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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 06-30-13, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 06-30-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 06/29/2013 8:49:41 PM PDT by Salvation

June 30, 2013

 

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21

The LORD said to Elijah:
“You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
“Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “Go back!
Have I done anything to you?”
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. (cf. 5a) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.”
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Reading 2 Gal 5:1, 13-18

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.

I say, then: live by the Spirit
and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
these are opposed to each other,
so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Gospel Lk 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 06/29/2013 8:49:41 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All

From: 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Elijah’s encounter with God
________________________________________
[The Lord said to Elijah:] [16b] “Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you
shall anoint to be prophet in your place.”
The call of Elisha
________________________________________
[19] So he departed from thee, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was
ploughing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Eli-
jah passed by him and cast his mantle upon him. [20] And he left the oxen, and
ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will
follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?”
[21] And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew
them, and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen, and gave it to the peo-
ple, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah, and ministered to him.
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:
15-18. It is important to note that the “anointing” given to the prophet Elisha is
on a par with that given to the kings – and that there is already a reference here
to the remnant of Israel (cf. Is 4:3).
19-21. Elisha’s response to Elijah’s call is quite exemplary: he leaves everything
behind and puts himself at the disposal of the prophet. That will be how the apos-
tles respond to Christ (cf. Mt 4:20, 22; etc.), and it should be how anyone re-
sponds when the Lord calls him or her to a mission which involves leaving every-
thing. But the call issued by Jesus is more pressing than Elijah’s, as can be
seen from the Gospel passage where Jesus, in response to someone who says,
“I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home,” replies,
“No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of
God” (Lk 9:61-62). Obedience to a call involves a radical self-surrender: “Detach
yourself from people and things until you are stripped of them. For, says Pope
St. Gregory, the devil has nothing of his own in this world, and naked he comes
to battle. If you go clothed to fight him, you will soon be pulled to the ground: for
he will have something to catch you by” (St. J. Escriva, The Way, 149).
The name “Elisha” means “My God saves” and it epitomizes this prophet, just
as the name “Elijah” catches the essence of that prophet’s message: “My God
is the Lord.”
*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


2 posted on 06/29/2013 8:56:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

rom: Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Christian Liberty
________________________________________
[1] For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit
again to a yoke of slavery.
The Fruits of the Spirit and the Works of the Flesh
________________________________________
[13] For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as
an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. [14] For
the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
[15] But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed
by one another.
[16] But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. [17]
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are
against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing
what you would. [18] But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:
1-3. The Law of Moses, which was divinely revealed, was something good; it sui-
ted the circumstances of the time. Christ came to bring this Law to perfection (cf.
notes on Mt 5:17-19 and Gal 5:14-15). All the elaborate legal and ritual prescrip-
tions in the Mosaic Law were laid down by God for a specific stage in Salvation
History, that is, the stage which ended with the coming of Christ. Christians are
under no obligation to follow the letter of that Law (cf. St Thomas Aquinas, “Sum-
ma Theologiae”, I-II, q. 108, a.3 ad 3).
Although in this letter to the Galatians the Apostle is emphasizing, as we have
seen, freedom from the Law of Moses, obviously this liberation cannot be entire-
ly disconnected from freedom in general. If someone submits to circumcision af-
ter being baptized, it amounts to subjecting oneself to a series of practices
which have now no value and to depriving oneself of the fruits of Christ’s Redemp-
tion. In other words, subjection to the Law brings with it a loss of freedom in ge-
neral. Paul is using the full might of his apostolic authority when he says, “If you
receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” Christ’s Redemption
alone is effective; it has no need of the rites of the Old Testament.
14-15. To prepare the way for the coming of the Redeemer, God revealed to the
chosen people the fundamental principles of the natural law, because, as a result
of original sin and personal sins, mankind’s knowledge of these principles have
been obscured and weakened. The ten commandments which he revealed to Mo-
ses (Ex 20:1-21; Deut 5:6-22) traced out very clearly the way to follow to please
God and be saved (cf. Lev 18:5; Neh 9:29; etc.).
When the Savior came, the Decalogue continued in force, because it was part
of the natural law. Indeed, Christ reinforced it and showed that the key to and es-
sence of the ten commandments is Love—love of God, which necessarily brings
with it love of neighbor (cf. notes on Mt 22: 34-40 and Jn 13:34-35).
“It might also be asked”, St Augustine comments, “why the Apostle here speaks
only of love of neighbor, saying that this way the whole Law is fulfilled [...], when
in fact charity is perfect only if one practices the two precepts of love of God and
love of neighbor [...]. But who can love his neighbor, that is, all men, as himself,
if he does not love God, since it is only by God’s precept and gift that one can
love one’s neighbor? So, since neither precept can be kept unless the other be
kept, it is enough to mention one of them” (”Exp. in Gal.”, 45). See also the note
on Rom 13:8-10.
17-21. The fall of Adam and Eve left us with a tendency to seek created things
for our own pleasure, instead of using them to lead us to God. The desires of the
flesh make their appearance, urges which are at odds with God and with all that
is noble in our personality. But when grace enters our soul and justifies us, we
share in the fruits of the Redemption wrought by Christ and we are enabled to
conquer our concupiscence and life according to the flesh.
The vices referred to in vv. 19-21 have their roots in something much deeper —
life “of the flesh”. And, St Augustine asserts, “it is said that someone lives ac-
cording to the flesh when he lives for himself. Therefore, in this case, by ‘flesh’ is
meant the whole person. For everything which stems from a disordered love of
oneself is called work of the flesh” (”The City of God”, 14, 2).
This is why we find included in the “works of the flesh” not only sins of impurity
(v. 19) and faults of temperance (v. 21 ) but also sins against the virtues of reli-
gion and fraternal charity (v. 20).
“Significantly, when speaking of ‘the works of the flesh’ Paul mentions not only
‘immorality [fornication], impurity, licentiousness [...], drunkenness, carousing’
— all of which objectively speaking are connected with the flesh; he also names
other sins which we do not usually put in the ‘carnal’ or ‘sexual’ category — ‘ido-
latry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, envy’ [...]. All these sins are the
outcome of ‘life according to the flesh’, which is the opposite to ‘life according
to the spirit”’ (John Paul 11, “Address”, 7 January 1981).
Therefore, as the Apostle says, anyone who in one way or other obstinately per-
sists in his sin will not be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven (cf. 1 Cor 6:9-10;
Eph 5:5).
*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 06/29/2013 8:58:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 9:51-56
Some Samaritans Refuse to Receive Jesus
________________________________________
[51] When the days drew near for Him (Jesus) to be received up, He set His face
to go to Jerusalem. [52] And He sent messengers ahead of Him, who went and
entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him; [53] but the people
would not receive Him, because His face was set toward Jerusalem. [54] And
when His disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do You want us to
bid fire come down from Heaven and consume them?” [55] But He turned and
rebuked them. [56] And they went on to another village.
The Calling of Three Disciples
________________________________________
[57] As they were going along the road, a man said to Him (Jesus), “I will follow
you wherever You go.” [58] And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds
of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” [59] To
another He said, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my fa-
ther.” [60] But He said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for
you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” [61] Another said, “I will follow You,
Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” [62] Jesus said to him,
“No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom
of God.”
*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:
51. “When the days drew near for Him to be received up”: these words refer to
the moment when Jesus will leave this world and ascend into Heaven. Our Lord
will say this more explicitly during the Last Supper: “I come from the Father and
have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father”
(John 16:28). By making His way resolutely to Jerusalem, towards His Cross,
Jesus freely complies with His Father’s plan for His passion and death to be the
route to His resurrection and ascension.
52-53. The Samaritans were hostile towards the Jews. This enmity derived from
the fact that the Samaritans were descendants of marriages of Jews with Gen-
tiles who repopulated the region of Samaria at the time of the Assyrian captivity
(in the eighth century before Christ). There were also religious differences: the
Samaritans had mixed the religion of Moses with various superstitious practices,
and did not accept the temple of Jerusalem as the only place where sacrifices
could properly be offered. They built their own temple on Mount Gerizim, in op-
position to Jerusalem (cf. John 4:20); this was why, when they realized Jesus
was headed for the Holy City, they refused Him hospitality.
54-56. Jesus corrects His disciples’ desire for revenge, because it is out of kee-
ping with the mission of the Messiah, who has come to save men, not destroy
them (cf. Luke 19:10; John 12:47). The Apostles are gradually learning that zeal
for the things of God should not be bitter or violent.
“The Lord does everything in an admirable way [...]. He acts in this way to teach
us that perfect virtue retains no desire for vengeance, and that where there is true
charity there is no room for anger—in other words, that weakness should not be
treated with harshness but should be helped. Indignation should be very far from
holy souls, and desire for vengeance very far from great souls” (St. Ambrose,
“Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.”).
An RSV footnote after the word “rebuked” in verse 55 points out that other an-
cient authorities add “and He said ‘You do not know what manner of Spirit you
are of; for the Son of Man came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them’”.
These words appear in a considerable number of early Greek MSS and other
versions and were included in the Clementine Vulgate; but they do not appear
in the best and oldest Greek codexes and have not been included in the New
Vulgate.
57-62. Our Lord spells out very clearly what is involved in following Him. Being
a Christian is not an easy or comfortable affair: it calls for self-denial and for put-
ting God before everything else. See the notes on Matthew 8:18-22 and Matthew
8:22.
[The notes on Matthew 8:18-22 state:
18-22. From the very outset of His messianic preaching, Jesus rarely stays in
the same place; He is always on the move. He “has nowhere to lay His head”
(Matthew 8:20). Anyone who desires to be with him has to “follow Him”. This
phrase “following Jesus” has a very precise meaning: it means being His disci-
ple (cf. Matthew 19:28). Sometimes the crowds “follow Him”; but Jesus’ true dis-
ciples are those who “follow Him” in a permanent way, that is, who keep on fol-
lowing Him: being a “disciple of Jesus” and “following Him” amount to the same
thing. After our Lord’s ascension, “following Him” means being a Christian (cf.
Acts 8:26). By the simple and sublime fact of Baptism, every Christian is called,
by a divine vocation, to be a full disciple of our Lord, with all that that involves.
The evangelist here gives two specific cases of following Jesus. In the case of the
scribe our Lord explains what faith requires of a person who realizes that he has
been called; in the second case—that of the man who has already said “yes” to
Jesus—He reminds him of what His commandment entails. The soldier who does
not leave his position on the battlefront to bury his father, but instead leaves that
to those in the rearguard, is doing his duty. If service to one’s country makes de-
mands like that on a person, all the more reason for it to happen in the service
of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Following Christ, then, means we should make ourselves totally available to Him;
whatever sacrifice He asks of us we should make: the call to follow Christ means
staying up with Him, not falling behind; we either follow Him or lose Him. In the
Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus explained what following Him involves
—a teaching which we find summarized in even the most basic catechism of Chris-
tian doctrine: a Christian is a man who believes in Jesus Christ—a faith he receives
at Baptism — and is duty bound to serve Him. Through prayer and friendship with
the Lord every Christian should try to discover the demands which this service in-
volves as far as he personally is concerned.]
[The notes on Matthew 8:22 state:
22. “Leave the dead to bury their own dead”: although this sounds very harsh, it
is a style of speaking which Jesus did sometimes use: here the “dead” clearly re-
fers to those whose interest is limited to perishable things and who have no aspi-
rations towards the things that last forever.
“If Jesus forbade him,” St. John Chrysostom comments, “it was not to have us
neglect the honor due to our parents, but to make us realize that nothing is more
important than the things of Heaven and that we ought to cleave to these and not
to put them off even for a little while, though our engagements be ever so indispen-
sable and pressing” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 27).]
We see here the case of the man who wanted to follow Christ, but on one condi-
tion—that he be allowed to say goodbye to his family. Our Lord, seeing that he is
rather undecided, gives him an answer which applies to all of us, for we have all
received a calling to follow Him and we have to try not to receive this grace in vain.
“We receive the grace of God in vain, when we receive it at the gate of our heart,
and do not let it enter our heart. We receive it without receiving it, that is, we re-
ceive it without fruit, since there is no advantage in feeling the inspiration if we do
not accept it [...]. It sometimes happens that being inspired to do much we con-
sent not to the whole inspiration but only to some part of it, as did those good
people in the Gospel, who upon the inspiration which our Lord gave them to fol-
low Him wished to make reservations, the one to go first and bury his father, the
other to go to take leave of his people” (St. Francis de Sales, “Treatise on the
Love of God”, Book 2, Chapter 11).
Our loyalty and fidelity to the mission God has given us should equip us to deal
with every obstacle we meet: “There is never reason to look back (cf. Luke 9:62).
The Lord is at our side. We have to be faithful and loyal; we have to face up to our
obligations and we will find in Jesus the love and the stimulus we need to under-
stand other people’s faults and overcome our own” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Pas-
sing By”, 160).
*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 06/29/2013 8:58:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

1 Kings 19:16,19-21 ©

The Lord said to Elijah, ‘You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.’

  Leaving there, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. Elijah answered, ‘Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?’ Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.


Psalm

Psalm 15:1-2,5,7-11 ©

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.

  I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;

  it is you yourself who are my prize.’

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,

  who even at night directs my heart.

I keep the Lord ever in my sight:

  since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;

  even my body shall rest in safety.

For you will not leave my soul among the dead,

  nor let your beloved know decay.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.

You will show me the path of life,

  the fullness of joy in your presence,

  at your right hand happiness for ever.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.


Second reading

Galatians 5:1,13-18 ©

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. If you go snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, you had better watch or you will destroy the whole community.

  Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you.


Gospel Acclamation

1S3:9,Jn6:68

Alleluia, alleluia!

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening:

you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Luke 9:51-62 ©

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.

  As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

  Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’

  Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.


5 posted on 06/29/2013 9:11:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray with Pope Benedict

Pope: Homily at Mass for Evangelium Vitae Day [full text]
Adoration with Pope energizing Catholics worldwide
Parishes Worldwide Prepare for Eucharistic Adoration Hour (June 2 at 11 am ET)
Pope [Francis] at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission
Audience: Do not be ‘part-time’ Christians
Pope Francis: Regina caeli
Pope to welcome 70,000 youths, confirm 44 (this Sunday) [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t going to be happy
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's "Letter On the Year of Faith" (Crossing Threshold of Faith)

Pope Francis – the real deal – has Audience with Cardinals
Benedict XVI's Final General Audience
On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

6 posted on 06/29/2013 9:43:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 06/29/2013 9:45:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 06/29/2013 9:46:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


9 posted on 06/29/2013 9:47:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  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. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


10 posted on 06/29/2013 9:48:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

11 posted on 06/29/2013 9:49:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


12 posted on 06/29/2013 9:50:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought its mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushed beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.


13 posted on 06/29/2013 9:50:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

June 2013

Pope's Intentions

Mutual Respect. That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.

New Evangelization. That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization.


14 posted on 06/29/2013 9:51:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Commentary of the day
Blessed John XXIII (1881-1963), pope
Journal of a soul, June 1957 [before his election as Pope] (trans.©Geoffrey Chapman, 1965)

"I will follow you wherever you go"

“Give me more light as evening falls.” O Lord, we are now in the evening of our life. I am in my seventy-sixth year. Life is a great gift from our heavenly Father. Three-quarters of my contemporaries have passed over to the far shore. So I too must always be ready for the great moment. The thought of death does not alarm me... My health is excellent and still robust, but I cannot count on it. I want to hold myself ready to reply “adsum” at any, even the most unexpected moment. Old age, likewise a great gift of the Lord's, must be for me a source of tranquil inner joy, and a reason for trusting day by day in the Lord himself, to whom I am now turned as a child turns to his father's open arms.

My poor life, now such a long one, has unwound itself as easily as a ball of string, under the sign of simplicity and purity. It costs me nothing to acknowledge and repeat that I am nothing and worth precisely nothing. The Lord caused me to be born of poor folk, and he has seen to all my needs. I have left it to him... Truly, “the will of God is my peace” (Dante Alighieri). And my hope is all in Jesus' mercy...

I think the Lord Jesus has in store for me, before I die, for my complete mortification and purification and in order to admit me to his everlasting joy, some great suffering and affliction of body and spirit. Well, I accept everything and with all my heart, if it is for his glory and the good of my soul and for the souls of my dear spiritual children. I fear my weakness in bearing pain; I implore him to help me, for I have little faith in myself, but complete faith in the Lord Jesus.

There are two gates to paradise: innocence and penance. Which of us, poor frail creatures, can expect to find the first of these wide open? But we may be sure of the other: Jesus passed through it, bearing his Cross in atonement for our sins, and he invites us to follow him.

 


15 posted on 06/29/2013 10:01:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 9:51-32

What does it take to be a disciple of Jesus?

Fr. Paul deLadurantaye

 

The Gospel that we consider this week takes place after the Lord’s Transfiguration. During the Transfiguration account, Jesus’ face and clothing changed, radiating forth the glory of God. Now the days for Jesus to be taken up into heaven are fulfilled and St. Luke tells us that “he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.” The words “resolutely determined,” in the original Greek of the Gospel, literally mean “set his face” toward Jerusalem. In other words, the glory of God that shone from the face of Jesus on Mount Tabor is now to shine in Jerusalem through His suffering, death and resurrection. Thus, Jesus begins His one and final journey (as St. Luke portrays it) to Jerusalem, a journey through death to eternal life.

On the way, the Lord imparts valuable lessons about discipleship. The first comes when the Samaritans, whose village Jesus and His followers enter, refuse to accept Him. James and John want to destroy the village, but Jesus rebukes them: They are not yet disposed to grasp the meaning of discipleship. Jesus has not come to make people His slaves with fire or the sword. Rather, He has come to give up His life for us — not to compel us to do anything, but to free us from the compulsion of sin. Neither defiance nor vindictiveness prepares us to be the Lord’s disciples. Instead, Jesus specifies three other qualities of worthy discipleship in His interactions with those who meet Him on His journey.

 

One person enthusiastically declares that he will follow the Lord wherever He goes. Jesus responds by pointing out the cost of discipleship in both material and spiritual terms: “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” With these words, the Lord reminds His would-be follower that discipleship has to be grounded in concrete commitment, not just enthusiasm. What are we willing to give up or set aside for the sake of the kingdom of God? What do I have to learn to let go of in order to follow Christ with single-mindedness, with a purity of mind, heart and intention? Moreover, the Son cannot rest (“lay His head”) anywhere on earth until He has fulfilled His Father’s will. In a similar way, we must resist all temptations to take refuge in our own security or safety. Like Christ Himself, we too are called to be resolutely determined to unite ourselves with Him and enter into communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit as the guiding and decisive commitment of our lives.

Jesus then calls a second person who asks that he first bury his father. The Lord replies with strange-sounding words: “Let the dead bury their dead.” Jesus does not mean to disparage family ties or the need to provide funeral rites for the dead; instead, His words are intended to help us overcome the temptation to find excuses for procrastinating or even for disqualifying ourselves from discipleship. Any one of us can say, “I will follow Christ later — when I retire, when the children leave for college, when I have more time.” Jesus stresses the urgency of discipleship here and now by calling for full surrender in confidence to the providence of God the Father who in turn will provide for every human need.

Finally, those who would be disciples are to put their hand to the plow and not look back. Christ wants the whole of each person — He wants us to go with Him on life’s journey with an undivided heart and a willing spirit. Gospel discipleship can never be a halfway proposition: Despite our weaknesses and failures, we either seek to be with Christ or we do not — there really is no middle ground.

Elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus declared that a disciple should be glad to be like his Master. Just as Jesus “set his face” — “resolutely determined” — to go to Jerusalem in order to pass through death to life, so each of us is called to do the same. To set our face toward Jerusalem with Jesus means making the Father the source and the goal of our love. It means making a total commitment, here and now, to follow the Lord on a daily basis. When the Father sees such revolve on our faces, then He takes us up into His love with His Son — and this is our fulfillment.

Fr. deLadurantaye is director of the Office of Sacred Liturgy, secretary for diocesan religious education and a professor of theology at Christendom’s Notre Dame Graduate School in Alexandria.


16 posted on 06/29/2013 10:18:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year C  -  13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

You don’t know of what spirit you are.

You don’t know of what spirit you are. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 9:51-62

51 And it came to pass that when the days were approaching for him to be taken up to heaven, he steadfastly took the road for Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers before him; and going, they entered into a city of the Samaritans, to prepare for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was of one going to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John had seen this, they said: Lord, is it all right with you that we command fire to come down from heaven to consume them?
55 And turning, he rebuked them, saying: You don’t know of what spirit you are.
56 The Son of man came not to destroy souls, but to save. And they went into another town.
57 And it came to pass, as they walked in the way, that a certain man said to him: I will follow you wherever you go.
58 Jesus said to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
59 But he said to another: Follow me. And he said: Lord, suffer me first to go, and to bury my father.
60 And Jesus said to him: Let the dead bury their dead: but you go, and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another said: I will follow you, Lord; but let me first take my leave of them that are at my house.
62 Jesus said to him: No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time - You don’t know of what spirit you are. Great is the power of God and greatly blessed are those who have received it. Moses commanded the sea to open and it obeyed, the prophet Elijah commanded the heavens to pour down rain and they obeyed.

The power of God was always in me, the Son of the Living God, a power that cannot be put in the wrong hands. My power is the power of my Word, it is absolute power that has created everything that has come into existence.

However I did not come into the world to show off my power or to exalt myself with it. I came with a different purpose; I used my power to save the world by denying my self, by taking up my cross and by sacrificing myself.

The power exercised in performing my miracles was the power of God giving testimony of my coming into the world.

I granted my apostles and all those who believe in me a share of my power so that they would be able to heal the sick and to cast out demons. There was a moment when the Apostles were tempted to misuse that power in a moment of pride. I showed them how the spirit of God uses His power not to destroy but to build, not to condemn but to save, not to exalt but to humble.

As children of God, you would all have the same powers that I had here on earth, but because of the pride in your hearts, those great gifts have to be suppressed for now.

The power of God is at home in the hearts of the humble. It is the great power of faith that is given to those who put all their trust in God. It pierces through the heavens and comes straight to my throne; it always receives when it asks. Nothing pleases me more than to answer the petitions of the humble.

Humility is the great lesson that I taught the world. I said, learn from me because I am meek and humble of heart. I tell you now, come to me and become like me so that you benefit from my power that makes you sons and daughters of the Most High.

I explained how the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head. I was saying, here is your King, the Almighty God who having everything has reduced himself to nothing in order to teach you that humility is the way to go, because pride blinds the soul and leads you to sin.

He who desires me must follow me, He who follows me will become like me, but the price he has to pay is detachment from the world and from his self-love.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

17 posted on 06/29/2013 10:26:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington

Five Disciplines of Discipleship – A Meditation on the Gospel for the 13th Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The Gospel today portrays for us some disciplines that are important for disciples. They are portrayed in the life of Jesus, but are to be applied by us. Lets look at them each in turn.

I. Purposefulness - The text says, When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, [Jesus] resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him.

Note that Jesus was resolute. He was heading to Jerusalem to suffer, die and rise, just as he announced in last week’s gospel. He is heading there to undertake the great battle, and the great mission entrusted to him. Everything he did was to be oriented to this goal.

What about us? Are we as resolute in our determination to seek Christ and head for his Kingdom? Is our direction clear? Have we set our sites resolutely, or do we meander about, chasing butterflies. Are we on the highway to heaven? Or do we make easy compromises with this passing world and seek to serve two masters?

Yes,  notice how easily we takes exits and diversions to to sin city, vicious village and injustice junction.

Our goal is to set our face like flint to the Jerusalem of Heaven, as Jesus set his face toward the Jerusalem of this earth to accomplish his mission and task.

Scripture speaks often of developing a firm and unequivocal resolve, to be purposeful and single-hearted in our determination to follow Jesus and set our sites on heaven:

  1. This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13
  2. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  James 1:4
  3. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Mat 6:24
  4. There is one thing I ask of the LORD, this alone I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life and gaze upon the beauty of the LORD…Ps 27:4

Are you focused, purposeful? What is the ONE THING you do? Concentration is the secret of power. Water over a large area is a stagnant pond. Yet, in a narrow channel it is a powerful river.

The first discipline of discipleship is to be purposeful, to be determined, single-hearted and focused in our pursuit of the Lord and His kingdom.

II. Perseverance - the text says, On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

Note that James and John are angry and discouraged at the rejection of Jesus and the values of the Kingdom. But Jesus rebukes their desire for retaliation.

Notice how Jesus stays at his task. Rejected here, he moves forward. He does not let the devil distract him or his disciples from the task of persistently proclaiming the Word, in season or our of season, popular or unpopular, accepted or rejected. Just persevere, keep preaching, keep plowing, keep walking, Do NOT give up, do NOT grow angry, just keep working. Leave judgment to God, for now just preach, teach, instruct, warn and admonish.

Scripture says,

And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. …and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next Matt 10:14, 22

Yes, persevere! Remember, we’re called to be faithful not successful. We need to persevere not just in the face of rejection, but in the face of trials and temptations, setbacks and sorrows, hurts and hardships, failures and frustrations. Preach, persevere, teach, be tenacious. Remember too, trust in Jesus. They killed him but he rose.

Many too have announced the end of faith, have sworn that they will bury the Church and that the days of faith are over. But the Church has buried every one of her undertakers. They dug our grave, but fell in it themselves. Yes, we read the funeral rite over them instead and have outlived every opponent.

No weapon waged against us will prosper. Long after the current confusion and pride of the decadent West is gone, the Church will still exist, preaching Christ, and Him crucified. Persevere! A Critical discipline of discipleship.

III. Poverty - The text says, As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

Here too is a critical discipline of discipleship: to follow Jesus even if worldly gain not only eludes us, but is outright taken from us. Here is a critical question: Do you love the consolations of God or the God of all consolation? Do you seek the gifts of God, or the Giver of every good and perfect gift? What it following Jesus gave you, no earthly gain? What if, in fact, being a disciple brings you ridicule, loss, even prison or death? Would you still follow? Would you still be a disciple?

In this verse the potential disciple of Jesus seems to have had power, prestige or worldly gain in mind. Perhaps he saw Jesus as a political messiah and he wanted to be on the “inside track.” So Jesus warns him that this is not what discipleship is about. The Son of Man’s kingdom is not of this world.

We need to heed Jesus’ warning. Riches are actually a great danger. Not only can riches not help us in what we really need, they might actually hinder us! Poverty is the not the worst thing. You see there’s a risk in riches, a peril in prosperity and a worry in wealth.

The Lord Jesus here points to poverty and powerlessness (in worldly matters) when it come to being disciples. Frankly this is not merely a remote possibility or an abstraction. If we live as true disciples, we are going to find that piles of wealth are seldom our lot. Why? Well our “poverty” or lack of wealth derives from the fact that if we are true disciples, we won’t make easy compromises with sin or evil. We won’t just take any job. We won’t be ruthless in the workplace or deal with unscrupulous people. We won’t lie on our resume, cheat on taxes, or take easy and sinful short cuts. We will observe the sabbath, be generous to the poor, pay a just wage, provide necessary benefits to workers, and observe the tithe. Now the world hands out (temporary) rewards if we do this sort of stuff. But true disciples refuse such compromises with evil. In so doing they reject the temporary rewards of this earth, and may have a less opulent place to lay their head. They may not get every promotion, or attain to power.

And thus “poverty” is a discipline of discipleship. What is “poverty?” It is the capacity to be free from the snares of power, popularity, and possessions.

Jesus had “nowhere to lay his head.” That’s poor, but it is also to be free of the many duties, obligations and compromises that come with wealth. If you’re poor no one can steal from you, or threaten your stuff. You’re free and “have nothing to lose.”

Most of us have too much to lose, and so we are not free and our discipleship is hindered.

Poverty is an important discipline of discipleship.

IV. Promptness (readiness) - The text says, And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.

The Lord seems harsh here. However note that the Greek text can be understood in the following way: “My Father is getting older. I want to wait until he dies and then I will really be able to devote myself to being a disciple!”

And so the point of Jesus is that if he didn’t have this excuse he’d have some other. He does not have a prompt or willing spirit. We can always find some “reason” that we can’t follow whole-heartedly today but have to get a few things resolved first.

It’s the old problem: Tomorrow!

There is a peril in procrastination. Too many look to tomorrow. But tomorrow is not promised. But in the scriptures there is one word that jumps out over and over again, it is the word “NOW.”

  1. Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
  2. 2 Cor 6:2 …behold, now is the day of salvation.
  3. Ps 95:7 Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart,
  4. Prov 27:1 Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth.

That’s right, tomorrow is not promised! Better choose the Lord today, for tomorrow very well might be too late. Now is the day of salvation.

Indeed, there were three demons who told Satan of their plan to destroy a certain man. The first demon said, “I am going to tell him there is no hell.” But Satan said, “People know there there is a hell and most have already visited here.” The second demon said, “I am going to tell him there is no God.” But Satan said, “Despite atheism being fashionable of late, most people know, deep down, there is a God, for He has written his name in their hearts.” The third demon said, “I am not going to tell them there is no hell or no God, I am going to tell them there is no hurry.” And Satan said, You’re the Man! That’s the plan!”

Yes, promptness is a discipline of discipleship. To not put off for tomorrow what must be done today is a great gift to be sought from God. It is the gift to joyfully run to what God promises without delay.

V. Permanence - The text says, And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

When we accepted Christ, we set our hand to the gospel plow and we left certain things behind. We are not to return to those things. Things like: Harmful habits, ruinous relationships, soul-killing sinfulness, and perilous pleasures.

Yes, there are some things that we used to do that we have no business doing now. We need to give up our former ways and not look back:

Scripture says,

Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!– assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:17-23).

And again,

Therefore, brothers, make every effort to make permanent your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. (2 Peter 1:10)

An old spiritual says, Hold on, Hold on! If you want to get to heaven let me tell you how, keep your hands on the Gospel plow! Keep your hands on the plow and hold on! Hold on. When you plow that field don’t lose your track, Can’t plow straight and keep a-lookin’ back. Keep your hand on the plow and hold on, Hold on!

Persevere, hold on, don’t let go, keep a inching along like a poor old inch worm. Stay, hold, keep, walk, and don’t look back!

Perseverance is a discipline of discipleship.

Here then are five disciplines of the discipleship. Learn of them and seek them from the Lord. Without them we will surely perish.

 


18 posted on 06/29/2013 10:31:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21 II: Galatians 5;1,13-18


Gospel
Luke 9:51-62

51 When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him;
53 but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?"
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 And they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 But he said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."
62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."


Interesting Details


One Main Point

To be a follower of Jesus, the priority is always the kingdom of God. It supercedes a comfortable life and family relationships without hesitation or regret.


Reflections

  1. What is my reaction when I feel unwelcome in a group, a society or a new land? How do I tolerate diversity? Feel the anger of James and John, but listen to the words and the deed from Jesus.
  2. Imagine the journey of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem as the journey of my life. Do I have a destination? What is it? What is my priority in life? How do I follow the way?

 


19 posted on 06/29/2013 10:37:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
1 Kings 19:16, 19-21
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Luke 9:51-62

The saints judge nations, and rule over people: and the Lord their God shall reign for ever. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright.

-- Wisdom 3: 8; Ps 32:1


20 posted on 06/29/2013 10:41:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

21 posted on 06/29/2013 10:42:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


22 posted on 06/29/2013 10:43:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Information: Protomartyrs of Rome

Feast Day: June 30

23 posted on 06/30/2013 7:30:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Feast Day: June 30

The people we honor today had one thing in common: they gave up their lives for Christ. They were martyred because they were followers of the Lord Jesus.

By the year 64, Emperor Nero's cruelty and abuse of people was too much. When a fire broke out in Rome on July 16, the emperor who was at his seaside villa in Anzio was informed that the blaze was out of control. Instead of returning to Rome immediately, he began composing a song that compared Rome to the burning city of Troy.

The people then realized that the emperor himself was responsible for the fire as he had plans to rebuild the city. The fire raged on for nine days and as two-thirds of Rome lay in ruin, and more than a million people lost their lives, the anger and hatred of the people began to grow.

Nero feared that his people would turn against him and decided to blame the fire on the Christians. By that time, the Jews who were followers of Jesus had begun to separate themselves from the main Jewish community.

Tacitus, a well-known historian, wrote that the Christians suffered cruel deaths. Some were fed to wild beasts while the Romans eagerly watched the sport. Others were tied to posts and burnt alive, becoming human torches at evening banquets while some were used to light the dark Roman streets. Many others were crucified in public places like gardens and the circus.

The exact number of heroes is not known, but their gift of witness as they gladly gave up their lives for Jesus made a lasting impact on the hearts of people. Nero's was the first Roman emperor to torture Christians, but he was not the last.

And the more the Church suffered, the bigger it grew because their faith in Jesus was so strong that they were happy to lose their lives for Him. The martyrs paid this high price so that all who would come after them could also be lead to become Christians and experience the richness of living in the grace and love of God.

Reflection: In our prayer today, we offer thanks to the Father for the martyrs of Rome and ask God to help us live lives that are holy and pleasing to Him.

 


24 posted on 06/30/2013 7:39:12 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 9
51 And it came to pass, when the days of his assumption were accomplishing, that he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem. Factum est autem dum complerentur dies assumptionis ejus, et ipse faciem suam firmavit ut iret in Jerusalem. εγενετο δε εν τω συμπληρουσθαι τας ημερας της αναληψεως αυτου και αυτος το προσωπον αυτου εστηριξεν του πορευεσθαι εις ιερουσαλημ
52 And he sent messengers before his face; and going, they entered into a city of the Samaritans, to prepare for him. Et misit nuntios ante conspectum suum : et euntes intraverunt in civitatem Samaritanorum ut parerent illi. και απεστειλεν αγγελους προ προσωπου αυτου και πορευθεντες εισηλθον εις κωμην σαμαρειτων ωστε ετοιμασαι αυτω
53 And they received him not, because his face was of one going to Jerusalem. Et non receperunt eum, quia facies ejus erat euntis in Jerusalem. και ουκ εδεξαντο αυτον οτι το προσωπον αυτου ην πορευομενον εις ιερουσαλημ
54 And when his disciples James and John had seen this, they said: Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them? Cum vidissent autem discipuli ejus Jacobus et Joannes, dixerunt : Domine, vis dicimus ut ignis descendat de cælo, et consumat illos ? ιδοντες δε οι μαθηται αυτου ιακωβος και ιωαννης ειπον κυριε θελεις ειπωμεν πυρ καταβηναι απο του ουρανου και αναλωσαι αυτους ως και ηλιας εποιησεν
55 And turning, he rebuked them, saying: You know not of what spirit you are. Et conversus increpavit illos, dicens : Nescitis cujus spiritus estis. στραφεις δε επετιμησεν αυτοις [και ειπεν ουκ οιδατε οιου πνευματος εστε υμεις]
56 The Son of man came not to destroy souls, but to save. And they went into another town. Filius hominis non venit animas perdere, sed salvare. Et abierunt in aliud castellum. [ο γαρ υιος του ανθρωπου ουκ ηλθεν ψυχας ανθρωπων απολεσαι αλλα σωσαι] και επορευθησαν εις ετεραν κωμην
57 And it came to pass, as they walked in the way, that a certain man said to him: I will follow thee withersoever thou goest. Factum est autem : ambulantibus illis in via, dixit quidam ad illum : Sequar te quocumque ieris. εγενετο δε πορευομενων αυτων εν τη οδω ειπεν τις προς αυτον ακολουθησω σοι οπου αν απερχη κυριε
58 Jesus said to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Dixit illi Jesus : Vulpes foveas habent, et volucres cæli nidos : Filius autem hominis non habet ubi caput reclinet. και ειπεν αυτω ο ιησους αι αλωπεκες φωλεους εχουσιν και τα πετεινα του ουρανου κατασκηνωσεις ο δε υιος του ανθρωπου ουκ εχει που την κεφαλην κλινη
59 But he said to another: Follow me. And he said: Lord, suffer me first to go, and to bury my father. Ait autem ad alterum : Sequere me : ille autem dixit : Domine, permitte mihi primum ire, et sepelire patrem meum. ειπεν δε προς ετερον ακολουθει μοι ο δε ειπεν κυριε επιτρεψον μοι απελθοντι πρωτον θαψαι τον πατερα μου
60 And Jesus said to him: Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou, and preach the kingdom of God. Dixitque ei Jesus : Sine ut mortui sepeliant mortuos suos : tu autem vade, et annuntia regnum Dei. ειπεν δε αυτω ο ιησους αφες τους νεκρους θαψαι τους εαυτων νεκρους συ δε απελθων διαγγελλε την βασιλειαν του θεου
61 And another said: I will follow thee, Lord; but let me first take my leave of them that are at my house. Et ait alter : Sequar te Domine, sed permitte mihi primum renuntiare his quæ domi sunt. ειπεν δε και ετερος ακολουθησω σοι κυριε πρωτον δε επιτρεψον μοι αποταξασθαι τοις εις τον οικον μου
62 Jesus said to him: No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Ait ad illum Jesus : Nemo mittens manum suam ad aratrum, et respiciens retro, aptus est regno Dei. ειπεν δε ο ιησους προς αυτον ουδεις επιβαλων την χειρα αυτου επ αροτρον και βλεπων εις τα οπισω ευθετος εστιν εις την βασιλειαν του θεου

25 posted on 06/30/2013 10:05:59 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
51. And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52. And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55. But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, you know not what manner of spirit you are of.
56. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

CYRIL; When the time was near at hand in which it behoved our Lord to accomplish His-life-giving Passion, and ascend up to heaven, He determines to go up to Jerusalem, as it is said, And it came to pass, &c.

TIT. BOST. Because it was necessary that the true Lamb should there be offered, where the typical lamb was sacrificed; but it is said, he steadfastly set his face, that is, He went not here and there traversing the villages and towns, but kept on His way straight towards Jerusalem.

THEOPHYL; Let then the Heathen cease to mock the Crucified, as if He were a man, who it is plain, as God, both foresaw the time of His crucifixion, and going voluntarily to be crucified, sought with steadfast face, that is, with resolute and undaunted mind, the spot where He was to be crucified.

CYRIL; And He sends messengers to make a place for Him and His companions, who when they came to the country of the Samaritans were not admitted, as it follows, And sent messengers before his face; and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him.

AMBROSE; Mark that He was unwilling to be received by those who He knew had not turned to Him with a simple heart. For if He had wished, He might have made them devout, who were undevout. But God calls those whom He thinks worthy, and whom He wills He makes religious. But why they did not receive Him the Evangelist mentions, saying, Because his face was as if he would go to Jerusalem.

THEOPHYL. But if one understands that they did not receive Him for this reason, because He had determined to go to Jerusalem, an excuse is found for them, who did not receive Him. But we must say, that in the words of the Evangelist, And they did not receive him, is implied that He did not go into Samaria, but afterwards as if some one had asked Him, He explained in these words, why they did not receive Him. And He went not to them, i.e. not that He was unable, but that He did not wish to go there but rather to Jerusalem.

THEOPHYL; Or the Samaritans see that our Lord is going to Jerusalem, and do not receive Him. For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans, as John shows.

CYRIL; But our Lord, Who knew all things before they came to pass, knowing that His messengers would not be received by the Samaritans, nevertheless commanded them to go before Him, because it was His practice to make all things conduce to the good of His disciples. Now He went up to Jerusalem as the time of His suffering drew near. In order then that they might not be offended, when they saw Him suffer, bearing in mind that they must also endure patiently when men persecute them, He ordained beforehand as a land of prelude this refusal of the Samaritans.

It was good for them also in another way. For they were to be the teachers of the world, going through towns and villages, to preach the doctrine of the Gospel, meeting sometimes with men who would not receive the sacred doctrine, allowing not that Jesus sojourned on earth with them. He therefore taught them, that in announcing the divine doctrine, they ought to be filled with patience and meekness, without bitterness, and wrath, and fierce enmity against those who had done any wrong to them.

But as yet they were not so, nay, being stirred up with fervid zeal, they wished to bring down fire from heaven upon them. It follows, And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, &c.

AMBROSE; For they knew both that when Phineas had slain the idolaters it was counted to him for righteousness; and that at the prayer of Elijah fire came down from heaven, that the injuries of the prophet might be avenged.

THEOPHYL; For holy men who well knew that that death which detaches the soul from the body was not to be feared, still because of their feelings who feared it, punished some sins with death, that both the living might be struck with a wholesome dread, and those who were punished with death might receive helm not from death itself but from sin, which would be increased were they to live.

AMBROSE; But let him be avenged who fears. He who fears not, seeks not vengeance. At the same time the merits of the Prophets are likewise shown to have been in the Apostles, seeing that they claim to themselves the right of obtaining the same power of which the Prophet was thought worthy; and fitly do they claim that at their command fire should come down from heaven, for they were the sons of thunder.

TIT. BOST. They thought it much juster that the Samaritans should perish for not admitting our Lord, than the fifty soldiers who tried to thrust down Elijah.

AMBROSE; But the Lord is not moved against them, that He might show that perfect virtue has no feeling of revenge, nor is there any anger where there is fullness of love. For weakness must not be thrust out; but assisted. Let indignation be far from the religious, let the high-souled have no desire of vengeance. Hence it follows, But he turned and rebuked them, and said, you know not what manner of spirit you are of.

THEOPHYL; The Lord blames them, not for following the example of the holy Prophet, but for their ignorance in taking vengeance while they were yet inexperienced, perceiving that they did not desire correction from love, but vengeance from hatred. After that He had taught them what it was to love their neighbor as themselves, and the Holy Ghost also had been infused into them, there were not lacking these punishments, though far less frequent than in the Old Testament, because the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. As if He said, And do you therefore who are sealed with His Spirit, imitate also His actions, now determining charitably, hereafter judging justly.

AMBROSE; For we must not always punish the offender, since mercy sometimes does more good, leading you to patience, the sinner to repentance. Lastly, those Samaritans believed the sooner, who were in this place saved from fire.

57. And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said to him, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.
58. And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not where to lay his head.
59. And he said to another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60. Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their dead, but go you and preach the kingdom of God.
61. And another also said, Lord, I will follow you; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62. And Jesus said to him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

CYRIL; Although the Almighty Lord is bountiful, He does not grant to every one absolutely and indiscriminately heavenly and divine gifts, but to those only who are worthy to receive them, who free themselves and their souls from the stains of wickedness. And this we are taught by the force of the angelic words, And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said to him, Lord, I will follow you. First indeed there is much tardiness implied in the manner of his coming. It is next shown that he is filled with too great presumption. For he sought not to follow Christ simply as several others of the people, but rather caught at the honor of the Apostleship. Whereas Paul says, No one takes the honor to himself but he that is called of God.

ATHAN. He dared also to match himself with the incomprehensible power of the Savior, saying, I will follow you wherever you go; for to follow the Savior simply to hear His teaching is possible to human nature, as it directs itself towards men, but it is not possible to go with Him wherever He is; for He is incomprehensible, and is not confined by place.

CYRIL; In another respect also our Lord deservedly gives him a refusal, for He taught that to follow the Lord, a man must take up his cross, and renounce the affection of this present life. And our Lord finding this lacking in him does not blame him, but corrects him.

It follows, And Jesus says to him, The foxes have holes, &c.

THEOPHYL. For having seen our Lord drawing much people to Him, he thought that he received reward from them, and that if he followed our Lord, he might obtain money.

THEOPHYL; Therefore it is said to him, Why do you seek to follow Me for the riches and gain of this world, when so great is My poverty that I have not even a place of rest, and take shelter under another man's roof.

CHRYS See how our Lord sets forth by his works the poverty which he taught. For him was no table spread, no lights, no house, nor any such thing.

CYRIL; Now under a mystical signification He applies the name of foxes and birds of the air to the wicked and crafty powers of evil spirits. As if He said, Since foxes and birds of the air have their abode in you, how shall Christ rest in you? What fellowship has light with darkness?

ATHAN. Or herein our Lord teaches the greatness of His gift, as if He said, All created things may be confined by place, but the Word of God has incomprehensible power. Say not then, I will follow you wherever you go. But if you would be a disciple, cast off foolish things, for it is impossible for him who remains in foolishness to become a disciple of the Word.

AMBROSE; Or, He compares foxes to heretics, because they are indeed a wily animal, and, ever intent upon fraud, commit their robberies by stealth. They let nothing be safe, nothing be at rest, nothing secure, for they hunt their prey into the very abodes of men. The fox again, an animal full of craft, makes no hole for itself, yet likes to lie always concealed in a hole. So the heretics, who know not how to construct a house for themselves, circumscribe and deceive others. This animal is never tamed, nor is it of use to man. Hence the Apostle, A heretic after the first and second admonition reject. But the birds of the air, which are frequently brought in to represent spiritual wickedness, build as it were their nests in the breasts of the wicked, and as long as deceit reigns over the affections, the divine principle has no opportunity to take possession.

But when a man has proved his heart to be innocent, upon him Christ leans in some measure the weight of His greatness, for by a more abundant shedding of grace He is planted in the breasts of good men. So then it does not seem reasonable that we should think him faithful and simple, who is rejected by the judgment of the Lord, notwithstanding that he promised the service of unwearied attendance; but our Lord cares not for this kind of service, but only purity of affection, nor is his attendance accepted whose sense of duty is not proved. For the hospitality of faith should be given with circumspection, lest while opening the interior of our house to the unbelieving, through our imprudent credulity we fall a snare to the treachery of others. Therefore that you may be aware that God despises not attendance upon him but deceit, He who rejected the deceitful man chose the innocent.

For it follows, And he said to another, Follow me. But He says this to him, whose father He knew to be dead. Hence it follows, But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

THEOPHYL; He did not refuse the discipleship, but his wish was, having fulfilled the filial duty of burying his father, to follow Christ more freely.

AMBROSE; But the Lord calls those upon whom He has compassion. Hence it follows, And Jesus said, Let the dead bury their dead. Since we have received as a religious duty the burial of the human body, how is it thus that the burial even of a father's dead body is forbidden, unless you are to understand that human things are to be postponed to divine? It is a good employment, but the hindrance is greater, for he who divides his pursuits, draws down his affections; he who divides his care, delays his advances. We must first set abort the things which are most important. For the Apostles also, that they might not be occupied in the office of distributing alms, ordained ministers for the poor.

CHRYS. But what more necessary than the burial of his father, what more easy, seeing that there would not be much time given to it? We are then hereby taught that it becomes us not to spend even the slightest portion of our time in vain, although we have a thousand things to compel us, nay to prefer spiritual things to even our greatest necessities. For the devil watchfully presses close upon us, wishing to find any opening, and if he causes a slight negligence, he ends in producing a great weakness.

AMBROSE; The performance of a father's burial is not then prohibited, but the observance of religious duty is preferred to the ties of relationship. The one is left to those in like condition, the other is commanded to those who are left. But how can the dead bury the dead? unless you here understand a twofold death, one a natural death, the other the death of sin. There is also a third death, by which we die to sin, live to God.

CHRYS. By thus saying, their dead, he shows that this man's father was not his dead, for I suppose that the deceased was of the number of the unbelieving.

AMBROSE; Or because the throat of the ungodly is an open sepulcher, their memory is ordered to be forgotten whose services die together with their bodies. Nor is the son recalled from his duty to his father, but the faithful is separated from the communion of the unbelieving; there is no prohibition of duty, but a mystery of religion, that is, that we should have no fellowship with the dead Gentiles.

CYRIL; Or else, his father was borne down with years, and he thought he was doing an honorable act in proposing to pay the kind offices which were due to him, according to Exodus, Honor your father and your mother. Hence when calling him to the ministry of the Gospel, our Lord said, Follow me, he sought for a time of respite, which should suffice for the support of his decrepit father, saying, Permit me first to go and bury my father, not that he asked to bury his deceased father, for Christ would not have hindered the wish to do this, but he said, Bury, that is, support in old age even till death. But the Lord said to him, Let the dead bury their dead. For there were other attendants also bound by the same tie of relationship, but as I consider dead, because they had not yet believed Christ. Learn from this, that our duty to God is to be preferred to our love for our parents, to whom we show reverence, because through them have we been born. But the God of all, when hen as yet we e were not, brought us into being, our parents were made the ministers of our introduction.

AUG. Our Lord spoke this to the man to whom He had said, Follow me. But another disciple put himself forward, to whom no one had spoken any thing, saying, I will follow you, O Lord; but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at home, lest perchance they look for me as they are wont.

CYRIL; Now this promise is worthy of our admiration and full of all praise, but to bid farewell to those who are at home, to get leave from them, shows that he was still somehow divided from the Lord, in that he had not yet resolved to make this venture with his whole heart. For to wish to consult relations who would not agree to his proposal because one somewhat wavering. Wherefore our Lord condemns this, saying, No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. He puts his hand to the plough who is ambitious to follow, yet looks back again who seeks an excuse for delay in returning home, and consulting with his friends.

AUG. As if he said to him, The East calls you, and you turn to the West.

THEOPHYL: To put one's hand to the plough, is also, (as it were by a certain sharp instrument,) by the wood and iron of our Lord's passion, to wear away the hardness of our heart, and to open it to bring forth the fruits of good works. But if any one, having begun to exercise this, delights to look back with Lot's wife to the things which he had left, he is deprived of the gift of the kingdom to come.

GREEK EX. For the frequent looking upon the things which we have forsaken, through the force of habit draws us back to our past way of life. For practice has great power to retain to itself. Is not habit generated of use, and nature of habit? But to get rid of or change nature is difficult; for although when compelled it for a while turns aside, it very rapidly returns to itself.

THEOPHYL; But if the disciple about to follow our Lord is reproved for wishing even to bid farewell at home, what will be done to such as for no advantage-sake frequently visit the houses of those whom they have left in the world?

Catena Aurea Luke 9
26 posted on 06/30/2013 10:06:25 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Christ with disciple


27 posted on 06/30/2013 10:07:10 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

I would be grateful for help with the above. It appears to be Coptic with Greek letters, and the style is Coptic. Can anyone identify the disciple, or the provenance, or decipher the inscription?


28 posted on 06/30/2013 10:12:28 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
I got it from here, but it is not identified other than as "friendship in Christ".
29 posted on 06/30/2013 10:14:26 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem

Rembrandt van Rijn

1630
Oil on panel, 58,3 x 46,6 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

30 posted on 06/30/2013 10:15:50 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Christ in the Desert

Viktor Chemso

98 x 114 cm. 1994

31 posted on 06/30/2013 10:16:52 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Catholic Almanac

Sunday, June 30

Liturgical Color: Green Today is the optional memorial of the
First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.
They were followers of Sts. Peter and Paul.
When Nero burned Rome, the
blame fell on them. Many were burned
alive while others were crucified or
thrown to wild animals.

32 posted on 06/30/2013 2:40:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Someone just pointed out to me that I didn't ping you to the Mass thread. Sorry!

Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 

33 posted on 06/30/2013 2:47:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: June 30, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Beef with Peppers

ACTIVITIES

o    Why Celebrate the Liturgical Year?

PRAYERS

o    Blessing of Travelers

Ordinary Time: June 30th

Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

"As they were going along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head (Luke 9:57-58).'" Today, Jesus calls us to follow him as he makes his way toward Jerusalem, where the mystery of death and rebirth is to be accomplished to follow these requires wholehearted commitment, the commitment of love. Nothing less is fit for the reign of God.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from 1 Kings 19:16; 19-21. We have here an account of the call of Elisha to the prophetic office.

The second reading is from Galatians 5:1; 13-18. In this reading, St. Paul tells the Galatians that they were called for freedom. He then makes an important distinction that needs to be reiterated often in our world, and that is the distinction between freedom and license. St. Paul says "do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love." Many people seem to have the idea that freedom is all about doing what I want, when I want, how I want, etc. This is not freedom, but license. License is selfish, the opposite of the love to which St. Paul exhorts us.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 9:51-62. Among the various incidents gathered together by Luke in these verses of his gospel we have read today, perhaps the lesson that should strike all of us most is his insistence on total dedication on the part of his true followers to his service. We cannot be for Christ and against him at the same time. "He who gathers not with me. scatters," he himself said. We are followers of Christ since our baptism. In theory this is the fact, but in practice how real is this fact for many of us? Are we really following Christ during the twenty-four hours of every day of our lives? Are our eyes always fixed on the true future which awaits us? Are we prepared to plow a straight furrow no matter what snags or obstacles may be on our way? How few of us can answer "yes, we are," to these straight questions?

We have, of course, explanations ready at hand for our forgetfulness, our laxity, our earthly entanglements. We are tied down by family and a hundred other earthly cares. Our days, our weeks, our year are so fully occupied that we fmd it hard to spare even a short hour on Sundays to give to God. This answer shows a misunderstanding of what Christ demands of us. He knows his followers must live for a few years in this world and must, for the most part, struggle to earn a living for themselves during that period. But it is by living this earthly life properly, by being loyal to spouse and family, by earning one's living honestly, by living not only peacefully but helpfully with one's neighbors, that we are living our Christian life.

The man who keeps within the limits that Christian law lays down for him, while working his way through this life. is a true follower of Christ and is on the road to heaven, plowing a straight furrow. He may not have much time for prayer, and each morning he may rush off to work. But God understands half-sentences and even single words. At night he needs recreation and relaxation. and God does not expect long prayers from him—if he has worked honestly and has given the example of true Christianity to his fellow-workers, he has honored God all day. He has prayed well. A few words of thanks to God, a request for pardon for all the mistakes made since morning, before lying down to sleep at night, will give such a man nothing to fear should God call him to judgement during the night hours.

If we only realized how reasonable God's demands are, and how every demand he makes on us is for our own benefit and not his, we would be a little more generous in our. response to his calls. He does not need us—we need him. We could slip in a few more short prayers during the day: we could find more time to take a true interest in the eternal and less in the temporal. We could manage to give a helping hand and a word of encouragement to a needy neighbor. Yes, all of us could do a lot more to show to Christ and to the world that we are following him gladly and honestly. We are not looking back while plowing our Christian furrow.

Excepted from The Sunday Readings, Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


34 posted on 06/30/2013 2:57:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 9:51-62

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:60)

If you ever listen to popular love songs, you’ll find a lot of exaggeration. You hear lines like “I’d give the moon if it were mine to give.” “I’m gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky.” “My love is deeper than the deepest ocean.” But behind all of this fanciful imagery, there is something very real. Even if they are speaking only out of infatuation or love at first sight, these lovers are saying that they would do anything for their beloved.

That’s what Jesus is asking of his disciples here. He is looking for something much deeper than mere infatuation. He wants us to be as deeply in love with him as he is with us. The young man who asks to go home and bury his father is not wrong. But Jesus is trying to show him that anyone who experiences God’s radical, passionate love will become equally radical in response—to the point where everything else is secondary.

So when we read these words, we shouldn’t think of Jesus as a harsh, demanding taskmaster who is out to take away all we hold dear. Rather, he is a lover, wooing us with something more desirable than anything on this earth—himself. As God told Israel once, “I will espouse you to me forever … in right and in justice; in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity” (Hosea 2:21-22).

Today is a good day to ponder how deeply God loves you. He may not send you flowers or buy you diamond rings, but he delights in giving you even better and longer-lasting gifts. He has gone so far as to give you his very life—all so that he could be with you for all eternity. So in your prayer today, picture Jesus sitting next to you. See the love in his eyes, and know that he will never leave you. He has such wonderful plans for your life. How can you not want to follow him?

“Lord, I am captivated by your grace and mercy. Your love is beyond imagining! I surrender all to you, because your love is better than life!”

1 Kings 19:16, 19-21; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11; Galatians 5:1, 13-18

 

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. In the first reading, Elisha followed God’s inspiration in spite of what the costs might be. We are often afraid of following God because we think he will ask too much of us. We even use it as an excuse not to try. What are the “small things” God is asking of you that you have been struggling to carry out? What steps can you take to be more responsive to God’s call on your life?

2. God our Father is not a demanding taskmaster. He is full of love and kindness toward you. The responsorial psalm says he promises us “fullness of joys” and “delights”. How do you view God the Father—as a loving, kind, and merciful Father or as a demanding taskmaster? Why should having the correct image of our heavenly Father be a source of “joy” and “delight” to you and to others?

3. In the letter to the Galatians, St. Paul asks us to “serve one another through love.” What practical steps can you take to respond to God’s call by serving your brothers and sisters in Christ in your parish and in your community?

4. The Gospel reiterates a point from the first reading, i.e., obeying God’s call to follow his will rather than our own. In practice, however, we often act as if God needs to accommodate himself to what we have already decided. What are some things you can do allow God, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to become more involved in your decision-making? For example, how often do you pray and ask God to reveal his will prior to making an important decision, rather than just quickly deciding on your own?

5. The meditation, reflecting on the story in the Gospel reading from Luke, reminds us that “The young man who asks to go home and bury his father is not wrong. But Jesus is trying to show him that anyone who experiences God’s radical, passionate love will become equally radical in response—to the point where everything else is secondary.” What are the obstacles in your life that get in the way of your experiencing “God’s radical, passionate love”? What steps can you take to overcome them?

6. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to experience more deeply his great love for you, and the grace to respond to his great love by surrendering your whole life to Him. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.

 

 


35 posted on 06/30/2013 3:31:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

HE SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM

 (A biblical reflection on the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time [Year C] – June 30, 2013)

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:51-62 

First Reading: 1Kings 19;6,19-21; Psalms: Ps 16:1-2,5-11; Second Reading: Gal 5:1,13-18 

The Scripture Text

When the days drew near for Him to be received up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem. And He sent messengers ahead of Him, who went and entered aq village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him; but the people would not receive Him, because His face was set toward Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do You want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.” To another He said, “Follow Me.” But He said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow You, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.  (Lk 9:51-62 RSV) 

The life of Jesus was a journey through this world until He finally returned to heaven. The good news for us is that heaven if the goal of our pilgrimage too. It is an end well worth the cost of singleminded dedication and detachment.

As Jesus’ mission on earth drew to a close, “He set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51). In Jerusalem, which symbolizes the entirety of God’s plan, both old and new, Jesus accomplished the Father’s will by His death, resurrection, and ascension (Lk 9:31). As a result of Jesus’ obedience, the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Kingdom of God advanced throughout the world.

Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem, determined to fulfil His Father’s plan for Him. He turned His back on everything that would prevent Him from accomplishing God’s will. He had faith that the Father was His inheritance, His chosen portion and cup (Ps 16:5). Therefore, He surrendered His life to His Father. Jesus knew that there was “fullness of joy” in the Father’s presence – that in His “right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Ps 16:11).

Like Jesus, we too must set our faces toward Jerusalem. To glorify the Father as Jesus did means we also will undergo suffering and persecution as He did. We can take courage, however, because Christ has overcome the world (Jn 16:33) and in Him we too overcome. To be victorious in Christ, we are called to accept the Father’s will and follow Jesus without reservation.

Following Jesus requires that we surrender ourselves to Him and place our security in Him alone. Jesus relied only on the Father for His security and thus had “nowhere to lay His head” in this world (Lk 9:58). Like Jesus, we need to put aside everything and preach the Kingdom of God: “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God” (Lk 9:60). Finally, we cannot look back to the past but need to look forward to the future. One who plows does not look back to see if his furrows are straight (Lk 9:62). With hope and expectation, we keep our eyes fixed on God, trusting in His sovereignty and having confidence that His plan will be fulfilled in us.

These proverbs are reflections on what is required to be a disciple of Christ. Jesus calls us not to “save” our lives, but to sacrifice them as well as all our worldly treasures for Him, just as He did for the Father. In so doing, we will find fullness of life and know that God is our inheritance.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, open our eyes to the majesty of our heavenly home. May this vision compel us forward as we seek Jesus, the pearl of great price. Jesus, we want to be with You forever! Amen.


36 posted on 06/30/2013 3:44:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Marriage = One Man and One Woman Til' Death Do Us Part


Daily Marriage Tip for June 30, 2013:

Although our culture does not always support it, Scripture tells us that Sundays are a day of rest. Despite your “To Do List,” save time to recreate and rest with your beloved today.


37 posted on 06/30/2013 4:19:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

The Cost of Discipleship

Pastor’s Column

13th Sunday Ordinary Time

June 30, 2013

 

          This Sunday’s gospel finds Jesus “turning his face resolutely toward Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51-59), meaning that he had a rendezvous with the cross, and was determined to go through with it. So this is what is on Jesus’ mind as we are presented with three encounters with prospective individuals who wish to follow Christ. Let’s see what Jesus said.

          First, a man comes up to Jesus, all excited! He is willing to follow Jesus anywhere! This man represents any of us who are riding high on emotions in following Jesus!  Jesus, in fact, is on his way to the cross. Does this man realize this? Jesus says, “Not so fast! Do you realize that I don’t even have a place to sleep that is my own?”  A real follower of Jesus is not promised an earthly “comfort zone” , but instead will be periodically led to situations, like Jesus, that only the Holy Spirit can guide us through.  A follower of Jesus will be asked to live in the divine providence of the daily moment. Our lives are filled with both joy and crosses too.

          Next, it is Jesus who takes the initiative and calls someone to follow him.  What an offer to receive! Does this man understand how fortunate he is?  Does he realize how many countless individuals would give anything to be in his place?  “Lord,” he said, “I will follow you; but let me first go and bury my father.”  In actuality, this man’s father was probably not dying at all.  What he was actually saying was that he would come and follow the Lord at a later time of his own choosing, without realizing, of course, that it was now or never. Jesus did not have long to live, and this opportunity would never come again for this man.  Sometimes it appears as though Jesus asks more of us than we are prepared to offer, and these are often the moments of our greatest opportunity if only we would recognize them.

          There are certain times in every life in which opportunities are presented to us that require immediate action and great courage. Some opportunities really never do come again.  The point that Jesus is making is that when we reach a crucial moment (and often only the Holy Spirit can enlighten us about these times), if that moment is missed, the thing most likely will never be done at all.

          A third man appears who is indeed willing to follow Christ, but who also wants to say goodbye to his family at home.  Jesus’ answer may sound harsh to us: “no one who looks back after putting his hand to the plow is fit for the kingdom of God.”   Here Jesus is teaching us another spiritual principle: someone plowing a field must keep their eyes forward. If they plow while turning their head backward, the field will be plowed crooked.  For that matter, how can a person drive a car if all they do is look in the rearview mirror!  And, of course, it is the same with us: once we say yes to Christ, we always look forward, never in the mirror with regrets about lives left behind.

                                                                                                Father Gary


38 posted on 06/30/2013 4:27:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Scripture Study

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

June 30, 2013

 

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21

Psalm: 16:1-2,5,7-11

Second Reading: Galatians 5:1, 13-18

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:51-62

 

QUESTIONS:

 

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 557, 544

 

Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world which passes like a shadow. Do not let the false delights of a deceptive world deceive you.

                                                                                                  -St. Clare of Assisi


39 posted on 06/30/2013 4:43:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

The Present State of Things

 

Civil or Sacramental?

 

(An attempt to throw my hat in the ring of a very crucial issue)

 

It is an undeniable fact, that no matter how “functional or dysfunctional” (pardon the psych language) any one family may be, if one member of that family has a problem or reaches a level of success, every member of that family feels its effects.  

 

For example, imagine one member of that family wins the lottery. Every member of that family will be affected by that one member’s win.  It is assumed the Father of the family would spread his wealth around for the benefit of everyone.

 

If one member is sick, perhaps seriously ill, every member is likewise touched by that illness.  If it were a parent, the children have a responsibility to care for the aging or infirmed parent in some way. At such a stressful time the values, morals and ethics of a family come in to play.  

 

If one member has an addiction with alcohol or one parent is unfaithful to their spouse, it isn’t just that one spouse who is hurt or the one person whose life is threatened by over consumption of whatever addiction is present – it’s every member of that family who feels the affect.

 

We are not islands apart from each other blissfully enjoying our own individual lives.  We are social creatures whose very human development is based upon human contact and regular interaction.  We cannot put our heads in the sand ostrich style and just assume that the concerns of my brothers and sisters have no effect on me. They do.

 

To say that changes in public policy have no effect on those who do not agree with that policy, our case in point, “marriage equality” rights, is not correct. What happened with our Supreme Court the other day giving a green light to continue the redefinition of marriage and family as humankind has always known it, touches all of us. It has changed our culture and the perceptions of citizens. We are at a point where there is likely no going back.

 

That drastic cultural shift changes the culture with a never before imagined construct that strikes at the heart of human relationship – the family and parenting. Pope Francis when Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aries, Argentina in 2010 said it clearly: "Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” Powerful words indeed.  

 

As culture changes so also do the perceptions and agreement of its citizens but it begs the phrase: “Just because it’s legal does not mean it’s right.”  This attempt to redefine marriage sets up a shift in truth that is essentially a lie. The union of two persons of the same gender is not marriage as the Church understands the intent of God for humanity and it never will be. That defies the voice of the Church, in its counter-cultural message of the Gospel and creates a new challenge for all believers.  

 

In this culture in which the rights of the individual are paramount over the common good, our culture, the human family, has been and will continue to be effected by the power of the few.  

 

The push for same-sex “marriage” really has everything to do with the popular culture. This effort to change the culture of prevailing society is, seems to me, more of a social experiment.  It is an experiment that has never been tried before and we have no idea what its effect will ultimately be.  It is not a place the Church wants to or even can go because it flies in the face of all we hold dear – the sacramental life of the Catholic Church and the faith life of other religious organizations that see marriage as we do, not to mention the threat to the very fabric of human society.

 

The green light given by the American Supreme Court which failed to stand up in defense of marriage as it has been since humans were given a memory once again reinforces the truth that the official voice(s) of the Catholic Church are pretty much dismissed and ineffective on the secular culture stage.  If words change culture, then no one is effectively listening to the words of the Church in a serious sort of way. The reason why it seems to me the Church has lost its’ effective voice on culture is not the fault of the Bishops.  Their voice(s) are courageous, clear, articulate, passionate, and inspiring.  

 

The reason why is because the other competing voices are louder, more in-your-face, richer, flashier, intolerant, judgmental, impatient, and they have the power of the secular media through radio, television, the internet, and a host of other contacts in schools and universities that have drowned out that of our Church leaders. So, what are we to do?

 

The position of the faith community has nothing to do with bigotry or being anti-gay.  That’s a smoke cloud being successfully spread. It has everything to do with what we as Catholics call the sacrament of matrimony.  Our language speaks of vocation, covenant, holiness, God’s intention, gift and grace, the extension of the ministry of Christ.  No one in the Church claims that we invented marriage and that we are vociferously defending our creation.

 

God created marriage and family life and it all began in the Garden of Eden. While the forms of marriage have varied over the centuries in the sense of reasons why a man and woman entered married life, the very nature of it hasn’t.  Royal couples would marry for political and economic reasons, not necessarily for love. Likewise many marriages were arranged for the benefit of the bride and the relationship of the families involved. Marriage for love is a relatively new reason but obviously a very good one.

 

Yet, the nature of the marriage covenant is based in both scripture and tradition and that has created a Catholic culture for all those in the Church.  The wider culture in which the Church finds itself now speaks a different language and poses a different understanding. It wasn’t always that way in the day when the voice of faith and the Catholic Church in particular was more respected and welcome in the dialogue.  

 

Now it seems the ultimate aim is to silence the Church all together. However, the more achievable aim is to simply ignore the voices of faith and marginalize those opinions -to speak with a voice that is louder, flashier, and more in line with popular fad. What can we do? Of all that has been written this week, I found one suggestion very attractive that has been heard before but maybe now is the time to think seriously about it.

 

It’s time the line is drawn in a way that the Church accepts its’ mission as a witness to the truth revealed to humanity by God. The secular government can call “marriage” whatever it wants to but we as a people of faith don’t want anything to do with that. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are maybe an alternative but it’s clear that is not the agenda. The legal union of two persons of the same gender is not marriage in the Christian sense.

 

We as a Catholic Church want out. We seek a divorce from our requirements for a couple to obtain a legal marriage license from the state before they marry in the Church. We will perform marriages in our Churches, in that sacred setting where God and humanity meet in sacred worship – where we will protect marriage and families as intended by God.

 

If you want to be married in the Church we offer the Sacrament of Matrimony to all opposite sex couples who seek such.  With all the expectations that the Church hopes for all married in the Church we offer no legal rights, privileges or tax advantages.  That’s the business of the State.  If you want that for your marriage, then you deal with the secular government in that regard.  We offer the Gospel of Christ and the preservation of the truth.  If you simply want to be married then any Court House or Judge can provide that for you.

 

It is not at all out of the realm of possibility that the government will demand, on the basis of non-discrimination, that if a same-sex couple want to be married in our Churches we would be legally required to do so.  Thereby, we are coerced in violation of our religious principles, our scriptures, our tradition and our conscience.  If we do not do so, the Church would be penalized.  However, if we have no requirement for a couple to produce a legal marriage license, then we are free to administer marriage according to our sacramental beliefs.

 

Finally, I believe that this may be a challenge from God; a work of the Spirit through divine toleration which now calls the Church and individual Catholics to re-examine their Catholic faith.  In particular all couples who entered a valid, sacramental marriage in Christ must ask themselves what it means for them to be a Catholic couple. How have they shared the life of faith with their children? What does it mean for all of us to truly be Catholic in a world that is both tolerant and hostile? How can I as a person married in the Church or whatever vocation I have embraced and living the life of faith as a Christian man and woman find holiness in my marriage or other vocation? How can we as a community of faith and love affect the culture around us in a way that will change minds and hearts to reconsider the divine proposition of the Gospel?

 

And so it goes on. Feel free to comment and have your say: 

Fr. Tim


40 posted on 06/30/2013 4:52:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Insight Scoop

The mission of the prophets and the resolution of the Messiah

 

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for June 30, 2013, the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21
• Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
• Gal 5:1, 13-18
• Lk 9:51-62

“I’m on my way!” “We’re on our way!”

These are common enough expressions, and we know their meaning. They indicate movement, purpose, resolution. We’ve uttered them many times, with anticipation, or with anxiety.

Jesus, we hear in today’s Gospel reading, was “on the way.” The days for his “being taken up” had been fulfilled, and so “he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.” A more direct translation is that “he hardened his face to go”. This language is meant to evoke connections with the prophets, especially Ezekiel: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries; prophesy against the land of Israel…” (Ezek. 21:2; RSVCE). Jesus sent messengers ahead, reminiscent of God sending messengers before Moses and the people (Ex. 23:20).

The journey to Jerusalem was, in other words, a prophetic mission and the concrete realization of a new Exodus—not from Egypt, but from sin, death, and separation from God. Jesus was resolute and unflinching in this decision, by which “he indicated that he was going up to Jerusalem prepared to die there” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 557). Some have suggested or insisted that Jesus, in going to Jerusalem, did not really know of his approaching death, but was acting with naïve optimism or blind faith.

However, as we heard last week, Jesus told his disciples that he would suffer, be rejected by the religious leaders, killed, and raised on the third day (Lk. 9:22). What the prophets of the Old Testament sometimes saw in startling glimpses, Jesus saw with calm clarity: his mission was to liberate mankind from the slavery of sin and the curse of death by being the sinless, sacrificial Lamb of God. And as the Holy One journeyed to the holy city, he encountered rejection, opposition, confusion, and even fervent promises—the same reactions he still encounters today. 

The Samaritans, whose harbored strong hostility toward the Jews, did not welcome him, apparently because he journeyed to Jerusalem and not Mount Gerizim, the site of their temple (cf. Jn. 4:20). Jesus did not fit their concept of a prophet or messiah, and so they rejected him. Of course, the Pharisees and scribes also rejected him for the same reason, and the similarities (and irony) of this fact was likely not lost on St. Luke’s first-century readers.

Jesus then encountered three men who got a taste (and give us a clear picture) of the demands of discipleship. It is easy to say to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go,” but keeping such promises is far more daunting than making them. Another asked to be given time to first bury his father; a third wished to first say goodbye to his family.

Was Jesus insensitive to familial responsibilities and hardships? No, said St. Basil the Great, but “a person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honorable it may appear, if it slows us ever so slightly in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.” Jesus recognized that these men, well intentioned and fervent as they may have been, were like those who “receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial” (Lk. 8:13).

As St. Frances de Sales wrote, in Treatise on the Love of God, “…we receive the grace of God in vain, when we receive it at the gate of our heart, and not within the consent of our heart; for so we receive it without receiving it, that is, we receive it without fruit, since it is nothing to feel the inspiration without consenting unto it.” Contrast that with the newly selected prophet, Elisha. Called by God, he asked permission to say farewell to his family. Rebuffed by Elijah, he literally sacrificed his old life, recognizing that following God requires going all the way.

His actions said, “I’m on the way.” What do our actions say?

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the June 27, 2010, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


41 posted on 06/30/2013 5:03:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Choosing Between Two Goods
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father Matthew Kaderabek, LC

Luke 9: 51-62

When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village. As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "(Lord,) let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." (To him) Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I wish to put aside all distractions and to give you my total focus. I will do nothing more important today than to meditate prayerfully on your goodness and your active role in my life. Though I am unworthy to be in your presence, I trust in your mercy and love. Through this moment of prayer I want to draw closer to you and learn to live more like you.

Petition: Lord, may the enticements of the world pale in comparison with you.

1. Only One Thing Is Necessary: Temptation is a choice between good and evil. But sometimes what is harder than making the choice between these two opposites is choosing between two goods. Such is the situation in which the would-be disciples in today’s Gospel passage find themselves. In such cases, we could say that a good occasionally becomes the enemy of what is best. Sometimes we need to say no to a good option in order to embrace the one thing necessary. In today’s Gospel, as well as in tomorrow’s, we encounter people who might have become Christ’s close followers, who might have even been chosen to be one of his Apostles, but who were held back by other concerns or motives. Is my own heart open to Christ and his ways or do I lack detachment in some area of my life?

2. Patriotism Must Come Second: The first incident is the encounter between the messengers of Jesus and the Samaritan villagers. It is likely that the Samaritan villagers had heard of Jesus the miracle worker and were anxious to see a sign or to hear him preach. But the concern that holds them back and keeps them from following Jesus is their patriotism. The Samaritans and the Jews had been bitter enemies for centuries and systematically avoided all unnecessary contact with each another. When they learned that Jesus and his disciples were Jews and were headed for Jerusalem, their interest became opposition. We would have to agree that patriotism and devotion to the national cause are both good things in themselves. But when nationalism or ethnic sentiments become the eyes through which one sees all reality, including spiritual and eternal reality, one is in danger of losing the proper perspective.

3. Once You Have Set Your Course, Don’t Look Back: Let us consider the man who wants to follow Jesus, but wants to go and say farewell to his family first. We cannot help but feel that we would have done the exact same thing as this would-be disciple. Didn’t our parents teach us when we were young to inform them about when we were leaving the house and when we would be back, and where we were going, and with whom? This man has high social and family values. One could only hope that all men could be this sensitive to let their families know their whereabouts at all times. Yet, before the urgent call of the Kingdom of God, social and family concerns take a back seat. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am distracted by so many things in life. Even though many of them are legitimate, I must learn to keep my eyes focused on you and trust in you. Half-way surrenders do not interest you. You want all of my heart. Help me to give it to you willingly and joyfully.

Resolution: I will recommit to living wholeheartedly for God today, even though certain members of my family are likely to call me a “fanatic” or tell me that I’m “getting carried away.


42 posted on 06/30/2013 5:27:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 29, Issue 4

<< Sunday, June 30, 2013 >> 13th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
1 Kings 19:16, 19-21
Galatians 5:1, 13-18

View Readings
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Luke 9:51-62

Similar Reflections
 

PLOW-SHARE

 
"Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen." —1 Kings 19:19
 

Elijah called Elisha to become his disciple while Elisha was plowing. This is not an insignificant detail. When Jesus called one of His disciples, He spoke of discipleship as putting one's hands to the plow (Lk 9:62). Being a disciple is like plowing. Disciples have the power to break up hard ground and hard hearts in a hard, hardened, and hardening world. Without the disciples' plowing, there won't be much of a harvest, no matter how much seed is sown and no matter how much work is done.

Jesus, before His Ascension, commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). This entire world needs to be plowed and then sown and harvested. We will never win the world for Christ until we plow the world for Christ. Therefore, Jesus' disciples must start plowing and keep plowing without looking back, or they are unfit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62).

Plowing is hard work with hard ground, and the first field we must plow is the field of our own hardened hearts. Repent and plow! Prophesy and plow! Pray, preach, and plow! Work, suffer, and plow! Love, die, and plow! Be a disciple; make disciples; plow!

 
Prayer: Father, as the sweat pours down my brow, may I plow and keep my eyes straight ahead, focused on You.
Promise: "The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed." —Gal 5:17
Praise: Alleluia! "Mighty are You, O Lord, and Your faithfulness surrounds You" (Ps 89:9).

43 posted on 06/30/2013 5:31:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank You


44 posted on 06/30/2013 6:26:09 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Salvation

Thank you


45 posted on 06/30/2013 6:55:31 PM PDT by Scarlet7
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To: All
Life Jewels Life Jewels (Listen)
A collection of One Minute Pro-Life messages. A different message each time you click.

46 posted on 06/30/2013 8:29:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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