Holy Cross - San Clemente, Rome (Detail of apse mosaic, 12th century)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life. J 3:16
On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (or Triumph of the Cross) we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world. The public veneration of the Cross of Christ originated in the fourth century, according to early accounts. The miraculous discovery of the cross on September 14, 326, by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, is the origin of the tradition of celebrating the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on this date. Constantine later built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of her discovery of the cross. On this same pilgrimage she ordered two other churches built: one in Bethlehem near the Grotto of the Nativity, the other on the Mount of the Ascension, near Jerusalem.
Thursday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time - Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
1 Corinthians 10:14-22; Luke 6:43-49
Simply put, today’s readings tell us it is not enough to simply listen to Jesus’ words or even to be in relationship with Jesus. No, to be a disciple, one must act. One must respond. I submit, that when we are in a real love relationship with Jesus, the response can come naturally. We must be intentional but the response will flow out of the relationship. I say this because of the phrase “for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” This is not just saying that good fruit comes from a good tree. It is also an indication to me that when the heart is full, action can’t help but come forth. St. Ignatius understood this. Consider for a moment The Contemplation on the Love of God from the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius asks us to consider the following four points. (excerpt below from David L. Fleming S.J.)
Photo: Sr. Maria Dörig, Switzerland
BRIGTHON is a little boy living in our village. His parents are from Sri Lanka. Our community cares for him a few hours every week while his Father is working and his Mama learning in the language school.
But was is doing the little boy in our chapel?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Photo by Preston Keres
The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord makes his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Dear Sister Izabela,
As you celebrate your Feast Day I, as well as the sisters from Queen of Apostles Province, wish you a day of quiet reflection on the protection you enjoy from your patron, and the love and blessings from the Lord. May your day be filled with happiness, joyful music, and the special graces needed as you continue to serve our Congregation.
Sending Prayers and Best Wishes
Sr. Mary Grace and Sisters
Sermon on the mount, E.Thor. Carlson
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. Lk 6:20-26
Luke said (in v. 17), “He came down and stopped at a piece of level ground.” From that point to the end of chapter 6 is therefore called ‘The Sermon on the Plain’, in contrast to Matthew’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Mt 5-7). But it is the same sermon, with differences. In Luke’s gospel the mountain is a place of prayer or revelation; it is as if he doesn't want the crowds to go up there, so he brings Jesus down!
"He spent the night in prayer to God"
We cannot find God in noise or agitation.... In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice:
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
In the silence of the heart
God will speak.
It is delightful, Dear Mary, to reflect upon your birth. We are so very accustomed to wishing people "Happy Birthday," but I don't think I've really taken the time to acknowledge your birthday in a personal way. I don't think I've stopped to thank God for the day you were born.
Is 35: 4-7a; Jm 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37
Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. Is 35: 4-7a
One of God’s attributes is “the liberator”. This is the attribute which this Sunday’s liturgical texts especially focus on. God frees all human beings from their sad condition of outcasts, and he frees nature from its barren dryness (First Reading). He frees us from illnesses of the heart and of the spirit, “everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak”. «Effatha!» He frees the Christian from any distinctions of class, for whether we are rich or poor, we are all the same before God (Gospel).