Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last day in August

Colossians 1:1-8; PS 52 I trust in the mercy of GOd forever; Lk 4:38-44

Tomorrow we welcome the month of September. We pray it is a little cooler and lot more wetter. August has been a beast.
Here I am on the last day of August and I find myself sick.

ANd I must confess, i am such a weenie when it comes to being sick. I just Mom. At 35, you would think i would have moved on, but all I want is her chicken noodle soup.

But, I am in cuero and have been sleeping most of the day with a pounding in my head. I long for tomorrow, though I know I should stop and find God in the presence of this summer flu.

After all, Jesus reveals is power and authority over health and well being primarily to the sick in the gospel. He got right where he needs me, on my knees growing in my awareness of my limitations and weakness.


Which brings me to the first reading today. St. Paul writes, "we always give thanks to God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for the holy ones because of the hope reserved for you in heaven."

For the sake of the hope in heaven, for the sake of things promised by Christ, Paul continued response is one of gratitude.

Regardless of the circumstances, sick or healthy, laid off or employed, emotional wreck or stable, thanksgiving is the only response that is appropriate for the gift that awaits.

Now we get the the gospel. " JEsus enters the house of Simon, and Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them."

What a great gospel for my current state of sickness. Earlier this morning as I was lying in bed trying to stop the pounding in my head and the soreness in my throat, the doorbell rang here at the rectory.

I didn't get up to answer it. Perhaps it was JEsus coming to rebuke my fever and I let slide.

What beautiful reading though. They all interceded with Jesus to go and cure Simon's mother-in-law. This means that Simon must have really loved his mother-in-law. Secondly, it reminds us of our role as those who are called to intercede to Jesus on behalf of those who are in need.

We are warriors of intercession. We should never lose sight of that and never give up on that very important role we have received as belonging to the mystical body of Christ.

Which reminds me, pray on and when i get better i'll wait on you.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Thessalonians 4:13-18//Jeremiah 1:17-19; Ps 71 I will sing your salvation; Mk 6:17-29

What a gross feast we celebrate! The beheading of John the Baptist.

Really! Is this really a feast we celebrate in the church? The answer of course is yes. And what a feast it is.

John the Baptist the precursor to Christ, the one who comes to make JEsus known as the "lamb of God" loses his head over a dance.

But it wasn't the dance of the girl that cost him his head. No, rather it was the dance he chose to make with truth and love.

John the Baptist did not mess around when it came to the truth in love. He had the courage to call it as it was.

"John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."

ANd because of this honesty in love, Herod "harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so."

John refused to sell out, knowing full well the consequences of the decision to speak the truth in love. The cost was high but he knew love was only love in truth.

John the Baptist could be the patron of true love.

What's the point of having a head if true love was to be denied.

When was the last time we sold out? When was the last time we spoke the truth about sin in our life or the life of others? John valued the truth even over his life. I know many, especially parents, who are willing sell out the truth for the sake of their relationship with their children.

How often have parents allowed their children to enter in to unlawful unions and kept their mouth shut?

How often have we kept our mouth closed and denied the truth with out silence. John had a mouth and was not afraid to use it. Though he used it wisely to serve the truth.

It isn't gross at all that we celebrate this feast, but what is gross is how the mother in the gospel uses her daughter.
Talk about bad parenting!

That is sickening. How perverse!

"Herodias' own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted HErod and his guest. The king said to the girl, "ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you." He even swore many things to her, "I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom. She went out and said to her mother, "what shall I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."

Some parents should never be parents. And some parents just don't get it. This mother made it about her and her lifestyle and used her daughter to further her own agenda. How tragic! How so like our modern society.

Rather then face the truth, She wanted to get rid of the truth sayer. Sounds a lot like our society. But once the truth is spoken it remains echoing in the air. The truth is, it can never be denied. But our task is to speak it.

True love is worth losing our head over.
Speak up, be truthful in love, and let your head roll

Friday, August 26, 2011

This is the will of God

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Ps 97 Rejoice in the Lord, you just; Matthew25:1-13

Again we turn our attention to the first reading today. St. Paul continues his address to the young and vibrant community of Thessalonica.

He continues to seek to inspire and motivate.

Boy, don't we need this daily. Don't we need to be motivated and inspired on a regular basis. Could we not use a boost, and perhaps a little more than just a c up of coffee or a 5 hour energy drink.

St. Paul once again cuts through the unnecessary and zeroes in on the one thing that is essential:

"we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God...This is the will of God, your holiness."

There it is, the center and heart of the entire letter. This is the will of God, your holiness. Conduct yourselves to please God.

There are a lot of people pleasers in the world. They seek to displease no one. For the most part they are a little flighty and annoying.

But how many people do yo know seek to please God and stand on that no matter the circumstances. These people are also annoying sometimes, but it is the best kind of annoyance. We should all be annoying in this way.

Holiness awaits us all. IT is both an invitation to a new life but also an exhortation to live the whole life differently.

This is what makes a saint a saint. They do the same thing we do, but they do it a little differently.
Holiness means to be different, to be unlike the rest.

In the gospel, the wise ones were those that came prepared. They were holy. Holiness demands that we stay awake, be alert. Holiness also is that which keeps us alert and attentive.

It is God's will for us.

Today, be holy, be different, be unlike the rest. Stand out from the crowd, let them see you please God in the way you conduct yourself.

Don't wait to be motivated, but let your life motivate others.
This is holiness!

St. Joan Elizabeth Mary Lucy Bichier pray for us

Thursday, August 25, 2011


1 Thessalonians 3:7-13; Ps 90 Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy; Matthew 24:42-51

We have turned our attention to the community of Thessalonians. In this letter we are encountering Paul's message to the community after Timothy had reported to him what has been going on since Paul's departure.

Paul tell us "that is why I sent to find out about your faith when I could no longer stand the suspense, fearing the tempter had put you to the test and all our labor might have gone for nothing. But now, since Timothy had returned to us from you reporting the good news of your faith and love...we have been consoled."

Paul is uplifted by the report he received from Timothy. Paul is encouraged because the faith of the Thessalonians continues to be strong.

Think about that for a moment. When is the last time we have been consoled by the faith of someone else. We spend a lot of time focusing on making sure people have food, and clothing and shelter and financial security and rightly so. But when is the last time we zeroed in on the faith they profess, the faith they possess?

When is the last time we spoke the words of Paul, "the good news of your faith and love...we have been consoled."

Paul's focus is only on things that matter most of all, those things that have true consequences.

In verse 8 he tell us, "we shall continue to flourish, only if you stand firm in the Lord."

We all want to flourish, yet do we equate flourishing with standing firm in the Lord?

Paul ends this section of the letter with the following prayer of hope and encouragement, "May the Lord increase you and make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love does for you. May he strengthen your hearts, making them blameless and holy before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones."

This is the same sentiment of the psalm for today, "Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. ANd may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands!"

Flourishing and prosperity both seem to be equated with standing firm in the Lord. You got to stand for something, why stand for the one who stood firm for us all!

St. Louis pray for us.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today we celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew, one of the original apostles. Bartholomew is belived to have been skinned alive, martyred.

The question to ask is why? Why would he embrace such an ordeal? Why would he allow himself to be killed in such a fashion, when he could have avoided it all by simple saying the word?

Why the risk? Why the offer? Why die in such a manner?

One could ask that of any and all martyrs: why?

PErhaps becasue thay were persuaded. The persuasion of the cross and the resurrection was overwhleming.

This is why they embraced life and death. St. Bartholomew refused to save his own skin becasie he was won over by the power of persuasion of the Christ who was crucified and who was risen from the death.

There is no greater persuasion then the cross of Christ to move the will, to direct the heart, to empower us to stand fast even in the mist of trial and persecution.

Have yo been persuaded?

Or do you still seek to save you own skin?

Philip told Nathanael aka Bartholomew "we have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son if Joseph, from Nazareth."

He is found, are we?

St. Bartholomew pray for us!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

World youth Day MAdrid 2011

I am off to Madrid. Myself and three other priest along with 27 pilgrims are joining 450,000 who will meet in Madrid for the 25th world youth day.

We seek to encounter Christ in the living vessels of faith who come from all over the world. We go to be planted in faith firm in Christ.

Please pray for all who travel that this will truly be a grace filled event and christ will be experienced and God will be glorified.

We leave tomorrow morning from houston at 10 am and head to Miami from their to Madrid then off to Valencia where we will be for 4 days and then we shall converge like fire on Madrid for 7 days of faith filled festivities.

Here is a bit from Pope BEnedict:

"Today, I renew this call to the new generation, to give testimony with the meek and luminous strength of the truth, so that the men and the women of the third millennium don't lack the most authentic model: Jesus Christ."

To know Christ and make him known is the essence of pilgrimage.

May we all carry the torch and shine forth.

how to save a life in preparing for death

Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Dt 23 The portion of the Lord is his people; Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

"Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you he will never fail you or forake you."

Moses bids farewell to the israelites as he prepares for death. What a beautiful way to die, giving encouragement even as death comes.

How often I have seen people fight death and struggle against that reality. Yet, it is. Death comes for all of us. How we live today determines how we shall embrace death when it comes.

SHould we not let Moses be our guide.

Should we not spend our life encouraging others so that when our time arrives we too shall have the strength to surrender, to step aside, to embrace that Gondola that shall take us to life everlasting, not with fist of fighting but with palms of praise, "For I will sing the Lord's renown" as the psalm tells us this morning.

Be encouraging in faith today. Prepare for yourself for Death.

Moses saves lives by his faithfulness and encouragement even as he prepares for death.

Today we also remember Teresa Benedicta of the cross, Edith Stein. Edith Stein was a Jewish convert to Christianity who late became a Carmelite Nun. She was arrested along with all other jews and jewish converts to Christianity after the Dutch bishops renounced the Nazi regime. She was led along with the others to Auschwitz where she was killed in the gas chambers.

There are two saints we remember this month who died in Auschwitz, St. Teresa Benedicta (Aug 9) of the cross and St. Maximillian Kolbe (AUg 14).

Today we stop to remember that tragedy, that mark against humanity. We pray for our world that we never go down that path again.

Here are a few words from Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

"To suffer and to be happy although suffering,
to have one's feet on the earth,

To walk on the dirty and rough paths of this earth and yet
To be enthroned with Christ at the Father's right hand,

To laugh and cry with the children of this world
And ceaselessly sing the praises of God with the choirs of angels

This is the life of the Christian until the morning of eternity breaks forth.
"- E.S.

Words from the Pope:

"If I listen to the Lord and walk with him, I become truly myself. What counts is not the fulfilment of my desires, but of his will. In this way life becomes authentic.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Deuteronomy 10:12-22; Psalm 147 Praise the lord, Jerusalem; Matthew 17:22-27

As we continue to read Moses' farewell address in the book of Deuteronomy, it is important to remember that Moses is trying to instill in their hearts and minds the beauty of what God has done for them. He is trying to get them to remember, to recall, to let the past events soak in to their hearts and minds so that as they move forward they do so with courage and fidelity.

HE does this in a large part because many of those who experienced the saving power of God were no longer with them. The generation that witness God's saving help had perished in the desert and the new generation was unschooled in God's ways.

Moses is trying to instill in these young hearts and young minds who God is and what he expects and how to live a life of honor.

This is the context of the words of Deuteronomy. Moses the great teacher is trying to pass on the knowledge and the faith, the reality of God who is alive.

Thus, we encounter these words today, "And now Israel what does the Lord, your God, ask of you but to fear the Lord, your God and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord, your God with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and statues of the Lord which I enjoin on you today for your own good? Think! The heavens, even the highest heavens, belong to the Lord, your God,a s well as the earth and everything on it. Yet in his love for your fathers the Lord was so attached to them as to choose you, their descendants, in preference to all other peoples, as indeed he has now done...."

Direct your attention to one little word in the above saying of Moses: THINK!

Think! What a novel idea. In other words, Moses invites them to let reality direct their lives. Life must be about what is real. It is an invitation to keep it real. Reality is about being chosen by God. This is where life becomes abundant.

In my previous assignment, the principal of the school had a sign on her desk. Every time anyone would sit in the desk they would be faced with this little acronym: T.H.I.N.K.

T->Is it true
H->is it helpful
I->is it inspiring
N->is it necessary
K->is it kind

The first part determines the rest. IS it true. Is it real. Only then can life begin to flourish.

This is why Moses invites the new generation to THINK!

IT is certainly not a bad place for us to start as well. When we lose sight of reality then we are lost in insanity. Moses wants them to remain sane and what is sanity but God's election and God's love.

So today, stop and THINK! Be BLessed.

St. Dominic pray for us.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Basilica of Mary Major

Deuteronomy 4:32-40; Psalm 77 I remember the deeds of the Lord; Matthew 16:24-28

Today we commemorate the dedication of Saint Mary Major, one of the four major basilicas in the Eternal City, Rome: St. Peter's, St. Paul outside the walls, St. John Lateran, and St. Mary Major (Maggiore).

This is the oldest church dedicated to the honor Mary's divine motherhood as taught at the council of Ephesus, Mary is the mother of God (Jesus is both God and man).

As the St. Cyril of Alexandria put it, In Mary, the "servant is asked to become his mother." The creature is elevated by the grace of giving birth to open from whom all things were created, Jesus himself, both human and divine.

The servant is asked to become His mother...What a thought for today. How humble is our God who lets his creatures partake in the mystery of salvation. God does not save us with out us.

IS this not what charity is about. It is greater charity to let others participate in charity, to let others also participate in giving.

Even God doesn't do things by himself. He lets his humble creatures participate so that the mystery of redemption can unfold.

How often do we want to do things by ourselves? How often have told people that we do not what someone else's charity?

But in the end , is this not what we celebrate? We have received someone else's charity. We have been allowed to share in the charity of salvation offered in Christ, not as a mere spectator but as a full participant as the Mary becomes the Blessed Mother of our Lord and Savior.

Mary when she says yes, steps in to the batters box and swings away. She fully and actively particpates in salvation history. We too are called to swing away. We cannot be spectators in the life of grace.

What honor we have received from God. Mary is the model of how to live a life of faith. This is why this Basilica is so important.

CLick here for a virtual tour of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. What a beautiful sight to behold!

In the words of Moses from today's reading, "Ask now of the days of old, before your time, ever since God created man upon the earth; ask from one end of the sky to the other: Did anything so great ever happen before? Was it ever heard of?..."

The gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary as mother of God is truly more amazing then anything that has ever gone before!

Words from Pope Benedict

"Mary's Motherhood, which began with her "fiat" in Nazareth, is fulfilled at the foot of the Cross. ALthough it is true-as St. Anselm says-that 'from the moment of her fiat Mary began to carry all of us in her womb'..."

As the mother of Christ, she is our mother also. Oh! What a beautiful mother she is!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cure D'Ars

Numbers 20:1-13; Psalm 95 If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Matthew 16:13-23

Before we get to St. John Vianney, Cure D'Ars, a quick glance at Moses in the first reading.

As I remind you, over the past few weeks we have been following the ISraelites on their Journey through the desert from Egypt in hot pursuit of the promised land.

Through this journey the people have rebelled and complained and grumbled against God and Moses. It seems with every turn of the page from Exodus to Deuteronomy, there is someone group wanting to have Moses head.

Moses as been exceptional through it all. He has not lost his cool, as they say, except for today.

Moses lets the people get to him. Listen to his response after God instructs him to bring water from the rock for the Israelites and the livestock, "Listen to me you rebels!"

Moses has found his breaking point. Rather than instructing the rock to give water he strikes it twice with anger and bitterness on his heart.

Thus, God is displeased, "because you were not faithful to me in showing forth my sanctity before the children of Israel, you shall not lead this community into the land I will give them."

This place is known as the "waters of Meribah, where the children contested against the Lord and where the Lord revealed his sanctity."

Meribah means the place of quarrels. Notice that it is in this place of contention and quarreling that God chooses to reveal his sanctity.

Where are our waters of Meribah in our life. where are he springs of contention and hostility toward God and the leaders he has sent to guide us? Pause to day and invite God to reveal his sanctity in that place of dispute so that your heart might be refreshed with his living waters, his spring of life.

Also, learn from Moses. Bitterness and anger can keep us fro showing forth the sanctity of God. We must always get a grip on ourselves so that we do not grab at God's people.


Today is the feast of John Vianney, the patron priest of parish priest.

John Vianney said that the life of a Christian boils down to simply praying and loving. He understood that a christian could not love if he/she did not pray. It was prayer that stretched the capacity of the human heart to love as we ought so as to fulfill our vocation in life.

St. John Vianney made a point to sanctify each hour, every hour with a simple prayer. EVery time the clock would strike a new hour, he would pause and reflect and give thanks to God who gave him more time and then he would pray, "Blessed be God, courage my soul, time is passing eternity approaches, may I live as I hope to die. BLessed be the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God."

Thus, he prayed on the hour, every hour and in praying his little heart became stretched to love as he ought and thus revealed the sanctity of God. May it be so with us.

John Vianney, pray for us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

take the next step

today's readings revisted

Another look at the story of the Israelites in the desert. Here they are at the edge of the promised land. They can see it, smell it, and almost taste it.

they have experienced God's presence guiding them through the worst of times, like with the Egyptians. They know he has fought with them, in them and through them and for them.

Yet, the prospect of the "giants" that loom in the future paralyzes them.

All God expects form them is to take the next step forward. He is not askign them to tackle the "giants' immediately; he is not asking them to solve all the problems immediately.

He simply wants them to take the next step.

Yet the unknown is has afflcited them and had darkened the known reality that God is with them, they do not go alone.

This is what God expects from us. He simply wanst su to take the next step no matter the "giants" that linger head.

The unknown is. But what is known is greater. Jesus says, "I will be with you always until the end of the age."

This is what makes the woman in the gospel so faith filled and worthy of praise. Despite the hardships, despite the rejection, she keeps stepping forward.

O what faith. IS this not how we live? We live one moment at a time, one step in front of the other.

scraps from God and feast of faith and heavenly treats

Numbers 13:1-35; Psalm 106 Matthew 15:21-28

Moses sends a small exhibition on a journey to reconnoiter the promised land.
They went to check things out.

When they came back they told the group what they found. tTings were both pleasing and challenging.

Caleb, was positive and faith filled. He had a strong sense that there was no challenge that could not be overcome with God's aid and strength, "We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so."

Notice, Caleb doesn't say it was going to be easy. HE just simply noted that it could be done.

Now the others with Caleb, however, as scripture tells us, "spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel about the land they had scouted."

They not only were discouraging but it seems they exaggerated a bit as well, "it is a county that consumes its inhabitants...all the people are huge men, veritable giants..."

"At this the whole community broke out with loud cries, and even in the night the people wailed."

Perhaps we all have experienced the power of negative thoughts and discouragement. How quickly do we let others get us down! How quickly we get overwhelmed by the challenges in our life only to be left with cries and wailing!

Rather, than trusting the power of God to see us through the challenges that lie head we give up and give in. God wants us to be real and move forward. Yet, how often we trust in our own understanding rather then allowing God to lead on.

We must always check those negative vibes and discouraging words and interject a faithfulness that leads us onward.

Hear the words of JEsus to the woman in the gospel, "O Woman great is your faith!"

This is what God desires from us. We must put our faith in action and allow it to drive out the negative and discouraging forces we encounter daily in life.

Rather than give up and give in why not simply gibe it over to God and keep moving forward.

When discouraging thoughts or words come, just simply raise your eyes upward and repeat the words of the woman in the gospel, "even the the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters."

Even the scraps of God are a feast of faith are heavenly treats

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Numbers 12:1-13; Psalm 51 BE merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned; Matthew 14:22-36

"Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman. They complained, "Is it through Moses alone that the Lord speaks? Does he not speak through us also?"

Interesting to note that Moses' family became jealous of Moses. Perhaps they were upset that when Moses called the elders to share in the burden of tending and guiding the people, Miriam and Araon themselves were not included.

PErhaps they presumed because they were so close to Moses they would be the obvious choice for the job. PErhaps they were beginning to despise Moses because of the attention he was getting. It seemed they were seeking their self in love. IT seemed they were wanting to make it about them rather than about God's call.

In their jealousy, they spoke against Moses, the one God had chosen to lead his people. Speaking against Moses, the one God had chosen, was speaking against God himself who had chosen and called Moses forth.

Their issue wasn't with Moses but rather with God.

Hear the words of God as he speaks to Aaron and Miriam, "Why, then did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?"

How often do we get caught up in complaining against the people God has chosen to lead his people? How easy is it to see the man or woman that stands before us and fail to recognize the one who called them forth?

IT happens to all of us. This reading invites us to remember that God is the one who calls. God is the one who equips.
When we speak against the person we also speak against the God who calls.

Now this is not to say we can't be critical but we must be critical in a way that builds up and encourages, thus allowing the one called to truly become empowered to lead and to guide.

Now, obviously not all people are called by God. There are some impostors out there. We must search diligently and test continually to discern the difference between who God had called and who simply chose to do their own thing. Lord, knows when it comes to "ministers" especially , every Tom, Dick, and Harry think they have the right and calling to preach and guide.

Many of whom simply got their ministerial license from the internet. Not all who say they have the calling are called. Be careful. Be discerning. Be gentle.

Examine yourself today. Check any jealous bones. Make sure your words are warm and tender to day, we may have to eat them tomorrow. Miriam and Aaron found out the hard way.


Tuesday: meditation based on St. Peter Julian Eymard Eucharistic life and going before the Tabernacle to make a Holy hour

Who Is There?

He who is there is the same Jesus who in the Garden of Olives, seeing in advance each one of us, wept for our miseries and suffered for our sins. The God who carrying his Cross, thought of us, and who suffered and died for each one of us.

Why Is Jesus There?

Jesus is there that we may find him who is our help in dangers and temptations. He is there to lift us after we have fallen, to offer us his love, and the courage we need.

What Does Jesus Do In The Host?

Let us remember that for each one of us and at each moment, by his abasement Jesus in the Host offers reparation to the Divine Majesty, for the revolts of our pride by his poverty, for our want of detachment and by his privations for our impatience, our indifference, and our daily faults.

What Does Jesus In The Host Wish?

He wishes that we should go to him like the sick in Judea and show him our soul and all its miseries. That we should abandon ourselves to him, and come and purify ourselves, in the Holy Sacrifice, strengthening ourselves at the Holy Table.

Of What Does Jesus In The Host Remind Us?

He reminds us that our hearts, made for God can have no satisfaction except in him, that we shall be restless until we find him, that he is in the Tabernacle to answer to this need of our hearts, to give himself to us and to bring us peace.

What Does Jesus In The Host Teach Us?

To remember that if he chose to be despised and humiliated, it was to teach us that we are wrong when we seek, above all else, the approbation of man. That what we call honor and respect are of no value before him: all that is needful is to love and serve him.

What Does Jesus In The Host Ask Of Us?

Let us not forget that Jesus accepts the abasement of his Host, the decay of his Temples and the want of care and respect on the part of those who surround him, that we may learn to imitate him by depriving ourselves of unnecessary things, and if he desires it, to accept even the privation of things necessary.

Monday, August 1, 2011

union of wills

Numbers 11:4-15; Ps 81 Sing with Joy to God our Help; Mt 14:22-36

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
He was born in the 17th century and lived most of his life in the 18th century. He is the founder of the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer or the Redemptorist.

His given name at birth was Alphonsus MAry Anthony John Francis Cosmas Damian Michaelangelo Gaspar Liguori. His Parents wanted to makes sure he had enough patron Saints to intercede for him. They didn't want to leave anything to chance.

Considering how children are named today, perhaps a few more patron saints thrown in the mix wouldn't be a bad idea.

St. Alphonsus spent his life seeking to conform himself to the will of God.

"Perfection is found entirely on the love of God: 'Charity is the bond of perfection and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God's. The principle effect of love is so to unite the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same things."

"everything we do should be directed to this one end: to do the will of God and to do it solely for the reason that God wills it."

His advice for us is that every time we say the "Our Father" we should make a notable pause at the words "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

This notable pause will deep our attentiveness to God will and our desire to surrender our life with more docility.

Thus, St. Alphonsus says, is the path way to saintliness.
If you look at today's first reading from the book of numbers, once again we find the people of Israel grumbling against God. They are complaining about God gift of manna that he sent to nourish them.

The people of Israel keep living in the past and refuse to move forward. Now here is a thought for us. God's will is always right now.

Their complaining has driven Moses to the edge, the brink. Listen to his words to God as recorded in the book of numbers, "If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face this distress."

Moses isn't playing around. He is definitely fed up with the bickering and bitterness and complaining. He is ready to leave it all behind.

Who of us hasn't been here a time a or two in our life?

The honesty by which most prays is refreshing. God appreciates a little honesty in our prayer. Honesty in prayer offers us a release and truly invites us to speak to God as the Father he is.

If you go to your bible and open up the book of numbers 11:16 you get the response God makes to Moses.

God doesn't scold him or berate him. He simply offers a solution and thus gives him his care and mercy.

"Assemble for me seventy of the elders and authorities among the people...I will come down and take some of your spirit that is on you and will bestow it upon them that they may share the burden of the people with you. You will then not have to bear it by yourself."

What a gift. God chooses to send others to help moses carry the load.
We don't have to carry our burden alone. What a novel idea. What a gift of grace. How beautiful!

Be good and say your prayers.