Daily Archives: October 14, 2007

Monday, October 15 – Signs

15 Oct – Memorial for St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin, doctor of the Church

St. Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582), also known as St. Teresa of Avila, was a Spanish noble, the daughter of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Dona Beatriz. She great up reading the lives of the saints, and playing at “hermit” in the garden. Crippled by disease in her youth, which led to her being well educated at home, she was cured after prayer to St. Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented.

Soon after taking her vows, Teresa became gravely ill, and her condition was aggravated by the inadequate medical help she received; she never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including St. Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions to be holy and true.

She considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of St. John of Avila. She founded several houses, often against fierce opposition from local authorities. She was a mystical writer, and was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on Sep 27, 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

– Patron Saint Index
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Romans 1:1-7

From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago though his prophet in the scriptures.

This news is about the Son of God who, according to the human nature he took, was a descendant of David: it is about Jesus Christ our Lord who, in the order of the spirit, the spirit of holiness that was in him, was proclaimed Son of God in all his power through is resurrection from the dead. Through him we received grace and our apostolic mission to preach the obedience of faith to all pagan nations in honour of his name. You are one of these nations, and by his call belong to Jesus Christ. To you all, then, who are God’s beloved in Rome, called to be saints, may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.
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Luke 11:29-32

The crowds got even bigger and Jesus addressed them,”This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
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How ironic that the crowds asked Jesus for a sign when they could not see that Jesus himself was the sign! Jesus is the sign that points us all towards the Father, and when we become Christians we also become signs. We become signs that point others towards Jesus.

This is one of the main callings that we, as Christians, have all received by virtue of our baptism. We are all supposed to be signs that point others towards Christ.

Has anyone ever stopped you on the road to ask you for directions? Or have you ever stopped anyone on the road to ask for directions? I do it a lot when I can’t find a place that I’m looking for, and I get frustrated with people who don’t know where I am going, but point me to a place that is far away from where I am going, because I do not find this out until I get to that place.

As Christians, we are supposed to point others towards Christ, but when our behaviour becomes one that points other people away from Christ, then we are not only doing a bad job as a Christian, we are also inconveniencing others by leading them away from Christ.

Let us pray today that we may be signs of Christ that point in the right direction, that all that we do is a true reflection of Christ.
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Give Thanks to the Lord for: Signs that point the right way.

Upcoming Readings:
Tue, Oct 16 – Romans 1:16-25; Luke 11:37-41; Memorial for St. Hedwig, religious
Wed, Oct 17 – Romans 2:1-11; Luke 11:42-46; Memorial for St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop, martyr
Thu, Oct 18 – 2 Timothy 4:10-17b; Luke 10:1-9; Feast of St. Luke, evangelist
Fri, Oct 19 – Romans 4:1-8; Luke 12:1-7; Memorial for St. Paul of the Cross, priest
Sat, Oct 20 – Romans 4:1-8; Luke 12:1-7
Sun, Oct 21 – Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:2; Luke 18:1-8; Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.

Sunday, October 14 – Sign of the Faith

14 Oct – Twenty-Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thanksgiving

Today we come to give thanks to God and to offer sacrifice to him for having made known to us his salvation and cleansed us from our sins.

– The Sunday Missal
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2 Kings 5:14-17

Naaman the leper went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child. Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and stood before him. “Now I know,” he said, “that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now, please, accept a present from your servant.” But Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing.” Naaman pressed him to accept, but he refused. Then Naaman said, “Since your answer is ‘No’, allow your servant to be given as much earth as two mules may carry, because your servant will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any god except the Lord.”
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2 Timothy 2:8-13

Remember the Good News that I carry, “Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David”; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it.

Here is a saying that you can rely on:

If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful,
for he cannot disown his own self.

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Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus travelled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off and called to him, “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.” When he saw them he said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” Now as they were going away they were cleansed. Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. This made Jesus say, “Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.” And he said to the man, “Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.”
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It is interesting to note that in today’s gospel reading, while all ten lepers are cleansed, only one is saved. That one was saved by his faith, and it is his faith that made him express his thanks to Jesus.

As Catholics, all of us give thanks to God at every Mass that we attend. The word ‘Eucharist’ means ‘thanksgiving’, and it is in celebration of the Eucharist that we give thanks to God for the salvation that he has won for us.

We probably know of Catholics who go for Mass every Sunday not because they want to, but because they feel obliged to do so. Some go because their parents make them go. Some go because if they don’t, they will feel something missing or they feel guilty about missing Mass. And then there are those who go because they want to give thanks to God. They want to thank God for the wonderful week they had. Or they want to thank God for helping them make it through a dreadful week.

As Catholics, we can always find something to give thanks to God for. Our ability to give thanks to God is a direct indicator of how the effect that our faith has on our life. If we find it difficult to find something to thank God for, it is an indication that we are not reflecting deeply enough on our lives. It is an indication that it is time to stop and do something about our relationship with God.

Stop and reflect right now, and give thanks to God for something in your life.
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Prayer:
Lord, teach us to be grateful for all the wonderful things that you have given us. Amen.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: Being able to do His work.

Upcoming Readings:
Mon, Oct 15 – Romans 1:1-7; Luke 11:29-32; Memorial for St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin, doctor of the Church
Tue, Oct 16 – Romans 1:16-25; Luke 11:37-41; Memorial for St. Hedwig, religious
Wed, Oct 17 – Romans 2:1-11; Luke 11:42-46; Memorial for St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop, martyr
Thu, Oct 18 – 2 Timothy 4:10-17b; Luke 10:1-9; Feast of St. Luke, evangelist
Fri, Oct 19 – Romans 4:1-8; Luke 12:1-7; Memorial for St. Paul of the Cross, priest
Sat, Oct 20 – Romans 4:1-8; Luke 12:1-7
Sun, Oct 21 – Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:2; Luke 18:1-8; Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Disclaimer: The reflections expressed in this e-mail are the writer’s own. They may not necessarily reflect the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless we should all be able to learn something from it.