Daily Catholic Mass – 2019-09-09 – Fr. John Paul

Daily Catholic Mass – 2019-09-09 – Fr. John Paul


A READING FROM THE LETTER OF SAINT PAUL TO THE COLOSSIANS BROTHERS AND SISTERS: I REJOICE IN MY SUFFERINGS FOR YOUR SAKE, AND IN MY FLESH I AM FILLING UP WHAT IS LACKING IN THE AFFLICTIONS OF CHRIST ON BEHALF OF HIS BODY, WHICH IS THE CHURCH, OF WHICH I AM A MINISTER IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD’S STEWARDSHIP GIVEN TO ME TO BRING TO COMPLETION FOR YOU THE WORD OF GOD, THE MYSTERY HIDDEN FROM AGES AND FROM GENERATIONS PAST. BUT NOW IT HAS BEEN MANIFESTED TO HIS HOLY ONES, TO WHOM GOD CHOSE TO MAKE KNOWN THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES; IT IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE FOR GLORY. IT IS HE WHOM WE PROCLAIM, ADMONISHING EVERYONE AND TEACHING EVERYONE WITH ALL WISDOM, THAT WE MAY PRESENT EVERYONE PERFECT IN CHRIST. FOR THIS I LABOR AND STRUGGLE, IN ACCORD WITH THE EXERCISE OF HIS POWER WORKING WITHIN ME. FOR I WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW GREAT A STRUGGLE I AM HAVING FOR YOU AND FOR THOSE IN LAODICEA AND ALL WHO HAVE NOT SEEN ME FACE TO FACE, THAT THEIR HEARTS MAY BE ENCOURAGED AS THEY ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER IN LOVE, TO HAVE ALL THE RICHNESS OF ASSURED UNDERSTANDING, FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MYSTERY OF GOD, CHRIST, IN WHOM ARE HIDDEN ALL THE TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE. VERBUM DOMINI DEO GRATIAS. IN GOD IS MY SAFETY AND MY GLORY. IN GOD IS MY SAFETY AND MY GLORY. ONLY IN GOD BE AT REST, MY SOUL, FOR FROM HIM COMES MY HOPE. HE ONLY IS MY ROCK AND MY SALVATION, MY STRONGHOLD; I SHALL NOT BE DISTURBED. IN GOD IS MY SAFETY AND MY GLORY. TRUST IN HIM AT ALL TIMES, O MY PEOPLE! POUR OUT YOUR HEARTS BEFORE HIM; GOD IS OUR REFUGE! IN GOD IS MY SAFETY AND MY GLORY. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, SAYS THE LORD; I KNOW THEM, AND THEY FOLLOW ME. ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA>>DOMINUS VOBISCUM. ET CUM SPIRITU TUO>>+ LECTIO SANCTI EVANGELII SECUNDUM LUCAM GLORIA TIBI, DOMINE.>>ON A CERTAIN SABBATH JESUS WENT INTO THE SYNAGOGUE AND TAUGHT, AND THERE WAS A MAN THERE WHOSE RIGHT HAND WAS WITHERED. THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES WATCHED HIM CLOSELY TO SEE IF HE WOULD CURE ON THE SABBATH SO THAT THEY MIGHT DISCOVER A REASON TO ACCUSE HIM. BUT HE REALIZED THEIR INTENTIONS AND SAID TO THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND, COME UP AND STAND BEFORE US. AND HE ROSE AND STOOD THERE. THEN JESUS SAID TO THEM, I ASK YOU, IS IT LAWFUL TO DO GOOD ON THE SABBATH RATHER THAN TO DO EVIL, TO SAVE LIFE RATHER THAN TO DESTROY IT? LOOKING AROUND AT THEM ALL, HE THEN SAID TO HIM, STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND. HE DID SO AND HIS HAND WAS RESTORED. BUT THEY BECAME ENRAGED AND DISCUSSED TOGETHER WHAT THEY MIGHT DO TO JESUS. VERBUM DOMINI LAUS TIBI, CHRISTE. THE GOSPEL ACCOUNT OF THE HEALING OF THE MAN WITH A WITHERED HAND SHOWS US THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH CAME TO FULFILL AND PERFECT THE LAW. HAVING A DAY OF REST AND WORSHIP ON THE SABBATH WAS THE OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF THE JEWS COVENANT WITH GOD. IT ALSO REMINDED THEM OF THE TRUST AND TOTAL DEPENDENCE THAT MAN MUST HAVE IN GOD. YOU MIGHT SAY THAT THE MAN’S WITHERED HAND IN THE GOSPEL SYMBOLIZES MANKIND’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CREATOR. IT WAS LIFELESS, STERILE AND DRY. BECAUSE THE PHARISEES HAD GROWN SO EMBITTERED, THE OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW WAS AT BEST THE KEEPING OF THEIR OWN EXTERNAL PRECEPTS. THE WAY IN WHICH THEY KEPT THE LAW DID NOT CHANGE THEIR HEART IN OTHER WORDS. THEY WERE WAITING FOR JESUS TO BREAK THE PHARISAICAL LAW IN THE SLIGHTEST. AT THIS POINT IN THE PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JESUS THE PHARISEES MUST’VE HEARD OF THE MIRACLES PERFORMED BY HIM. BY PERFORMING A MIRACLE ON THE SABBATH, JESUS IS MAKING THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN SERVILE WORK AND GOOD DEEDS DONE OUT OF COMPASSION AND MERCY. AND THIS IS AN ACT OF MERCY. THAT JESUS IS PERFORMING IN THE GOSPELS. MERCY IS WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE WHEN TURNED TOWARD THE SINNER, THE DOWNTRODDEN AND THE BROKEN AND WEAK. A BETTER TRANSLATION OF WITHERED HAND WOULD BE IN GREEK, THE DRY HAND; THERE WAS NO BLOOD FLOWING IN THE HAND. IT COULD BE COMPARED TO A BRANCH BEING CUT OFF FROM A FINE. ONCE CUT OFF THE LIFE-GIVING SAP FROM THE VINE IS UNABLE TO BE COMMUNICATED TO THE BRANCH AND AFTER TIME THE BRANCH SHRIVELS UP AND DIES. THIS COULD BE USED AS AN ANALOGY FOR OUR FALLEN STATE AFTER ORIGINAL SIN. THERE WAS A BARRIER BETWEEN MAN AND GOD. AND CUT OFF FROM GOD JUST AS THE BRANCHES CUT OFF FROM THE VINE MAN IS SPIRITUALLY DEAD. WE ARE LIFELESS. WE ARE DRY. IN ALL OF HIS PUBLIC MIRACLES AND HEALINGS JESUS IS DIRECTING US NOT MERELY TO A PHYSICAL HEALING BUT TO ULTIMATELY RECONCILIATION WITH GOD. SACRED SCRIPTURE IS CLEAR THAT GOD AND ASSUMING HUMAN NATURE, HE ASSUMES OUR TRANSGRESSIONS. HE BORE OUR GRIEF. CARRIED OUR SORROWS AND INFIRMITIES. AND THEOLOGIANS AND SPIRITUAL WRITERS HAVE SAID THAT THE GOD MAN ASSUMED TO HIMSELF EVERY HUMAN SUFFERING. AND IN SPECULATING ON TODAY’S GOSPEL WE MIGHT SAY THAT THE GOD MAN EVEN FELT WHAT THIS MAN FELT WITH THE WITHERED HAND. THIS MOVED HIM ALL THE MORE TO RESTORE HIM TO HELP. LIKE THIS MAN, JESUS KNOWS OUR SUFFERING AS WELL. WHATEVER WE MAY BE GOING THROUGH IN OUR OWN LIVES. THERE IS NO SUFFERING THAT JESUS CHRIST THE GOD MAN, THE 2ND PERSON OF THE MOST BLESSED TRINITY IS UNAWARE OF. IN HIS PASSION HE ASSUMED TO HIMSELF AND EMBRACED ALL HUMAN SUFFERING MAKING SUFFERING REDEMPTIVE. FULTON J SHEEN OFTEN WOULD SAY THAT THE GOD MAN JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO THIS WORLD AND TOOK HIS OWN MEDICINE. HE SWALLOWED HIS OWN PILL. THAT IS HE DOVE RIGHT INTO HUMAN SUFFERING. HE DID NOT DODGE THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS. BUT HE ENTERED INTO THAT REALITY, INTO YOUR SUFFERING AND MY SUFFERING. PERHAPS, IN THE CONTEXT OF TODAY’S FEAST, OF ST. PETER CLAVER, IT IS GOOD TO MEDITATE ON THE REALITY OF A MAN, THIS MAN WHO DOVE RIGHT INTO IF YOU WILL THE SUFFERING OF SO MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS EVEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SLAVES. HE IS A GREAT ST. FOR US TO MEDITATE ON AND TO LEARN ABOUT HIS LIFE. RIGHT AFTER HIS ORDINATION, ST. PETER CLAVER BEGAN WORKING AMONG THE ENSLAVED NEGROES. HE SPENT 40 YEARS IN WORKING AMONG THE SLAVES AND HE HIMSELF DECLARED THE TITLE THAT HAS COME DOWN THROUGH THE CENTURIES, THE SLAVE OF THE NEGROES FOREVER. THAT IS WHAT IS EXPRESSED IN THE OPENING. THE SLAVE OF THE SLAVES CHRIST HIMSELF. PETER CLAVER, ANY ST. WOULD SEE HOPEFULLY IN HIMSELF AND STRIVE AFTER THE MODEL OF PERFECTION, JESUS CHRIST. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT JESUS CHRIST DOES. HE DIVES INTO ANY KIND OF SITUATION ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE DOWNTRODDEN. THOSE WHO HAVE A BURDEN. ANYTIME IN THE GOSPELS WERE JESUS COMES INTO A TOWN WHERE PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY ARE DRAWN TO HIM. HE NEVER TURNS THEM AWAY. HE ENTERS DIRECTLY INTO THEIR LIVES. AND HE AFFIRMS THEM. ST. PETER CLAVER’S MISSIONARY APOSTOLATE CAN BE REALLY SUMMED UP IN THAT IT WAS NOT JUST ABOUT ST. PETER CLAVER, THIS MAN GOING IN AND BAPTIZING, BUT HE RECOGNIZED THAT THESE PEOPLE THESE PEOPLE WHO WERE BEING STRIPPED OF THEIR HUMAN DIGNITY DID NOT JUST NEED BAPTISM BUT THEY NEEDED TO BE INSTRUCTED BEFORE BAPTISM. THAT THEY NEEDED TO BE TAUGHT THE WAYS OF THE FAITH. ST. PETER CLAVER ONLY SPOKE SPANISH, SO HE TRAINED SEVERAL INTERPRETERS TO SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGES. SOME SPOKE THAT IS SOME OF THE NEGROES SPOKE FOUR AFRICAN DIALECTS SO WHEN HE WAS SPEAKING HE WAS HAVING PEOPLE COMMUNICATE TO THEM IN THEIR OWN DIALECT THE WAYS OF THE FAITH. THE BASICS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. ALSO WITH NO EXCEPTION, THE NEGROES WERE ILLITERATE. HE WOULD BRING ON BOARD THE SHIP WITH THEM MANY PICTURES OF CHRIST. OF OUR LADY, THE SAINTS AND MANY CRUCIFIXES AS WELL. BOXES FULL OF CRUCIFIXES. THIS CAN BE SAID ALL THROUGHOUT CHRISTIAN HISTORY THAT MANY PEOPLE WERE ILLITERATE FOR CENTURIES AT A TIME. ART WAS A WAY OF COMMUNICATING DIVINE TRUTH. SO WHEN PEOPLE WOULD LOOK AT EVEN THE STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS THEY WOULD SEE THE STORY OF SALVATION. THEY WOULD SEE THE SACRAMENTS PRESENTED. THEY WOULD SEE JESUS THE WAY HE DEALS WITH SINNERS. THEY WOULD SEE PEOPLE REACHING OUT AND JESUS HEALING THEM IN THE MIRACLE ACCOUNTS. IT IS SAID AND THIS IS JOHN HARDEN FATHER JOHN HARDEN OF BLESSED MEMORY, OF HIS WRITING, HE WOULD SAY THAT HIS HARDEST TASK WAS TO RESTORE SOME SELF RESPECT TO THESE PEOPLE HAD BEEN TREATED SO INHUMANELY FOR SO LONG. THAT WAS HIS HARDEST TASK. NOT WHAT EVEN HE WOULD SAY, THE STENCH OF GOING INTO THE BOATS THAT HAD SO MANY DYING PEOPLE IN THESE BOATS AND HE EVEN HAD TO OVERCOME THAT IN HIS OWN FRAILTY, HE HAD TO PUSH HIMSELF, HE WOULD SAY COME INTO THE BOATS OUT OF LOVE AND CONCERN AND MERCY FOR THE SLAVES. BUT HE SAID THE HARDEST THING WAS TO RESTORE THEIR DIGNITY. IT HAD BEEN STRIPPED AWAY. THIS WAS HIS PRINCIPAL EFFORT. TO TRY TO SHOW TO THESE NAKED SLAVES THAT THEY WERE STILL LOVED. THAT THERE IS A GOD THAT LOVES THEM. ULTIMATELY THAT THERE WAS A GOD THAT HAS NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT THEM. HE WOULD TEACH THEM MANY DIFFERENT PRAYERS BESIDES THE CATECHISM. HE WOULD TEACH THEM THE PRAYER SUCH AS JESUS CHRIST I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH. TO TEACH THEM TO SAY THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. HE WOULD TEACH THEM AND ACT OF CONTRITION. JESUS CHRIST I AM SORRY FOR HAVING SINNED AGAINST YOU. THEN THIS IS FATHER HARDEN’S WORDS. THAT THE MOST PRECIOUS OF ALL THAT HE WOULD TEACH THEM IS LORD I LOVE YOU, MUCH, MUCH. THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT HE WOULD TEACH THE SLAVES THAT HAD BEEN STRIPPED OF THEIR DIGNITY. JESUS CHRIST, LORD I LOVE YOU MUCH, MUCH. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO SAY THINGS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND THE MORE THAT WE SAY THINGS OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE MORE THAT THEY SINK IN. LORD I LOVE YOU MUCH, MUCH, MUCH. AND THE LOWEST ESTIMATE REPORTED IN ST. PETER’S ST. PETER CLAVER’S CANONIZATION IS THAT HE BAPTIZED OVER 300,000 PEOPLE. OVER 300,000 SLAVES. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU A MIRACLE ACCOUNT. THIS WAS 1 OF THE MIRACLES, THE 2ND MIRACLE THAT WAS APPROVED FOR HIS CANONIZATION. HIS NAME WAS IGNATIUS STRETCHER AND HE CAME TO AMERICA FROM GERMANY IN 1853. HE AND HIS WIFE AND FAMILY SETTLED IN ST. LOUIS MISSOURI AT ST. JOSEPH’S PARISH. HE IS A VERY DEVOTED MAN. A FAMILY OF 9 CHILDREN. A HARD WORKER. HE WORKED IN A SOAP FACTORY. AND ONE DAY WHEN HE WAS WORKING HE WAS ACCIDENTALLY STRUCK IN HIS CHEST SHARPLY WITH THE POINTED PIECE OF IRON AND HIS BREASTBONE WAS INJURED AND YOU CANNOT SEE THIS OUTWARDLY BUT INWARDLY WAS THE DAMAGE THAT HAD BEEN DONE. AFTER CONSIDERABLE PAIN AND MONTHS OF ATTENTION FROM DOCTORS, A TUMOR LIKE INFLAMMATION BEGAN TO GROW ALARMINGLY AND THEY BEGAN TO HAVE TO DRAIN THE TUMOR THAT HE ENDED UP HAVING. IN ALL OF THESE EXTERNAL REMEDIES THAT WERE TRIED, MANY DOCTORS TRIED AND THEY FAILED TO CURE HIM AND HIS DOCTOR HIDE SICK OPENED UP THE WOUND AND HE FOUND THAT THE BREASTBONE HAD SOME RIBS ON THE LEFT SIDE IN A STATE OF INSIPID DECOMPOSITION. A SERIES OF INJECTIONS FAILED TO CLEAR THIS UP AS DID OTHER REMEDIES AND IT ONLY GREW WORSE. THIS IS WHEN THEY CALLED IN ANOTHER DOCTOR WHO WAS WORLD RENOWNED, THIS BEING A SPECIALIST, AND THIS DR. PRETTY MUCH SAID THAT HE IS INCURABLE AND THAT HE ONLY HAD ABOUT A WEEK OR 2 LEFT TO LIVE. AROUND THIS TIME AND MISSIONARY CAME TO THEIR PARISH TO PREACH A PARISH MISSION AND THIS MISSIONARY, FATHER WHITAKER WAS PREACHING A SERMON AT THE TIME BLESSED PETER CLAVER. AND THE MISSIONARY WAS POINTING OUT THAT PETER CLAVER HAD THIS GREAT INTERCESSORY POWER BEFORE GOD AND HE BLESSED THE PEOPLE WITH A RELIC AFTER THE MISSION. AND THIS MAN, IGNATIUS, HIS WIFE WAS A WOMAN OF DEEP FAITH AND SHE WENT HOME AND SHE BEGGED HER HUSBAND TO START PRAYING RIGHT THEN FOR THE INTERCESSION OF ST. PETER CLAVER FOR HER HUSBAND. HE HAD NEVER HEARD OF PETER CLAVER BEFORE BUT HE STARTED PRAYING FOR HIS INTERCESSION AND THE NEXT EVENING HE MUSTERED UP ENOUGH STRENGTH TO GO TO THE PARISH MISSION. TO HEAR THIS PRIEST PREACH ABOUT PETER CLAVER AND TO BE ULTIMATELY BLESSED BY THIS RELIC. IT WAS DURING THE BLESSING OF THE SICK THAT THIS MAN, IGNATIUS, HE EXPERIENCED AND HE SAID I CANNOT EVEN EXPLAIN IN THE TEXT HERE HE SAID I CANNOT EXPLAIN WHAT WAS GOING ON IN MY BODY AND IN MY SOUL BECAUSE I IMMEDIATELY FELT STRENGTHENED AND MY FAITH AND I FELT LIKE APPROACHING AND ASKING FOR PRAYERS. HE SAID HE HAD STRONG CONFIDENCE IN GOD. HE WAS BLESSED WITH THE RELIC AND THEN HE KISSED THE RELIC AND HE SAYS THAT HE IMMEDIATELY FELT AN INCREASE ENCOURAGE, A STRENGTHENING OF FAITH AND AND ASSURANCE THAT HE WOULD RECOVER HIS HEALTH AND RECOVER TO HEALTH FROM HIS SICKNESS. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS ALL APPEARANCES OF HIS INJURY WERE GONE. GONE. THESE ARE MIRACLES THAT GOD CAN WORK WITHIN OUR MIDST. THE MIRACLES ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE OF 2000 YEARS AGO. BUT GOD STILL DESIRES TO EVEN WORK MIRACLES THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF HIS SAINTS, EVEN TOUCHING THEIR RELICS. BECAUSE GOD WORKS THROUGH HIS CHOSEN ONES, HIS HOLY ONES AND IT IS NOT SO MUCH THAT THE SAINT IS GLORIFIED BUT GOD IS GLORIFIED WHEN HIS SAINTS ARE ACKNOWLEDGED. THIS IS A REALITY WE BELIEVE IN THE COMMUNION OF THE SAINTS. THAT BEING SAID TO CLOSE, WHENEVER A SAINT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OR REVERENCED IT IS NOT SO MUCH THE SAINT WHO IS GLORIFIED BUT GOD. BUT THE POWER OF GOD AND THE WISDOM OF GOD. PRAYING THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF ST. PETER CLAVER, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE PEOPLE IN LIFE FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN ABANDONED. MAYBE PEOPLE IN LIFE THAT HAVE BEEN STRIPPED OF THEIR HUMAN DIGNITY. WHEREVER THEY MAY BE IN LIFE. ST. PETER CLAVER IS A GREAT INTERCESSOR FOR THOSE TYPE OF PEOPLE. TO GIVE THEM HOPE. TO HELP THEM TO SEE THAT WE WORSHIP A GOD THAT HAS NOT FORGOTTEN ANYBODY AND THAT INCLUDES YOU AND ME.

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