anthony’s valuable book. When Anthony discovered it was missing, he prayed it would be found or returned to him. The thief did return the book and in an extra step returned to the Order as well.

The book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna today.

Anthony occasionally taught at the universities of Montpellier and Toulouse in southern France, but he performed best in the role of a preacher.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, most unlettered and the innocent could understand his messages. It is for this reason he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Once, when St. Anthony of Padua attempted to preach the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he went out and preached his message to the fish. This was not, as liberals and naturalists have tried to say, for the instruction of the fish, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. When critics saw the fish begin to gather, they realized they should also listen to what Anthony had to say.

He was only 36-years-old when he died and was canonized less than one year afterward by Pope Gregory IX. Upon exhumation some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus and is commonly referred to today as the “finder of lost articles.” http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 24

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Aquilina
St. Augustine of Huy
St. Damhnade
St. Felicula
St. Fortunatus & Lucian
St. Gyavire
St. Peregrinus
St. Rambert
St. Triphyllius

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
119th Philippine Independence Day
Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 359

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1-7
Psalms 34:2-9 Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Gospel: 
Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061217.cfm

Reflection:  What is the good life which God intends for us? And how is it related with the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not our desire and longing for true happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. The heart of Jesus’ message is that we can live a very happy life. The call to holiness, to be saints who joyfully pursue God’s will for their lives, can be found in these eight beatitudes. Jesus’ beatitudes sum up our calling or vocation – to live a life of the beatitudes. The word beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness”.

God gives us everything that leads to true happiness
What is the significance of Jesus’ beatitudes, and why are they so central to his teaching? The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. They teach us the final end to which God calls us, namely the coming of God’s kingdom (Matthew 4:17), the vision of God (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 2;1), entering into the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21-23) and into his rest (Hebrews 4:7-11).  Jesus’ beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal.

Jesus’ tells us that God alone can satisfy the deepest need and longing of our heart. Teresa of Avila’s (1515-1582) prayer book contained a bookmark on which she wrote: Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass – God never changes. Patience achieves all it strives for. Whoever has God lacks nothing -God alone suffices.

Is God enough for you? God offers us the greatest good possible – abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) and the promise of unending joy and happiness with God forever. Do you seek the highest good, the total good, which is above all else?

The beatitudes are a sign of contradiction to the world’s way of happiness
The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution? Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest treasure possible. Hunger of the spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God’s word and Spirit. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression.

God reveals to the humble of heart the true source of abundant life and happiness. Jesus promises his disciples that the joys of heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world. Thomas Aquinas said: “No one can live without joy. That is why a person deprived of spiritual joy goes after carnal pleasures.” Do you know the happiness of hungering and thirsting for God alone?

“Lord Jesus, increase my hunger for you and show me the way that leads to everlasting peace and happiness. May I desire you above all else and find perfect joy in doing your will.”
http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun12.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint John of Sahagun(1419-1479)
John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Leon Spain. He was educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos, though he already had several benefices. He was ordained in 1445; concerned about the evil of pluralism, he resigned all his benefices except that of St. Agatha in Burgos. He spent the next four years studying at the University of Salamanca and then began to preach. In the next decade he achieved a great reputation as a preacher and spiritual director, but after recovering after a serious operation, became an Augustinian friar in 1463 and was professed the following year. He served as master of novices, definitor, prior at Salamanca, experienced visions, was famous for his miracles, and had the gift of reading men’s souls. He denounced evil in high places and several attempts were made on his life. He died at Sahagun on June 11, reportedly poisoned by the mistress of a man he had convinced to leave her. He was canonized in 1690 as St. John of Sahagun. His feast day is June 12th. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 694

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Amphion
St. Ampliatus
St. Chirstian
St. Christian
St. Cominus
St. Cunera
St. Cuniald & Geslar
St. Eskill
St. Gaspar Bertoni
St. Gerebald
St. John of Sahagun
Bl. Lorenzo Salvi
St. Marinus, Vimius, & Zimius
St. Odulf
St. Olympius
St. Onouphrius
St. Peter of Mount Athos
108 Polish Martyrs
St. Ternan

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Lectionary: 164

First Reading: Exodus 34:4-6, 8-9
Daniel 3:52-55Glory and praise for ever!
Second Reading:
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel: John 3:16-18
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061117.cfm

Reflection:  What does Scripture tell us about God and how he relates to us? When God met with Moses on Mount Sinai and made a covenant with the people of Israel, he revealed the nature of his character and his personal love for them:

“The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy and faithfulness'” (Exodus 34:6).

God is all-loving, faithful, merciful, and forgiving by nature. God’s love is supreme because it directs, orders, and shapes everything he does.

Love and judgment
Scripture tells us that God is all just and all loving. How does his love and justice go together? God opposes sin and evil with his just wrath (his righteous anger) and right judgment – and he approaches sinful people and evil doers with mercy (“slow to anger” and “ready to forgive”) and discipline (“fatherly correction” and “training in righteousness”). John the Evangelist tells us that the Father sent his Son into the world – not to condemn but to redeem – not to destroy but to heal and restore. Paul the Apostle tells us that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God does not desire the death of anyone (Ezekiel 18:23,32, Ezekiel 33:11, Wisdom of Solomon 1:13). Instead he gives us the freedom to choose between life and death – good and evil.

When we choose to sin and to go our own way apart from God, we bring condemnation upon ourselves. Sin draws us away from God and leads to a spiritual death – a death that is worse than physical loss of life because it results in a hopeless life of misery and separation from God’s peace and joy. Jesus was sent on a rescue mission to free us from slavery to sin and death and to bring us the abundant life which will never end. His death brought us true freedom and abundant new life in his Spirit – as well as pardon, reconciliation and adoption as sons and daughters of God.

Jesus took upon himself all of our sins and nailed them to the cross (Colossians 2:14). His death was an atoning sacrifice for our sins and a perfect offering to the Father on our behalf. We can find no greater proof of God’s love for fallen sinful humanity than the cross of Jesus Christ. “To ransom a slave God gave away his Son” (from an early Christian hymn for the Easter vigil liturgy). Jesus’ mission was motivated by love and obedience. That is why he willingly laid down his life for us. Jesus told his disciples that there is no greater love than for a person to willingly lay down his or her life for a friend (John 15:13). Jesus loved us first – even while we were captives to sin and Satan – in order to set us free and make us friends and beloved children of God.

Believing in the Son of God
Do you believe that Jesus personally died for you – for you alone – simply because he loved you? Scripture tells us that God knew each one of us even before we were knit in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13, Jeremiah 1:5). We were created for a purpose – to be united with God and to share in his love and glory now and forever. Augustine of Hippo wrote: “God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.” God’s love is complete and perfect because it is wholly directed towards our greatest good – to make us whole and to unite us in a perfect bond of love and peace. That is why God was willing to go to any length necessary to save us from slavery to sin and death.

How does God’s love bring healing, pardon, and wholeness to our lives? God’s love has power to set each one of us free from every form of bondage to sin – whether it be bondage to fear and guilt, pride and greed, envy and hatred. We can only know the love of God and experience his healing power to the degree that we put our faith in him and surrender our lives to his will. Faith is the key that opens the door to Christ and to his healing power in our lives. But for faith to be effective we must act and do our part. That is why faith requires repentance and obedience – turning away from unbelief  and disobedience – and turning to the Lord with a believing heart and listening ear. That is why Jesus said, “whoever believes in me is not condemned” (John 3:18).

To believe that Jesus is the only Son of God who died for our sins is the key that opens the door to his presence and work in our lives. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). The Lord Jesus knocks at the door of your heart – will you listen today and open at once?

Triune nature of God
The Lord Jesus has revealed to his disciples the great mystery of our faith – the triune nature of God and the inseparable union of the eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus’ mission is to reveal the glory of God to us – a Trinity of persons – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and to unite us with God in a community of love. The ultimate end, the purpose for which God created us, is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the blessed Trinity.

The Jews understood God as Creator and Father of all that he made (Deuteronomy 32:6) and they understood the nation of Israel as God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22). Jesus reveals the Father in an unheard of sense. He is eternally Father by his relationship to his only Son, who, reciprocally, is Son only in relation to his Father (see Matthew 11:27). The Spirit, likewise, is inseparably one with the Father and the Son.

The mission of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit are the same. That is why Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will reveal the glory of the Father and the Son and will speak what is true. Before his Passover, Jesus revealed the Holy Spirit as the “Paraclete” and Helper who will be with Jesus’ disciples to teach and guide them “into all the truth” (John 14:17,26; 16:13). In baptism we are called to share in the life of the Holy Trinity here on earth in faith and after death in eternal light.

Clement of Alexandria, a third century church father, wrote: “What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos (Word) of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her ‘Church’.”

We can know God personally
How can we grow in our understanding and experience of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the Father and the Son to us and who gives us the gift of faith to know and understand the truth of God’s word. Through baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Lord renews the gift of the Spirit in each one of us as we open our hearts with expectant faith and yield to his work in our lives. Jesus promised his disciples that he would send them the Spirit of truth who would be their Teacher and Guide. Ask the Lord Jesus to renew in you the gift of the Holy Spirit who strengthens us in the seven-fold gifts of wisdom and understanding, right judgment and courage, knowledge and reverence, and holy fear in God’s presence (Isaiah 11:2-3).

“May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart’s vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages.” (prayer of Origin, 185-254 AD) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun11.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Barnabas, Patron of Cyprus, Antioch, against hailstorms, invoked as peacemaker (d. 61)
All we know of Barnabas is to be found in the New Testament. A Jew, born in Cyprus and named Joseph, he sold his property, gave the proceeds to the Apostles, who gave him the name Barnabas, and lived in common with the earliest converts to Christianity in Jerusalem. He persuaded the community there to accept Paul as a disciple, was sent to Antioch, Syria, to look into the community there, and brought Paul there from Tarsus. With Paul he brought Antioch’s donation to the Jerusalem community during a famine, and returned to Antioch with John Mark, his cousin. The three went on a missionary journey to Cyprus, Perga (when John Mark went to Jerusalem), and Antioch in Pisidia, where they were so violently opposed by the Jews that they decided to preach to the pagans. Then they went on to Iconium and Lystra in Lycaonia, where they were first acclaimed gods and then stoned out of the city, and then returned to Antioch in Syria. When a dispute arose regarding the observance of the Jewish rites, Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem, where, at a council, it was decided that pagans did not have to be circumcised to be baptized. On their return to Antioch, Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on another visitation to the cities where they had preached, but Paul objected because of John Mark’s desertion of them in Perga. Paul and Barnabas parted, and Barnabas returned to Cyprus with Mark; nothing further is heard of him, though it is believed his rift with Paul was ultimately healed. Tradition has Barnabas preaching in Alexandria and Rome, the founder of the Cypriote Church, the Bishop of Milan (which he was not), and has him stoned to death at Salamis about the year 61. The apochryphal Epistle of Barnabas was long attributed to him, but modern scholarship now attributes it to a Christian in Alexandria between the years 70 and 100; the Gospel of Barnabas is probably by an Italian Christian who became a Mohammedan; and the Acts of Barnabas once attributed to John Mark are now known to have been written in the fifth century. His feast day is June 11. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 211

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Barnabas
St. Blitharius
St. Herebald
St. Parisius
St. Paula Frasinetti
St. Peter Rodriguez and Companions
St. Tochmura

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Saturday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 358

First Reading: Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20
Tobit 13:2, 6-8Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Gospel: 
Mark 12:38-44
In the course of his teaching Jesus said,
“Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext,
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061017.cfm

Reflection:  What is true religion and devotion to God? Jesus warns his disciples against the wrong kind of religion. In his denunciation of the scribes (the religious experts of his day), he warns against three things: the desire for prominence and first place of honor rather than lowly service for the benefit of others; the desire for deference and recognition (and seeking esteem from others) rather than seeking to promote the good of others through humble service and selfless care for others; and thirdly, attempting to use one’s position (even a religious position) for self-gain and self-advancement. True religion is relating rightly to God and to one’s neighbor with love, honor, and respect. The Lord puts his Holy Spirit within us that we may be filled with the joy of his presence, the joy of true worship, and the joy of selfless giving and love for others. True reverence for God frees the heart to give liberally, both to God and to neighbor.

Love is more precious than gold or silver
Jesus taught his disciples a dramatic lesson in generous giving with love and devotion. Love doesn’t calculate – it spends lavishly! Jesus drove this point home to his disciples while sitting in the temple and observing people offering their tithes. Jesus praised a poor widow who gave the smallest of coins in contrast with the rich who gave greater sums. How can someone in poverty give more than someone who has ample means? Jesus’ answer is very simple – love is more precious than gold!

Real giving comes from a heart full of gratitude
Jesus taught that real giving must come from the heart. A gift that is given with a grudge or for display loses most of its value. But a gift given out of love, with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice, is invaluable. The amount or size of the gift doesn’t matter as much as the cost to the giver. The poor widow could have kept one of her coins, but instead she recklessly gave away all she had! Jesus praised someone who gave barely a penny – how insignificant a sum – because it was everything she had, her whole living. What we have to offer may look very small and not worth much, but if we put all we have at the Lord’s disposal, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then God can do with it and with us what is beyond our reckoning. Do you know the joy and freedom of giving liberally to God and to neighbor with gratitude and love?

“Lord Jesus, all that I have is yours. Take my life, my possessions, my time and all that I have and use them as you desire for your glory.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun10.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Getulius (d. 120)
Martyr with Amantius, Caerealis, and Primitivus. He was the husband of St. Symphorosa. An officer in the Roman army, he resigned when he became a Christian and returned to his estates near Tivoli, Italy. There he converted Caerealis, an imperial legate sent to arrest him. With his brother Amantius and with Caerealis and Primitivus, Getulius was tortured and martyred at Tivoli.  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id= 873

More Saints of the Day:     
Bl. Amata
St. Amelberga
St. Aresius and Companions
St. Astericus
St. Bardo
St. Basilides and Companions
St. Bogumilus
Bl. Bogumilus
Bl. Caspar Sadamazu
St. Censurius
St. Crispulus & Restitutus
St. Evermund
St. Getulius
St. Gezelin
St. Ithamar
St. Landericus
St. Maurinus
St. Maximus of Naples
St. Maximus of Aquila
Bl. Olive
Bl. Olivia
St. Timothy

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 357

First Reading: Tobit 11:5-17
Psalms 146:1-2, 6-10Praise the Lord, my soul!
Gospel: 
Mark 12:35-37
As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,
“How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:

The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.’

David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he his son?”
The great crowd heard this with delight.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060917.cfm

Reflection:  What kind of ruler does the world need today? Who can establish true peace and justice for all? When the people of Israel settled into the promised land, they wanted a king to unite and rule them like the other nations around them. Their first king, Saul, failed to establish a dynasty. But when David was anointed king God established a covenant with him and promised that his dynasty would last forever. Among the Jews the most common title for the Messiah (the Hebrew word for Christ or the Anointed One) was the Son of David. The Jews looked forward to the long-expected Savior who would come from the line of David. Jesus was often addressed with that title, especially by the crowds (Mark 10:47ff, Matthew 9:27; 12:23).

Jesus, the Anointed King and Ruler of All, fulfills the promise God made with David
Why did Jesus question the Jews on the claim that their Messiah or Christ would be the son of David? After all the New Testament makes clear that Jesus himself is a direct descendant from the line of David’s throne (Romans 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:8, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38). Jesus posed the question to make his hearers understand that the Messiah is more than the son of David. Jesus makes his point in dramatic fashion by quoting from one of David’s prophetic psalms, Psalm 110: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet. How can the son be the lord of his father? Jesus, who took upon himself our human nature for our sake, is not only the son of David, he is first and foremost the Son of God eternally begotten of the Father. The Messiah King whom God promised to send would not only come from David’s line, but would be greater than any earthy ruler who came before or would come after.

Jesus claimed a sovereignty that only God can claim – a sovereignty that extends not only to the ends of the earth but to the heavens as well. But the way Jesus would establish his kingdom was far different from any of the expectations of the tiny nation of Israel. Jesus came to rule hearts and minds, not lands and entitlements. He came to free people from the worst tyranny possible – slavery to sin, Satan, and a world ruled by greed and lust for power and wealth.

Jesus, risen in glory by the power of the Holy Spirit, now reigns as Lord over all of creation
Paul the Apostle states that no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to make the Lord Jesus present and known in our lives. We can accept the Lord Jesus or reject him, love him or ignore him. He will not force his rule upon us. But the consequences of our choice will not only shape our present life but our destiny as well.

Is your life submitted to the Lordship of Jesus?
What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord? The word lord means ruler or king – the one who is owed fealty and submission. The Lord and Master of our lives is the person or thing we give our lives over to and submit to in a full way. We can be ruled by many things – our possessions, the love of money, our unruly passions, alcohol, drugs, and other forms of addictions. Only one Lord and Master can truly set us free to love and serve others selflessly and to be loved as God intended from the beginning. When we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord we invite him to be the king of our heart, master of our home, our thoughts, our relationships, and everything we do. Is the Lord Jesus the true king and master of your heart and do you give him free reign in every area of your life?

“Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God. You are my Lord and I willingly submit myself to your rule in my life. Be Lord and King of my life, my thoughts, heart, home, relationships, work, and all that I do.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun9.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Columba (521-597)
St. Columba 521-597, Born probaly in Donegal Ireland of royal descent he studied at Moville under St. Finnian then in Leinster at the monastery of Clonard under another St. Finnian. He was ordained before he was twenty-five and spent the next fifteen years preaching and setting up foundations at Derry, Durrow, and Kells. Possibly because of a family feud which resulted in the death of 3000 and for which he considered himself partly responsible he left Ireland at 42 and landed on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. There he built the monastery which was to become world famous. With SS Canice and Comgall he spread the gospel to the Picts; he also developed a monastic rule which many followed until the introduction of St. Benedicts. He died on Iona and is also known as Colm, Colum and Columcille. Feast day is June 9. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=419

More Saints of the Day:
Bl. Anne Mary Taigi
St. Baithin
St. Columba
St. Cummian
Bl. Diana
St. Ephrem
Bl. Jose de Anchieta
St. Julian
St. Maximian of Syracuse
Sts. Primus and Felician
St. Primus and Felician
St. Richard of Andria
St. Vincent of Agen

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 356

First Reading: Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1, 9-17; 8:4-9
Psalms 128:1-5Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,

and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060817.cfm

Reflection:  What is the purpose of God’s law or commandments? The Pharisees prided themselves in the knowledge of the law and their ritual requirements. They made it a life-time practice to study the 613 precepts of the Old Testament along with the numerous rabbinic commentaries. They tested Jesus to see if he correctly understood the law as they did. Jesus startled them with his profound simplicity and mastery of the law of God and its purpose.

Our love for God is a response to his exceeding grace and kindness towards us
What does God require of us? Simply that we love as he loves! God is love and everything he does flows from his love for us. God loved us first and our love for him is a response to his exceeding grace and kindness towards us. The love of God comes first and the love of neighbor is firmly grounded in the love of God. The more we know of God’s love and truth the more we love what he loves and reject what is hateful and contrary to his will.

Faith and hope strengthen our love for God
What makes our love for God and his commands grow in us? Faith in God and hope in his promises strengthens us in the love of God. They are essential for a good relationship with God, for being united with him. The more we know of God the more we love him and the more we love him the greater we believe and hope in his promises. The Lord, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, gives us a new freedom to love as he loves. Do you allow anything to keep you from the love of God and the joy of serving others with a generous heart?  Paul the Apostle says: hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Romans 5:5). Do you know the love which conquers all?

“We love you, O our God; and we desire to love you more and more. Grant to us that we may love you as much as we desire, and as much as we ought. O dearest friend, who has so loved and saved us, the thought of whom is so sweet and always growing sweeter, come with Christ and dwell in our hearts; that you keep a watch over our lips, our steps, our deeds, and we shall not need to be anxious either for our souls or our bodies. Give us love, sweetest of all gifts, which knows no enemy. Give us in our hearts pure love, born of your love to us, that we may love others as you love us. O most loving Father of Jesus Christ, from whom flows all love, let our hearts, frozen in sin, cold to you and cold to others, be warmed by this divine fire. So help and bless us in your Son.” (Prayer of Anselm, 1033-1109) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun8.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint William of York (d. 1154)
St. William of York, Bishop (Feast day is June 8th). William of York was the son of Count Herbert, treasurer to Henry I. His mother Emma, was the half-sister of King William. Young William became treasurer of the church of York at an early age and was elected archbishop of York in 1140.

William’s election was challenged on the grounds of simony and unchastity. He was cleared by Rome, but later, a new Pope, the Cistercian Eugene III, suspended William, and in 1147, he was deposed as archbishop of York.

William then retired to Winchester where he led the austere life of a monk, practicing much prayer and mortification. Upon the death of his accusers and Eugene III, Pope Anastastius IV restored William his See and made him archbishop. However, after one month back in York, the saintly prelate died in the year 1154. Some claim he was poisoned by the archdeacon of York, but no record of any resolution in the case remains extant. Pope Honorius III canonized William in 1227. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=141

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Bron
St. Calliope
St. Clodulf of Metz
St. Edgar the Peaceful
St. Eustadiola
St. Gildard
St. Heraclius of Sens
St. Jacques Berthieu
St. Levan
St. Maximinus of Aix
St. Medard
St. Melania the Elder
St. Muirchu
Bl. Pacificus of Cerano
St. Robert of Frassinoro
St. Sallustian
St. Severinus
St. William of York

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 355

First Reading: Tobit 3:1-11, 16-17
Psalms 25:2-9To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Gospel: Mark 12:18-27
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob
?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060717.cfm

Reflection:  How reliable is the belief that all will be raised from the dead? The Sadducees, who were a group of religious leaders from the upper classes in Jesus’ time, did not believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead to eternal life. They could not conceive of heaven beyond what they could see with their naked eyes! Aren’t we often like them? We don’t recognize spiritual realities because we try to make heaven into an earthly image we can touch and see. The Sadducees came to Jesus with a test question to make the resurrection look ridiculous. The Sadducees, unlike the Pharisees, did not believe in the existence of  immortal beings – whether humans, angels, or evil spirits. Their religion was literally grounded in an earthly image of heaven which ended in death.

Jesus offers proof to immortality – life without end
Jesus responds to their argument by dealing with the fact of the resurrection and immortal life. Jesus shows that God is a living God of a living people. The Scriptures give proof of it. In Exodus 3:6, God calls himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God was the friend of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when they lived on the earth. That friendship with God could not cease with death. David in the Psalms also speaks of the reality of immortal life with God. In Psalm 73:23-24 we pray through the words of David: “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” 

Through Christ’s resurrection we, too, can rise again to eternal life with God
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the eternal truths of God’s unending love and the life he desires to share with us for all eternity. Paul the Apostle, quoting from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4; 65:17) states: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). The promise of paradise – heavenly bliss and unending life with an all-loving God – is beyond human reckoning. We have only begun to taste the first-fruits! Do you believe the Scriptures and do you know the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and who gives us the assurance of everlasting life as well?

“May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart’s vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages.” (Prayer of Origen, 185-254 AD) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun7.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Willibald (700-786)
Bishop and missionary. A native of Wessex, England, he was the brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga and was related through his mother to the great St. Boniface. After studying in a monastery in Waitham, in Hampshire, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome (c. 722) with his father, who died on the way at Lucca, Italy. Willibald continued on to Rome and then to Jerusalem. Captured by Saracens who thought him a spy, he was eventually released and continued on to all of the holy places and then to Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), where he visited numerous lauras, monasteries, and hermitages. Upon his return to Italy, he went to Monte Cassino where he stayed for ten years, serving as sacrist, dean, and porter. While on a visit to Rome, he met Pope St. Gregory III (r. 731-741), who sent him to Germany to assist his cousin St. Boniface in his important missionary endeavors. Boniface ordained him in 741 and soon appointed him bishop of Eichstatt, in Franconia. the Site of Willibald’s most successful efforts as a missionary. With his brother Winebald, he founded a double monastery at Heidenheim, naming Winebald abbot and his sister Walburga abbess. Willibald served as bishop for some four decades. His Vita is included in the Hodoeporicon (the earliest known English travel book). An account of his journeys in the Holy Land was written by a relative of Willibald and a nun of Heidenheim. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2145

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Anthony Mary Gianelli
St. Colman of Dromore
St. Deochar
St. Gottschalk
St. Landulf of Yariglia
St. Lycarion
St. Meriadoc
St. Paul of Constantinople
St. Peter
St. Robert of Newminster
St. Vulphy
St. Willibald

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 354

First Reading: Tobit 2:9-14
Psalms 112:1-2, 7-9The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
Gospel: Mark 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060617.cfm

Reflection:  What do we owe God and what’s our obligation towards others? Paul the Apostle tells us that we must give each what is their due (Romans 13:6-8). The Jewish authorities sought to trap Jesus in a religious-state dispute over the issue of taxes. The Jews resented their foreign rulers and despised paying taxes to Caesar. They posed a dilemma to test Jesus to see if he would make a statement they could use against him. If Jesus answered that it was lawful to pay taxes to a pagan ruler, then he would lose credibility with the Jewish populace who would regard him as a coward and a friend of Caesar. If he said it was not lawful, then the Pharisees would have grounds to report him to the Roman authorities as a political trouble-maker and have him arrested.

Jesus avoided their trap by confronting them with the image of a coin. Coinage in the ancient world had significant political power. Rulers issued coins with their own image and inscription on them. In a certain sense the coin was regarded as the personal property of the ruler. Where the coin was valid the ruler held political sway over the people. Since the Jews used the Roman currency, Jesus explained that what belonged to Caesar must be given to Caesar.

We belong to God and not to ourselves
This story has another deeper meaning as well. We, too, have been stamped with God’s image since we are created in his own likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). We rightfully belong, not to ourselves, but to God who created us and redeemed us in the precious blood of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul the Apostle says that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). Do you acknowledge that your life belongs to God and not to yourself? And do you give to God what rightfully belongs to Him?

“Lord, because you have made me, I owe you the whole of my love; because you have redeemed me, I owe you the whole of myself; because you have promised so much, I owe you all my being.  Moreover, I owe you as much more love than myself as you are greater than I, for whom you gave yourself and to whom you promised yourself. I pray you, Lord, make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge; let me know by love what I know by understanding. I owe you more than my whole self, but I have no more, and by myself I cannot render the whole of it to you. Draw me to you, Lord, in the fullness of love. I am wholly yours by creation; make me all yours, too, in love.” (prayer of Anselm, 1033-1109) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun6.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Norbert
St. Norbert was born at Xanten in the Rhineland, about the year 1080. The early part of his life was devoted to the world and its pleasures. He entered upon the ecclesiastical state in a worldly spirit.

The thunderstorm had boiled up suddenly as Norbert was out riding. Norbert, who had always chosen the easy way, would never have deliberately gone on a journey that promised danger, risk, or discomfort. He had moved easily from the comforts of the noble family he was born into at about 1080 to the pleasure-loving German court. He had no hesitations about joining in any opportunity to enjoy himself, no matter what the source of that pleasure. To ensure his success at court, he also had no qualms about accepting holy orders as a canon and whatever financial benefices that came with that position, although he did hesitate at becoming a priest and the implied responsibilities that came with that vocation.

But now high winds pushed and pulled at his fashionable coif, rain slashed at his fancy clothes, and dark roiling clouds pressed night down upon his light thoughts. A sudden flash of lightning split the dark and his horse bucked, throwing Norbert to the ground.

For almost an hour, the still form of the courtier lay unmoving. Even the rain soaking his clothes and the howl of thunder did not bring him back to consciousness and life. When he awoke his first words were, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” — the same words Saul spoke on the road to Damascus. In response Norbert heard in his heart, “Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.”

He immediately returned to the place of his birth, Xanten, to devote himself to prayer and penance. He now embraced the instruction for the priesthood he had avoided and was ordained in 1115. His complete conversion and new ways caused some to denounce the former courtier as a hypocrite. Norbert’s response was to give everything he owned to the poor and to go to the pope for permission to preach.

With this commission in hand, he became an itinerant preacher, traveling through Europe with his two companions. In an extreme response to his old ways, he now chose the most difficult ways to travel — walking barefoot in the middle of winter through snow and ice. Unfortunately the two companions who followed him died from the ill-effects of exposure. But Norbert was gaining the respect of those sincere clerics who had despised him before. The bishop of Laon wanted Norbert to help reform the canons in his see, but the canons wanted nothing to do with Norbert’s type of reform which they saw as far too strict. The bishop, not wanting to lose this holy man, offered Norbert land where he could start his own community. In a lonely valley called Prmontr, began his community with thirteen canons. Despite the strictness of his regulation, or perhaps because it, his reforms attracted many disciples until eight abbeys and two convents were involved. Even the canons who had originally rejected him asked to be part of the reform.

In Norbert’s community we have the first evidence of lay affiliation with a religious order. This came about when a count Theobald wanted to join Norbert. Norbert realized that Theobald was not called to holy orders but to marriage and worldly duties. But he did not entirely reject Theobald, giving him a rule and devotions as well as a scapular to wear to identify him as part of the community.

It was on the trip accompanying Theobald to his marriage, that Norbert was spotted by Emperor Lothair and chosen as bishop of Magdebourg. Legend has it the porter refused to let Norbert into his new residence, assuming he was a beggar. When the crowd pointed out to the flustered porter that this was the new bishop Norbert told the porter, “You were right the first time.” Norbert carried the love of reform that he had found in his own life to his new diocese. As usual, this made him many enemies and he was almost assassinated. Disgusted with the citizens desire to keep to their old ways, he left the city, but was soon called back — not because the citizens missed him but because the emperor and the pope pressured them.

When two rival popes were elected after the death of Honorius II, Norbert helped try to heal the Church by getting his admirer the emperor to support the first elected, Innocent II. At the end of his life he was made an archbishop but he died soon after on June 6, 1134 at the age of 53. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=87

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Agobard
St. Alexander
St. Amantius
St. Bertrand
St. Branwallader
St. Ceratius
St. Claud
St. Cocca
St. Eustorgius II
St. Filippo Smaldone
St. Gotteschalk
St. Gudwal
St. Jarlath
St. Jarlath
John Davy
St. John of Verona
St. Marcellin Champagnat
Bl. Maria Karlowska
Bl. Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan
Martyrs of Tarsus
St. Nilammon
St. Nilammon
St. Norbert
St. Philip the Deacon
St. Rafael Guizar Valencia
Bl. Robert Salt
St. Vincent of Bevagna
Bl. Walter Pierson

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Memorial of Saint Boniface, Patron of brewers; Fulda; Germany; World Youth Day
Lectionary: 353

First Reading: Tobit 1:3; 2:1-8
Psalms 112:1-6Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
“A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?”

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060417.cfm

Reflection:  What does Jesus’ parable about an absentee landlord and his tenants say to us? The hills of Galilee were lined with numerous vineyards, and it was quite normal for the owners to let out their estates to tenants. Many did it for the sole purpose of collecting rent. Why did Jesus’ story about wicked tenants cause offense to the scribes and Pharisees? It contained both a prophetic message and a warning. Isaiah had spoken of the house of Israel as “the vineyard of the Lord” (Isaiah 5:7). Jesus’ listeners would likely understand this parable as referring to God’s dealing with a stubborn and rebellious people.

Jesus faithfully does his Father’s will even in the face of severe opposition
This parable speaks to us today as well. It richly conveys some important truths about God and the way he deals with his people. First, it tells us of God’s generosity and trust. The vineyard is well equipped with everything the tenants need. The owner went away and left the vineyard in the hands of the tenants. God, likewise trusts us enough to give us freedom to run life as we choose. This parable also tells us of God’s patience and justice. Not once, but many times he forgives the tenants their debts. But while the tenants take advantage of the owner’s patience, his judgment and justice prevail in the end. Jesus foretold both his death and his ultimate triumph. He knew he would be rejected and be killed, but he also knew that would not be the end. After rejection would come glory – the glory of resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father.

If we trust in the Lord our labor is not in vain
How do we share in this glory? By submitting to Jesus’ kingly rule in our lives. Jesus promises that we will bear much fruit (certainly the fruit of peace, righteousness, and joy, and much more besides) if we abide in him (see John 15:1-11). The Lord also entrusts his gifts to each of us and he gives us work to do in his vineyard – the body of Christ. He promises that our labor will not be in vain if we persevere with faith to the end (see 1 Corinthians 15:58). We can expect trials and even persecution. But in the end we will see triumph. Do you labor for the Lord with joyful hope and with confidence in his triumph?

“Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us; for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us. O most merciful redeemer, friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, for your own sake!” (Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester, 13th century) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun5.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saint Boniface of Mainz, Patron of brewers; Fulda; Germany; World Youth Day (675-754)
Winfrith had expected to return to England from Friesland (in what is now Holland) in triumph. He had left the land where he was a respected scholar, teacher, and priest because he was convinced he was called to missionary work. He had argued and pestered his abbot into letting him go because he would gain greater success for God in foreign lands. He had abandoned a successful, safe life in his mid-forties to win souls for God.

But from the moment he stepped off the ship, his trip to Friesland to join the famous missionary Willibrord had been a disaster. Winfrith and his companions had landed to discover that the ruler of Friesland, Radbod, had declared war on Christians, destroying churches and monasteries, driving Willibrord into exile, and sending what was left of the Church into hiding. Winfrith tried in vain to convince Radbod to let him and his companions preach. Finally, he had no choice but to return to England a few short months later in defeat.

It would have been easy to give up missionary work at this point. Almost anyone would have looked at this fiasco and said that God was trying to tell him that he was called to stay and serve in England. Winfrith agreed that God had given him a message and he agreed that he had been mistaken. But his mistake had not been in the call but how he followed it. He had believed all he needed to ensure the mission’s success was an enthusiastic response to God’s call.

It’s surprising that Winfrith ever would have believed this since so much of his previous life had depended on training and organization. Born about 675, he had convinced his parents to send him to a monastery for schooling because he admired the monks who had visited his home. Through diligent study he rapidly learned all that this local monastery could teach him and was transfered to the monastery at Nursling for further schooling. There he became such a well-known teacher that students circulated notes from his classes.

Back in England he started planning for his second missionary journey. He kept his enthusiasm but directed his zeal into organization and preparation for the journey. He would go to the pagan lands … but first he would travel to Rome. When he had traveled to Friesland he had had no authority to back him up. No one had sent him there, no one would stand up for him if he needed support or help. Now he went to the pope asking for an official mission and the backing of the Church. Pope Gregory II was intrigued but uncertain and talked to Winfrith all winter long before finally sending him on a test mission to Thuringia in Germany.

In the pope’s commission on May 15, 1719, we have the first record of Winfrith’s new name, Boniface. The pope apparently gave him this new name because the previous day had been the feast of a martyr by that name. From then on he was known as Boniface to all who knew him.

Missionaries had come to Thuringia before but the Church there was in bad shape, isolated and subject to superstition and heresy. Boniface saw that he was going to get no help from the local clergy and monks, but he had learned in Friesland he could not spread God’s word alone. He was about to send for help when he heard that Radbod had died and the missionary Willibrord was back in Friesland. Boniface immediately took off for Friesland, the site of his former humiliation. Perhaps he returned in hopes of redeeming his earlier disaster. It seems more likely, however, that he was following through on the lesson he had learned at that time and was going to get training from the expert in missions: Willibrord.

In the three years he spent with Willibrord, Boniface gave as much as he gained. So helpful was he that Willibrord, who was in his sixties, wanted to make Boniface his successor. But with his training over, Boniface felt the pull of the German missionary work he’d left behind, and, despite Willibrord’s pleas, went to Hesse.

Unlike Thuringia or Friesland, Hesse had never been evangelized. Boniface had to start from scratch. Needing even more authority in dealing with chieftains who were his first goal for converts, he appealed to the pope again. During a trip to Rome, the pope consecrated Boniface bishop.

Boniface returned to find that his problems had worsened. People were attracted by Christianity but unable to give up their old religion and superstitions, perhaps out of fear of being different or of how their old “gods” would react. Knowing that the people needed a reason to let go, Boniface called the tribes to a display of power. As the people watched, Boniface approached the giant oak of Geismar, a sacred tree dedicated to Thor, with an axe. Some of the people must have trembled with each stroke of his axe, but nothing happened. Finally with a crack, the tree split in four parts that we, are told, fell to the ground in the shape of a cross. There stood Boniface, axe in hand, unharmed by their old gods, strong in the power of the one God.

After his success in Hesse, he returned to Thuringia to confront the old problem of the decadent remnants of the Church there. Unable to get help from the suspect clergy in Thuringia, he called to England for help. Nuns and monks responded to his call enthusiastically for many years. We still have many of Boniface’s letters, including correspondence with his helpers in England. Reforming the Church was the biggest challenge in Thuringia and he had many thorny questions to answer. When a rite of baptism had been defective was it valid? What should he do about immoral clergy? Still remembering his first lesson, he appealed to Rome for answers from the pope. All his appeals to Rome helped him — but it also helped forge a much stronger bond between Rome and Europe.

Boniface was called upon to lend his own support to Frankish Church which was also sadly in need of reform. He set up councils and syonds and instituted reforms which revitalized the Church there.

Few saints retire, and Boniface was no exception. At 73, a time when most are thinking of rest and relaxation, Boniface headed back to Friesland on a new mission. One day in 754 while he was awaiting some confirmands, an enemy band attacked his camp. Although his companions wanted to fight, Boniface told them to trust in God and to welcome death for the faith. All of them were martyred.

Boniface is known as the Apostle of Germany. He not only brought the Christian faith but Roman Christian civilization to this portion of Europe.   http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=29

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Adalar
St. Boniface of Mainz
St. Dorotheus of Gaza
St. Felix of Fritzlar
St. Florentius
Bl. Franciscan Martyrs of China
St. Luke Loan
St. Marcian
St. Sanctinus
St. Tudno
St. Waccar

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Pentecost Sunday
Lectionary: 63

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11
Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
Gospel: John 20:19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060417.cfm

Reflection:  Do you know and experience in your own life the gift and power of the Holy Spirit? After his death and resurrection Jesus promised to give his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit. He said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit! (John 20:22) Jesus knew that his disciples would need the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission entrusted to them. The gift of the Holy Spirit was conditional upon the ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father. That is why Jesus instructed the apostles to wait in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Why did they need power from on high? The Gospels tell us that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was baptized at the Jordan River:

“And John bore witness, ‘I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him… this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit'” (John 1:32,33; Mark 1:8; Matthew 3:11).

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness… and Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee” (Luke 4:1,14).

Just as Jesus was anointed with the Spirit at the beginning of his ministry, so the disciples needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is given to all who are baptized into Jesus Christ to enable us to live a new way of life – a life of love, peace, joy, and righteousness (Romans 14:17). The Holy Spirit fills our hearts with the love of God (Romans 5:7), and he gives us the strength and courage we need in order to live as faith-filled disciples of the Lord Jesus. The Spirit helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26), and enables us to grow in spiritual freedom – freedom from doubt, fear, and from slavery to our unruly desires (2 Corinthians 3:17; Romans 8:21). The Spirit instructs us in the ways of God, and guides us in living according to God’s will. The Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness. Isaiah foretold the seven-fold gifts that the Spirit would give: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).

The gift of Pentecost – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the spiritual gifts and blessings of God – are made possible through the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus. After his resurrection Jesus “breathed” on his disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit. Just as God breathed life into Adam, so the gift of the Holy Spirit is an impartation of  “new life” for his people. With the gift of the Holy Spirit a new creation begins. God recreates us for his glory. Jesus’ gift of peace to his disciples was more than an absence of trouble. His peace included the forgiveness of sins and the fullness of everything good. Do you want power to live a faith-filled life as a disciple of Jesus? Ask the Father to fill you with the power of his Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).

Basil the Great (329-379 AD), an early church father, explains the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

“The Spirit restores paradise to us and the way to heaven and adoption as children of God; he instills confidence that we may call God truly Father and grants us the grace of Christ to be children of the light and to enjoy eternal glory. In a word, he bestows the fullness of blessings in this world and the next; for we may contemplate now in the mirror of faith the promised things we shall someday enjoy.  If this is the foretaste, what must the reality be? If these are the first fruits, what must be the harvest?” (From the treatise by Basil on The Holy Spirit)

The Lord Jesus offers each one of us the gift and power of his Holy Spirit. He wants to make our faith strong, give us hope that endures, and a love that never grows cold. He never refuses to give his Spirit to those who ask with expectant faith. Jesus instructed his disciples to ask confidently for the gift of the Spirit: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).  Do you thirst for God and for the abundant life he offers through the gift of his Spirit?

“Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gift of Pentecost and for the new life you offer in the Holy Spirit. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with the fire of your love that I may serve you in joy and freedom.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun4.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saints Francis Caracciolo, Patron of Naples (Italy), Italian cooks
(1563-1608)
Founder of the Minor Clerks Regular with St. John Augustine Adorno. He was born in 1563, a member of a noble Neapolitan family. Though he had a rare skin disease, much like leprosy, Francis became a priest, at which time his skin disease disappeared. In 1588, he co-founded the Minor Clerks Regular and spent the rest of his life as the superior. He was canonized in 1807. His cult is now confined to local calendars. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3439

More Saints of the Day:     
St. Alexander
St. Aretius
St. Breaca
St. Clateus
St. Cornelius of Armagh
St. Croidan
St. Elsiar
St. Francis Caracciolo
St. Metrophanes of Byzantium
St. Nennoc
St. Optatus of Milevis
St. Petroc
St. Quirinus of Tivoli
St. Quirinus of Siscia
St. Rutilius and Companions
St. Saturnina
St. Walter

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 302

First Reading: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
Psalms 11:4-5, 7The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
Gospel: John 21:20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved,
the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper
and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?
You follow me.”
So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die,
just “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things
and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060217.cfm

Reflection:  Why do we often compare ourselves with others? Do we envy those who seem more fortunate than ourselves? Why did Peter question Jesus about John’s future? Jesus had predicted that Peter was to suffer and die as a martyr for his faith. What would John’s fate be? Jesus seems to indicate that John would live a long life – in fact he outlived all the other apostles.

Jesus says, “Follow me and you will have life in abundance”
While Peter and John were both called as disciples of Jesus, each was given a particular task and mission to fulfill. When Peter questions John’s role, Jesus responds, “What is that to you? Follow me!” Peter’s given task was to “shepherd the sheep of Christ,” and in the end to die as a martyr for the Lord Jesus. John’s role was preeminently to witness to the risen Lord Jesus and to give his testimony to the Gospel account of Jesus’ identity as the divine Son of God who became a man to save us from sin, Satan, and death (John 20:31). John lived to long age and wrote the Gospel as his testimony to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus does not cease to do great works of power and love through his people today
John ends his Gospel with an astonishing remark: “Human books cannot exhaust the person and work of Jesus Christ.” His power is inexhaustible, his grace is limitless, his wisdom unfathomable, his triumphs are innumerable, and his love is unquenchable. We can never say enough of the power, majesty and glory which belongs to Jesus Christ alone. Do you witness to others the joy of the Gospel message that Jesus died for us to bring us new life, freedom, love and power to live as his disciples?

“May the power of your love, Lord Christ, fiery and sweet as honey, so absorb our hearts as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. Grant that we may be ready to die for love of your love, as you died for love of our love.”  (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226) http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun3.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saints Charles Lwanga and Companions
For those of us who think that the faith and zeal of the early Christians died out as the Church grew more safe and powerful through the centuries, the martyrs of Uganda are a reminder that persecution of Christians continues in modern times, even to the present day.

The Society of Missionaries of Africa (known as the White Fathers) had only been in Uganda for 6 years and yet they had built up a community of converts whose faith would outshine their own. The earliest converts were soon instructing and leading new converts that the White Fathers couldn’t reach. Many of these converts lived and taught at King Mwanga’s court.

King Mwanga was a violent ruler and pedophile who forced himself on the young boys and men who served him as pages and attendants. The Christians at Mwanga’s court who tried to protect the pages from King Mwanga.

The leader of the small community of 200 Christians, was the chief steward of Mwanga’s court, a twenty-five-year-old Catholic named Joseph Mkasa (or Mukasa).

When Mwanga killed a Protestant missionary and his companions, Joseph Mkasa confronted Mwanga and condemned his action. Mwanga had always liked Joseph but when Joseph dared to demand that Mwanga change his lifestyle, Mwanga forgot their long friendship. After striking Joseph with a spear, Mwanga ordered him killed. When the executioners tried to tie Joseph’s hands, he told them, “A Christian who gives his life for God is not afraid to die.” He forgave Mwanga with all his heart but made one final plea for his repentance before he was beheaded and then burned on November 15, 1885.

Charles Lwanga took over the instruction and leadership of the Christian community at court — and the charge of keeping the young boys and men out of Mwanga’s hands. Perhaps Joseph’s plea for repentance had had some affect on Mwanga because the persecution died down for six months.

Anger and suspicion must have been simmering in Mwanga, however. In May 1886 he called one of his pages named Mwafu and asked what the page had been doing that kept him away from Mwanga. When the page replied that he had been receiving religious instruction from Denis Sebuggwawo, Mwanga’s temper boiled over. He had Denis brought to him and killed him himself by thrusting a spear through his throat.

He then ordered that the royal compound be sealed and guarded so that no one could escape and summoned the country’s executioners. Knowing what was coming, Charles Lwanga baptized four catechumens that night, including a thirteen-year-old named Kizito. The next morning Mwanga brought his whole court before him and separated the Christians from the rest by saying, “Those who do not pray stand by me, those who do pray stand over there.” He demanded of the fifteen boys and young men (all under 25) if they were Christians and intended to remain Christians. When they answered “Yes” with strength and courage Mwanga condemned them to death.

He commanded that the group be taken on a 37 mile trek to the place of execution at Namugongo. The chief executioner begged one of the boys, his own son, Mabaga, to escape and hide but Mbaga refused. The cruelly-bound prisoners passed the home of the White Fathers on their way to execution. Father Lourdel remembered thirteen-year-old Kizito laughing and chattering. Lourdel almost fainted at the courage and joy these condemned converts, his friends, showed on their way to martyrdom. Three of these faithful were killed on road.

A Christian soldier named James Buzabaliawo was brought before the king. When Mwanga ordered him to be killed with the rest, James said, “Goodbye, then. I am going to Heaven, and I will pray to God for you.” When a griefstricken Father Lourdel raised his hand in absolution as James passed, James lifted his own tied hands and pointed up to show that he knew he was going to heaven and would meet Father Lourdel there. With a smile he said to Lourdel, “Why are you so sad? This nothing to the joys you have taught us to look forward to.”

Also condemned were Andrew Kagwa, a Kigowa chief, who had converted his wife and several others, and Matthias Murumba (or Kalemba) an assistant judge. The chief counsellor was so furious with Andrew that he proclaimed he wouldn’t eat until he knew Andrew was dead. When the executioners hesitated Andrew egged them on by saying, “Don’t keep your counsellor hungry — kill me.” When the same counsellor described what he was going to do with Matthias, he added, “No doubt his god will rescue him.” “Yes,” Matthias replied, “God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body.” Matthias was cut up on the road and left to die — it took him at least three days.

The original caravan reached Namugongo and the survivors were kept imprisoned for seven days. On June 3, they were brought out, wrapped in reed mats, and placed on the pyre. Mbaga was killed first by order of his father, the chief executioner, who had tried one last time to change his son’s mind. The rest were burned to death. Thirteen Catholics and eleven Protestants died. They died calling on the name of Jesus and proclaiming, “You can burn our bodies, but you cannot harm our souls.”

When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their natively language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga’s death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them. The twenty-two Catholic martyrs of the Uganda persecution were canonized. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=77

More Saints of the Day:
St. Abidianus
St. Achilleus Kewanuka
St. Adolphus Ludigo-Mkasa
St. Albert of Como
St. Ambrose Kibuka
St. Anatole Kiriggwajjo
St. Andrew Kagwa
St. Athanasius Badzekuketta
St. Bruno Seronkuma
St. Caecilius
St. Charles Lwanga and Companions
St. Conus
St. Cronan
St. Davinus
Bl. Diego Oddi
St. Dionysius Sebuggwao
St. Glushallaich
St. Gonzaga Gonza
St. Hilary
St. James Buzabalio
St. John Grande
St. John Maria Muzeyi
St. John Mary Mzec
St. John XXIII
St. Joseph Mukasa
St. Kevin
St. Kizito
St. Liphardus
St. Lucillian
St. Luke Banabakiutu
Martyrs of Uganda
St. Mathias Mulumba
St. Matthias Murumba
St. Mbaga Tuzinde
St. Morand
St. Mugagga
St. Mukasa Kiriwawanyu
St. Noe Mawaggali
St. Paula
St. Pergentinus and Laurentinus
St. Pontian Ngondwe
St. Quirinus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart
Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 301

First Reading: Acts 25:13-21
Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
Gospel: 
John 21:15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/060217.cfm

Reflection:  The Lord Jesus asked Simon Peter and he asks each one of us a very personal and profound question – do you love me more than anything else that might be very dear to you? How can the love of Jesus Christ be so attractive and so costly at the same time? Jesus on many occasions spoke to his disciples about the nature of God’s unquenchable love. God is love (1 John 4:16) because he is the creator and source of all that is true love. His love is unconditional, unmerited, and unlimited. We can’t buy it, earn it, demand it. It is a pure gift, freely given, and freely received. God’s love doesn’t change or waver. It endures because it is eternal and timeless. It’s the beginning and the end – the purpose for which God created us and why he wants us to be united with him in a bond of unbreakable love. And it’s the essence of what is means to be a son or daughter of God the eternal Father.

Love gives all for the good of others
The Lord Jesus shows us that love is a personal choice and a gift freely given – it is the giving of oneself to another person for their sake. Unselfish love is oriented wholly to the good of the other person for their own welfare and benefit. John the Evangelist tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave us his only-begotten Son” (John 3:16) who took on human flesh for our sake and who died upon the cross for our salvation – to set us free from the power of sin so that we might receive abundant everlasting life and peace with God.

God’s love heals and transforms our lives and frees us from fear, selfishness, and greed. It draws us to the very heart of God and it compels us to give him the best we have and all we possess – our gifts, our time, our resources, our full allegiance, and our very lives. Paul the Apostle tells us that God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us (Romans 5:5). What can quench such love? Certainly fear, sin, pride, indifference, disbelief, and the loss of hope and trust in God’s promises and his mercy towards us.

Do you love me more than these?
Why did Jesus question Peter’s loyalty and love three times in front of the other apostles? It must have caused Peter great pain and sorrow since he had publicly denied Jesus three times during the night of Jesus’ betrayal and condemnation by the religious authorities who had sought to kill him. Now Peter, full of grief and deep remorse, unequivocally stated that he loved his master and was willing to serve and obey him whatever it might cost. When Jesus asks him “do you love me more than these?” Jesus may have pointed to the boats, fishing nets, and catch of fish from the night’s work. He may have challenged Peter to abandon his work as a fisherman for the task of shepherding the community of God’s people. Jesus may have also pointed to the other disciples and to Peter’s previous boast: “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33). Peter now makes no boast or comparison but humbly responds: “You know that I love you.”

We love because he loved us first
The Lord Jesus calls each one of us, even in our own weakness, sins, and failings, to love him above all else. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) in his Confession wrote:

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new. Late have I loved you! …You shone your Self upon me to drive away my blindness. You breathed your fragrance upon me… and in astonishment I drew my breath…now I pant for you! I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you. You touched me! – and I burn to live within your peace” (Confession 10:27).

Nothing but our own sinful pride and stubborn wilfullness can keep us from the love of God. He loved us first and our love for him is a response to his exceeding graciousness and mercy towards us. Do you allow God’s love to fill your heart and transform your life?

“Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love and burn away everything within it that may be unloving, unkind, ungrateful, unholy, and not in accord with your will. May I always love what you love and reject what is contrary to your love and will for my life.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/jun2.htm  copyright (c) 2017 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Saint of the Day: Saints Marcellinus and Peter
Though we know very little about these two martyrs under Diocletian, there is no question that the early church venerated them. Evidence of the respect in which they were held are the basilica Constantine built over their tombs and the presence of their names in the first eucharistic prayer.

Pope St. Damasus says that he heard the story of these two martyrs from their executioner who became a Christian after their deaths. Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304. According to a legendary account of their martyrdom, the two Romans saw their imprisonment as just one more opportunity to evangelize and managed to convert their jailer and his family. The legend also says that they were beheaded in the forest so that other Christians wouldn’t have a chance to bury and venerate their bodies. Two women found the bodies, however, and had them properly buried. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=77

More Saints of the Day:
St. Ada
St. Adalgis
St. Blandina
St. Bodfan
St. Erasmus
St. Eugene
St. John de Ortega
Sts. Marcellinus and Peter
Martyrs of Lyons
St. Nicholas Peregrinus
St. Pothinus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

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