Minute Meditations

Doing God's Will Minute Meditations

I applied myself especially to loving God, and it is in loving him that I understood my love was not to be expressed only in words, for: "It is not those who say: 'Lord, Lord!' who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of my Father in heaven."
— from The Little Way of Advent





St. Francis Xavier
(1506-1552)


Jesus asked, "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" (Matthew 16:26a). The words were repeated to a young teacher of philosophy who had a highly promising career in academics, with success and a life of prestige and honor before him.

Francis Xavier, 24 at the time, and living and teaching in Paris, did not heed these words at once. They came from a good friend, Ignatius of Loyola, whose tireless persuasion finally won the young man to Christ. Francis then made the spiritual exercises under the direction of Ignatius, and in 1534 joined his little community, the infant Society of Jesus. Together at Montmartre they vowed poverty, chastity and apostolic service according to the directions of the pope.

From Venice, where he was ordained a priest in 1537, Francis Xavier went on to Lisbon and from there sailed to the East Indies, landing at Goa, on the west coast of India. For the next 10 years he labored to bring the faith to such widely scattered peoples as the Hindus, the Malayans and the Japanese. He spent much of that time in India, and served as provincial of the newly established Jesuit province of India.

Wherever he went, he lived with the poorest people, sharing their food and rough accommodations. He spent countless hours ministering to the sick and the poor, particularly to lepers. Very often he had no time to sleep or even to say his breviary but, as we know from his letters, he was filled always with joy.

Francis went through the islands of Malaysia, then up to Japan. He learned enough Japanese to preach to simple folk, to instruct and to baptize, and to establish missions for those who were to follow him. From Japan he had dreams of going to China, but this plan was never realized. Before reaching the mainland he died. His remains are enshrined in the Church of Good Jesus in Goa. He and St. Therese of Lisieux were declared co-patrons of the missions in 1925.



Story:

Francis died on the island of Sancian, a hundred miles southwest of Hong Kong. In his final sickness he had to be removed from the ship because the Portuguese sailors feared that kindness to him would offend their master. They were forced to leave him on the sands of the shore, exposed to a bitter wind, but a Portuguese merchant led him into a ramshackle hut. He prayed continually, between spasms of delirium and the doubtful therapy of bleeding. He grew weaker and weaker. "I [Anthony, his friend] could see that he was dying, and put a lighted candle in his hand. Then, with the name of Jesus on his lips, he gave his spirit to his Creator and Lord with great peace and repose."



Comment:

All of us are called to "go and preach to all nations" (see Matthew 28:19). Our preaching is not necessarily on distant shores but to our families, our children, our husband or wife, our coworkers. And we are called to preach not with words, but by our everyday lives. Only by sacrifice, the giving up of all selfish gain, could Francis Xavier be free to bear the Good News to the world. Sacrifice is leaving yourself behind at times for a greater good, the good of prayer, the good of helping someone in need, the good of just listening to another. The greatest gift we have is our time. Francis gave his to others.

Patron Saint of:

Japan
Missionaries


Daily Prayer - 2015-12-03

Presence

The more we call on the Lord
the more we can feel his Presence.
Day by day he draws us closer
to his loving heart.

Freedom

Lord grant me the grace
to have freedom of the spirit.
Cleanse my heart and soul
so I may live joyously in your love.

Consciousness

How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

The Word of God

Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest

Reading 1 Is 26:1-6

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

"A strong city have we;
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
Open up the gates
to let in a nation that is just,
one that keeps faith.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you."

Trust in the LORD forever!
For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground,
levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.

Responsorial Psalm PS 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a

R. (26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This gate is the LORD's;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Is 55:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call him while he is near.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

- - -


Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • Jesus, true discipleship is as strong as the foundation on which it is built. You call me not merely to hear your word but to daily put it into action.
  • Lord, Francis Xavier experienced the rains of misfortune and floods of disaster as he worked to spread your work. When I am threatened by disasters that seek to smother, overwhelm my faith in you, keep me firm, keep me rooted in you, my rock!

Conversation

Dear Lord, stay by my side always.
Gain for me a trusting heart.
Thank you for loving me.

Conclusion

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.


Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

View NAB Reading at USCCB.org

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Saint Francis Xavier, Priest (Memorial)

It had been set solidly on rock. (Matthew 7:25)

Jesus' listeners had no problem understanding his parable about houses built on sand and rock. Throughout Palestine, torrential rains often fell from November through April, washing away houses that were not solidly built. But how can we in the twenty-first century relate this story to our lives? By examining ways to build our spiritual home on solid ground.

First, we should be careful to build on Jesus himself. He is the only solid ground we can find. This means embracing the truths of who he is and what he has done for us—all the truths contained in our creed.

Next, we should be careful to use just the right materials in building our home—and use them in the right way. This means developing our gifts and talents in a way that glorifies the Lord and doesn't just serve our own demands and desires. It means spending time in prayer and Scripture, asking the Holy Spirit to mold us into the image of Christ.

Finally, we can consider the neighborhood where we are building this home by looking at our relationships. Does our kindness build up our friends? Are we taking the right steps in caring for the poor and the unwanted? What about serving the Church? If we have established the right network of friends and activities, we'll be much safer than if we try to go it alone.

If all of this sounds like a lot, remember that building a house is not an overnight project. You take it brick by brick, going one step at a time. Just remember that the more you develop these three areas—embracing Jesus, using the right materials, and caring for other people—the stronger your foundation will be.

Remember, too, that you are not the only one building your house! If you stay faithful in prayer, you'll find Jesus himself with a hard hat on and a tool belt around his waist helping you every step of the way!

"Jesus, you are my cornerstone. Help me to build a solid house founded on faith and trust in you. Lord, I want to be your hands and feet in this world."

Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27


Act On Them



my2cents:
Do you believe the Word of God?  We read "Trust in the LORD forever!" Why? "For the LORD is an eternal Rock."  And "He humbles those in high places".  If you have experienced failure in your life, then thank the Lord for attempting to humble you.  It is to our greater advantage to bow down before the Lord, rather than setting ourselves high.  This whole self esteem then is selfishness.  This whole personal testimony thing then is not about me, but should point to the Lord, our foundation, our fortress, our home.  Run to the Lord, Seek the Lord full time, all the time! Seek Him wherever you walk, seek Him in whatever you see, and in whom you meet.  And you'll know Him more.  A quote said today "The experience of the Church and the saints demonstrates a general law: what comes from the SPirit of God brings with it joy, peace, tranquility of spirit, gentleness, simplicity and light.  On the other hand, what comes from the spirit of evil brings sadness, trouble, agitation, worry, confusion, and darkness.  These marks of the good and the evil are unmistakable signs in themselves." -Fr. Jacques Philippe, p.51 from In the School of the Holy Spirit.
The Psalms pray on today "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" and "It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man."   The 5minutos reflection ended today with the line "So human love is fragile, and it isn't always strong enough to bear the weight of all one life and its problems."  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Last night, a crew came in looking for me during our co-worker bible study.  I told them to sit down and join us.  They sat, and one of them started to share what he heard a priest say at a wedding this weekend in a neighboring state.  "He said to us that for those that are not married by the Church are living in mortal sin...even the good things we do are for not!"  And I said that is true.  The guys that come weekly were listening to that guy attentively, they won't really listen to me having told them that many times, they were more open to an outsider, which is fine and I was so happy to have the experience, so truly I can pray today BLessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  I said "it is the HOly Spirit talking because we began our group faith with a prayer asking the HOly Spirit to come teach us".  I said also "I heard on EWTN radio that Mother Angelica said "sin is like a divorce from God".  So living in sin is living in divorce from Him".  I took it and blew it out of proportion into another example "Imagine me, a drug lord, I just ordered the killings of 20 men, and I see an old lady needing help and I give her a good chunk of money, does that offset all the evil sin?"  Of course not.  WE can't be children of the dark and of the light.  Will we listen?  Many of us do not.  We hear words, we read words but will we listen!!?
Jesus speaks to you and me today ""Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."  Sure we can pray and talk to God until our faces are blue, but only until we actually silence and listen...then we will know His will for our lives.  Once we can put away the man, the human of our lives and listen to the Spirit of God, then we will have true life.  Silence is crucial.  This is why a visit to the Blessed Sacrament CAN BE beneficial to you, only if you can bare to be silent for a moment.  Do you ever let God speak to you?  Probably not very often, especially if you live a so called "busy life".  I always yap at my son "why don't you listen?" and "didn't you hear your mom yelling at you?" and "didn't you see them offering you something?".  I say these questions so that you may take them to heart. 
Why don't you listen? {The Holy Spirit is trying to lead your life}
Didn't you hear them telling you what to do? {The directions are very clear}
Couldn't you tell they were offering you something? {The Holy Spirit is offering you something in exchange}
The outsider crew member asked "what does it mean to be converted? to change religions?"  I said that is one conversion, but mostly when we read conversion in the bible, we are speaking about an interior conversion, a betterment and growth and more Christ in our lives.  It is to leave behind sin, and be holy.  Will they listen now?  That shouldn't concern us, to be all up in their business...or should it?  LOL.  We don't evangelize because we don't want to bug others.  And so we let them die...spiritually, and sometimes physically.  Because if I offer you Jesus, I'm offering salvation.  I'm offering you a rock to build your life upon, and the rock is eternal salvation.  The only way we can be successful is to be strong as a rock in Him, and the Eucharist can lead us if we allow.  Tenacity wins, the truth wins.  This message is for "them" and just the same for you and me!  Doing the will of the Lord brings salvation.  And His commands are saving.  Will you share the Love of God!??

YES LORD,
whatever you say, wherever you go, I will go, I will listen, to love, cherish and behold you among us always!

Image result for follow Jesus    adrian
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