St. Mechtildis: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 31, 2024

Benedictine abbess and miracle worker. She was the daughter of Count Berthold of Andechs, in modem Bavaria, Germany. The count and his wife, Sophia, founded a monastery on their es­tate at Diessen, Bavaria, and placed Mechtildis there at the age of five. She became a Benedictine nun, and then abbess. In 1153 the bishop of Augsburg placed her in charge of Edelstetten Abbey. Mechtildis was revered for her mystical gifts and miracles. She died at Diessen on May 31.

Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Pt 2:2-5, 9-12

Beloved:
Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk
so that through it you may grow into salvation,
for you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises
of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Once you were no people
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy
but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners
to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul.
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles,
so that if they speak of you as evildoers,
they may observe your good works
and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2c) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him;
bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Alleluia Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Take Courage and Get Up / ¡Animo! Levántate

Bartimaeus, a blind man, sat by the roadside begging; as Jesus was passing by he yelled out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”  This may sound familiar to anyone who knows the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”  The Didache Bible (Ignatius Press, p. 1335) refers to this passage from Mark’s Gospel as “a marvelous instruction on prayer.”

When we look at this blind beggar, we see several characteristics to be emulated in our own lives:

    • A strong faith
    • Persistence in prayer
    • Practice and participation in the faith
    • Drawing nearer to Jesus
    • Acknowledging Jesus as Messiah
    • Bold confidence in Christ
    • Undeterred by anyone’s attempts to hush his voice as he sought Jesus 

Bartimaeus knocked on the heart of Jesus. He asked for mercy, for the Lord’s pity, and his prayers were heard; the door was opened and his eyes were as well. He experienced the healing power of Christ in his life!

The Word Among Us referred to this passage in Mark’s Gospel as “the perfect profession of faith.” The man, unable to see with his eyes, had clear vision of heart. He opened himself up for healing, and we can do the same when we put our faith and trust in the goodness of God. When we ask Jesus for His loving mercy upon us, we may not see physical healing but we can be assured of spiritual healing. 

This encounter is an allegory of our own faith journey. We too can be cured of our spiritual blindness until our life with Him becomes more clear. It may take several attempts sometimes to be who God created us to be; there is a reason the spiritual life is often compared to a journey. But we too must first yell out to Jesus to have mercy on us, then be open to his movement of that mercy in our lives. Though we may want to do it figuratively if we are in Mass or Adoration,  if alone, we can feel free to speak our desires with bold confidence as Bartimaeus did.

What do you seek to have your eyes opened to? Jesus’ touch, more important than any temporary physical healing, brings healing and strength to a broken heart or a fragile faith.  Just as the people encouraged Bartimaeus, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you,” I encourage you to do the same.  What will you tell Jesus you need? Where do you seek his mercy, pity, and compassion in your life?  

May we all hear these comforting words from Jesus, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

And may they inspire us to follow ever closer to Him with a renewed heart and clear vision!

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Bartimeo, un hombre ciego, estaba sentado al borde del camino pidiendo limosna; Al pasar Jesús, gritó: “Jesús, hijo de David, ten compasión de mí”. Esto puede resultarle familiar a cualquiera que conozca la Oración de Jesús: “Señor Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, ten piedad de mí, un pecador”. La Biblia Didache (Ignatius Press, p. 1335) se refiere a este pasaje del Evangelio de Marcos como “una maravillosa instrucción sobre la oración”.

Cuando miramos a este mendigo ciego, vemos varias características que debemos emular en nuestras propias vidas:

    • Una fe fuerte
    • Persistencia en la oración
    • Practicar y participar en la fe
    • Acercarse a Jesús
    • Reconocer a Jesús como Mesías
    • Confianza audaz en Cristo
    • No dejarse intimidar por los intentos de nadie de silenciar su voz mientras buscaba a Jesús

Bartimeo le tocó al corazón de Jesús. Pidió misericordia, la compasión del Señor, y sus oraciones fueron escuchadas; La puerta se abrió y sus ojos también. ¡Experimentó el poder sanador de Cristo en su vida!

La Palabra Entre Nosotros se refirió a este pasaje del Evangelio de Marcos como “la perfecta profesión de fe”. El hombre, incapaz de ver con los ojos, tenía la visión clara dentro del corazón. Se abrió a la curación y nosotros podemos hacer lo mismo cuando ponemos nuestra fe y confianza en la bondad de Dios. Cuando le pedimos a Jesús su amorosa misericordia para con nosotros, es posible que no seamos sanados físicamente, pero podemos estar seguros de la sanación espiritual.

Este encuentro es una alegoría de nuestro propio camino de fe. Nosotros también podemos ser curados de nuestra ceguera espiritual hasta que nuestra vida con Él se vuelva más clara. A veces puede ser necesario hacer varios intentos para llegar a ser la persona que Dios nos creó ser; Hay una razón por la que la vida espiritual a menudo se compara con un camino. Pero nosotros también debemos primero gritarle a Jesús que tenga misericordia de nosotros, y luego estar abiertos a su movimiento de esa misericordia en nuestras vidas. Aunque es posible que queramos hacerlo figurativamente si estamos en Misa o Adoración, si estamos solos, podemos sentirnos libres de expresar nuestros deseos con audacia y confianza como lo hizo Bartimeo.

¿A qué buscas que se te abren los ojos? El toque de Jesús, más importante que cualquier curación física temporal, trae curación y fortaleza a un corazón quebrantado o a una fe frágil. Así como el pueblo animó a Bartimeo: “¡Ánimo! Levántate, porque él te llama”, te animo a que hagas lo mismo. ¿Qué le dirás a Jesús que necesitas? ¿Dónde buscas su misericordia, pena y compasión en tu vida?

Que todos escuchemos estas reconfortantes palabras de Jesús: “Vete; tu fe te ha salvado”.

¡Y que nos inspiren a seguirlo cada vez más cerca de Él con un corazón renovado y una visión clara!

Comunicarse con la autora

Allison Gingras ( www.ReconciledToYou.com ) — Shares her love of the Catholic Faith with stories, laughter, and honesty as experienced in the ordinary of life! Her writing includes Encountering Signs of Faith (Ave Maria Press) and the Stay Connected Journals for Women (OSV). Allison is a Catholic Digital Media Specialist for Family Rosary, Catholic Mom, and the Fall River Diocese. She hosts A Seeking Heart podcast and is co-host of the Catholic Momcast podcast.

Feature Image Credit: Greyerbaby, pixabay.com/photos/girl-pretty-outdoors-portrait-358771/ 

The views and opinions expressed in the Inspiration Daily blog are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Diocesan, the Diocesan staff, or other contributors to this blog.

Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Pt 1:18-25

Beloved:
Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious Blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished Lamb.
He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

Since you have purified yourselves
by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love,
love one another intensely from a pure heart.
You have been born anew,
not from perishable but from imperishable seed,
through the living and abiding word of God, for:

“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers,
and the flower wilts;
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Mk 10:45

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:32-45

The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, “We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

What Will You Leave Behind to Follow Christ / ¿Qué Dejarás Atrás Para Seguir a Cristo?

** This reflection was reposted from Diocean Archives.**

I had a lot of crazy things to bemoan during my teenage years. Most were embarrassing or even downright stupid, such as: smoking, swearing, skipping school, driving too fast, bullying the poor boy that sat in front of me in math class. The world meant everything; I wanted my peers to embrace me as I worked toward acquiring the latest and greatest material things. It feels as if my entire teenage years were spent trying to fit into some specific group or place.

While perhaps these activities are typical at that age, they were still dangerous, absolutely awful, and in the end, downright sinful.  Yet, I didn’t care; I suffered from an earthly, misguided tunnel-vision.  I worried only about what I could see, without a thought beyond this realm or of the eternal consequences of my behavior. Leaving it all behind to follow Jesus never entered my mind; that life seemed dull and hollow—if it was even real.

In my teens, I longed for what was below. I cared what other people thought of me. I sought acceptance and approval from my peers, whatever the cost. It was an incredibly egocentric period, yet ironically a time filled with uncertainty and insecurity. 

My dreams included marrying someone rich but also being rich and famous myself. I read Cosmo and Tiger Beat magazines and strived to look as model-like as possible and judged and scorned those who did not. At parties, I sought the most popular people to impress and joined the ridicule of those not in that group. My validation of worth came from the world’s view, and being someone of significance in the eyes of family and friends, even strangers, enveloped my whole being.

I wish I could look back at my life and say these thoughts and behaviors remained a part of my immature teenage self, but alas, that is not so. Gossip, judging others, making poor choices to belong to a particular crowd would follow me throughout most of my life until I discovered the Truth. Joy came when I was finally willing to be last and strive toward heavenly rewards. 

Through Tradition and Scripture, I learned that there is more, much more, beyond this earthly dwelling place, and finally allowed what is above to matter more than this world. This renewing of my mind was not easy and came with many tears, regrets, and painful confessions. Yet, it was not impossible, and the freedom and hope I now feel striving not to belong to the world are by far more amazing than anything I attempted to attain here below.

As you think about your current state of life, can you say you are more concerned with the things of Heaven? Are you rooted in the things of earth? Could you leave them behind to follow Jesus?

Contact the author


 

** Esta reflexión fue publicada nuevamente desde los Archivos de Diocesan.**

Lamentaba muchas locuras durante mi adolescencia. La mayoría eran vergonzosos o incluso francamente estúpidos, como fumar, decir malas palabras, faltar a la escuela, conducir demasiado rápido, intimidar al pobre niño que se sentaba en frente mío en la clase de matemáticas. El mundo lo significaba todo; Quería que mis compañeros me aceptaban mientras trabajaba para adquirir las últimas y mejores cosas materiales. Es como si pasara toda mi adolescencia tratando de encajar en algún grupo o lugar específico.

Si bien estas actividades tal vez sean típicas de esa edad, seguían siendo peligrosas, absolutamente horribles y, al final, francamente pecaminosas. Sin embargo, no me importaba; Sufría de una perspectiva puramente terrenal y equivocada. Me preocupaba sólo por lo que podía ver, sin pensar más allá de este ámbito o de las consecuencias eternas de mi comportamiento. Nunca se me pasó por la cabeza dejarlo todo atrás para seguir a Jesús; esa vida parecía aburrida y vacía, si es que fuera real.

Durante mi adolescencia, añoraba lo que había debajo. Me importaba lo que otras personas pensaran de mí. Busqué la aceptación y aprobación de mis compañeros, cueste lo que cueste. Fue un período increíblemente egocéntrico, pero, irónicamente, una época llena de incertidumbre e inseguridad.

Mis sueños incluían casarme con alguien rico pero también ser rica y famosa yo. Leía las revistas Cosmo y Tiger Beat y me esforzaba por parecer lo más posible como un modelo y juzgaba y despreciaba a quienes no lo hacían. En las fiestas buscaba a las personas más populares para impresionar y me unía al ridículo de aquellos que no estaban en ese grupo. La validación de mi valor provenía de la visión del mundo, y ser alguien importante a los ojos de familiares y amigos, incluso extraños, consumía todo mi ser.

Desearía poder mirar hacia atrás en mi vida y decir que estos pensamientos y comportamientos se quedaron atrás en mis años de adolescente inmaduro, pero, por desgracia, no es así. Los chismes, juzgar a los demás y tomar malas decisiones para pertenecer a un grupo en particular me perseguirían durante la mayor parte de mi vida hasta que descubrí la Verdad. La alegría llegó cuando finalmente estuve dispuesto a ser el último y luchar por las recompensas celestiales.

A través de la Tradición y las Escrituras, aprendí que hay más, mucho más, más allá de esta morada terrenal, y finalmente permití que lo de arriba me importar más que este mundo. Esta renovación de mi mente no fue fácil y vino acompañada de muchas lágrimas, arrepentimientos y confesiones dolorosas. Sin embargo, no era imposible, y la libertad y la esperanza que siento ahora al esforzarme por no pertenecer al mundo son mucho más asombrosas que cualquier cosa que intenté lograr aquí abajo.

Al pensar en tu estado de vida actual, ¿puedes decir que estás más preocupado por las cosas del Cielo? ¿Estás arraigado en las cosas de la tierra? ¿Podrías dejarlos atrás para seguir a Jesús?

Allison Gingras ( www.ReconciledToYou.com ) — Shares her love of the Catholic Faith with stories, laughter, and honesty as experienced in the ordinary of life! Her writing includes Encountering Signs of Faith (Ave Maria Press) and the Stay Connected Journals for Women (OSV). Allison is a Catholic Digital Media Specialist for Family Rosary, Catholic Mom, and the Fall River Diocese. She hosts A Seeking Heart podcast and is co-host of the Catholic Momcast podcast.

Feature Image Credit: Alexander Ramsey, unsplash.com/photos/woman-walking-along-pathway-during-daytime-f8nHGR0kOqA

The views and opinions expressed in the Inspiration Daily blog are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Diocesan, the Diocesan staff, or other contributors to this blog.

Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Pt 1:10-16

Beloved:
Concerning the salvation of your souls
the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours
searched and investigated it
investigating the time and circumstances
that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated
when it testified in advance
to the sufferings destined for Christ
and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you
with regard to the things that have now been announced to you
by those who preached the Good News to you
through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven,
things into which angels longed to look.

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly,
and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Like obedient children,
do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance
but, as he who called you is holy,
be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,
for it is written, Be holy because I am holy.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Alleluia See Mt 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Is Jesus Foremost in Your Life? / ¿Jesús es lo Más Importante en tu Vida?

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear that Peter said to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.”

Jesus responded and said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age.”

Let us put ourselves in the place of Peter and the Apostles. Think about all they gave up for Jesus. They gave up jobs. Some gave up family and friends. They gave up their safety. And nearly all of them gave up their lives. Throughout the three short years that Jesus walked with them and taught them, they got to know him. They watched him perform miracles. They understood his heart. And they truly believed that he was the Son of God.

If they did not believe this, then after his death, they would have gone back to their normal lives. They certainly would not have given up their lives for someone who was just a man. No, they knew he was God.

Today, God asks that we put him first in our lives. He asks that we have no idols before him. Idols can be anything from money to material goods to vices to social media.

Do we spend more time on TV or on our phones than we do in prayer? Do we skip Mass because we are too busy or because there’s a game on that we want to watch instead? Do we forgo building our relationship with Christ because we are focused on the things of this world?

God doesn’t ask us to totally give up all material things or pleasurable times, but he does ask us to put him first. And if we truly knew him, we would want to! So we have to ask ourselves, Do we really know our Lord? 

Think about it this way. When we really know a good friend, we want to spend time with that person. We do things to make them happy. We go out of our way to brighten their day. It should be the same with God. So let us vow today to put him first in our lives and to make time for him every day. And not just the few sleepy moments before bed, but quality time—our first fruits. 

There are lots of ways we can do this. Get up ten minutes earlier each day. Take a break at lunch. Turn off the radio in the car and pray. Go on a daily walk and talk to God. Read the Bible. If we want to improve our relationship with him, we will set aside time each day to do so. 

Look at all Christ gave up for us. What will you give up for him?

Contact the author


En la lectura del Evangelio de hoy, escuchamos a Pedro decirle a Jesús: “Señor, ya ves que nosotros lo hemos dejado todo para seguirte”.

Respondió Jesús y dijo: Yo les aseguro: Nadie que haya dejado casa, o hermanos o hermanas, o padre o madre, o hijos o tierras, por mí y por el Evangelio, dejará de recibir, en esta vida, el ciento por uno”.

Pongámonos en el lugar de Pedro y de los Apóstoles. Piensa en todo lo que renunciaron por Jesús. Renunciaron a sus puestos de trabajo. Algunos renunciaron a familiares y amigos. Renunciaron a su seguridad. Y casi todos ellos renunciaron a sus propias vidas. A lo largo de los tres cortos años que Jesús caminó con ellos y les enseñó, llegaron a conocerlo. Lo vieron realizar milagros. Entendieron su corazón. Y realmente creyeron que él era el Hijo de Dios.

Si no hubieran creído esto, después de su muerte habrían vuelto a su vida normal. Ciertamente no habrían dado sus vidas por alguien que fuera sólo un hombre. No, sabían que él era Dios.

Hoy, Dios nos pide que lo pongamos en primer lugar en nuestras vidas. Pide que no tengamos ídolos delante de él. Los ídolos pueden ser cualquier cosa, desde el dinero hasta los bienes materiales, los vicios y las redes sociales.

¿Pasamos más tiempo en la televisión o en nuestros teléfonos que en oración? ¿Decidimos faltar a la misa porque estamos demasiado ocupados o porque hay un partido que queremos ver? ¿Dejamos de mejorar nuestra relación con Cristo porque estamos enfocados en las cosas de este mundo?

Dios no nos pide que abandonemos por completo todas las cosas materiales o los momentos placenteros, pero sí nos pide que lo pongamos a él en primer lugar. Y si realmente lo conociéramos, ¡vamos a querer hacerlo! Entonces tenemos que preguntarnos: ¿Realmente conocemos a nuestro Señor?

Piensalo de esta forma: cuando realmente conocemos a un buen amigo, queremos pasar tiempo con esa persona. Hacemos cosas para hacerla feliz. Hacemos todo lo posible para alegrarle el día. Lo mismo debería ser con Dios. Así que, hagamos es compromiso hoy de ponerlo en primer lugar en nuestras vidas y dedicarle tiempo todos los días. Y no sólo los pocos momentos de sueño antes de acostarse, sino un tiempo de calidad, los primeros frutos.

Hay muchas maneras en que podemos hacer esto. Levantarse diez minutos más temprano cada día. Tomar un descanso durante el almuerzo. Apagar la radio en el carro y rezar. Salir a caminar diariamente y hablar con Dios. Leer la Biblia. Si queremos mejorar nuestra relación con él, dedicaremos un tiempo cada día para hacerlo.

Mire todo lo que Cristo entregó por nosotros. ¿A qué renunciarás por él?

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Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 19 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Thirteen of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the executive editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program—an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students. You can reach her at slochner0.wixsite.com/website.

Feature Image Credit: Gustavo García, cathopic.com/photo/9300-christ-carrying-the-cross

Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Pt 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet you believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of faith, the salvation of your souls.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 111:1-2, 5-6, 9 and 10c

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”

He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Having Riches vs Being Rich / Tener Riquezas o Ser Rico

I’m sure that you recognize today’s Gospel reading. It’s a story about a rich man who came up to Jesus and asked about his salvation. First of all, this is not a parable. It’s something that actually happened. It is repeated in another Gospel.  It is real. This is a very interesting story that ends in sadness. I have always wanted to change the ending, but unfortunately I can’t.

The man was rich and had many possessions. Some translations say he had much property. When he asked Jesus what he should do, Jesus named the commandments given to Moses. The man replied that he had kept them all. Then Jesus commanded him to sell all he had and give to the poor. 

Did you notice that Jesus did not start with the two most important commandments? Jesus reads hearts. If we were to take this story and bring it forward to today, what would it look like? At first glance the man appears to be a very devout believer. And I’m sure that all his friends believed that he was. 

I was raised in a home that told me if you had a lot of money you were successful. I carried that thought for many years. I decided that I would climb the ladder of success and make some good money. I was told I should be an engineer, but after my first year In college I decided that wasn’t  where I wanted to go. I changed my curriculum to secondary education. Have you ever noticed that young adults that work their tails off to make it through college end up working in an area totally different from their major and minor. I was one of those!

After 2 1/2 years of being married and in a profession that I really didn’t like. I walked into a major shock! For some reason that day after work, I came into the house through the back door. I opened the door into the kitchen and my wife was at the sink and my two little boys were near her. When I opened the door my two boys went and stood behind their mother. They didn’t know who I was! Climbing the corporate ladder, I was working a lot of hours and becoming quite successful in my job. The shock of seeing my two boys hiding from me was something I could not handle. 

I fell in love with children after my sister was born. She is 12 years younger than I am. When I turned 16 and got my own car, I took her everywhere with me. After I got married, my wife and I had a very serious discussion about how many children to have. We decided that two would be great. Then we had six more! You do the math. I can relate to the rich man regarding getting rid of possessions. I decided very quickly that I would slow down in climbing the corporate ladder and spend more time with my family. Some of my friends looked at me as being a loser. But in the end, I am the winner with my 31 grandchildren!

Serving with joy!

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Estoy seguro de que reconoces la lectura del Evangelio de hoy. Es la historia de un hombre rico que se acerca a Jesús y le pregunta sobre su salvación. En primer lugar, esto no es una parábola. Es algo que realmente sucedió. Se repite en otro evangelio. Es real. Esta es una historia muy interesante que termina en tristeza. Siempre quise cambiar el final, pero lamentablemente no puedo.

El hombre era rico y tenía muchas posesiones. Algunas traducciones dicen que tenía muchas propiedades. Cuando le pregunta a Jesús qué debe hacer, Jesús nombra los mandamientos entregados a Moisés. El hombre responde que había guardado todos. Entonces Jesús le ordena que venda todo lo que tiene y se lo dé a los pobres.

¿Notaste que Jesús no comenzó con los dos mandamientos más importantes? Jesús lee los corazones. Si tomáramos esta historia y la lleváramos hasta el día de hoy, ¿cómo sería? A primera vista, el hombre parece ser un creyente muy devoto. Y estoy seguro de que todos sus amigos creían que así era.

Crecí en un hogar donde decían que si tenías mucho dinero tenías éxito. Llevé ese pensamiento durante muchos años. Decidí que subiría la escalera del éxito y ganaría mucho dinero. Me dijeron que debería ser ingeniero, pero después de mi primer año en la universidad decidí que no era mi camino. Cambié mi plan de estudios a la educación secundaria. ¿Alguna vez has notado que los adultos jóvenes que trabajan duro para llegar a la universidad terminan trabajando en un área totalmente diferente a su especialidad? ¡Yo era uno de esos!

Después de dos años y medio de estar casado y de ejercer una profesión que realmente no me gustaba. ¡Entré en un gran shock! Por alguna razón, ese día después del trabajo, entré a la casa por la puerta trasera. Abrí la puerta de la cocina y mi esposa estaba en el lavadero y mis dos hijos pequeños estaban cerca de ella. Cuando abrí la puerta, mis dos hijos se fueron y se pararon detrás de su mamá. ¡No sabían quién era yo! Al ascender en la escala corporativa, trabajé muchas horas y tuve bastante éxito en mi trabajo. La sorpresa de ver a mis dos hijos escondiéndose de mí fue algo que no pude soportar.

Me encantaron a los niños después del nacimiento de mi hermana. Ella es 12 años menor que yo. Cuando cumplí 16 años y conseguí mi propio carro, la llevaba a todas partes conmigo. Después de casarme, mi esposa y yo tuvimos una discusión muy seria sobre cuántos hijos tener. Decidimos que dos sería genial. ¡Luego tuvimos seis más! Puedo identificarme con el hombre rico en cuanto a deshacerse de sus posesiones. Decidí muy rápidamente que reduciría el ritmo en mi ascenso en la escala corporativa y pasaría más tiempo con mi familia. Algunos de mis amigos me veían como un perdedor. ¡Pero al final soy yo el ganador con mis 31 nietos!

¡Sirviendo con alegría!

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Deacon Dan Schneider is a retired general manager of industrial distributors. He and his wife Vicki have been married for over 50 years. They are the parents of eight children and thirty grandchildren. He has a degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002.  He has a passion for working with engaged and married couples and his main ministry has been preparing couples for marriage.

Featured Image Credit: Johnny Cohen, unsplash.com/photos/man-wearing-maroon-white-and-blue-stripe-long-sleeved-shirt-lifting-up-baby-wearing-gray-onesie-OxOxqLAWvE0

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Reading 1 Dt 4:32-34, 39-40

Moses said to the people:
“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?
Did a people ever hear the voice of God
speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?
Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself
from the midst of another nation,
by testings, by signs and wonders, by war,
with strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors,
all of which the LORD, your God,
did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
This is why you must now know,
and fix in your heart, that the LORD is God
in the heavens above and on earth below,
and that there is no other.
You must keep his statutes and commandments that I enjoin on you today,
that you and your children after you may prosper,
and that you may have long life on the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22

R. (12b) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
by the breath of his mouth all their host.
For he spoke, and it was made;
he commanded, and it stood forth.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Reading 2 Rom 8:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Alleluia Rv 1:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
to God who is, who was, and who is to come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.