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CHRISTIAN MORNING MEDITATION:Lectio Divina: The B.V. Mary of Mount Carmel – John 19:25-27Tuesday, July 16, 2019Woman, this is your son!Behold this is your mother!1. Let us recollect ourselves in prayer – StatioCome, Holy Spirit, fill our minds with Your light so that we can understand the true meaning of Your Word.Come, Holy Spirit, en kindle in our hearts the fire of Your love to inflame our faith.Come, Holy Spirit, fill our being with Your force to strengthen what is weak in us, in our service to God.Come, Holy Spirit, with the gift of prudence to control our enthusiasm which prevents us from loving God and our neighbor. 2. Prayerful Reading of the Word – LectioFrom the Gospel according to John 19:25-27Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.3. Ponder the Word – Meditatio3.1. To understand the Reading– With your spirit go up to Calvary up to the Cross of Jesus and try to understand what is happening.– From the passage that you have read, ask yourself what has struck you the most and why.– What are the sentiments that this brief passage has aroused in you?3.2. Key for the ReadingJesus holds His own destiny in His handWe are in the middle of chapter 19 of John’s Gospel which begins with the scourging, the crowing of Jesus with a crown of thorns, the presentation of Jesus by Pilate to the crowds: “Behold the man” (Jn 19:5), the condemnation to death on the cross, the Way of the Cross and the crucifixion. In the account of the passion according to John, Jesus has control in His hand of His life and of everything which is taking place around Him. And for this reason, for example, we find sentences such as this: “Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and a purple robe” (v. 5), or the words said to Pilate: “You would have no power over Me at all if it had not been given you from above” (v. 11).The text presented in the daily Liturgy also shows that Jesus not only has control over everything which is happening to Him but also on what is taking place around Him. What the Evangelist describes is very important: “Jesus then, seeing His mother and the disciple whom He loved, said…” (v. 26). The words of Jesus in their simplicity are words of revelation, words with which He wants to express His will: “Behold your son” (v. 26), “Behold your mother” (v. 27). These words of Jesus recall to mind the words of Pilate with which he presented the person of Jesus to the crowds: “Behold the man” (v. 5). Jesus from His throne, the Cross, with His words not only pronounces His will, but also that it is truly His love for us and the fruit of this love. He is the Lamb of God, the Shepherd who gives His life in order to gather all into one flock, in the Church. Near the CrossIn this passage we also find a very important word which is repeated twice when the Evangelist speaks about the mother of Jesus and of the disciple whom He loved. The Evangelist says that the mother of Jesus was “near the Cross” (v. 25) and the disciple whom He loves was “standing near her” (v. 26). This important detail has a very deep Biblical significance. Only the fourth Evangelist says that the Mother of Jesus was near the cross. The other Evangelists do not specify this. Luke says that “All His friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied Him from Galilee and saw all this happen” (Lk 23:49). Matthew writes, “And many women were there, watching from a distance; the same women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after Him. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” (Mt 27:55-56). Mark says that “There were also some women, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome. They used to follow Him and look after Him when He was in Galilee. And many other women were there who had come up to Jerusalem with Him.” (Mk 15:40-41). Therefore, only John stresses that the mother of Jesus was present, not following Him from a distance, but was near the cross together with the other women. Standing up, like a strong woman who has continued to believe, to hope and to have trust in God, even in that most difficult moment. The mother of Jesus is present in the important moment in which “Everything is fulfilled” (v. 30) in Jesus’ mission. Besides, the Evangelist stresses the presence of the mother of Jesus from the beginning of His mission, in the wedding at Cana, where John uses almost the same expression: “The mother of Jesus was there”. (Jn 2:1). The Woman and the DiscipleIn the wedding at Cana and on the Cross, Jesus shows His glory, and His mother is present in an active way. In the wedding at Cana it is made evident, in a symbolical way, what took place on the cross. During the feast of the wedding Jesus changed the water contained in six jars (Jn 2:6). Number six symbolizes imperfection. The perfect number is seven. For this reason Jesus responds to His mother: “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). The hour in which Jesus renewed everything was the hour of the cross. The Disciples asked Him: “Lord, has the time come for You to restore the kingdom of Israel?” (Acts 1:6). On the cross, with the water and blood, Jesus gives birth to the Church and at the same time the Church becomes His spouse. It is the beginning of the new time. Both at the wedding in Cana and at the foot of the cross, Jesus does not call His mother by her proper name, but calls her with the beautiful title of “Woman” (Jn 2:19, 26). On the cross He is not speaking with His mother moved only by a natural sentiment, of a son toward his mother. The title of “Woman” is a sign that in that moment Jesus was opening His mother’s heart to the spiritual maternity of His disciples, represented in the person of the disciple whom He loved who is always near Jesus, the Disciple who at the Last Supper reclined his head on Jesus’ chest (Jn 13:23-26), the Disciple who understood the mystery of Jesus and always remains faithful to his Master up to the time of His crucifixion, and later on was the first disciple to believe that Christ is risen in seeing the empty tomb and the linen cloths on the ground (Jn 20:4-8), while Mary of Magdala believed that they had taken away the body of Jesus (Jn 20:2). Then, Jesus’ beloved Disciple is the one who believes and remains faithful to His Master in all the trials of his life. The Disciple whom Jesus loved has no name, because he represents you and me, and all those who are His true disciples. The woman becomes the mother of the Disciple. The woman is never called by the Evangelist by her proper name, she is not only the Mother of Jesus, but she is also the Church. John the Evangelist likes to call the Church “woman” or “lady.” This title is found in the Second Letter of John (2 Jn 1:5) and in the Apocalypses: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in labor, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth”. (Rev 12:1-2). Therefore, the woman is the image of the Mother Church which is in labor to generate new sons for God.The Mother of Jesus is the perfect image of the Church, spouse of Christ who is in labor to generate new children for her spouse Jesus. The Disciples takes the woman to his houseIf Jesus has left in the hands of the woman (His mother and the Church) His disciples, represented in the person of the beloved Disciple, in the same way, He has left in the hands of His disciples, the woman (His mother and the Church). The Evangelist says that Jesus had just seen the disciple whom he loved next to His mother. He told him, “Behold your mother!” (v. 27).The Evangelist continues: “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (v. 27). That means that the disciple took the woman as a very dear and valuable person. This again reminds us all that John says in his letter when he calls himself the elder who loves the lady in truth (2 Jn: 1) who prays for her (2 Jn: 5) so that he takes care of her and defends her against the Antichrist, that is, all those who do not know Christ and seek to trouble the children of the Church, the disciples of Jesus (2 Jn 7:10).The words of verse 27 “And from that hour he took her into his home” reminds us what we also find in the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew. The Evangelist opens his account telling about the vision of the angel which Joseph, the spouse of Mary, had in his dream. In this vision the angel tells Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 1:20). Matthew begins his Gospel with entrusting Mary and Jesus to Joseph, while John concludes his account with Jesus entrusting His Mother and the Church into the hands of His beloved disciple!4. Questions to orientate the meditation and the putting it into practice.– What has struck you most in this passage and in the reflection?– On the Cross Jesus has given us everything: His life and His mother. And you, are you ready to sacrifice something for the Lord? Are you capable of renouncing your possessions, your likes, desires, etc., to serve God and to help your neighbor?– “From that hour the disciple took her to his home.” Do you believe that families today continue to follow the example of the disciple whom Jesus loved? What meaning do these words have for your Christian life?5. OratioCanticle of the Blessed Virgin: Luke 1, 46-55My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lordand my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;because He has looked upon the lowliness of His servant.Yes, from now on all generations will call me blessed,for the Almighty has done great things for me.Holy is His name,and His faithful love extends age after age to those who fear Him.He has used the power of His arm,He has routed the arrogant of heart.He has pulled down princes from their thronesand raised high the lowly.He has filled the starving with good things,sent the rich away empty.He has come to the help of Israel His servant,mindful of His faithful love-according to the promise He made to our ancestors —of His mercy to Abraham and to His descendants for ever.6. ContemplatioLet us adore together the goodness of God who has given us Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as our Mother, and let us repeat in silence: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. Amendailymeditations www.stswithuns.org.uk/event/dr-15072019 … See MoreSee Less
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CHRISTIAN MORNING MEDITATION:Lectio Divina: Matthew 10:34-11:1Monday, July 15, 2019Ordinary Time1) Opening prayerGod our Father,Your light of truthguides us to the way of Christ.May all who follow Himreject what is contrary to the gospel.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 2) Gospel Reading – Matthew 10:34-11:1Jesus said to his Apostles: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household. "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. "Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple– amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward." When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.3) Reflection• In May of last year, the V Conference of Latin American Bishops, which was held in Aparecida in the north of Brazil, wrote a very important document on the theme: “Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ, so that our peoples may have life”. The discourse of the mission of chapter 10 of the Gospel of Matthew offers much light in helping to carry out the mission as disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ. The Gospel today presents to us the last part of this discourse of the mission.• Matthew 10:34-36: I have not come to bring peace to the earth but the sword. Jesus always speaks of peace (Mt 5:9; Mk 9:50; Lk 1:79; 10:5; 19:38; 24:36; Jn 14:27; 16:33; 20:21, 26). How can we understand the statement in today’s Gospel which seems to say the contrary: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; no, I have not come to bring peace but the sword.” This affirmation does not mean that Jesus was in favor of division and the sword. No! Jesus wants neither the sword (Jn 18:11) nor division. He wants the union of all in truth (cf. Jn 17:17-23). At that time, the announcement of the truth that He, Jesus of Nazareth, was the Messiah became a reason of great division among the Jews. In the same family or community, some were in favor and others were radically contrary. In this sense the Good News of Jesus was truly a source of division, a “sign of contradiction” (Lk 2:34) or, as Jesus said, He was bringing the sword. In this way the other warning is understood: “I have come to set son against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law; a person’s enemies will be the members of his own household”. In fact, that was what was happening in the families and in the communities: much division, much discussion, the consequence of the announcement of the Good News among the Jews of that time, because some accepted while others rejected. Today the same thing happens. Many times, when the Church renews itself, the appeal to the Good News becomes a ‘sign of contradiction’ and of division. People who for years have lived comfortably in their routine of Christian life do not want to allow themselves to be bothered by the ‘innovations’ of Vatican Council II. Disturbed by the changes, they used all their intelligence to find arguments in defense of their opinions and to condemn the changes, considering them contrary to what they thought was the true faith.• Matthew 10:37: No one who prefers father or mother to Me is worthy of Me. Luke gives this same statement, but much more demanding. Literally he says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his sons and brothers, his sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:26). How can this affirmation of Jesus be combined with the other one in which He says to observe the fourth commandment: love and honor father and mother? (Mk 7:10-12; Mt 19:19). (The Greek word used in Luke is μισέω, which has slightly different meaning than how hate is used in English. It’s usage means “to love less”, to denounce (comparatively) between the two. It does not carry the animosity we commonly associate with hate.) However, two observations: (1) The fundamental criterion on which Jesus insists always is this one: the Good News of God should be the supreme value of our life. In our life there can be no greater value. (2) The economic and social situation at the time of Jesus was such that the families were obliged to close themselves up in themselves. They no longer had the conditions to respect the obligations of human community living together as, for example, sharing, hospitality, invitation to a meal, and the acceptance of the excluded. This individualistic closing up in self, caused by the national and international situation, produced distortion: (1) It made life in community impossible (2) It limited the commandment “honor father and mother” exclusively to the small family nucleus and no longer to the larger family of the community (3) It prevented the full manifestation of the Good News of God, because if God is Father/Mother we are brothers and sisters of one another. And this truth should be expressed in the life of the community. A living and fraternal community is the mirror of the face of God. Living together without community is a mirror which disfigures the face of God. In this context, the request of Jesus, “to hate father and mother” means that the disciples should overcome the individualistic closing up of the small family on itself, and extend it to the community dimension, preferring to communal love to limiting it to familial love. Jesus Himself put into practice what He taught others. His family wanted to call Him to close Himself up in self. When they told Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside and they are looking for You”, He answered: “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?” Looking at the people around Him He said: “Behold, My mother and My brothers. Anyone who does the will of God is My brother, My sister and My mother” (Mk 3:32-35). He extends the family! This was and continues to be, even today for the small family, the only way to be able to keep and transmit the values which He believes.• Matthew 10:38-39: The demands of the mission of the disciples. In these two verses, Jesus gives important and demanding advice: (a) To take up the cross and follow Jesus: Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in My footsteps is not worthy of Me. In order to perceive all the significance and importance of this first advice, keep in mind the witness of Saint Paul: “But as for me, it is not of the question that I should boast at all, except of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). To carry the cross presupposes, even now, a radical drawing away from the sinful system which reigns in the world. (b) To have the courage to give one’s life: “Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for My sake will find it”. Only the one who in life has been capable of giving himself totally to others will feel fulfilled. This second piece of advice confirms the deepest human experience; the source of life is in the gift of life. In giving one receives. “If the grain of wheat does not die …” (Jn 12, 24). • Matthew 10:40: The identification of the disciple with Jesus and with God Himself. This human experience of contribution and of the gift received has a clarification, a deepening: “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes Me: and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me.” In the total gift of self, the disciple identifies himself with Jesus; there the encounter with God takes place, and God allows Himself to be found by the one who seeks Him. • Matthew 10:41-42: The reward of the prophet, of the just and of the disciple. The discourse of the Mission ends with one sentence on reward: “Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes an upright person because he is upright will have the reward of an upright person. If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is a disciple, then in truth I tell you, he will most certainly not go without reward”. In this statement the sequence is very meaningful: the prophet is recognized because of his mission as one sent by God. The upright person is recognized by his behavior, by his perfect way of observing the law of God. The disciple is recognized by no quality or mission, but simply by his social condition of being least among the people. The Kingdom is not made of great things. It is like a very big house which is constructed with small bricks. Anyone who despises the brick will have great difficulty in constructing the house. Even a glass of water serves as a brick for the construction of the Kingdom.• Matthew 11:1: The end of the discourse of the mission. When Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples He moved from there to teach and preach in their towns. Now Jesus leaves to put into practice what He has taught. We will see this in chapters 11 and 12 of the Gospel of Matthew. 4) Personal questions• To lose life in order to gain life. Have you had some experience of having felt rewarded for an act of donation or gratuity for others? • He who welcomes you welcomes Me, and who welcomes Me, welcomes the One who sent Me. Stop and think about what Jesus says here: He and God Himself identify themselves with you. 5) Concluding PrayerHow blessed are those who live in Your house;they shall praise You continually.Blessed those who find their strength in You,whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. (Ps 84:4-5)dailymeditations www.stswithuns.org.uk/event/dr-15072019 … See MoreSee Less
stswithuns.org.uk/newsletter-NL_14072019Keep up to date with what’s going on in our ParishMass Time Our Lady of Lourdes for 6pm Mass on Saturdays for Sunday Mass at St Swithun’s RC Church Southsea. Mass Times at 8:30am , 10:15am (family mass ) and 1pm (Mass in Polish)We wish you all a blessed and peaceful weekend – Fr Marcin … See MoreSee Less
CHRISTIAN MORNING MEDITATION:Lectio Divina: 15th Sunday of ordinary time (C)Sunday, July 14, 2019The parable of the Good SamaritanWho is my neighbor?Luke 10:25-371. LECTIOa) Opening prayer:Prayers of Blessed Giorgio Preca in Il Sacrario dello spirito di CristoLord God, You are present and I am in You: Give me wisdom to know Your spirit.Lord God, You are present and I am in You: Grant me the gift of the spirit of the Master, my Christ Jesus.Lord God, You are present and I am in You: Guide my every way with Your light.Lord God, You are present and I am in You: Teach me to do Your will at all times.Lord God, You are present and I am in You: Do not let me stray from Your Spirit, the Spirit of love.Lord God, You are present and I am in You: Do not abandon me when my strength fails.b) Gospel reading:Luke 10:25-37There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."c) Prayerful silent time:that the Word of God may enter into our hearts and enlighten our life.2. MEDITATIOa) A key to the reading:This is chapter 10 of Luke’s Gospel. It is the central part of Luke’s Gospel and it follows Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem: “Now as the time drew near for Him to be taken up to heaven, He resolutely took the road for Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51). We know that for Luke, Jerusalem is the city where salvation will take place, and Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem forms a central theme. Luke’s story begins in the holy city (Lk 1:5) and ends in the same city (Lk 24:52). In this middle section, Luke will repeatedly insist on the fact that Jesus is going towards Jerusalem (for instance in Lk 13:22; 17:11). In this text, which tells the parable of the good Samaritan in the context of a discussion with a doctor of the law concerning the greatest commandment, we again find the theme of a journey, this time from Jerusalem to Jericho (Lk 10:30). The parable is part of this middle section of the Gospel that begins with Jesus, a pilgrim together with His disciples on their way to Jerusalem. He sends them ahead to prepare for Him to stop at a Samaritan village and there they only find hostility precisely because they were on their way to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-53). The Samaritans avoided pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem and were hostile to them. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of Him, in pairs, to all the towns and places He Himself was to visit” (Lk 10:1). Seventy-two is the traditional number of pagan nations.The Fathers of the Church (Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and others), keeping in mind all the symbolism associated with Jerusalem, the holy city of salvation, interpret this parable in a particular way. In the man who goes from Jerusalem to Jericho they see Adam who represents the whole human race expelled from Eden, the celestial paradise, because of sin. The Fathers of the Church see the thieves as the tempter who takes us away from God’s friendship with his wiles and who holds us slaves in our humanity wounded by sin. In the priest and the Levite they see the insufficiency of the old law for our salvation that will be accomplished by our Good Samaritan, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, who, leaving the celestial Jerusalem, comes to the aid of our sinful condition and heals us with the oil of grace and the wine of the Spirit. In the inn, the Fathers see and image of the Church and in the inn-keeper they see the pastors into whose hands Jesus entrusts the care of His people, The departure of the Samaritan from the inn is seen by the Fathers as the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to sit at the right hand of the Father, but who promises to come back to reward each person according to his or her merit. Jesus then leaves the two denarii to the Church for our salvation, the two denarii that are the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacraments that help us on our way to holiness.This allegorical and mystical interpretation of the text helps us to accept the message of this parable. The text of the parable begins with a dialogue between a doctor of the law who stands to put the Lord to the test by asking, “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Lk 10:25). Jesus replies with another question: “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” (Lk 10:26). We must see this dialogue as a confrontation between two masters, a thing quite common in those days as a system of clarifying and deepening points of law. The polemical tone prevailing here is different from that in Mark where the question is asked by a scribe who “had listened to them debating (Jesus and the Sadducees), and had observed how well Jesus had answered them” (Mk 12:28), then puts the question to Jesus. This scribe is well disposed to listen to Jesus, so much so that Jesus ends the dialogue with “You are not far from the Kingdom of God” (Mk 12:34). Matthew, however, places this question in the context of a debate between Jesus and the Sadducees with the Pharisees present who, when they “heard that He had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert Him, one of them put a question…” (Mt 22:34-35). Jesus gives an immediate reply quoting the commandment of love as found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus.Only in Luke’s text is the question not about which is the greatest commandment but about how to inherit eternal life, a question dealt with again in the Synoptic Gospels on the lips of the rich young man (Mt 19:16; Mk 10:17; Lk 18:18). As in Mark, so also here, Jesus praises the doctor of the law: “You have answered right… do this and life is yours” (Lk 1:28). Except the doctor of the law was not yet satisfied with Jesus’ answer and wanting “to justify himself” (Lk 10:28) for having asked the question asks again “and who is my neighbor?” This second question introduces and connects the following parable with the dialogue between Jesus and the doctor of the law. We also notice an inclusion between verse 26 that ends the debate and leads us to the tale of the parable in verse 37, which ends the dialogue and the parable definitively. In this verse, Jesus repeats to the doctor of the law that he had defined the neighbor as one who was compassionate: “Go and do the same yourself”. This saying of Jesus reminds us of the words at the Last Supper as recorded in John, when, after the washing of the feet, Jesus invites His disciples to follow His example (Jn 13:12-15). At the Last Supper, Jesus bequeaths to His disciples the commandment of love understood as willingness “to give one’s life” in love for each other as the Lord has loved us (Jn 15:12-14).This commandment goes beyond the observance of the law. The priest and the Levite have kept the law by not approaching the poor wounded man who is left half dead, so as not to defile themselves (Lev 21:1). Jesus goes beyond the law and desires His disciples to do as He does. “By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are My disciples” (Jn 13:35). For the disciple of Jesus mere philanthropy is not enough. The Christian is called to something more, which he or she accomplishes in imitation of the Master, as the apostle Paul said, “We are those who have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16) “Because the love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that one man has died for all” (2 Cor 5:14).b) Some questions to direct our meditation and practice:* What touched you most in the parable?* With whom in the story do you identify?* Have you ever thought of Jesus as the Good Samaritan?* Do you feel the need for salvation in your life?* Can you say with the apostle Paul that you have the mind of Christ?* What urges you to love your neighbor? Is it the need to love and be loved, or is it compassion and the love of Christ?* Who is your neighbor?3. ORATIOCanticle – 1Pt 2: 21-24Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but He trusted to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.4. CONTEMPLATIOContemplation is knowing how to adhere with one’s mind and heart to the Lord who by His Word transforms us into new beings who always do His will. “Knowing these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (Jn 13:17)dailymeditations www.stswithuns.org.uk/event/dr-14072019 … See MoreSee Less
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CHRISTIAN MORNING MEDITATION:Lectio Divina: Matthew 10:24-33Saturday, July 13, 2019Ordinary Time1) Opening prayerFather,through the obedience of Jesus,Your servant and Your Son,You raised a fallen world.Free us from sinand bring us the joy that lasts for ever.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever. Amen.2) Gospel Reading – Matthew 10:24-33Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”3) Reflection• Today’s Gospel presents to us various instructions of Jesus on the behavior that the disciples have to adopt in the exercise of their mission. What strikes most in these instructions are two warnings: (a) the frequency with which Jesus refers to the persecutions and suffering which they will have to bear; (b) the insistence repeated three times to the disciples not to be afraid.• Matthew 10:24-25: Persecutions and sufferings which mark the life of the disciples. These two verses constitute the final part of a warning of Jesus to the disciples concerning persecutions. The disciples should know that, because of being disciples of Jesus, they will be persecuted (Mt 10:17-23). But this should not be a reason for worry, because a disciple should imitate the life of the Master and share the trials with Him. This is part of discipleship. “A disciple is not greater than the teacher or a servant greater than his master; it is sufficient for the disciple to grow to be like his teacher and the servant like his master.” If they called Jesus Beelzebul, how much more will they insult His disciples? In other words, the disciple of Jesus should be worried if, in his life, there are no persecutions.• Matthew 10:26-27: Do not be afraid to tell the truth. The disciples should not be afraid to be persecuted. Those who persecute them pervert the meaning of the facts and spread calumnies which change truth into lies. But no matter how great the lie, the truth will triumph at the end and will make the lie crumble down. This is why we should not be afraid to proclaim truth, the things which Jesus has taught. Every day, the means of communication pervert the meaning of things and the people who proclaim the truth are considered as criminals; they make our system appear as just and it perverts the meaning of human life. • Matthew 10:28: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body. The disciples should not be afraid of those who kill the body, who torture, who strike and cause suffering. Those who torture can kill the body, but they cannot kill liberty and the spirit in the body. They should be afraid, yes, that the fear of suffering may lead them to hide or to deny the truth, and that this will lead them to offend God, because anyone who draws away from God will be lost forever.• Matthew 10:29-31: Do not be afraid, but trust in Divine Providence. The disciples should not fear anything, because they are in God’s hands. Jesus tells them to look at the birds of the air. Two sparrows are sold for a penny, but not one of them will fall to the ground without the Father knowing. Every hair on your head has been counted. Luke says that not one hair falls without our Father wanting it (Lk 21:18). And so many hairs fall from our heads! Because of this “Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” This is the lesson which Jesus draws from the contemplation of nature.• Matthew 10:32-33: Do not be afraid to be the witnesses of Jesus. At the end Jesus summarizes everything in this sentence: “If anyone declares himself for Me in the presence of human beings, I will declare Myself for him in the presence of My Father in heaven; 33: the one who instead will disown Me in the presence of human beings, I will disown him in the presence of My Father in heaven.” Knowing that we are in God’s hands and that God is with us, at every moment, we have the necessary courage and the peace to render witness and to be disciples of Jesus. 4) Personal questions• What are you afraid of? Why? • Have you ever been persecuted because of your commitment to announce the Good News of God which Jesus announced to us?• Persecution is not comfortable. There can be many small persecutions throughout a day. Do you ever deny Jesus in little things to make your life more comfortable and not make trouble? How is this important?5) Concluding PrayerYour decrees stand firm, unshakable;holiness is the beauty of Your house,Yahweh, for all time to come. (Ps 93:5)dailymeditations www.stswithuns.org.uk/event/dr-13072019 … See MoreSee Less
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CHRISTIAN MORNING MEDITATION:Lectio Divina: Matthew 10:16-23Friday, July 12, 2019Ordinary Time 1) Opening prayerFather,through the obedience of Jesus,Your servant and Your Son,You raised a fallen world.Free us from sinand bring us the joy that lasts for ever.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever. Amen.2) Gospel Reading – Matthew 10:16-23Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”3) Reflection• To the community of His disciples, called and gathered together around Him and invested with His same authority as collaborators, Jesus entrusts them with directives in view of their future mission.• Matthew 10:16-19: Danger and trust in God. Jesus introduces this part of His discourse with two metaphors: sheep in the midst of wolves; prudent as serpents, simple as doves. The first one serves to show the difficult and dangerous context to which the disciples are sent. On the one hand, the dangerous situation is made evident; on the other, the expression “I send you” expresses protection. Also regarding the astuteness of the serpent and the simplicity of the dove Jesus seems to put together two attitudes: trust in God, and prolonged and attentive reflection on the way in which we should relate with others.Jesus, then, following this, gives an order that seems at first sight filled with mistrust: “Beware of men…”, but, in reality, it means to be attentive to possible persecutions, hostility, and denouncement. The expression “will deliver you” does not only refer to the accusation in the tribunal, but above all, it has a theological value: the disciples who are following Jesus can experience the same experience of the Master of “being delivered into the hands of men” (17:22). The disciples must be strong and resist in order “to give witness.” The fact of being delivered to the tribunal should become a witness for the Jews and for the pagans. It bears the possibility of being able to draw them to the person and the cause of Jesus and, therefore, to the knowledge of the Gospel. This positive implication is important as a result of witnessing, characterized by credible and fascinating faith.• Matthew 10:20: the divine help. So that all this may take place in the mission-witness of the disciples it is essential to have the help that comes from God. That is to say, we should not trust our own security and resources, but the disciples, in critical, dangerous, and aggressive situations, found help and solidarity in God for their lives. The Spirit of the Father is also promised for their mission (v.20). He is the one who acts in them when they are committed to their mission of evangelization and of witnessing. The Spirit will speak through them.• Matthew 10:21-22: Threat-consolation. Once again the announcement of threat is repeated in the expression “will be delivered”: Brother will betray brother, a father against his son, the sons against the parents. It is a question of a true and great disorder in social relationships, the breaking up of the family. Persons who are bound by the most intimate family relationships – such as parents, children, brothers and sisters – will fall in the misfortune of mutually hating and eliminating one another. In what sense does such a division of the family have to do with witness on behalf of Jesus? Such breaking up of the family relationships could be caused by the diverse attitudes that are taken within the family, regarding Jesus. The expression “you will be hated” seems to indicate the theme of the hostile rejection on the part of the contemporaries and of those He sent. This phrasing can also apply to the larger community, using the sense of the word “brother” as we have done earlier. The community of Israel will find one against another as those following the Good News will be persecuted and rejected by those remaining in the old law. The strong sense of Jesus’ words find a comparison in another part of the New Testament: “Blessed are you if you are insulted for the sake of Christ’s name, because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, rests upon you. No one of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or evil doer or as a spy. But if one suffers as a Christian, do not blush, because of this name, rather give glory to God.” The promise of consolation follows the threat (v.3). The greatest consolation for the disciples will be that of “being saved,” of being able to live the experience of the Savior, that is to say, to participate in His victories.4) Personal questions• What do these pronouncements of Jesus teach us today for understanding the mission of the Christian?• Do you know how to trust in divine help when you experience conflicts, persecutions and trials?• In what ways have you been persecuted? Was it for standing with Jesus or was I in the wrong? Did I find strength at any of these times, or did I fold?• Has the Spirit spoken through you to others?For further studyIn all the day-to-day interactions with others, in business, the market, in school, and in community and family, it is often difficult to discern whether persecutions that day were for His name or our own views and wants, and whether the Spirit did the talking or our own pride did. St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, wrote the Spiritual Exercises to help one discern the action of the Spirit in one’s Life. The theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar points out that the Exercises direct one to choosing God’s choice in life, a self-abandonment to God, which is ultimately what today’s Gospel says to do. There are many books on St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, besides his original work, which explain what and how. Take time to read one or more and perhaps practice them.5) Concluding PrayerGive me back the joy of Your salvation,sustain in me a generous spirit.Lord, open my lips,and my mouth will speak out Your praise. (Ps 51:12,15)dailymeditations www.stswithuns.org.uk/event/dr-12072019 … See MoreSee Less
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CHRISTIAN MORNING MEDITATION:FEAST OF ST BENEDICTINELectio Divina: Matthew 10:7-15Thursday, July 11, 2019Ordinary Time 1) Opening prayerFather,through the obedience of Jesus,Your servant and Your Son,You raised a fallen world.Free us from sinand bring us the joy that lasts for ever.We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever. Amen.2) Gospel Reading – Matthew 10:7-15Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”3) Reflection• The Gospel today presents the second part of the sending out of the disciples. Yesterday we saw that Jesus insists on directing them first toward the lost sheep of Israel. Today, we see concrete instructions to carry out the mission. • Matthew 10:7: The objective of the mission: to reveal the presence of the Kingdom. “Go and announce the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.” The principal objective is that of announcing that the Kingdom is close at hand. This is the novelty which Christ brings to us. For the other Jews there was still a long time before the coming of the Kingdom. It would have come only after they had done their own part. The coming of the Kingdom depended, according to them, on their effort. For the Pharisees, for example, the Kingdom would be attained only after the perfect observance of the Law. For the Essenes, when the country would have purified itself. But Jesus thinks in a different way. He has a different way of reading the facts of life. He says that the hour has already arrived (Mk 1:15). When He says that the Kingdom is close at hand or that the Kingdom is already among us, in our midst, He does not mean to say that the Kingdom is just arriving at that moment, but that it is already there, independently of the effort made by the people. What they all expected was already present among the people, gratuitously, but the people did not know it, nor perceive it (cf. Lk 17:21). Jesus is aware of this, because He sees reality with different eyes. He reveals and announces to the poor of His land this hidden presence of the Kingdom in our midst (Lk 4:18). It is the mustard seed which will receive the rain of His word and the warmth of His love. • Matthew 10:8: The signs of the presence of the Kingdom: accept the excluded. How should the presence of the Kingdom be announced? Only through words and discourses? No! The signs of the presence of the Kingdom are above all concrete gestures or acts, done gratuitously: “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out the devils. You received without charge; give without charge.” This means that the disciples should accept within the community those who have been excluded. This practice of solidarity both criticizes religion and society which exclude and proposes concrete solutions. • Matthew 10:9-10: Do not take anything for the journey. Unlike other missionaries, the disciples of Jesus should not take anything: “Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or a spare tunic or footwear or a staff, for the laborer deserves his keep.” This means that they have to trust in the hospitality of the people. The disciples who go without anything, taking only peace (Mk 10:13), show that they trust the people. It shows a trust in grace from God to act in people and to provide for them. It is certain that they will be welcomed, that they will be able to participate in the life and the work of the people of the place and that they will be able to survive with what they will receive in exchange, because the laborer deserves his keep. This means that the disciples should trust in sharing. It is also another way of respecting the poor, by not taking from them, and of contrasting the Good News with the laws of the time that demanded payment and tax for so many things. The social structure of the day was built on taking. Jesus builds a structure and community built on giving freely. By means of this practice they criticize the laws of exclusion and recover the ancient values of community life.• Matthew 10:11-13: To share peace in the community. The disciples should not go from house to house, but should seek people of peace and remain in that house. That is, they should practice stability. Thus, through that new practice, they criticize the culture of accumulation which characterized the politics of the Roman Empire, and they announced a new model of living together. Once all these requirements were respected, the disciples could cry out: The Kingdom of God has arrived! To announce the Kingdom does not mean, in the first place, to teach truths and doctrine, but lead toward a new fraternal manner of living and of sharing starting from the Good News which Jesus has brought to us: God and Father and Mother of all men and women.• Matthew 10:14-15: The severity of the menace. How is such a severe menace to be understood? Jesus has brought us something completely new. He has come to rescue the community values of the past: hospitality, sharing, communion around the table, acceptance of the excluded. That explains the severity toward those who reject the message, because they do not reject something new, but their own past, their own culture and wisdom! The objective of the pedagogy of Jesus is to dig out from the memory, to recover the wisdom of the people, to reconstruct the community, to renew the Covenant, to rebuild life.4) Personal questions• Today, how can we put into practice the recommendation not to take anything for the journey when going to a mission?• Jesus orders His disciples to look for people of peace, so as to be able to remain in their house. Today, who would be a person of peace to whom to address oneself in the announcement of the Good News?• Why would stability, as in not going from house to house while staying in a town, be important?For further studyMost, if not all, monastic traditions include a vow of stability – to stay in one place. Take some time to read the ancient rules which guide our various communities, such as the Rule of St Benedict, St Albert, St Bruno, and so on. The authors of these rules often explain why a particular rule is made, and from where in the Gospel it is inspired. This can give insight into these instructions of Jesus and a historical perspective on the development of Christianity through the Middle Ages.5) Concluding PrayerGod Sabaoth, come back, we pray,look down from heaven and see,visit this vine;protect what Your own hand has planted. (Ps 80:14-15)dailymeditations www.stswithuns.org.uk/event/dr-11072019 … See MoreSee Less
St Swithuns RC Church Southsea shared a post.
6 days ago
The Battle of Britain, one of the most pivotal moments in the UK’s history, started 79 years ago today, on July 10th 1940. The largest and most effective group of foreign aircrew were from Poland – 145!Never was so much owed by so many to so few! 303 Kosciuszko Squadron became the most successful Fighter Command unit which shot down 126 German planes in only 42 days. … See MoreSee Less
Much love rosemary xxx😊
My uncle flew with crews from Poland and Canada.