Category Archives: Daily readings with reflections

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time & St. Scholastica, February 10,2018

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time & St. Scholastica, February 10,2018

What we know of the life of Scholastica is drawn from The Dialogues, Gregory the Great’s biography of her brother, Saint Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism. Born of a noble Roman family in Nursia of Umbria, Scholastica was dedicated to God at a young age. She led a community of virgins at Plombariola, not from Monte Cassino, the monastery Benedict had founded. She visited her brother once a year, meeting for prayer and conversation, just outside the monastery walls. It was shortly after one of these meetings, in the year 542 A.D., that Benedict, looking out from the monastery, saw his sister’s soul ascend to heaven like a dove. read more

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Jerome Emiliani, February 9,2018

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Jerome Emiliani, February 9,2018

In the Church’s art, Jerome Emiliani carries the ball and chain with which he was fettered as a prisoner of war near Treviso, Italy, in 1508 A.D. From the dungeon he asked Mary for help, and he escaped soon after. He lived from that time in a spirit of thanksgiving. After serving as mayor of Treviso, he returned to his native Venice, where he began to attend to the needs of abandoned children. Jerome found them food and clothes, and taught them the Faith through a question-and-answer style catechism. He helped prostitutes, incurables, and the impoverished. In 1531 A.D. he founded the Clerks Regular of Somascha, who continued his work among the poor. read more

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Josephine Bakhita, February 8,2018

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Josephine Bakhita, February 8,2018

At the age of nine, Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped from her home in Sudan, force-marched for eight days, and sold into slavery. “Bakhita” (Arabic: “fortunate one”) had five masters who treated her with great cruelty. One mistress “tattooed” Bakhita by repeatedly cutting her skin and rubbing salt into the wounds. Finally reaching Venice with a kindly Italian family, Bakhita was entrusted to the Canossian sisters. There she embraced the Faith, ultimately entering the order herself. She served in humble ways, and spent her last years in a wheelchair. “The whole of my life has been God’s gift, men, his instruments; thanks to them for providing me the gift of faith,” she declared. Bakhita died in 1947 A.D. and was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. read more

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Colette, February 7,2018

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Colette, February 7,2018

From within the human heart “come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.” When we are not sure what sin is, we do well to review Christ’s list of evils that “come from within and defile.” His words reveal a merciful wisdom that, as happened to the queen of Sheba, will leave us “breathless.” read more

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Paul Miki & Companions, February 6,2018

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Paul Miki & Companions, February 6,2018

The fertile missionary fields of Japan were first cultivated by Saint Francis Xavier in 1549. In 1597, the Japanese authorities, fearing foreign influence, began a campaign of persecution with the execution of Paul Miki and his companions on February 5,1597 including 16 Japanese laymen, four of whom were boys. Fearful that the missionary represented the vanguard of an impending conquest by European forces, the Shogun Hideyoshi ordered the men to be marched 400 miles from Miyako to Nagasaki, with blood streaming down their faces as a sign of their disgrace (their ears had been cut). In Nagasaki, each was bound to a cross and killed with a lance. After 1627, villagers were forced to walk over fumie, pictures of the Madonna and Child. Those who refused were exiled or killed. When repeated persecutions failed to destroy the Faith, authorities focused their energies on forcing mission priests to apostatize. A brutal torture known as “the pit” was invented for this purpose. In 1638, Japan was definitely closed to foreigners. The Japanese martyrs were canonized in 1862. Missionaries were again allowed to enter in 1865 A.D. read more

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Agatha, February 5,2018

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Agatha, February 5,2018

Agatha’s feast has been celebrated on this day since ancient times. She was martyred in Catania, Sicily, most likely during the persecution of Decius in 251 A.D. While the details of her life are lost to history, the impact of her sacrifice is attested to by ancient authors. Agatha is the Latin form of agathos, meaning “good” in Greek. Of her, Saint Methodius of Sicily wrote: “She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her name wins all people over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true good, God alone.” read more

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time B & St. Joseph of Leonissa, February 4,2018

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s video: Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time B & St. Joseph of Leonissa, February 4,2018

Job asks, “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?” We, too, often wonder if we will “see happiness again.” Jesus responds, “Let us go on to the nearby villages.” The presence of Jesus is the antidote for our “months of misery.” When “the night drags on” and we are filled with restlessness, only one thing makes us want to get out of bed in the morning: Jesus Christ. The gracious God “rebuilds Jerusalem” one broken heart at a time. To the weak he became weak to win over the weak. In Christ’s preaching, “he calls each by name.” read more

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Blaise, February 3,2018

Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Blaise, February 3,2018

A native of Sebaste, Armenia (present-day Sivas, Turkey), reported to have been martyred for the faith sometime in the early 4thcentury, Blaise has a widespread cult. The medieval accounts of Blaise’s life present him as a physician-turned-bishop who fled to a cave to avoid the Roman persecutions. He was discovered by hunters, captured, and eventually executed. While in prison, his prayers brought healing to a young boy who had a fish bone caught in his throat. Blaise is invoked for the healing of ailments of the throat through a blessing that dates to the sixteenth century. During the Middle Ages, Blaise became one of Christendom’s most popular saints. He was counted among the Fourteen Holy Helpers, saints who were implored in times of plague and disaster. Countless churches in Europe bear his name. He continues to be invoked throughout America and Europe against ailments of the throat. read more

Readings & Reflections: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2,2018

Readings & Reflections: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2,2018

Mary and Joseph desire to unite their newborn child with the divine Presence dwelling in the Temple – the privileged place of encounter with God. By that Presentation, Jesus is shown to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. This revelation transforms the way that we belong. Christ’s visits to the Temple later in life re-presented his Presentation by intensifying this infant encounter with his Father. Ultimately, Christ identifies himself with the Temple: he is God’s dwelling-place among people. As today Mary carries her baby to the Temple, she is leading Jesus and us to our own true self. read more

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Ansgar, February 1,2018

Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time & St. Ansgar, February 1,2018

David promises his son Solomon, “You shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.” That promise comes true today as Jesus, the Son of David, sends forth the Twelve to preach repentance, drive out demons, and care the sick. In the authority that Jesus gives them, the Son of David’s sovereignty remains firmly established.

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

Dear Jesus, You gave your first apostles the task of preaching, teaching and healing. With your grace and empowerment, they proceeded with the work You have planned for them and they all returned fruitful. Our Lord Jesus, we beg You to pour your grace on all who have decided to dedicate their life to your work. Empower them and make them fruitful in your Name. Amen. read more